Mappers Look to Chart World's Ocean Floor by 2030
Using data collected from underwater drones, merchant ships, fishing boats and even explorers, a new scientific project aims to map the ocean floor by 2030 and solve one of the world’s enduring mysteries.With 190 million square km (73 million square miles) of water - or about 93 percent of the world's oceans with a depth of over 200 meters (650 feet) - yet to be charted, the initiative is ambitious.Satinder Bindra, director of the Seabed 2030 project, said the work can be completed within the period and will shed light on everything from tsunami wave patterns to pollution…
Fishing Vessel Runs Aground near Santa Cruz
Responders are working to remove fuel from the tanks of a 56-foot commercial fishing vessel that ran aground near California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Sunday.The grounded vessel, Pacific Quest, is broken up and beached near Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz., with a maximum potential capacity of 1,200 gallons of diesel on board, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.The captain of the fishing vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, reporting that his vessel ran aground with only himself and his dog aboard.
New Oil Spill Tech Solutions Put to the Test
No two oil spill response operations are the same. Each can present new and even tougher challenges for spill responders as they detect, contain and recover spilled oil. Diverse aspects affecting oil spill response operations can be the physical environment, spill monitoring, use of chemical dispersants, and the availability of proper technology for the situation.Some challenges have been met through research and technology development of techniques for dealing with spills. However…
USCG Navigation Center: Steering a steady course for safe, secure, efficient waterways
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Center (NAVCEN) is involved in a number of activities that have an impact on all Americans, even if they don’t realize it.From motorists checking directions with their Global Positioning System (GPS) to boaters to ships coming and going to U.S. ports, the NAVCEN plays an unseen but vital role.With a staff of19 officers, 17 enlisted personnel and 19 civilians, NAVCEN falls under the Director of Marine Transportation Systems (CG-5PW) at USCG Headquarters…
MSC Honoured for Whale Protection Measures
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones national marine sanctuaries, off the US Pacific coast, has recognized the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) positive work in reducing vessel speeds for a cleaner environment and better marine wildlife safety.The purpose of this speed-reduction program is to improve air quality, reduce risk of fatal whale strikes, and protect whales within National Marine Sanctuaries. Award…
Analysis: Government Proposal 'Ill-informed' on Maritime Matters
On June 22, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a federal government reorganization proposal entitled “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century”. The 132-page document is subtitled ‘Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations’. I have not read the entire report, but I have examined those portions that relate to maritime issues. I find those portions to be uniformly ill-advised.Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once wrote: “A page of history is worth a volume of logic.” The authors of this proposal should brush up on their history.
Op/Ed: USCG Forges the Future of Navigation
Maintaining the system of buoys and beacons that guide mariners through our nation’s waterways is the United States Coast Guard’s oldest mission. Tracing its roots to the ninth law passed by Congress in 1790 that moved lighthouses under Federal control, the U.S. Lighthouse Service and its vast portfolio of buoys, beacons, buoy tenders and lightships were a founding part of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Along with the mission, many of the beacons the Coast Guard maintains today date back centuries.
Managing Oil Spills
International experts have been sharing experiences, new technologies and scientific advancements relating to oil spill response at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Long Beach, United States (15-18 May). The theme of the conference is “prevent, prepare, respond and restore”, which fully aligns with International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s regulatory work to prevent oil spills from occurring and also its work to support countries to be prepared to respond to such incidents.
Towing Vessel Runs Aground in Louisiana
An uninspected towing vessel taking on water has run aground in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Ship Channel, early Monday morning. At 3:45 a.m., the three-man crew aboard the 60-foot towing vessel Mr. Landon intentionally ran the vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern. No injuries were reported. Approximately 10 gallons of oil was spilled as a result of the incident. Clean up efforts were coordinated by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Lake Charles members…
El Nino Signal is Weakening in the Pacific
The probability of El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific, developing this year has been downgraded by U.S. government forecasters as sea surface temperatures and wind speeds in the area remain close to their long-term averages. The Pacific saw a relatively rapid swing in late October from La Nina conditions - characterised as unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean - to neutral or even slightly El Nino-leaning conditions by March. Since then, however, the oceanic and atmospheric signals pointing to a possible El Nino have all weakened. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week downgraded the probability of El Nino conditions being present in the fourth quarter of 2017, to just 36 percent.
US Coast Guard Shipwreck Found – 100 Years Later
The shipwreck remains of a historic U.S. Coast Guard cutter have been discovered off of Southern California 100 years after the vessel was lost at sea. In its heyday, the Coast Guard Cutter McCulloch – commissioned in 1897 as a cruising cutter for the U.S. Treasury’s Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor of the Coast Guard – saw its share of action, having served with Commodore George Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 as part of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron that destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first major battle of the Spanish-American War.
