U.S. Government Shutdown: Assessing the Impact on Maritime
On December 22, 2018, a continuing resolution passed by Congress to fund a portion of the U.S. Government into the 2019 fiscal year expired and was not renewed resulting in a partial federal government shutdown. Among the affected Executive Departments are the Department of Homeland Security (which includes the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection), the Department of Transportation (which includes the Maritime Administration), the Department of Interior (which includes the Bureau of Environment and Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM))…
USCG Investigating Fatal Sinking
The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a formal marine casualty investigation into an incident involving the commercial crabbing vessel Mary B II, which capsized off Newport, Oregon, January 9, 2019, resulting in the loss of three lives and loss of the vessel.The crew of the 42-foot fishing vessel Mary B II were attempting to cross the Yaquina Bay Bar when the vessel capsized in rough waters with all three crewmembers on board.Rear Adm. David Throop, Coast Guard 13th District Commander, authorized the investigation pursuant to the authority contained in Title 46, United States Code, Section 6301 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.The probe will be led by Cmdr. Karen Denny, the executive officer of Marine Safety Unit Portland, who will issue a report upon the investigation's completion.
Coast Guard, Partner Agencies Interdict Dozens in Last 72-hours
The Coast Guard interdicted 66 migrants in the last 72-hours in five separate events near Puerto Rico.The Coast Guard, and federal and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico law enforcement partners have interdicted more than 380 migrants and stopped several narcotics smuggling attempts since October of 2018.“These recent migrant and drug interdiction cases, though smaller than what we see at our land borders, are a reminder of the constant threat toward the American citizens of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said Rear Adm. Peter Brown, Coast Guard 7th District commander.
Coast Guard, Partners Stop Multiple Smuggling Events off Puerto Rico
The Coast Guard interdicted a vessel, Monday, with 35 Dominican migrants and 4 kilograms of heroin approximately 34 miles west of Desecheo, Puerto Rico.The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry, deployed to Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, detected the vessel Monday evening. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez (WPC-1114), who arrived on scene, embarked the 35 migrants and discovered a backpack…
Grounded Bulk Carrier Refloated near Virginia
A 958-foot bulk carrier has refloated after running aground about 2.5 miles east of Virginia Beach, Thursday morning.Crew members aboard the vessel, JSW Salem, contacted U.S. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders in Portsmouth after the Panamanian flagged ship ran aground near Cape Henry Buoy #4.The ship's crew reported there were 120,000 metric tons of coal and 26 people aboard the ship.A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Little Creek launched and arrived on scene to assist.
US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports
Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…
Navy to Deploy Surface Ships to Arctic
The U.S. Navy may follow up October’s carrier strike group operations in the Arctic with another foray into the icy High North, with leadership considering sending a group of ships into a trans-Arctic shipping lane this summer, the Navy secretary said.Much has been made of potential Arctic shipping lanes opening up as ice melts and more areas become navigable, said a press release from USNI NEWS.An expected uptick in commercial shipping and tourism in the Arctic region has put some urgency on the U.S.
Towing Vessel Sinks on the Tennessee River
The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to a sunken towing vessel near mile marker 22 on the Tennessee River, Tuesday. The two crew members on board were able to evacuate safely.The nearby Kentucky Lock and Dam has ceased locking operations due to the incident.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 10 p.m. Monday that the inspected towing vessel Tom Bussler capsized at mile marker 15 on the Tennessee River.Inspected towing vessel George Leavell was able to recover the two crewmembers who were on board and transferred them to Calvert City Landing where they were transported to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. in stable condition.The sunken vessel reportedly has approximately 4,100 gallons of diesel on board.
Coast Guard Begins Ice Breaking Ops in the Western Great Lakes
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie commenced Operation Taconite, the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation, Monday, in response to expanded ice growth in the commercial ports of Western Lake Superior and the St. Marys River.Operation Taconite encompasses Lake Superior, St. Marys River, Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. Ice breaking operations are based on the following order of priorities: search and rescue…
U.S. Coast Guard Assists Haitian Coast Guard Stop Illegal Migrant Voyage
The U.S. Coast Guard assisted the Haitian Coast Guard stop approximately 70 Haitian migrants Sunday approximately 26 miles north of Cap Haïtien, Haiti.At approximately 1:30 a.m., the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew sighted a roughly 40-foot Haitian freighter. The cutter Vigilant crew launched a smallboat crew to question the people aboard. Upon detection, the freighter changed course back south to Haiti. The cutter Vigilant crew continued to shadow the vessel while Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders contacted the Haitian Coast Guard.
Grounded Bulker Stops Vessel Traffic Near New Orleans
Vessel traffic in the Lower Mississippi River near New Orleans has come to a stop after a 837-foot bulk carrier ran aground close to mile marker 3.5 Friday morning.The navigation channel has been closed and more than 50 vessels are waiting in queue to transit in or out of the river, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, who added that the number of vessels is larger than normal due to dense fog in the area over the last few days.The Coast Guard said it received a report at 8:32 a.m. that the 837-foot Anglo Alexandria had run aground at mile marker 3.5. There are no current reports of injuries of pollution.The U.K. flagged bulker has activated its vessel response plan (VRP) and a tug is on-scene to assist, the Coast Guard said.The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Coast Guard, Marshall Islands Respond to Grounded Fish Carrier
The U.S. Coast Guard today released these images of the stricken vessel.A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew flies over the 308-foot Chinese-flagged commercial fish carrier Ou Ya Leng No. 6 on Taka Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Jan. 3, 2019 MHT.Two fishing vessels are en route and expected to arrive Thursday. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has also dispatched their patrol vessel Lomor to respond.The vessel is reportedly a fish carrier targeting squid in the Western and…
Fishing Vessel Aground in the Marshall Islands
The U.S. Coast Guard response continues to the grounding of the 308-foot Chinese-flagged commercial fishing carrier Ou Ya Leng No. 6 on Taka Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Wednesday.A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules crew arrived and made contact with the mariners who remain aboard the vessel and are awaiting rescue.Initial reports from MRCC China stated the crew abandoned ship and were on the atoll, but upon arrival, the Hercules crew confirmed they are aboard the vessel and using emergency generator power.
