Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic
The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed…
Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week
The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.
Maritime Fatigue: Just another band aid?
On 24 January, the IMO issued updated guidelines on fatigue. This is just another in a long series of band aids that attempt to cover over the problem without providing a solution. Fatigue is a long-standing weakness in the maritime industry. It is recognized as a major or contributing causal factor in the majority of maritime casualties. As is well-known, fatigue is caused by a lack of sleep and relaxation. These, in turn, are the result of too few people being tasked with too much work. Guidance on how to recognize and manage fatigue is meaningless.
Passenger Vessel Fire Subject of NTSB Meeting
The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday its intent to hold a board meeting, Dec. 11, 2018, to determine the probable cause of the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River near Port Richey, Florida.One passenger died and 14 others were transported to area hospitals in the accident that left the vessel so damaged it was declared a constructive total loss.The Island Lady had 53 people aboard when at about 4 p.m. the captain received a high-temperature alarm for the port engine’s jacket-water system.
Lessons Learned from Maritime Accidents: NTSB’s Safer Seas Digest 2017 Released
Maritime accident investigation reports for collisions, explosions, capsizings and allisions and the lessons learned within those reports are detailed in the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safer Seas Digest 2017, released online Thursday.The publication is a compendium of 41 marine accident reports for accidents involving fishing, offshore supply, cargo, passenger, tanker, towing and government vessels. Reports in the digest were adopted or issued by the NTSB during calendar year 2017.The Safer Seas Digest is a publication designed with mariners in mind…
Annual Towing Forum Returns to SUNY Maritime
For nearly 20 years, leaders of the tug and barge industry in the region have converged on SUNY Maritime College in the spring to discuss current issues and initiatives facing the industry. This year will be no different; the 18th annual Towing Industry Forum will include presentations about safety management systems, wind farms and their impact on marine traffic, and a federal study regarding route planning and access to East Coast ports, among other topics. The forum, organized by the college’s Department of Professional Education and Training, will be from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Freight Train Derails, Sparks Fire in Pennsylvania
A freight train on a CSX Corp line derailed in southern Pennsylvania on Wednesday, the company said, and local authorities said a freight car struck a garage which caught fire and they ordered the evacuation of nearby residents. No injuries were reported after the derailment in Hyndman, about 100 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The company said trains and shipments would be delayed between Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and Cumberland, Maryland. Harry Corley, an emergency management coordinator for Bedford County…
US Warship Stayed on Collision Course despite Warning
A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain. Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.
Dinh-Zarr to Serve as NTSB Acting Chairman
Christopher A. Hart’s term as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board concluded on schedule Wednesday and Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr will serve as the agency’s acting chairman. Hart will remain at the NTSB, applying his transportation safety expertise in the capacity of a board member. The NTSB has five board members, each nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve five-year terms. By statute, a board member is designated by the President as Chairman and another as Vice Chairman for two-year terms. The Chairmanship requires separate Senate confirmation.
US Probe into El Faro Disaster Concludes Public Hearings
U.S. investigators stood in silence for 33 seconds on Friday as they concluded the public phase of a probe into the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship during a 2015 hurricane, recognizing each crew member aboard who died. The Coast Guard's Marine Board of Investigation, convened for the most serious accidents, heard two weeks of testimony in the last of a series of hearings on the worst disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than three decades. Captain Jason Neubauer, the panel's chairman, said it had collected sufficient evidence for a forthcoming analysis.
Insights: USCG Can Suspend and Revoke Merchant Mariner Credentials
A primer for mariners: U.S. To promote safety at sea, Congress authorized the U.S. Coast Guard to suspend or revoke Merchant Mariner Credentials for acts of incompetence, misconduct, negligence, violations of law or regulation, and use of dangerous drugs. The Coast Guard initiates 400-600 suspension and revocation (S&R) cases each year. Full understanding of the suspension and revocation (S&R) process should therefore be more than a casual requirement for the working professional mariner.
Remembering El Faro
From the desk of Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, U.S. It has been one year since the tragic loss of the cargo ship El Faro and her 33 crew members. I encourage everyone in the maritime community to take a few moments to remember them, and reflect on the hazards faced by all seafarers. This is an extremely difficult milestone for the families and loved ones. My thoughts continue to be with them. Many continue to question what happened on board the El Faro during its final voyage. In order to ensure we get those answers…
Coast Guard Hearing on El Faro Sinking
The U.S. Coast Guard will conduct a public Marine Board of Investigation hearing into the loss of the United States-flagged steam ship EL FARO, and its 33 crewmembers. The first hearing session will focus on the pre-accident historical events relating to the loss, the regulatory compliance record of the EL FARO, crewmember duties and qualifications, past operations of the vessel and the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue operations. During a later hearing session (date to be determined) the accident voyage, including cargo loading, weather conditions and navigation will be examined in detail.
Interview: Dave Anderson, President, Passenger Vessel Association
Dave Anderson is the President of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). He also serves as General Manager/Director of Operations of Fire Island Ferries, Inc., Bay Shore, N.Y. on Long Island. The company has provided passenger service, freight service and water taxi service to Fire Island communities since 1948. The firm operates 23 subchapter T and K vessels ranging from six to 400 passengers. Anderson, an honors graduate from CW Post Long Island University where he earned his BA in Communication Arts in 1984, also holds a 100 ton Masters license which he earned in 1983.
