Delay on your MMC application? Five reasons why it might be happening

Delay on your MMC application? Five reasons why it might be happening

(MARTINSBURG, W.Va.) — The National Maritime Center (NMC) receives more than 50,000 applications annually from mariners applying for merchant mariner credentials (MMCs). On average, more than 50 percent of those applications are incomplete or missing information, which causes delays in processing and frustration for mariners. A total of 66,796 awaiting information (AI) reasons were issued in 2021 for MMC applications.…
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Survey of mariners during COVID finds heightened anxiety, isolation

Survey of mariners during COVID finds heightened anxiety, isolation

Mariners across the United States are being asked to take a confidential mental health survey as federal agencies, vessel operators, maritime unions and other industry stakeholders strive to identify the most pressing needs during the pandemic and determine what can be done to alleviate them. The online survey, which is ongoing through May 31, can be completed in 10 minutes.…
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First LNG bunkering barge in US begins work in Port Canaveral

First LNG bunkering barge in US begins work in Port Canaveral

America’s first offshore bunkering barge designed specifically to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) began operations in Port Canaveral, Fla., in March. Q-LNG 4000 is part of an articulated tug-barge (ATB) that was constructed through an agreement between Q-LNG Transport and Shell Trading (U.S.) to provide LNG to ships and ports in Florida and the Caribbean.  Nicknamed Q4K, the barge is…
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Sunset begins for paper charts as NOAA shifts to digital delivery

Sunset begins for paper charts as NOAA shifts to digital delivery

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began to phase out production of its paper nautical charts on Feb. 26 starting with Lake Tahoe, the first of 1,700 charts being converted to exclusively digital delivery. The Raster Sunset Plan being implemented by NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey includes a process to notify mariners of the transition for each paper chart…
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Researchers link hull coatings to microplastic pollution at sea

Researchers link hull coatings to microplastic pollution at sea

Given the painted area of all of the hulls at sea, it stands to reason that in the harsh ocean environment, some of that coating material might come off. According to German researchers, the material is indeed coming off, and it could represent a significant source of microplastic pollution. A recent study by the University of Oldenburg’s Institute of Chemistry…
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Long-sought Houston Ship Channel expansion gets federal go-ahead

Long-sought Houston Ship Channel expansion gets federal go-ahead

After a decade-long campaign by maritime industry stakeholders, Congress has authorized the expansion of the Houston Ship Channel for safer and more efficient navigation. The project will widen and deepen the nation’s busiest waterway, which is accommodating increased traffic and ever-larger ships. The green light came on Dec. 27 with enactment of the Water Resources and Development Act of 2020…
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McAllister launch servicing Long Island Sound with deliveries, crew transfers

McAllister launch servicing Long Island Sound with deliveries, crew transfers

McAllister Towing of Connecticut has initiated launch service on Long Island Sound from Bridgeport, a deepwater port about 50 miles from New York City. The service began in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the rules for just about everything. With new protocols in place, the launch has provided a less congested option for crew changes and other…
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Larger, faster Sabine pilot boat built to go the distance

Larger, faster Sabine pilot boat built to go the distance

Oil has fueled the Texas economy since the Spindletop field near Beaumont began gushing at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day in 1901. This year, Breaux’s Bay Craft of Loreauville, La., delivered Spindletop, a 90-foot pilot boat, to the Sabine Pilots of Port Arthur, Texas. Spindletop was conceived and built to keep pace with growth in the petroleum trade,…
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Five die, eight missing after liftboat capsizes near Port Fourchon

Five die, eight missing after liftboat capsizes near Port Fourchon

Five people died and eight others remain missing after a liftboat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon, La., after encountering hurricane-force winds while underway.   The 234-foot SEACOR Power rolled over at about 1630 on April 13, roughly 7 nautical miles from the port. The vessel came to rest on the seafloor partially submerged. Winds had exceeded 80…
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