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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lake Erie News

USCGC Mackinaw in Duluth. Credit: port of Duluth

2019 Shipping Season to Open for Duluth

Last night’s arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region.The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine.

Seaway Activity Exceeds 40 Million Tonnes in 2018

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has announced that tonnage on the waterway during the 2018 navigation season totaled 40.9 million tonnes. The highest result since 2007, much of the credit for the increase in tonnage can be given to healthy movements of grain, the best on record since the turn of the century. Marketing efforts under the “Highway H2O” initiative served as a catalyst to spur increased movements of a broad range of cargoes including grain, road salt…

File Image (AdobeStock / © Taras)

Coast Guard Proposes Annual Great Lakes Pilotage Increase

“When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” – H.L. Mencken, American journalist and essayist, 1880-1956.This report is about Great Lakes pilotage rates. It’s all about the money. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who even suggests that it’s not about the money.For fifty or so Great Lakes pilots, it’s about cold hard cash: now. For others, say, vessel owners, it’s about wasted resources, about lost chances for a more efficient and sustainable system; “opportunity costs,” as economists like to say.

Donald F. Hastings (Photo: Lincoln Electric)

Obituary: Donald F. Hastings, former Lincoln Electric CEO

Former Lincoln Electric chief executive officer (CEO) Donald F. Hastings passed away on Dec. 27, 2016, at the age of 88. Hastings had a 44-year career at Lincoln Electric. He joined the company in 1953 as a trainee in its welding school after earning a degree in economics from Pomona College and a master’s degree in marketing from Harvard Business School. Hastings held various leadership positions in the organization. In 1986, he was named president and served as CEO and chairman of the board from 1992 to 1997.

Lt. Addison Allen, the co-pilot, Lt. Rachel Quatroche, flight commander, and Petty Officer 1st Class Zachary Bowers, a flight mechanic, all from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Photo USCG

Four Saved on Lake Erie

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews collaborated to rescue four people in separate cases early Monday morning on Lake Erie. The names of those rescued are not being released. Just before 3 a.m. watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, heard a mayday call over VHF-FM channel 16 from a 37-foot sailing vessel that was taking on water with one man aboard. Sector Buffalo launched a Station Buffalo crew aboard a 45-foot response boat and requested the launch of a Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Detroit.

Anthony Foxx Photo U.S. Maritime Administration

Secretary Foxx Designates 3 Marine Highway Projects

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has designated three new Marine Highway Projects. The Mississippi River, previously designated as the M-55, will serve as the primary route for the Baton Rouge-New Orleans Shuttle project. Sponsored by the Port of New Orleans in partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and SEACOR AMH, LLC, the proposed container-on-barge service will operate between the Ports of Greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans, reducing congestion and bridge traffic on Louisiana’s Interstate 10.

Photo: The International Ship Masters’ Association

International Ship Masters’ Association Holds Annual Convention

The International Ship Masters’ Association 126th annual convention was held at Chicago, February 4-8. In addition to business meetings, attendees heard speakers from industry and government organizations, including James H. I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association, and Captain Amy B. Cocanour, Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. Other topics included maritime intelligence, virtual aids to navigation, the Great Lakes Conference of Governors and Premiers…

Contractors conduct dive operations at the site of a sunken barge near the Kelley's Island Shoal in Lake Erie,

USCG Investigating Unknown Substance in Lake Erie

The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a discharge of an unknown substance from the site of a sunken barge near Kelley's Island Shoal in Lake Erie, Sunday. Due to the report, the Coast Guard has established a safety zone 3 nautical miles east of Kelley's Island Shoal extending 1,000 feet around position 41-38'21"N, 082-29'35"W. Friday evening crews at Marine Safety Unit Toledo, Ohio, received a report from the Cleveland Underwater Explorers, of a leak of an unknown substance emanating from the barge and an odor of solvent, but they did not observe the leak underwater.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopter taxis past a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City MH-65D Dolphin helicopter after joint training operations

USCG, RCAF to Conduct Joint Training

The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City is hosting an international joint search-and-rescue exercise with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force beginning Tuesday in and around the Traverse City area. The Royal Canadian Air Force's 424th Transport and Rescue Squadron based at CFB Trenton, Ontario, will be flying a CC-130 Hercules aircraft and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter during the search-and-rescue exercises taking place from October 13 to October 15th. U.S. Coast Guard…

Image: Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

Cleveland wants to be Midwest Hub for Shipping to Europe

Because of demand, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (CCPA) is doubling the frequency of its service between Port of Cleveland and the Port of Antwerp this year. A report in AP says, so far this shipping season, not only have the number of calls increased, but so has the amount of cargo. It has tripled since last year. It was a novel concept when the CCPA came up with the idea last year. Local businesses could have their products loaded on a ship in the Port of Cleveland and send them directly to Europe. It has been smooth sailing for the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE).