US Coast Guard Hearing Probes El Faro Sinking in Hurricane
The captain of the U.S. cargo ship that sank off the Bahamas in a hurricane last fall, killing all 33 people on board, was responsible for decisions that put the vessel in the path of the storm, a shipping company executive testified on Tuesday. Captain Michael Davidson, a veteran mariner from Maine, was at the helm of the 790-foot (241-meter) El Faro for its doomed cargo run between Florida and Puerto Rico. The ship disappeared on Oct. 1 after he reported losing propulsion and taking on water. U.S.
Search Resumes for El Faro Data Recorder
The National Transportation Safety Board is set to resume its search April 18, 2016, for the vessel data recorder of the sunken El Faro cargo ship. The U.S. flagged El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015. All 33 of the El Faro’s crew perished in the accident. The mission for the second search is to retrieve the ship’s vessel data recorder and better document the wreckage to help determine exactly why and how the ship sank. The second search is being conducted in cooperation with the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located
The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced. A specialist team comprised of investigators and scientists from the NTSB, the U.S. Coast Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Tote Services, the owner and operator of El Faro, located the VDR using remotely operated undersea search equipment. Video footage showing El Faro's VDR is available here. At about 1 a.m.
Another Mission Needed to Recover El Faro’s VDR
The investigative team who located the El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR) has determined that another mission will be necessary in order to retrieve the device, which may contain recorded conversations and sounds from the ship’s navigation bridge, potentially helping investigators to piece together the sequence of events that led to the cargo ship’s sinking during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015. The team of investigators and scientists aboard research vessel Atlantis collaborated…
Work Continues on Roger Blough
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor and respond to the motor vessel Roger Blough, Tuesday, after the vessel ran aground Friday afternoon on Gros Cap Reef in Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. Plans continue to progress to safely free the Blough from Gros Cap Reef through the combined efforts of Canadian partners, company representatives and the U.S. Coast Guard. Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response personnel are in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with a large inventory of pollution control equipment.
Fire on Caribbean Fantasy Extinguished
The Puerto Rico Fire Department extinguished the fire on the passenger vessel ferry Caribbean Fantasy using 3,000 gallons of seawater from the San Juan Harbor around 6 p.m. Saturday. The Unified Command is establishing mechanical ventilation to circulate air through the vessel. A marine chemist will certify that the vessel is safe for access by salvage crews to facilitate overhaul of the vessel, removal of cargo and continuing salvage operations. The Coast Guard maintains a 100-yard safety zone around the vessel.
26 Hours of Information Recovered from El Faro's VDR
A group led by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has gathered information from the recovered voyage data recorder (VDR) of sunken cargo ship El Faro to develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the ship’s bridge before sinking during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015. In all about 26 hours of information was recovered from the VDR, including bridge audio, weather data and navigational data. NTSB said numerous events leading up to the loss of the El Faro can be heard on the VDR’s audio…
NTSB Assesses USCG’s Vessel Traffic Service System
A safety study recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) details 14 conclusions and 21 recommendations aimed at further reducing the risk of collisions, allisions and groundings involving vessels operating within U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) areas. The study, “An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service System” (NTSB/SS-16/01), focused on the performance of the Coast Guard’s VTS system, currently comprised of 12 VTS centers.
US Navy Salvage Team Seeks to Confirm El Faro Wreckage
A U.S. Navy salvage team prepared on Sunday to launch a remotely operated submersible to confirm that wreckage discovered near the Bahamas was that of the cargo ship El Faro, lost in a hurricane last month along with its 33 crew members. The team's mission is to document the shipwreck and any debris field, and to retrieve the sunken vessel's voyage data recorder - similar to an airplane's black box - as part of an investigation into its loss, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Wreckage Confirmed to Be El Faro
Wreckage found on the ocean bottom off the Bahamas has been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board to be the lost cargo ship El Faro, which sank with 33 crew aboard October 1. Wreckage consistent with the 790-foot El Faro was discovered upright and intact by a U.S. Navy salvage team using side-scanning sonar equipment in the vicinity of the cargo ship’s last known position on October 31, according to NTSB. The wreck sits roughly 15,000 feet below the surface. A deep ocean remotely operated vehicle outfitted with a video camera was used to survey and identify the vessel…
NTSB: Sunken Cargo Ship El Faro "Black Box" Still Missing
The video documentation of the cargo ship El Faro and the associated debris field has been completed but the vessel’s voyage data recorder was not located, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. “Over the years we’ve completed many investigations without the aid of recorders and other investigative tools,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. The 790-ft. ship went missing on Oct. 1 during Hurricane Joaquin and was located on Oct. 31 in about 15,000 feet of water in the vicinity of its last known position near Crooked Island, Bahamas.
NTSB Releases El Faro Images & Video
Subsea images and video released as part of NTSB public docket on investigation into the sinking of U.S. cargo ship El Faro. Underwater video and images of the sunken cargo ship EL Faro have been released by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as part of its continuing investigation into the vessel’s sinking in the Atlantic Ocean in October. The docket opened by NTSB includes nine underwater images of El Faro wreckage on the seafloor, as well as more than 47 minutes of video from CURV-21, the remotely operated vehicle used to document the wreckage and debris field.