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Monday, March 8, 2021

California Coast News

Cargo Ships Slow Transits to Curb Emissions, Protect Whales

Partners in an initiative to cut air pollution and protect whales have announced results from the 2017 program and publicly recognized the 11 shipping companies who participated, reducing speeds to 12 knots or less in two regions. For the first time the program included speed reduction zones in the San Francisco Bay Area in addition to the Santa Barbara Channel region. The voluntary incentive program started July 1 and ended November 15, 2017. Automatic Identification System (AIS)…

Image credit: Port of Los Angeles - Liquid Terminals

Today’s Maritime Security: Is the Industry Prepared?

In late June of 2017, AP Moeller-Maersk shut down its container operations at the Port of Los Angeles. It wasn’t due to labor relations problems, equipment malfunction or other reasons that have been known to thwart port operations. It was a cyber-attack. In today’s climate of information technology, there’s no telling where hackers lurk or a cyber security compromises may occur. For the maritime industry and its extended supply chains, the threat is real and looming. “At the local Maersk facility in L.A.…

US Nabs Sub Carrying $200M of Cocaine [Video]

A mini-submarine carrying $200 million worth of cocaine was intercepted by authorities in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Customs and Border Protection air crew from Corpus Christi was involved in the arrest of four people aboard a mini-submarine headed for the U.S. that authorities say was carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine worth nearly $200 million. The seizure occurred March 3 in the Pacific Ocean off the Central American coast. Customs officials had spotted the vessel from a plane. A video of theinterdiction is available here.

California Fines Shipper for Clean Air Violations

The California Air Resources Board has fined the China Navigation Co. Pte. Ltd. $129,500 for failure to switch its engines over from heavy diesel bunker fuel to cleaner, low-sulfur fuel when close to the California coast, as required by state law. CARB’s Ocean-Going Vessel Fuel regulation is a critical part of California’s plan to attain air quality standards in Southern California and across the state. On December 28, 2012, an ARB inspector found that the vessel Chenan, managed by the China Navigation Co. Pte. Ltd., operated within Regulated California Waters (i.e.

Big Waves Pound, Cruise Ship Diverts Course

Carnival Imagination, a cruise ship headed to dock in Long Beach, was diverted to San Diego Sunday due to forecasts of high surf in Long Beach. Vacation-goers expecting to embark on a Carnival cruise to Mexico instead found themselves sitting on a shuttle en route to San Diego! Big waves along the Southern California coast on Sunday forced a cruise ship to change course and led to at least 16 rescues, authorities said. More than 2,000 guests with tickets to board the cruise ship Carnival Imagination in Long Beach were bussed 100 miles south due to dangerous conditions in the water…

California Fines 4 Shipping Firms

The California Air Resources Board has fined four shipping companies a combined $146,719 for failing to switch from dirty diesel “bunker” fuel to cleaner, low-sulfur marine distillate fuel upon entering Regulated California Waters – within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. “State anti-pollution laws require shippers to do their part to protect air quality,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “Shippers who comply are helping to protect the health of those who live, work, and go to schools near ports and shipping lanes.

Sea states are presented as the percentage of time in January that seas are over 4 meters. Arrival numbers are per each CG District.

Fuel Management & Safety

The 2015 Baltic ECA requirements make the increase in marine casualties inevitable. You can do something about it. The march towards cleaner air in coastal areas is well underway. For example, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) designating specific portions of U.S., Canadian and French waters as Emission Control Areas (ECA) in 2010. Since August 2012, the use of fuel oil which does not exceed 1.0% sulfur has been required.

USCG Cutter in Oregon Spill Drill

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Oregon, participated in a Spilled Oil Response System exercise near Blake Island, Washington, Wednesday. The exercise was part of an annual response exercise and included members of the Coast Guard 13th District Response Advisor Team, Pacific Strike Team out of Novato, California, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Washington State Department of Ecology, Harley Marine Service Inc., Navy Region Northwest, Washington State Ferries, and the Marine Spill Response Corporation.

Gracing the cover of the June 1, 1957 edition was a  “Huge Oil Drilling Barge” the Margaret which was one of the largest ever built at 300 ft. long, 200 ft. wide and 93 ft. high, capable of an operating depth of 65 ft. Margaret was built by Alabama Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Company for the Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company, New Orleans.

The History of Offshore Energy

Offshore exploration is a history of man v. Prospecting for oil is a dynamic art. From a lake in Ohio, to piers off the California coast in the early 1900s, to the salt marshes of Louisiana in the 1930s, to the first “out-of-sight- of-land” tower in 1947 in the Gulf of Mexico, the modern offshore petroleum industry has inched its way over the last roughly 75 years from 100 ft. of water ever farther into the briny deep, where the biggest platform today, Shell’s Perdido spar, sits in 8,000 ft. of water. As a planet, we have two unquenchable thirsts – for water and for oil.

