Military Sealift Command awards logistics contract to Crowley

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) ­– Crowley has been awarded a contract for the operation and maintenance of six government-owned Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) vessels, a unit of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift […]

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) ­– Crowley has been awarded a contract for the operation and maintenance of six government-owned Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) vessels, a unit of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

Crowley Government Solutions will carry out the contract, providing crewing and sustained support to enable rapid deployment of equipment and supplies as needed to aid U.S. military operations in remote regions around the world. Between deployments, the company will ensure extensive maintenance to enhance the vessel’s mission readiness.

Crowley photo

“Crowley is proud to continue serving the U.S. military’s logistics needs through the successful operation and maintenance of Maritime Prepositioning Force vessels,” said Shiju Zacharia, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Government Solutions. “We are honored that the U.S. government continues to see Crowley as a high performing, reliable source and strategic partner throughout its operations and supply chain and allowing us to demonstrate our commitment to our military across the globe.”

The term of the contract is one year with four option years. The contract carries a maximum value of $343.3 million.

– Crowley

Silver Ships delivers landing craft to New York county

(MOBILE, Ala.) — Silver Ships has delivered a multi-mission Explorer 40 landing craft to the Suffolk County Public Works Department in Suffolk County, N.Y. The department’s mission is to improve […]

(MOBILE, Ala.) — Silver Ships has delivered a multi-mission Explorer 40 landing craft to the Suffolk County Public Works Department in Suffolk County, N.Y.

The department’s mission is to improve communities’ quality of life by overseeing all county properties and projects while maintaining safe public navigation involving waterways, bridges, docks, marinas and more. The custom-built Explorer workboat’s primary purpose is to transport heavy machinery and equipment to further support the efforts of the department.

Silver Ships photo

The 40-foot vessel is powered by triple 250-hp Honda outboard motors and includes a Vetus 8-hp bow thruster to facilitate maneuvering and docking in close quarters. The Explorer 40 operates with a 12-volt, electrically actuated bow door that is connected to a stainless-steel braided cable routed through a series of pulleys.

In addition to transporting heavy equipment to remote and hard-to-reach areas, the workboat is equipped with a Maxilift hydraulic knuckle-boom crane for additional material handling requirements. The vessel also features an enclosed cabin, deadweight capacity up to 10 tons, and a 14-foot beam.

“Silver Ships is committed to finding solutions that will help our customers achieve their operations and long-term goals,” said Dave Hunt, business development specialist at Silver Ships. “Our team designed and built the Explorer 40 landing craft for the Suffolk County Public Works Department to best equip their staff in day-to-day operations on the water.”

– Silver Ships

Fire aboard cargo ship in Tacoma causes minimal damage

(TACOMA, Wash.) — A fire broke out Thursday on the upper deck of the cargo ship Midnight Sun while it was docked at the Port of Tacoma, causing minimal damage, […]

(TACOMA, Wash.) — A fire broke out Thursday on the upper deck of the cargo ship Midnight Sun while it was docked at the Port of Tacoma, causing minimal damage, The News Tribune reported.

The fire, which was reported at 7:22 p.m., was extinguished by the fire suppression system on the 839-foot ship. The Tacoma Fire Department said a preliminary investigation determined the cause of the incident was an electrical malfunction in a piece of equipment.

No injuries were reported aboard the roll-on/roll-off ship, which is owned by TOTE. Joe Meinecke, a spokesman for the fire department, said the flames mainly damaged the equipment that caught fire.

TOTE photo

Study to explore low carbon options for Great Lakes shipping

(WASHINGTON) – The U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) has launched a 16-month study exploring low carbon options for shipping on the Great Lakes. The research group, led by the International Council […]

(WASHINGTON) – The U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) has launched a 16-month study exploring low carbon options for shipping on the Great Lakes.

The research group, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in partnership with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP), will assess the suitability of alternative fuels and power options for Great Lakes shipping.

The bi-national Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is one of the largest commercial waterways in the world and is essential to strengthening the economy, the supply chain and job creation. It extends more than 2,000 miles and contains more than 110 ports.

Great Lakes Today photo

“Decarbonizing the maritime industry has been a key objective of the Biden-Harris administration, and MarAd is excited to be part of a study that will investigate new fuel and power options for Great Lakes shipping,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.

