Riverbend Marine Service Auction

Friday, July 29, 2016

NASSCO Delivers 7th Ship in 13 Months

By Mark Edward Nero

On July 25, San Diego-based shipyard General Dynamics NASSCO marked its seventh ship delivery in the span of just over a year.

The Garden State, an ECO Class tanker built for longtime customer American Petroleum Tankers, was delivered during a special signing ceremony. It’s one of three classes of ships delivered by the shipyard since June 2015.

Within the year, NASSCO has delivered the world’s first two containerships to be powered by liquefied natural gas. The 764-foot-long ships – the Isla Bella and the Perla del Caribe – currently service the Puerto Rican-Jacksonville trade route and are considered to be among the cleanest cargo-carrying ships in the world.

NASSCO also delivered four ECO Class product tankers within the same time period – three for American Petroleum Tankers and one for a partnership between vessel operator SEA-Vista and equipment company SEACOR Holdings. The new “ECO” design allows for 33 percent increased fuel efficiency with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. NASSCO currently has under construction four remaining tankers under contract between the two companies.

In June of last year, NASSCO delivered the US Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) as part of a mobile landing platform program. The USNS Lewis B. Puller was built with a 52,000 square-foot flight deck, stowage and accommodations spaces for up to 250 personnel. The ship was also designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters. NASSCO is currently constructing the second ESB, and is under contract to build a third.

“In the past year, NASSCO shipbuilders have delivered seven ships – or the equivalent to 100,000 tons worth of steel,” General Dynamics NASSCO Vice president and General Manager Kevin Graney said. “We are proud of the diverse design and build portfolio we have delivered during the course of this year.”

Portland Marine Project Receives Federal Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Department of Transportation has awarded a $7.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to the Port of Portland and City of Portland to help fund a rail overpass and realign a congested and dangerous intersection in Portland’s Rivergate Industrial Park.

The Portland Marine Terminal Freight and Jobs Access Project will attempt to address congestion created by an at-grade rail crossing near the entrance to Rivergate and the port’s Terminal 5, while also providing safer and more reliable access to jobs from nearby residential areas.

Rivergate is Portland’s largest concentration of marine and industrial land offering more than 3,800 direct, middle-income jobs. Plans call for an overpass over a busy marine terminal rail lead, associated road and intersection improvements and new bike lanes.

Pedestrian facility upgrades include a new sidewalk connecting to an existing bus stop and a multi-use path that increases mobility options for North Portland residents who work at Rivergate.

Planned environmental improvements include enhanced stormwater treatment, landscaping and street lighting.

Currently, truck and passenger vehicle traffic is snarled in gridlock for up to four hours a day because of frequent rail movement. In many cases, traffic backs up, impacting business access and creating unsafe conditions for all users. While alleviating traffic congestion, the project also increases efficiency of rail product delivery and lowers the cost of moving bulk cargo trains in and out of the area.

Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER grants, are awarded on a competitive basis to fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure; selection prioritizes projects with significant regional economic impact. The grant application was a collaborative effort between the port and the City of Portland.

“The City of Portland is lucky to have the port as a partner in the application for, and now implementation of, this TIGER grant,” Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick said. “This project will have a tremendous impact on Portland and the greater region.”

The project’s full price tag is $19.5 million; the remaining $12.2 million is expected to come from the port, city and other federal funds already secured for infrastructure improvements.

POLB Approves $46 Million Mitigation Fund

By Mark Edward Nero

At its July 25 meeting, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners authorized the framework for a record $46.4 million program to lessen the impacts of port-related pollution on the community.

The investment, expected to be disbursed over 12 to 15 years, adds to the $17.4 million that the Port of Long Beach has awarded to community groups since 2009, for a total of almost $65 million.

Previous funding from the Community Mitigation Grants Program helped pay for projects that included air-filtration systems at schools, renewable energy projects, energy efficiency upgrades and asthma outreach health programs.

Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán said the Board felt strongly about identifying an ongoing, long-term source to continue the program, which has helped the most vulnerable in the community, children and seniors.

“As commissioners, we live in Long Beach, so we understand for the port to do well, we must do good,” she said. “The proposed community mitigation program is the latest example of our longstanding and long-term commitment to the environment and the Long Beach.”

