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Monday, January 22, 2018

Ship Channel News

Investigators Probe into Houston Ship Collision

NTSB to meet to consider collision Houston Ship Channel collision The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it will meet June 7 to determine the probable cause of the March 9, 2015 collision between the bulk carrier Conti Peridot and the tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas.  Both vessels suffered damages as a result of the collision, which led to partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel.  

Channel Restrictions Lifted at Corpus Christi Port

Photo: Port of Corpus Christi

Post Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts continue at Port Corpus Christi following the Category 4 Hurricane’s devastating strike to the Texas Coast. The full 47-foot (MLLW) draft of the ship channel is open to vessels, and the daylight only transit restriction was removed. With extensive review of hydrographic surveys by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard, the Corpus Christi Ship Channel daylight only transit restrictions were formally lifted by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday, September 27th. Vessel traffic remains one-way on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.

Houston Ship Channel Celebrates 90th Birthday

With the push-button firing of a canon triggered at the White House by President Woodrow Wilson, the Houston Ship Channel was officially opened for commercial vessel transit operations on November 10, 1914. Over a 90-year period, the Houston Ship Channel has become one of the nation's busiest waterways, providing a powerful regional and national economic engine, exquisite environmental resource, and vital trade link between the world and Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S. As the start of a year-long celebration, this event salutes the visionaries of the past and the leaders of today who have charted and maintained the course for the economic, environmental and commercial

Fog Closes Ship Channel

Fog closed the Houston Ship Channel on Monday morning, the Houston Pilots association said. Pilots stopped boarding ships at 8 a.m. CST (9 a.m. EST/ 1400 GMT), bringing traffic to a halt, and the fog had not dispersed some four hours later at midday, an official said. The closure of the channel had not yet resulted in a big backlog of ships waiting to enter or leave the channel, he said. The Houston Ship Channel is a busy 54-mile (90 km) waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A U.S. Coast Guard official in New Orleans, another major Gulf Coast oil-refining and petrochemical center, said shipping in that area was not affected by fog on Monday.

Towboat Sinks, Blocks Matagorda Ship Channel

The 32-ft. tow boat Iron Ox sank April 4 during a storm in the Matagorda Ship Channel. The storm's winds averaged 40 to 50 knots with gusts up to 60. No one was hurt and pollution is minimal, but the wreckage is blocking the ship channel. The Matagorda Ship Channel is the only access for large ships to the port of Point Comfort, Texas. Presently there are four ships awaiting transit. Investigators from U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Satellite Office Port Lavaca, Texas, are overseeing salvage operations and investigating the cause of the sinking. The Iron Ox sank while still attached by cable to the dredge it was tending, between channel markers 43 and 44, near Magnolia, Texas. The tow cable and heavy seas from the storm are slowing salvage operations.

Houston Ship Channel Celebrates 100 years

Great Day for Centennial Rededication of Houston Ship Channel

Blue skies and a cool breeze set the stage for a once-in-a-century event today: the 100th anniversary rededication of the opening of Houston's deep-water port. International Longshoremen's Association, Houston Pilots, U.S. Coast Guard, current and former Port Commissioners, industry stakeholders and others, attended the Houston Ship Channel Rededication at Brady's Landing overlooking the Houston Ship Channel. The event took place 100 years to the day of the original ceremony in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson fired a cannon by remote control from his office in Washington D.C.

Mississippi River Deepening Project Gains Support

© Vladimir Melnikov / Adobe Stock

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) hosted its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where NASDA President and Commissioner of Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Michael Strain championed a motion supporting the deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. Earlier in the week, Dr. Strain led the effort to gain the support of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) on the same motion. “NASDA…

Congress Approves Additional Funding for Houston Ship Channel Expansion Project

The U.S. in federal funding to continue a five-year, $511 million project to widen and deepen the Houston Ship Channel in order to accommodate larger ships, reduce shipping costs and improve Channel safety. "Congressman Tom DeLay's strong support for the Port of Houston Authority has been invaluable in making sure this crucial funding will be available to continue the Houston Ship Channel project," said Port of Houston Authority Chairman James T. Edmonds. for the Port. efficiency," added Edmonds. Congress authorized the expansion of the Houston Ship Channel in 1996. widen it from 400 to 530 feet began in 1998 and are expected to be completed by December 2003. will be available upon the President's approval of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2002.