Over a period of 16 months, researchers will assess alternative fuels and power options in the region and will develop a detailed profile of Great Lakes fleets, ports and fueling infrastructure. The project will also summarize relevant domestic and international environmental regulations that will influence the uptake of these technologies.

– U.S. Maritime Administration

St. Johns lays first CTV keel for Atlantic Wind Transfers

(PALATKA, Fla.) — St. Johns Ship Building held a keel-laying ceremony on Sept. 8 for the first of a series of aluminum crew transfer vessels (CTVs) used to service the […]

(PALATKA, Fla.) — St. Johns Ship Building held a keel-laying ceremony on Sept. 8 for the first of a series of aluminum crew transfer vessels (CTVs) used to service the offshore wind farm industry.

The announcement follows the Jones Act shipyard’s acquisition by Americraft Marine earlier this year. The CTVs will be servicing U.S. offshore wind projects for construction, operations, and maintenance.

The Chartwell 24 aluminum catamarans have the capacity to transport 24 personnel to and from wind turbines with speed, safety and stability. The vessels were commissioned by the Rhode Island-based Atlantic Wind Transfers (AWT), which participated in the ceremony.

Atlantic Wind Transfers rendering

“We are proud to be chosen as part of Atlantic Wind Transfers successful CTV operation. St. Johns Ship Building appreciates the trust and confidence that Charlie Donadio, president and founder of AWT, and his team have placed in our hardworking and dedicated employees,” said Jeff Bukoski, president of St. Johns Ship Building. “We will also continue to make improvements to our facilities that allow us to construct greater numbers of similar newbuild vessels.”

“Our team is excited to be moving forward building with St. Johns,” Donadio said. “This collaborative design-build strategy will enable AWT to parlay its experience to provide future charter clients with the most reliable multipurpose crew transfer vessels in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Ambitious, Chartwell Marine’s flagship CTV design, will be U.S. Jones Act-compliant, certified under U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter L and able to operate at any wind farm under the safety and inspection standards of the Coast Guard. AWT currently operates the two crew transfer vessels in the U.S. under long-term contracts, servicing the Block Island Wind Farm for Orsted and Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm for Dominion Energy.

“We are excited for the opportunity to commence building this series of CTVs for Charlie and his team at AWT. With the owner’s choice of a proven vessel design and our dedication to quality craftsmanship and manufacturing, I look forward to an outstanding result as we further bolster our contribution to the growth of renewable energy,” said Edward Sheets, executive vice president of Americraft Marine Group.

– St. Johns Ship Building

Cal Maritime names first female captain of training ship

(VALLEJO, Calif.) — California State University Maritime Academy has appointed Samaro Bannister-Schneider as interim captain of the training ship Golden Bear. A Cal Maritime alumna with an extensive career in […]

(VALLEJO, Calif.) — California State University Maritime Academy has appointed Samaro Bannister-Schneider as interim captain of the training ship Golden Bear. A Cal Maritime alumna with an extensive career in marine transportation, she will serve as the first female captain of the ship.

“Captain Bannister is an experienced master mariner who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Cal Maritime and I know that every cadet will benefit immensely from her leadership on training ship Golden Bear,” said Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper. “She is a superb and welcome addition to our talented team of faculty and staff, who represent the diverse range of dedicated professionals who make our national maritime industry successful.”

Cal Maritime photo

Golden Bear serves as the primary training platform on which cadets apply technological skills introduced in the classroom and leadership skills acquired from their work assignments and responsibilities with the Corps of Cadets. Each summer, cadets in their first and third years depart with licensed faculty officers for two months during the annual training cruise.

Samaro Bannister-Schneider

Bannister-Schneider is a 2000 graduate of Cal Maritime’s marine transportation program and a master mariner who holds an unlimited master’s license. She began her career on a fleet of small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) research vessels conducting survey operations. Soon after, she moved up to a larger fleet of vessels, the Watson-class LMSR ro-ros, where she found her home.

She spent over 14 years sailing the deep sea with Maersk Line Ltd. and Ocean Ships Inc. in senior and junior positions. She worked in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and also served in senior positions for Joint Logistics Over the Sea (JLOTS) off Guatemala in 2007 and off Lynnhaven, Va. in 2008.

The last six years of her deep-sea service were spent as commanding officer of USNS Soderman. In 2014, she moved shore side to start a family and begin a new chapter. In her off time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband swimming, paddleboarding, hiking and biking.