(U.S. Navy Photo)

Family Rescued by U.S. Navy Heading Home

A family of four rescued from their sailboat after the youngest of two children became seriously ill are due to return to California on Wednesday aboard a U.S. warship that picked them up over the weekend, Navy and Coast Guard officials said. Military officials declined on Monday to give any details on the medical condition of 1-year-old Lyra Kaufman except to say that she, her 3-year-old sister, Cora, and their parents, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, were all safe as they headed back to port in San Diego.

Shipping Lanes Re-routed off California Coast

Effective June 1, 2013, West Coast shipping lanes are being adjusted to protect endangered whales, & OceanGrafix's new charts incorporate those changes. OceanGrafix, the first and only company to offer NOAA print-on-demand nautical charts, today announced the availability of updated nautical charts that reflect imminent changes to shipping lanes. Effective June 1, 2013, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is amending vessel traffic separation schemes in an effort to enhance navigational safety and to protect endangered whales.

Tugboat Sinks, Tow Afloat Off California Coast

The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued four people from a life raft after their tugboat sank in a towing operation off California near Big Sur. The Coast Guard state that they received a distress called from the tug Delta Captain at 2:55 p.m. Saturday and immediately launched rescue crews; a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Monterey, the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye — an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Bodega Bay — and an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco.

US Naval Postgraduate School Awards +400 Advanced Degrees

More than 400 students of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) earned degrees this summer quarter including nine doctoral graduates. The ceremony's keynote speaker offered another unique aspect to the class. Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5), was not only the ceremony's premier speaker, he was also a proud parent with his own son, Lt. Collin R. Fox, a member of this quarter's graduating class completing a master's degree in system analysis. Vice Adm. Mark I.

The author, Dennis Bryant.

North American Emission Rules for Ships to Enter Force

On 1 August 2012, enforcement of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) is due to commence. This third and largest ECA (the other two encompass the North Sea and the Baltic Sea areas) was first proposed by Canada and the United States on 27 March 2009. France quickly joined in on behalf of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, its territory off the Atlantic coast of Canada. The proposal was approved by the IMO on 26 March 2010 by means of an amendment to Annex VI (Regulations for Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) to the MARPOL Convention.

NOAA View of Delgada Canyon: Photo credit NOAA

Ocean Deep Viewing Online Courtesy of NOAA

NOAA has made sea floor maps and other data on the world’s coasts, continental shelves and deep ocean available for easy viewing online. Anyone with Internet access can now explore undersea features and obtain detailed depictions of the sea floor and coasts, including deep canyons, ripples, landslides and likely fish habitat. The new online data viewer compiles sea floor data from the near shore to the deep blue, including the latest high-resolution bathymetric (sea bottom) data collected by NOAA's Office of Coast Survey primarily to support nautical charting.

Boat Sensor Image: Credit ONR

Pirates Beware – US Navy to Test Robotic Drones

Navy unmanned aircraft will be able to distinguish small pirate boats from other vessels when an Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded sensor starts airborne tests this summer, officials said. Called the Multi-Mode Sensor Seeker (MMSS), the sensor is a mix of high-definition cameras, mid-wave infrared sensors and laser-radar (LADAR) technology. It will be placed on a robotic helicopter called Fire Scout. Carrying advanced automatic target recognition software, the sensor prototype will allow Fire Scout to autonomously identify small boats on the water…

ROV Sent to Determine Oil at 900 Feet

ROV will be used in an attempt to determine if oil is present on sunken WWII tanker. Global Diving and Salvage Inc. has been contracted by the United States Coast Guard to determine if oil is present aboard the sunken ship S.S. Montebello, which sits 900 feet below the ocean surface approximately 6.5 miles off the coast of Cambria, California. The S.S. Montebello sank after a Japanese submarine torpedoed the large oil tanker on December 23, 1941. The vessel broke apart landing upright with her bow separated from the majority of the wreckage.

NOAA: Air Pollution Plummets when Ships Shift Fuels

New clean fuel regulations in California and voluntary slowdowns by shipping companies substantially reduce air pollution caused by near-shore ships, according to a new NOAA-led study published online today in Environmental Science & Technology. The study examined a container ship operating under a 2009 California regulation requiring that ships switch to low-sulfur fuels as they approach the California coast, and also adhering to a voluntary state slowdown policy, intended to reduce pollution.

This Day in Coast Guard History - Jan. 15

1836- A General Order from the Secretary of the Treasury prescribed that "Blue cloth be substituted for the uniform dress of the officers of the Revenue Cutter Service, instead of grey. . ." thereby ending a controversy that ad brewed for years regarding the uniforms of the Service. 1947- The first helicopter flight to the base "Little America" in Antarctica took place. The pilot was LT James A. Cornish, USCG and he carried Chief Photographer's Mate Everett Mashburn as his observer. They flew from the CGC Northwind.

CG Foundation Fund Following C130 Tragedy

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education, welfare and morale of all U.S. Coast Guard members and their families, announced that it has re-activated its emergency Family Disaster Relief Fund in response to the Oct. 29 C-130 crash off the California coast. The Coast Guard Foundation is asking for financial support to assist the families of the lost crew of CG-1705. The Family Disaster Relief Fund was established in September 2008 in the wake of the helicopter crash in Hawaii that resulted in the loss of 4 Coast Guard members.