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

Coast Guard bill would streamline medical reviews

Coast Guard legislation would streamline medical review process for mariners. Tucked into the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 is a provision that gooses the agency to streamline the often frustrating and time-consuming medical review process mariners go through for credentials. Section 310, Subsection 7509 entitled “Medical certification by trusted agents” bears a striking resemblance to a Designated Medical Examiner (DME) proposal that’s been under discussion for several...

Towing vessel inspection: OK for RCP?

Will the Coast Guard accept AWO program for towing vessel inspection rule? With increased emphasis on accountability and responsibility, the American Waterways Operators (AWO) is moving closer to having the Coast Guard accept its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) as a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) under the new Subchapter M regulations. At a webinar recently, AWO outlined some recent changes to strengthen the RCP and get the Coast Guard’s OK. The changes are effective January...

Puerto Rico and the Jones Act

A recent report on Puerto Rico’s financial straits cites the Jones Act as one of the structural obstacles to growth. For Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s sole member of Congress, changing the Jones Act is still important, but it’s not the big fix he’s eyeing for the financially struggling territory right now. He has sponsored legislation allowing foreign-built vessels to carry energy supplies, agricultural products and other bulk cargo between the island and the U.S. mainland, arguing...

Old ferries can be hard to unload

What were once thought of as state-of-the-art ferries have fallen on hard times. They can languish on the market for years or, when they finally go at fire sale prices, take on a whole new life. Case in point — the Delaware River and Bay Authority’s (DRBA) ferries, Twin Capes and Cape May. The former’s most recent appraisal was $3.3 million — down from $5.5 million in 2012, and the latter is now a barge with bowthrusters intact. Berthed at the Cape May (N.J.) Ferry Terminal, Twin...

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...