Before the port could consider establishing a new mitigation-related program, state law required the completion of a study identifying the port’s cumulative impacts to air, traffic, noise and water. The study, released in April, valued the impacts at $46.4 million.

In early fall, the port plans to host a public workshop to help develop grant guidelines for allocating funds to the variety of community health, facility improvement and community infrastructure projects identified in the study. A date for the workshop has yet to be announced.

The Harbor Commission is expected to decide on program rules later this year, and funding is expected to be awarded starting in 2017.

NASSCO Delivers 7th Ship in 13 Months

By Mark Edward Nero

On July 25, San Diego-based shipyard General Dynamics NASSCO marked its seventh ship delivery in the span of just over a year.

The Garden State, an ECO Class tanker built for longtime customer American Petroleum Tankers, was delivered during a special signing ceremony. It’s one of three classes of ships delivered by the shipyard since June 2015.

Within the year, NASSCO has delivered the world’s first two containerships to be powered by liquefied natural gas. The 764-foot-long ships – the Isla Bella and the Perla del Caribe – currently service the Puerto Rican-Jacksonville trade route and are considered to be among the cleanest cargo-carrying ships in the world.

NASSCO also delivered four ECO Class product tankers within the same time period – three for American Petroleum Tankers and one for a partnership between vessel operator SEA-Vista and equipment company SEACOR Holdings. The new “ECO” design allows for 33 percent increased fuel efficiency with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. NASSCO currently has under construction four remaining tankers under contract between the two companies.

In June of last year, NASSCO delivered the US Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) as part of a mobile landing platform program. The USNS Lewis B. Puller was built with a 52,000 square-foot flight deck, stowage and accommodations spaces for up to 250 personnel. The ship was also designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters. NASSCO is currently constructing the second ESB, and is under contract to build a third.

“In the past year, NASSCO shipbuilders have delivered seven ships – or the equivalent to 100,000 tons worth of steel,” General Dynamics NASSCO Vice president and General Manager Kevin Graney said. “We are proud of the diverse design and build portfolio we have delivered during the course of this year.”

46 Mariners Rescued Off Alaska Coast

By Mark Edward Nero

Forty-six crewmembers aboard fishing vessel Alaska Juris, who abandoned a sinking ship near Kiska Island, about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, were rescued July 26 by air crews with Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, along with good Samaritans.

All 46 crewmembers were transferred to good Samaritan vessels Spar Canis and Vienna Express and transported to the Alaska city of Adak.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Coast Guard became aware of the sinking vessel when 17th District watch standers received an electronic position indicating radio beacon alert from Alaska Juris around 11:30 a.m. local time, and contacted the crew directly to confirm they were in distress, donning survival suits and abandoning ship.

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane were diverted to the vessel’s location, and an urgent marine information broadcast was sent to vessels in the area. Motor vessels Spar Canis, Vienna Express, Seafisher and Ocean Peace diverted to assist.

“The crew of the Alaska Juris did the right thing by calling for help, putting on their immersion suits and safely abandoning the ship,” District 17 Command Duty Officer Lt. Greg Isbell said. “And the good Samaritans’ willingness to respond … was paramount to getting the Alaska Juris crew to safety.”

The cause of the vessel taking on water is under investigation. Weather on scene was reported as calm seas and limited visibility.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is the agency investigating the case. A one-minute, 15-second video of the response to the incident can be seen at https://www.dvidshub.net/video/476483/coast-guard-good-samaritans-rescue-46-mariners-690-miles-west-dutch-harbor-alaska.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

8 Rescued from Commercial Vessel Fire

By Mark Edward Nero

On July 21, the US Coast Guard helped rescue eight crewmembers from a burning US-flagged commercial fishing vessel two miles offshore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

All eight people are safe after a rescue and assist team from US Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB-1349) fought and extinguished an engine room fire aboard fishing vessel Lady Anna two miles south of Honolulu Harbor. “We were in the right place at the right time,” Galveston Island Commanding Officer Lt. Ryan Ball said.

The rescue was a combined effort between the Galveston Island crew, watch standers at Sector Honolulu and rescue boat crews from Station Honolulu and Honolulu Fire Department.

“I’m happy that we were able to help and I’m proud of my crew for their quick and effective response in putting out the fire,” Ball added. “The reason why we do training is to ensure that in an emergency situation such as this, we can perform safely and effectively.”