RCCL: USCG Searches for Overboard Cruise Crew Member
The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday was searching for a British crew member who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.Arron Hough, 20, went overboard 267 miles (430 km) off the northwest of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Coast Guard 7th District told Reuters in a telephone interview.At the time the Coast Guard became aware of the incident, the Harmony of the Seas ship was traveling from its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to its first stop of St. Maarten island on its seven-day Caribbean itinerary, the Miami Herald newspaper had reported earlier.The Coast Guard said it continued…
Ohio River Closed Near Louisville after Barge Breakaway
A section of the Ohio River near Louisville, Ky. has been closed to all vessel traffic after 15 loaded coal barges broke away from a towing vessel that made contact with a bridge in the area.The U.S. Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 8:10 p.m., Tuesday, that the towing vessel Debbie Graham, made contact with the 2nd Street Bridge, causing the 15 coal barges that it was pushing to break free. The cause of the incident is…
Ingalls Shipbuilding: $930M Contract for Pair of USCG Ships
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE: HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received two fixed-price incentive contracts from the U.S. Coast Guard to build two additional National Security Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard. The contract values for the a 10th and 11th ships in the program are $468.75 million for NSC 10 and $462.13 million for NSC 11.“This additional funding for two NSCs is a great accomplishment on which to end the year,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
Nichols Brothers to Build Two High-Speed Ferries for Kitsap Transit
The Northwest's boat builders Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has won a design and build contract to build two new high-speed passenger-only ferries for Kitsap Transit with an option for a third.The Kitsap County, Washington public transit agency launched a new fast-ferry service in July 2017 between Bremerton and downtown Seattle with plans to add service connecting Kingston and Southworth to Seattle.Earlier this year, Kitsap Transit purchased the “Finest,” a 350-passenger high-speed catamaran from New York Waterways and shipped it to Puget Sound.Following a refurbishment at NBBB…
French Frigate Shoals: A Canary in the Coal Mine
French Frigate Shoals are located in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, between Kauai and Midway. The atoll consists of a twenty-mile long crescent-shaped reef, with 13 coral and sand islands and the 120-foot high volcanic rock Perouse Pinnacle, named for French explorer Jean-Francois de la Perouse, who charted the atoll in 1786 and nearly grounded his two frigates. Tern Island is the largest, covering 105,276 square meters or 26 acres. Second largest is (or was) East Island, with 35…
LRAUV: Arctic Oil-Spill-Mapping Robot Put to the Test
As commercial shipping and energy activities picks up in the Arctic region, the prospect of accidental oil spills in this pristine environment remain a concern. In response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking the lead – through the U.S. Coast Guard – to develop a subsea robotic system to map and report on spills.“Because of ice coverage and the tyranny of distance, it is difficult to get resources and assets up in the Arctic in a quick manner,” said Kirsten Trego, Executive Director of the Coast Guard’s Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research.
U.S. Coast Guard Publishes first Domestic Vessel Annual Report
The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance announced the release of the 2017 Domestic Vessel Annual Report, the first of its kind issued from the Coast Guard.The report collates data from the Coast Guard’s Marine Information Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database regarding vessel population, inspections conducted, and deficiencies issued for the 2017 calendar year.In 2017, the Coast Guard’s fleet of responsibility contained 12,189 vessels with active Certificates of Inspection (COI). There were 905 Marine Inspectors (MI) assigned to field units who conducted 18,424 inspections.
NTSB Issues Report on Passenger Vessel Casualty
Insufficient Maintenance Program, Lack of Guidance Led to Passenger Vessel Fire. The National Transportation Safety Board determined during a public meeting held Tuesday that an insufficient preventative maintenance program and lack of guidance for responding to engine high-temperature conditions, led to the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the small passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River, near Port Ritchey, Florida.The Island Lady was a 72-foot-long passenger vessel operated by Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz…
Global Fishing Watch, USCG Examine Illegal Fishing
Global Fishing Watch is teaming up with the United States Coast Guard Research & Development Center (CG RDC) to conduct research on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and share analysis to advance global efforts to improve fisheries management.Global Fishing Watch (https://globalfishingwatch.org) and CG RDC are exploring pathways to collaborate on relevant research activities, such as the establishment of analytical methodologies to evaluate open-source vessel movement data…
Four Rescued from Fishing Vessel Blaze
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people from a life raft after a commercial fishing vessel caught fire about 16 miles southeast of Cape May, N.J., Saturday morning. No injuries were reported.Crew members aboard the 75-foot fishing vessel Ocean Pearl activated Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons and abandoned ship after an electrical fire ignited on board around 10:30 a.m.Once aboard their life raft, the Ocean Pearl’s crew used a handheld radio to contact watchstanders…