Chris Ronayne will lead the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (photo courtesy of the Port Authority).

Port of Cleveland Taps Chris Ronayne to Lead Board

The Board of Trustees for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority today unanimously elected Chris Ronayne as new board chair. As President and CEO of University Circle, Inc., which oversees the growth and direction of one of Ohio’s fastest growing employment district, Ronayne has led planning, development, education, marketing, police, and other shared services for the district over a decade of sustained growth. “I'm truly looking forward to leveraging the economic power of the Port of Cleveland to create more jobs for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio,” said Ronayne.

Coast Guard teams train for ice rescues at conference in northern Michigan

Devil's Blanket Responsible for Increasing Ice Rescues

Rescues in Saginaw Bay, Michigan, Sunday evening and Lake Erie Monday morning are the latest in an alarmingly high number of Great Lakes ice rescues since Saturday, prompting a Coast Guard reminder of the risk of venturing out onto the ice and of the importance of taking appropriate safety precautions. The names and hometowns of the rescued and assisted are not being released. At about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a 911 operator contacted search-and-rescue controllers at the Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center to report a disoriented man on Saginaw Bay in blizzard conditions.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., conducts an escort on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point April 3, 2014. (USCG photo)

Great Lakes Freeze Cost Economy $705m, 3,800 Jobs

The seemingly glacial ice that brought shipping on the Great Lakes to a virtual standstill last winter cost the economy more than $700 million and nearly 4,000 jobs, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported, promting the group to to call for construction of a second heavy icebreaker to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard’s MACKINAW to keep the shipping lanes open in the harshest of conditions. According to LCA, the winter of 2013/2014 was so brutal that U.S.-flag cargo movement between December 1, 2013 and May 30, 2014, plummeted nearly 7 million tons compared the same period in 2012/2013.

Photo: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

St. Lawrence Seaway Workers Threaten to Strike

Union workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway, the waterway that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, have given notice of a possible strike, which could start on Friday afternoon, Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, said on Tuesday. The not-for-profit St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp could not immediately be reached for comment. During another dispute with the same union in 2008, the corporation said a strike could close the Seaway. Unifor has five locals and 460 members along the waterway, which stretches from Montreal to Lake Erie.

Bill Introduced to Assess Great Lakes Marine Sanctuaries

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, and four colleagues introduced legislation requiring a federal assessment of Great Lakes waters with significant cultural, historic or archaeological value for possible preservation as federal marine sanctuaries. The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Assessment Act would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to submit to Congress a report and recommendations on possible Great Lakes sanctuaries.

Photo: Central Marine Logistics, Inc.

Ice Stalls Resumption of Lakes Coal Trade

Ice, reportedly more than 4 feet thick in places, effectively stalled the resumption of the coal trade on the Great Lakes in March, the Lake Carriers’ Association said. Only three coal cargos were loaded: one on Lake Superior, one on Lake Michigan and one on Lake Erie. Combined, the cargos totaled 102,000 tons, a decrease of 70 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s five-year average, March loadings were down more than 80 percent. Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 475…

Arrival Cleveland: Image courtesy of Port of  Cleveland

Port of Cleveland Urges USACE to Start Dredging

To avoid significant financial losses to the port and local economy, dredging the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor must start without delay considered the Port Board at its March 2014 meeting. Accordingly they directed the  Port’s management to work with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the timely start and completion of dredging necessary for the 2014 shipping season utilizing existing confined facilities for disposal of the [dredged] material. The Board also asked that…

Ice drilling: Photo credit USCG

Skating on Thin Ice: Great Lakes Coast Guard Remains Active

Two men are rescued after their snowmobiles crashed through the ice about a mile offshore on Saginaw Bay near Bay City, Mich., and meanwhile the Coast Guard continue their efforts to keep the users of the ice-bound Great Lakes safe by gathering ice depth data. Personnel at Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, in Essexville, Mich., received a night-time call from Bay County 911 dispatch stating that two people had broken through the ice. The county dispatch told the individuals to remain on site so their location could be determined based on the cell phone information.