Op/Ed: The Spill Response Industry's Greatest Challenges
Devon Grennan, president and CEO of Global Diving & Salvage, and president of the Spill Control Association of America (SCAA) asks the tough questions. What are the biggest challenges the spill response industry faces in light of the current political and economic climate in the United States? And what is SCAA doing to meet these challenges? I see the primary challenge that the spill response industry – as well as SCAA’s membership – currently has is to manage expectations and competing interests at a unique point in our nation’s energy renaissance.
El Faro Investigators Call for Better Weather Forecasting
New recommendations coming out of the investigation into the 2015 sinking of U.S. cargo ship El Faro call for efforts to improve the weather information available to mariners. All 33 crew on board died when the 790-foot El Faro sank close to the eye of Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas on October 1, 2015, two days after leaving Jacksonville, Fla. en route to Puerto Rico. Now, as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)…
Arctic Thaw helps Russian Shipping
Arctic thaw aids shipping most along Russian coast; Russia to start LNG exports from Yamal in late 2017. Russian shipping in the Arctic is benefiting from winds that are driving the oldest and thickest sea ice towards North America, further opening a remote region that is thawing amid global warming, scientists say. The thinning Russian ice could help liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, due to start exports from Russia's Yamal Peninsula in late 2017, to navigate an icy route east to Asia for more than a planned six months of the year, they said.
Vestdavit Opens US Office
Facing “sustained positive trend in North American business levels” Bergen-based supplier of davits and other boat launching equipment Vestdavit said it is opening an office in Seattle. According to the company, direct representation will help it build on its existing strong regional reputation. Its davits are already widely used by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and in the offshore oil industry among others. “The opening of the U.S.
US Marine Sanctuary Oil Drilling Report Sent to Trump, Not Public
U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross sent a report to the White House on Wednesday containing recommendations on whether to change the boundaries of 11 marine sanctuaries to allow more oil and gas drilling, but the report was not made public. Commerce reviewed sanctuaries containing 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches, as part of an administration strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling. The goal was to “put the energy needs of American families and businesses first,” according to the order Trump signed in April that triggered it.
AIS, AtoN, MTS – and you
USACE and USCG collaborate to make inland waterways safer. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), supported by Alion Science and Technology (Alion), has put forth considerable effort during the last two years to further extend the capabilities of the existing Automatic Identification System (AIS) network to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation along the inland rivers. The USACE works with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and other agencies and stakeholders to operate and maintain the nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS).
Weather Disasters Cost US $306 Bln in 2017 -NOAA
Weather and climate-related disasters cost the United States a record $306 billion in 2017, the third-warmest year on record, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Monday. The report from the federal agency underscores the economic risks of climate change, even as President Donald Trump's administration casts doubts on the causes of it and has started withdrawing the U.S. from a global pact to combat it. NOAA said western wildfires and hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma contributed to making 2017 the costliest year on record.
Coast Guard, NOAA to Include Navigation Rules in U.S. Coast Pilot
The U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up on a consolidated publication that will help mariners save time and money. The Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems and NOAA Office of Coast Survey will incorporate the amalgamated International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (72 COLREGS) and the Inland Navigation Rules into NOAA’s U.S. Coast Pilot publications. The U.S. Coast Pilot publications already include the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service regulations.
The US Government Must Fund Icebreakers Now
Congress last funded the purchase of polar icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 1970s. The USCCG Polar Star (WAGB-10) was commissioned in 1976, followed by the USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11) in 1977. Polar Sea has been out of service since 2010 due to a major engine failure. Polar Star was ‘in commission, special’ status from 2008 through 2012 while undergoing a service life extension. It is currently the only active heavy polar icebreaker in the U.S. fleet. The less capable USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) is a medium icebreaker and is equipped to support research missions in polar waters.
Near Record Low Arctic Ocean Ice a Boost for Shipping
Winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean covered the second smallest area on record this year, part of a thaw that is opening the region to shipping and oil exploration and may be disrupting weather far to the south, scientists said on Friday. The extent of floating ice likely reached an annual maximum of 14.5 million square kilometers (5.6 million square miles) on March 17, fractionally bigger than a record set in 2017, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said. Sea ice around the North Pole freezes to its biggest at the end of the winter in March…
Response to Mackinac Spill Continues
A U.S. Coast Guard marine science technician and an environmental quality analyst for Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality surveyed the Straits of Mackinac onboard a vessel Thursday. The responders did not identify any mineral oil sheens, signs of pollution, or adverse impacts to the environment or wildlife. Earlier this week, hundreds of gallons of mineral oil has been released from a leaking underwater utility line in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. Members of the U.S.
Latest Innovations in Heavy Duty Machinery
In the first of a series of marine industry sector reviews, MR&EN correspondent Tom Mulligan reports on the latest innovations in heavy lifting machinery technology with a selective overview of new product launches and recent equipment installations on board ships, ferries and workboats, as well as in ports, docks, harbors and shipping terminals worldwide. Markey Machinery’s Render/Recover and Asymmetric Render/Recover ‘active heave’ compensating winches have been recognized as…