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Natchez bridge allision causes minor damage

By WorkBoat

A fast roundup of 21 dry cargo barges averted serious damage when a towboat dinged the Mississippi River bridge at Natchez Sunday evening, according to Coast Guard officials.The 168'x40'x11' Lindsay Ann Erikson was pushing the barges upriver, contending with high water and a fast current, when the stern struck a glancing blow on one of the pylons supporting the highway span over the river between Natchez and Vidalia, La. The impact broke loose the barges, and workers with Vidalia Dock and Storage Co. – designated first responders for that section of the river – got the barges corralled and moved to the west side of the river.

“The barges were pushed to the Vidalia side and the tow put back together,” said Lt. Brian Porter, a spokesman for Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi, which along with the Mississippi Department of Transportation dispatched inspectors to the scene Sunday night. There were no injuries, only minor damage to some barges and “the bridge was minimally damaged, some scrapes,” Porter said.

Operated by Marquette Transportation Co. of Paducah, Kentucky, the Lindsay Ann Erikson is listed on the company’s website as a 6,400-hp vessel of 786 gross tons, built in 1982. “Between our boats and Erikson, we were able to collect them all,” said Albert Smith, port captain for Vidalia Dock and Storage. “He was heading up the Natchez side of the bridge, and he had some trouble with the current.” But the tow was soon reassembled and only one barge needed to be offloaded, Smith said. The National Weather Service reported the river stage as 49 feet at Natchez Sunday, which is rather high, Smith said. It’s expected those levels should begin declining soon. 

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All American delivers passenger boat built to new rules

By Bruce Buls

On Saturday, March 28, All American Marine Inc. and King County (Washington) dedicated a new passenger ferry at a ceremony on Vashon Island, near Seattle. The Sally Fox is the first of two new ferries ordered by King County’s Marine Division as replacement vessels for their scheduled water taxi service.  All American Marine was awarded the contract at the start of 2014. 

Sally Fox Maiden Voyage2
Sally Fox
is the first U.S. Coast Guard Sub-chapter “K” inspected passenger vessel built and delivered under the new 5A Space Performance Guidelines issued in a Memorandum regarding NVIC 9-97 Ch-1. The Memorandum is a result of the Quality Partnership working group between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Passenger Vessel Association. The new 5A Space Performance Guidelines make it possible for boatbuilders to design and implement suitable structural fire protection in very low fire load spaces in the construction of weight-sensitive, high-speed passenger vessels.

The new ferry will operate in the Puget Sound providing passenger-only service between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle. The sister vessel, MV Doc Maynard,is still under construction at All American Marine and is set to be delivered this fall for operations between  West Seattle and downtown Seattle. King County’s two new vessels will be supported by a third All American Marine-built catamaran, the Spirit of Kingston, which was acquired by the county in 2013.

AAM partnered with Teknicraft Design Ltd., of Auckland, New Zealand, for the hull design. Each 105'x33' aluminum catamaran features an advanced hull shape that was custom designed using digital modeling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis testing. The hull design is complemented by Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave piercer that is positioned between the catamaran sponsons to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. 

The catamaran is powered by twin Cummins QSK-50 Tier 3 engines, each rated 1800 hp @ 1,900 rpm to provide a service speed of 28 knots. The design features interior seating for 250 with 28 additional outdoor seats available. The main deck is ADA-accessible and the cabin includes designated seating areas for those with disabilities. The aft deck includes a staggered-height storage rack for 26 bicycles. As an environmentally friendly alternative to paint, the decks are covered with peel-and-stick non-slip tread, and the exterior of the superstructure is wrapped in UV-stable vinyl. 

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GPS backup bill introduced in House

By WorkBoat

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield, Calif., the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, has introduced the National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R. 1678.

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Gladding-Hearn to build three vessels for Circle Line

By WorkBoat

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has started construction on the first of three new 600-passenger sightseeing vessels for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Inc. in New York.

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Conrad increases backlog to $180 million

By David Krapf

Conrad Industries Inc. announced its fourth quarter and 2014 results and that its backlog had risen over $27.

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STCW gap closing requirements

By WorkBoat

The Coast Guard's National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice on STCW gap closing requirements that became effective on March 24. The regulatory changes require additional training and/or assessments for certain Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) endorsements. 

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DOE receives application to export LNG from Florida ports

By Leslie Taylor
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it hasreceived an application late last year from American LNG Marketing LLC for authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) in ISO containers from the Port of Miami and other Florida ports.

Austal-built JHSV completes acceptance trials

By David Krapf

The Austal-built Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month.

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New York politicians, activists fight offshore LNG proposal

By Kirk Moore

After the proposed Liberty Natural Gas offshore LNG terminal received a promising draft environmental assessment, opponents have stepped up pressure on the governors of New York and New Jersey to veto the plan. 

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Video: Chevron's Jack/St. Malo towed offshore

By WorkBoat

In November 2013, Chevron's Jack/St. Malo floating production unit (FPU), the largest semisubmersible in the Gulf of Mexico, was towed from Ingleside, Texas, and moored 250 miles offshore in 7,000' of water.

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