current-affairs-11Dale DuPont
Dale DuPont has been a correspondent for WorkBoat since 1998. She has worked at daily and weekly newspapers in Texas, Maryland, and most recently as a business writer and editor at The Miami Herald, covering the cruise, marine and other industries. She and her husband once owned a weekly newspaper in Cooperstown, N.Y., across the alley from the Baseball Hall of Fame. A South Florida resident, she enjoys sailing on Biscayne Bay, except in hurricane season.

Blog Activity

Patrol cutter tops Coast Guard’s wish list

When it comes to needs and wants, the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) tops the Coast Guard’s list. When it comes to needs and wants, the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) tops the Coast Guard’s list. “Certainly, adding another NSC (National Security Cutter) would increase our capability, but we can’t afford it,” Vice Adm. Charles Michel, Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations, told the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation last week. “We don’t need a...

Marine accidents: What went wrong?

From an allegedly intoxicated bridge tender to a vessel crew traveling near a known underwater hazard, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) annual accident report chronicles some unsettling reminders about why things go wrong. From an allegedly intoxicated bridge tender to a vessel crew traveling near a known underwater hazard, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) annual accident report chronicles some unsettling reminders about why things go wrong. The...

So far, so good for emissions control

It’s been three months since tough new standards kicked in for the North American and Caribbean Emission Control Area (ECA), and so far the Coast Guard hasn’t found any deliberate attempts to skirt the regulations. It’s been three months since tough new standards kicked in for the North American and Caribbean Emission Control Area (ECA), and so far the Coast Guard hasn’t found any deliberate attempts to skirt the regulations. Violations can be costly. The Environmental Protection Agency...

Coast Guard casualty reporting confusion

A Passenger Vessel Association’s (PVA) regional meeting last week touched on an issue that’s near to every operator’s aspirin supply: Coast Guard casualty reporting requirements, specifically -- Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 2692.A Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) regional meeting last week touched on an issue that’s near to every operator’s aspirin supply: Coast Guard casualty reporting requirements, aka Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 2692. Peter...

Not enough workers

Last week, there was yet another confirmation of one of the maritime industry’s biggest challenges – too few skilled employees to go around.Last week, there was yet another confirmation of one of the maritime industry’s biggest challenges — too few skilled employees to go around. The Conference Board in a report titled “From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers” predicted that dearth would extend at least 15 years. The business research association looked at the risk of future labor...

Floating on air

Air bellow systems that cut vibrations on a floating deckhouse are among the creature comforts inland operators are adding to towboats.What's better than good vibrations? How about no vibrations? Air bellow systems that cut vibrations on a floating deckhouse are among the creature comforts inland operators are adding to towboats. And in our July issue towboat report, we revisited a new feature we touched on the year before – the Loggers BV air bellows system. Hunter Marine’s Ron Hunter...

Invasive carp vs. waterways

Folks from Minnesota have managed to do what others in the fight over Asian carp are still aiming for — close a lock.Folks from Minnesota have managed to do what others in the fight over Asian carp are still aiming for — close a lock. Tucked into the recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA) of 2014 (Sec. 2010) is the mandatory closing of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam MM 853.9 on the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities. The timetable for closure is not...

The car ferry Badger is back

The last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes opens its season this Friday with a combustion control system that reduces coal ash and keeps the historic car ferry operating.The SS Badger opens its season this Friday with a combustion control system that reduces coal ash and keeps the historic car ferry operating. The last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes is installing the multimillion-dollar system in two phases after a consent decree signed last October with the U.S....

OPA 90 for railcars?

Recent rail tank car accidents could lead to new railcar regulations. The Greenbrier Companies recently said it would design a new generation of rail tank cars for hazardous freight in response to “safety criticisms of the existing legacy fleet” and in anticipation of new industry and government standards. The railcar maker, parent of barge manufacturer Gunderson Marine, Portland, Ore., also is offering retrofits to enhance the safety of cars already in service. Retrofit options for the...

Louisiana’s take on Asian carp

Folks in Louisiana have a way of putting the Asian carp issue in perspective.Folks in Louisiana have a way of putting the Asian carp issue in perspective while panning the Corps of Engineers most drastic option for stopping invasive species from traveling between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. One of eight alternatives outlined by the Corps in its recent Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) would separate the two waterway systems joined more than a...