Editorial Highlights, March 2008

Coastal shipping

A recent study proclaims that coastal shipping could reduce highway congestion, lower pollution and bolster national security. So if the benefits are so great, what are the chances that coastal shipping will experience a resurgence? By Rich Miller

Hull fouling

This fall, for the first time, the United States signed onto an international antifouling agreement. We look at what it says and what it means for vessel operators By Peter Meredith


The IMO adopts regulations that will gradually reduce the sulfur content of marine diesel fuels and nitrous oxide emissions from Tier 3 marine engines. By Rich Miller


Minnesota has taken steps to regulate ballast water treatment, raising the prospect of a patchwork of state regulations in addition to federal and international regulations. By Richard Aichele

Charles W. Morgan

Mystic Seaport uses its new lift to move the 167-year-old wooden whaling ship Charles W. Morgan out of the water and onto land for extensive repairs. By Richard Aichele


When is a two-watch system not adequate? When you are a U.S towing vessels operating overseas. Certain countries have been boarding U.S. tugs and prohibiting them from operating if they have only two watches. By Dom Yanchunas


NOAA’s 209-foot Henry B. Bigelow was commissioned in 2007 and is now engaged in fisheries research in the waters off southern New England. Story and photos by Brian Gauvin

Columbia River

The Columbia River Pilots have to deal with a winding waterway with relatively shallow channels. To bring ships through safefy they make maximum advantage of tidal changes and advanced technology. Story and photos by Alan Haig-Brown



Seven crew are killed when an Alaska-based fishing boat sinks in Bering Sea; four men rescued. By Dom Yanchunas

Cosco Busan

A California State Board of Pilot Commissioners report concludes that pilot errors caused the containership fuel-spill disaster involving the San Francisco Bay Bridge By Dom Yanchunas

Check Mate III

A Canadian armed forces inquiry rules that a two-man tugboat crew died off Newfoundland because of “poor” waterlogged survival suits. The report said a rescue coordinator was busy handling calls from the news media, hampering communications among emergency responders. By Dom Yanchunas

Rebel II

The barge Islander, towed by the tug Rebel II, collided with a pleasure boat near Los Angeles at night, killing the boat’s two occupants. By Rich Miller

Titan 1

A jack-up liftboat from the Gulf of Mexico is lost at sea when it falls off a semi-submersible that experienced engine or steering trouble in heavy seas in the North Atlantic. By Larry Pearson.


A good Samaritan vessel, a dolphin sightseeing boat with 18 aboard, capsizes while responding to help another vessel off Corpus Christi; a total of 21 people are rescued from the water. By Larry Pearson

Capt. Zek

An engine-room fire guts a tugboat on Hudson River; other vessels respond to prevent grounding of barges and potential damage to nearby Tappan Zee bridge. By Bill Bleyer

Trends and Currents

Employment The industry continues to be plagued by a shortage of qualified mariners, but the precipitous drop in the price of oil along with the threat of a deep recession in the overall economy my alter that picture. By Rich Miller

Diesel generators

While some vessel operators are turning to diesel-electric propulsion, a Bering Sea crabber has been able to cut fuel costs by running a generator off the main propulsion engine. By Alan Haig-Brown

A Mariner’s Notebook

The melting of the Arctic Ocean’s ice is expected to mean open shipping lanes in summers to come. That spells commercial opportunity as well as the threat of international competition for control of the waterways. By Kelly Sweeney

By Professional Mariner Staff