The USCG response to the incident came after watch standers at Sector Honolulu Command Center overheard a transmission at 4:30 p.m. regarding a fire aboard the 78-foot fishing vessel. Watch standers established communication with the vessel, directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu and diverted the nearby Galveston Island crew to assist.

Once on scene, the Galveston Island crew reported black smoke billowing from the engine room. The RB-M crew arrived on scene and safely disembarked the crew from the fishing vessel. The cutter’s rescue and assist team then boarded the Lady Anna to investigate the smoke. When approaching the engine room, the team identified flames coming from the generator and successfully extinguished the fire.

The international crewmembers from the fishing vessel were transferred to the commercial fishing vessel Sapphire III due to lack of clearance. Two US crewmembers were safely transferred to Pier 38. No injuries were reported. The Lady Anna, which is homeported in Honolulu, was towed to Pier 17 by a water taxi after a marine surveyor deemed the vessel seaworthy and not in danger of taking on water or having a fire re-flash.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel are investigating the cause of the fire.

VP Biden Speaks at Port of San Diego

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of San Diego welcomed Vice President Joe Biden for an official visit on July 13 as he delivered remarks on trade enforcement.

The Vice President’s speech focused on the Administration's aggressive record on trade enforcement and discussed actions to further level the playing field for American workers and businesses, including bringing trade enforcement cases at the World Trade Organization and enforcing antidumping and countervailing duty orders.

“To ensure American workers and businesses have a fair shot and equal access to the world markets and aren’t put in a competitive disadvantage by cheating, we have to enforce the rules of the road that govern trade,” Biden said in his 20-minute speech, which was delivered before about 200 guests. “Agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on unless they are enforced.”

The Vice President’s speech took place at the port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. He was introduced by Port Chair Marshall Merrifield.

“We’re determined here at the Port of San Diego, with the help of the US government, to create even more jobs, while continuing to hone our competitive edge in the global marketplace,” Merrifield said during his speech.

A two-minute video of the highlights of Biden’s remarks can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLzeHWT9Xs4.

Also, a photo gallery of the event is available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/portofsandiego/albums/72157671060989095.

Report: Maritime Piracy Falls to 21-Year Low

By Mark Edward Nero

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau.

The IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same six months in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, the IMB recorded 445 attacks a year.

In the first half of 2016, the IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings and 12 attempted attacks, while nine ships were fired upon. Sixty-four crewmembers were taken hostage onboard, down from 250 during the same period last year.

“This drop in world piracy is encouraging news,” IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan said in a statement. “Two main factors are recent improvements around Indonesia, and the continued deterrence of Somali pirates off East Africa.” “But ships need to stay vigilant, maintain security and report all attacks, as the threat of piracy remains, particularly off Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea,” he added.

Despite global improvements, kidnappings were found to be on the rise, with 44 crew captured for ransom in 2016, 24 of them in Nigeria, up from 10 in the first half of 2015.

“In the Gulf of Guinea, rather than oil tankers being hijacked for their cargo, there is an increasing number of incidents of crew being kidnapped for ransom,” Mukundan explained.

The Gulf of Guinea accounted for seven of the world’s 10 kidnapping incidents, with armed gangs boarding vessels 30 to 120 nautical miles from shore. Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the nine vessels fired upon worldwide.

Customs Opening Jones Act Enforcement Office

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations has announced the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE) in order to, according to Customs, present a uniformed approach on issues involving the Jones Act.

The Jones Act requires that all goods transported by water between US ports be carried on US-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by US citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and permanent US residents.

The mission of JADE, Customs said July 15, will be to assist Customs & Border Protection, as well as industry partners, regarding issues concerning coastwise trade, with the goal of being a clearinghouse for all coastwise trade issues.

All formal ruling requests will continue to be forwarded to Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade. JADE, which will be located within the New Orleans field office, will be staffed by a team of subject matter experts to assist industry partners with questions and concerns on issues involving coastwise trade, according to Customs.

JADE will also work in partnership with industry stakeholders in the enforcement of the Jones Act, along with all other coastwise trade laws. As an advocate for coastwise trade, the Jones Act Division of Enforcement will also be available for outreach presentations to industry partners on the subject of coastwise trade.

Those with questions or concerns regarding coastwise trade issues can contact the Division of Enforcement via email at jonesact@cbp.dhs.gov.