Port of Monroe logo

Port of Monroe Reports Record 2013 Tonnage

The 2013 shipping season was a record-setter for the Port of Monroe (located on Lake Erie and bisected by the River Raisin, the Port of Monroe is Michigan’s only port on the Lake). Nearly 2.2 million metric tons of cargo was handled by the port, marking what is seen as the beginning of a period of revival. Port Director, Paul C.LaMarre said: "In 2013, we had 97 vessel calls: 81 to DTE Energy's Monroe Power Plant carrying bulk, three carrying project cargo (two of which were Seaway tonnage), and 13 liquid asphalt cargoes to Michigan Paving & Materials.

Laker medevac: Photo courtesy of USCG

Coastguard Detroit Medevacs Laker Crew Member

The air crew assisted Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, with the medevac of a Canadian man injured aboard the 730-foot 'Algoma Enterprise', which was passing through the Pelee Passage in Lake Erie. The 57-year-old crew member was reportedly suffering from severe bleeding. After conferring with the on-duty flight surgeon, the 9th District's SAR controller directed the launch of an air crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, located on Selfridge Air National Guard base in the Northern suburbs of Detroit.

USCG photo

Change of Command for Port Security Unit 309

Cmdr. Geoffrey S. Deas assumed command of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 from Cmdr. Gerald A. “Jerry” Nauert during a change-of-command ceremony at the PSU 309 Facility, Lake Erie Business Park in Port Clinton, Saturday. Deas became the ninth commanding officer of PSU 309 during the formal ceremony officiated by Capt. Thomas E. Crabbs of the Alameda, Calif., based Coast Guard Pacific Area command. The ceremony constituted the continuity of the commanding officer’s authority and represented a total transfer of accountability from one individual to another.

Battle of Lake Erie: Painting reproduced courtesy of Miller Boat Line

Tall Ships in Great Lakes Battle Bicentennial

18 Tall Ships from around the world to navigate into the Western Basin of Lake Erie for 'The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial,' Aug. 29, 2013. From Norway to Duluth, Minnesota, the tall ships of the past now call ports from all over the world home. With large crews, constant upkeep and a host of other responsibilities, unveiling these pristine wooden vessels is a massive undertaking. Floating on the horizon with what looks like a scene out of the film Master and Commander, these historical work horses only make special, precisely timed appearances.

Photo: Port of Houston

New Fireboats Headed to Houston

A two-week voyage through four Great Lakes and the Mississippi River will bring to the Port of Houston Authority the first of three high-performance fireboats to replace the current fleet. "As the nation's busiest port in terms of foreign tonnage and home to one of the world's largest petrochemical complexes, our firefighting team is second to none in protecting this national asset and the many who work here," said Port Authority Executive Director Len Waterworth. The five-member crew includes three from the Port of Houston Authority's Fire Department.

U.S. Recreational Boating Industry Gathers in Washington, D.C.

Employees from across all sectors of the U.S. recreational boating industry are gathering on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC today and tomorrow for the annual American Boating Congress (ABC) to advocate on behalf of the industry’s 350,000 workers and 82 million boaters. With the unofficial start to boating season just under a month away on Memorial Day weekend, ABC gives members of the U.S. recreational boating industry a timely platform to  meet with legislators and other decision makers on Capitol Hill…

Photo: The Maritime Academy of Toledo

Maritime Academy to Host K-12 Maritime Education Symposium

Renee Marazon, Superintendent, The Maritime Academy of Toledo, announced that the first-ever “K-12 Maritime Education Great Lakes and Inland Waterways Symposium” will be held Friday, April 26, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Maritime Academy at 803 Water St. in Toledo. The symposium is being held the day before, and in conjunction with, The Maritime Academy’s Third Annual Admiral’s Ball, the school’s annual major fund-raiser. The Admiral’s Ball will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Fifth-Third Center at One SeaGate in Downtown Toledo.

Dr. Sulzer being sworn in by Secretary LaHood.

Sulzer Joins SLSDC Advisory Board

Dr. Arthur H. Sulzer, Captain USN (Ret), Sworn in as Member, Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Dr. Dr. Arthur H. Sulzer, Captain USN (ret), is President of Arthur H. Sulzer Associates, Inc., a position he has held since 2001. From 1974 to 2005, Captain Sulzer served in the United States Navy. His active duty assignments included Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, where he commanded the U.S. Naval Ship COMET. In 2003, Captain Sulzer joined several colleagues from Philadelphia to open Maritime Academy Charter High School.