“It is with a full heart and great enthusiasm that I return to California State University Maritime Academy,” said Bannister-Schneider. “When I heard the training ship Golden Bear was in need of a captain, my compass went true and I knew this was an incredible opportunity to give back. Cal Maritime opened doors and prepared me for a unique career of being a merchant mariner. My time spent and education received allowed the dreams of a small-town girl from Colorado to become a reality.

“I am beyond appreciative for the years spent sailing deep sea, and for the amazing mentors whose knowledge helped me solve difficulties encountered on my journeys,” she continued. “I am appreciative of my recent time teaching at Training Resources Maritime Institute. I am especially grateful for my husband Jack and daughter Madeline who will be joining me and for my parents, Jim and Kent Milski, whose sense of adventure and unwavering support were the catalyst for my career. I look forward to leading the next generation of merchant mariners into this exciting field. I am thrilled to be the new captain of (Golden Bear) and look forward to meeting you all.”

– Cal Maritime

Study calls for Pacific ‘fairways’ for safer navigation

(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is requesting public comment on the draft Pacific Coast Port Access Route Study (PAC-PARS). This is the first comprehensive evaluation of vessel traffic […]

(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is requesting public comment on the draft Pacific Coast Port Access Route Study (PAC-PARS). This is the first comprehensive evaluation of vessel traffic patterns in waters off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

A Federal Register notice of availability for the draft PAC-PARS has been opened for comment. Comments and related materials must be received on or before Oct. 25.

The main goal of the PAC-PARS is to evaluate historic and future waterway usage to determine navigational risk and provide recommendations to uphold safety of navigation. To do this, the study examined vessel tracking data from the past 10 years and considered environmental data, existing and planned offshore development infrastructure, and historical marine incident data among other datasets.

The Coast Guard also considered concerns and recommendations from key maritime stakeholders and members of the public. Prior to this public comment period, the Coast Guard received comments during two previous public comment periods spanning over 200 days.

“There has been significant growth of waterway use along the Pacific Coast; we are committed to maintaining a high level of navigational safety for all members of the maritime community,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sara Conrad, activities chief for Coast Guard Pacific Area Port and Facilities. “This draft study provides recommendations that facilitate safe vessel transits along the coast and connect to major port approaches in light of the increasing demand for use of our waterways.”

U.S. Coast Guard photo

The draft PAC-PARS recommends establishing new voluntary fairways for coastwise and nearshore vessel traffic with connections to existing Traffic Separation Schemes and ports. These fairways would facilitate safe and predictable traffic patterns as the demand for and use of Pacific coastal waters increases. Charts of these recommended fairways can be found in Appendix I, II and III of the study.

The public can also view the study in a more user-friendly manner at the USCG Navigation Centers website . The Coast Guard posted the study to a Homeport webpage where the most current information about upcoming webinars and outreach activities will be posted.

A notice of availability for the draft study was published on the Federal Register under docket USCG-2021-0345, and can be found here.

– U.S. Coast Guard

Fuel barge aground after towboat collision on GIW

(NEW ORLEANS) — The U.S. Coast Guard began monitoring a barge with heavy fuel oil aboard that went aground after a collision at mile marker 43.5 on the Port Allen […]

(NEW ORLEANS) — The U.S. Coast Guard began monitoring a barge with heavy fuel oil aboard that went aground after a collision at mile marker 43.5 on the Port Allen route of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIW) on Saturday.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received notification that two towboats, Creole Crusader and the Jack Odom, collided at approximately 12:30 a.m. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge personnel were notified and responded.

1200px Seal Of The United States Coast Guard.svg

Creole Crusader was towing two barges containing heavy fuel oil, and Jack Odom was towing two empty barges and three barges of steel bars. All seven barges remained on scene Sunday; two barges were intentionally grounded to prevent flooding or pollution. A transfer of the oil was scheduled to take place Sunday.

The waterway was closed at mile marker 43.5 to all vessel traffic. No injuries or pollution have been reported.

– U.S. Coast Guard

Crowley, Eastern Pacific partner on LNG newbuild charters

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Crowley has awarded Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) a contract for the charter of four newbuild containerships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Crowley’s U.S.-Central America […]

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Crowley has awarded Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) a contract for the charter of four newbuild containerships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Crowley’s U.S.-Central America trade.

