Title XI-built cruise vessel TO return to SERVICE in MAY 

The Cape May Light is expected to return to service next spring with a Bahamas flag and a new name, the Saint Laurent. Under a long-term charter, Haimark Ltd. will offer cruises starting in May 2015 on the 204-passenger ship on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and coastal New England. Haimark chose North American itineraries because “there’s still quite a bit of pent-up demand for domestic cruises,” said Tom Markwell, Haimark’s managing partner, sales and marketing. “It’s a very underserved destination as a whole.” They’ve already sold out 12 of the 18 Northern Hemisphere sailings. The vessel is in good condition, he said, but they will do about $3.5 million in interior refurbishment at a yard in Jacksonville, Fla., where the ship likely will be homeported. Founded in 2013, Lakewood, Colo.-based Haimark specializes in luxury cruising on Southeast Asia’s rivers. The 300' Cape May Light and its sistership the Cape CodLight were built by Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville for American ClassicVoyages with $78.3 million in Title XI loan guarantees. The Cape MayLight entered service in May 2001 and the Cape Cod Light was due for delivery a year later. But after American Classic’s collapse in October 2001, the two vessels were tied up for years near Jacksonville, then sold in 2008 for about $20 million to the Clipper Group of the Bahamas and renamed the Sea Voyager and Sea Discoverer.  The former Cape Cod Light is currently working on a wind farm project in the North Sea, according to FleetPro, the ship's manager. — D.K.DuPont 

Coast Guard warns of counterfeit parts 

Raising the specter of counterfeit products, the U.S. Coast Guard has advised operators to use manufacturer-recommended parts on emergency equipment. A recent inspection turned up an improper battery on a ring buoy light. When the two were tossed in the water, “the water light instantly sank about 5' to the end of its painter,” the Coast Guard said in a July advisory. Apparently, the last time the battery was replaced, a heavier battery than suggested was used. A proper light floats upright and activates a flashing/strobing light capable of running for up to 60 hours with a 6-volt lantern battery. “When possible maintain awareness to counterfeit replacement components and safety equipment at large,” the agency said. Last year, the Coast Guard warned about counterfeits of approved portable fire extinguishers that “present a significant safety hazard. Their capability to extinguish a fire is unproven; they may be charged with a powdery substance that is not a fire extinguishing agent, the pressure cylinder is not DOT approved, and the pressure gauge may not function or give false readings.” Several years ago, the agency warned of counterfeit emergency escape breathing devices. The number of fake units onboard was unknown but could be substantial, the Coast Guard said. “The fake reproduction will not fit over an individual’s head and the automatic air release valve will not open.” — D.K. DuPont