Houston Pilots Association To Christen M/V Bayou City

The Houston Pilots Association will christen the pilot boat M/V Bayou City at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Port of Houston Authority's Sam Houston Pavilion located at 7300 Clinton Drive. and Commissioner Janiece Longoria; members of the Houston Pilots Association, elected officials, maritime industry officials and community leaders. "This will be a momentous occasion for the port and the entire Houston Ship Channel industry base," said Capt. Mike Morris, presiding officer of the pilots. The $6 million M/V Bayou City vessel measures 72 feet in length with a breadth of 43 feet. It has a depth of 16 feet, a draft ranging from 10 to 12 feet, and can travel at a top speed of 21 knots. with two 4,000-horsepower Caterpillar Series 3412 engines that have a fuel capacity of 7,500 gallons.

Houston Ship Channel Reopens

The U.S. Coast Guard was expected to reopen the Houston Ship Channel June 1 after salvagers succeeded in raising a sunken tug boat. A mile-long stretch of the channel, which links Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, was closed May 29 after the Vecturian, owned by Capital Towing, sank in 35 feet of water. The channel is lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants, but refinery operators said the restriction of shipping had not impacted their operations.

Port of Houston Deepening Project Hits Legal Snag

The Port of Houston Authority Commissioners voted recently to appeal the U.S. District Court's January 25 ruling that the Port should pay for the removal and relocation of pipelines to accommodate the widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel. "We believe Congress clearly specified in 1996 that pipeline owners, not the taxpayers of Harris County, should pay for the removal and relocation of pipelines needed to widen and deepen the Ship Channel," said Port Chairman James T. Edmonds. "The companies operating terminals along the Ship Channel are the primary beneficiaries of these Ship Channel improvements, and we believe -- with Congress and the U.S.

Lack of Communication Led to Houston Ship Collision -NTSB

The probable cause of the 2015 collision of the Conti Peridot and the Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel was the inability of the pilot on the Conti Peridot to respond appropriately to hydrodynamic forces after meeting another vessel during restricted visibility, and his lack of communication with other vessels about this handling difficulty controlling his vessel, said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during a public meeting on Tuesday. Contributing to the circumstances that resulted in the collision was the inadequate bridge resource management between the master and the pilot on the Conti Peridot. The collision of the 623-foot long…

BOSTCO Opening to Ease Houston Ship Channel Congestion

When Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal (BOSTCO) on the Houston Ship Channel starts operations in October, ship channel congestion is likely to be lessened. BOSTCO will start operations in October 2013 with 2.84 million barrels of residual fuel oil and feedstock storage, about 40% of its earlier-announced 7.1 million-barrel capacity, report Platts, citing sources close to the project and Gulf Coast fuel oil traders. The BOSTCO terminal will offer two ship docks and three barge docks. The ship dock will be able to accommodate ships with a beam of 168 feet and draft of 45 feet and displacement tonnage of 205,000 mt. The barge docks can load a total of 12 barges each having a maximum length of 300 feet and a draft of 12 feet, according the company's website.

Fog Stops Houston Channel Shipping

Fog halted shipping on the Houston Ship Channel late on Jan. 10, but traffic was expected to resume Jan. 11 as temperatures rose and visibility was restored, the Houston Pilots Association said. The ship channel is a busy waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links the Port of Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Poor Communication behind Houston Ship Collision

USCG photo

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the Miss Susan, a shallow draft towing vessel with two barges, and the Summer Wind, a deep draft bulk carrier, collided on March 22, 2014, because the towing vessel crossed the Houston Ship Channel, impeding the passage of the bulk carrier that was transiting inbound, which could only transit within the channel. The collision resulted in the release of 168,000 gallons of fuel into the Houston Ship Channel from the…