Using LNG significantly lowers vessel greenhouse gas emissions, such as sulfur oxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide while eliminating particulate matter compared with conventional diesel fuel. In addition, these vessels will be fitted with high-pressure ME-GI engines from MAN Energy Solutions, reducing methane slippage to negligible levels and making these vessels the most environmentally efficient in their category.

Crowley photo

Each vessel, which will have capacity for 1,400 TEUs (20-foot container equivalent units), will feature 300 refrigerated unit plugs to reliably transport perishable cargo. Operating under a long-term time charter to Crowley, the ships will expand Crowley’s fleet and supply chain capabilities connecting U.S. markets to Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

“We are excited to develop our U.S. market footprint through these long-term time charters with such a reputable partner,” said EPS CEO Cyril Ducau. “Like EPS, Crowley enjoys a rich history and diverse business portfolios, but more importantly, their organization is driven by a vision to lead the industry’s decarbonization efforts. Once delivered, these vessels will be IMO 2030-compliant five years ahead of schedule and will play an important role as the world and industry transition to cleaner energy sources.”

“These four ships will play a significant part in driving Crowley’s strategic growth in our supply chain services for the U.S., Central America and Caribbean. In addition, the vessels use of LNG and emissions technology will advance the company’s commitment to innovation and decarbonization in the shipping industry as part of our sustainability strategy,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “As more companies diversify their supply chains using nearshoring and the resources of Central America, Crowley will enhance our end-to-end logistics services to be partners in their growth.”

The vessels will be built by Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and are slated for delivery in 2025.

– Crowley

NTSB: Caution area not identified before train hit barge on riverbank

(WASHINGTON) — The National Transportation Board (NTSB) said Thursday that the pilot of a Mississippi River towing vessel and its captain pushed their tow up against a riverbank too close […]

(WASHINGTON) — The National Transportation Board (NTSB) said Thursday that the pilot of a Mississippi River towing vessel and its captain pushed their tow up against a riverbank too close to a railroad track, leading to a collision and train derailment near Galland, Iowa.

Marine Investigation Report 22/22 details the NTSB’s investigation into the Nov. 13, 2021, collision between the towing vessel Baxter Southern and a BNSF coal train transiting the track along the shoreline of the Upper Mississippi River. The train struck a barge that was overhanging the railroad track.

Two locomotives and 10 hopper cars loaded with coal derailed. Six of the derailed hopper cars entered the river. Two train personnel sustained minor injuries. The collision resulted in $1.9 million in damage to the locomotive and freight cars. The barge sustained minor scrapes.

Aerial photo of the derailment of two locomotives and eight hopper cars near Galland, Iowa, on Nov. 13, 2021. Two additional hopper cars are submerged in the river. BNSF photo

During a transit downriver, strong wind gusts made the situation unsafe for Baxter Southern to continue the voyage as planned. Using the vessel’s electronic chart system (ECS), the captain and pilot identified a location on the riverbank that they believed represented a fleeting area safe to push up against. Neither the pilot nor the captain clicked an exclamation-point symbol on the electric chart, which would have showed that the area presented a “railroad collision and trackbed erosion risk.”

The pilot pushed the tow onto the riverbank, and three crewmembers headed forward on the tow to verify the forward-most barge was clear of the track. While the barge did not cross over either rail, it extended about a foot over the railroad ties.

When the pilot of Baxter Southern saw the light of the approaching train, he attempted to move the towboat and tow away from the riverbank. The train’s engineer activated the train’s emergency brake when the train was about 300 feet from the barge. With only seconds to respond, the activation of the train’s emergency brake and the attempt to move the tow occurred too late to avoid the collision.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the collision was the tow’s pilot and captain not correctly identifying a caution area on the electronic chart before deciding, due to the high wind’s effect on the tow’s empty barges, to push the tow up against the riverbank alongside a railroad track.

“ECS provide a wealth of navigation information to mariners. Electronic charting display and information systems (ECDIS) enable users to obtain more information about a feature by querying through a cursor pick,” the report said. “There are many features — including warnings and other navigation information — that can be obtained through a cursor pick that are not specifically noted in the default chart display. Mariners should ensure they understand all symbols and applicable advisories identified in their ECS, and owners and operators should ensure that their crews are proficient in the use of ECS.”

For more information about chart symbols, mariners should refer to U.S. Chart No. 1: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms used on Paper and Electronic Navigational Charts or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ inland electronic navigational charts.

– National Transportation Safety Board