Houston Ship Channel Reopened – Again

Houston Ship Channel reopened Friday after shutdown due to fog   The Houston Ship Channel reopened to all inbound and outbound vessel traffic on Friday after shutting on Thursday afternoon due to heavy fog, according to the Houston Pilots.   The largest U.S. petrochemical port was partially shut from midday Monday to early Thursday after a collision between a tanker carrying a gasoline additive and a bulk ship carrying steel. Fog forced another shutdown hours later.     (Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Alden Bentley)

Houston Shipping Channel Reopens to All

Salvages crews recovered the tug vessel J.R. Nichols early the morning of Feb. 13, and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 1:15 p.m. to all traffic. The salvage vessel Big John hoisted the sunken 56-ft tug vessel from the Houston Ship Channel at 2 a.m. The J.R. Nichols sank in the ship channel Wednesday evening with five crew members onboard. Four of the five were recovered with minor injuries, while the fifth crew member was recovered deceased by salvage crews Feb. 11. The J.R. Nichols is currently moored near the Lyondell facility as the investigation continues into why the vessel sank. Absorbent boom has been deployed to contain the fuel that spilled from the tug, and while cleanup efforts continue. The cause of the vessels' sinking is under investigation.

USCG Completes Investigation into Ship Channel Death

The U.S. Coast Guard has completed its investigation into an incident in which a Mexican national was killed after being struck and by a patrol boat in the Brownsville Ship Channel in April. The mishap investigation found that the female migrant was unintentionally struck by a patrolling Coast Guard 33 foot Special Purpose Craft - Law Enforcement small boat on April 23. The report states that the undocumented migrant and a human smuggler were attempting to cross the commercial shipping channel undetected at night when she was struck. "We are extremely saddened by this tragic loss of life," said Sector Corpus Christi Commander, Capt. Tony Hahn. "Our condolences go to the family who lost their loved one and all those involved in this tragic incident.

Waterways to Reopen after Rita

The U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Houston Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 35 ft., daylight transit only. The Freeport Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 40 ft. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open for daylight transit from MM 317 to MM 242. The Neches River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from Beaumont to Sabine Pass. The Calcasieu River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from the I-10 Bridge to Cameron. A press release states that the daylight only restriction on the Houston Ship Channel has been lifted.

Fog Closes Traffic On Houston Ship Channel

Thick fog halted all traffic on the Houston Ship Channel Wednesday, the Houston Pilots association said. Pilots who guide ships along the 54-mile channel stopped boarding vessels at 10:10 p.m. CST (11:10 p.m. EST) Tuesday evening. "Nothing has moved since then," an official with the pilots association said. The official said he did not know when the fog was expected to clear and shipping could resume. The ship channel is a busy waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links the Port of Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. - (Reuters)

Port of Galveston Selects Mariner for Security and Operations Project

The Mariner Group, LLC announced that the Port of Galveston selected CommandBridge as the cornerstone of its Maritime Command and Control and Situational Awareness project. Galveston will deploy CommandBridge, the situation management and response platform, to improve security and operations across its 850 acres of port facilities along one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, the Houston Ship Channel. The project also includes Mariner’s PortFolio port management software, consolidating Galveston’s port operations management processes into an integrated system.  www.commandbridge.com  

Barge Collision Spill Impacts Houston Ship Channel

A section of a key Gulf Coast waterway was shut after two barges collided Monday, setting one afire and possibly spilling a gasoline additive near the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), which runs between barrier islands and the coast of the U.S. mainland in the Gulf of Mexico, was shut from where it intersects the Houston Ship Channel to Mile Market 350 on the ICW. The Houston Ship Channel itself, which supplies the nation's busiest petrochemical port, remained open after the collision shortly after 1 a.m. local time (0600 GMT). Early media reports erroneously said a channel section had been closed, but it was unaffected.

Texas Gov. Authorizes Creation of Houston Ship Channel Security District

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs House Bill 3011, authorizing creation of the authorizing creation of the Houston Ship Channel Security District. Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 3011, authorizing creation of the Houston Ship Channel Security District -- the nation's first of its kind and modeled after a management district. The signing took place at the Port of Houston Authority Executive Office Building. The Texas Legislature, in its 80th biannual session, authorized the creation of the Houston Ship Channel Security District -- an entity, proponents hope, that will serve as a security model for ports throughout the United States.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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