News from the Maritime Industry

Port and Starboard

We know that left = port, while right = starboard. But, why? This article explains it.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/fast-facts-why-ships-use-port-and-starboard

Amazing Heavy-lift Shipping

The cruise ship Carnival Vista developed mechanical problems while at sea. How to get it back to port for repairs? Why, transport it on another ship, of course!  Sounds preposterous, doesn't it, yet it is happening everyday.

Read about it and watch a video about how it was done:

https://maritime-executive.com/article/video-heavy-lift-ship-raises-carnival-vista-out-of-the-water

Human Rights at Sea

The Maritime Executive published an article about a merchant mariner who was hijacked four years ago. No longer serving the shipping company, he was receiving no pay. His family was suffering. Their friends and families had dipped well into their savings in an effort to help them, but the well was running dry.

Now, efforts are being made to establish a declaration on human rights for those at sea. This is important, because piracy at sea is increasing exponentially. Mariners are not safe!

Read more about it:

https://maritime-executive.com/article/first-geneva-declaration-on-human-rights-at-sea-published

https://maritime-executive.com/article/india-drives-human-rights-at-sea-agenda-forward

 

What's a captain to Do?

The captain of the Sea Watch chose common sense and humanitarian need after rescuing migrants at sea. The first hurdle’s been scaled successfully, but legal problems continue. There's a fine line between saving lives and aiding and abetting. 

https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/sea-watch-captain-freed-a-victory-for-humanitarian-rescue-at-sea

Even Christopher Columbus . . .

. . . had difficult decisions to make as he navigated the high seas. Read about his challenges and the beautiful home where he stayed on three of his stops in Gran Canaria.

https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/what-would-columbus-do

 

A Brief History : USCG Academy

You will recall that Jack attended Officer Candidate School at the US Coast Guard Academy at Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut. Here is an article giving a brief history of the Academy before it made its permanent home in New London. Interesting!

https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/the-first-coast-guard-academy-the-training-ship-chase

 

A Merchant Mariner Shares His Memories of the D-Day Invasion

 

https://wnep.com/2019/06/06/merchant-marine-shares-memories-of-d-day-invasion/

 

NYT: Merchant Seamen are D-Day Heroes

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1944/06/10/archives/merchant-seamen-are-dday-heroes-us-british-civilian-sailors-at-peak.html?fbclid=IwAR0rIqR124cQdAQpqh28HZrzPQ4JlfI9elYHTVJDoaIqwOO7kQjVmg-uRTw

 

 

Remember the USMMs on D-Day

Let us remember the merchant mariners who participated in the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy. This article pretty well says it all. https://www.joc.com/merchant-marine-d-day_19940605.html

 

Sound Advice from a Sea Captain

The following was posted on Facebook, on the United States Merchant Marine page. Its author's name was not given, but its wisdom is indisputable.

Ship Masters and Deck Officers, today, have never appreciated the two most important pieces of advice that I ever received from my training ship captain, Richard Rounds, aboard the USTS Bay State, back in 1963, at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

1. “Never put your ship in a position you that can’t get out of with a STOP bell.”

2. “You have two eyes, two ears, and two anchors. Don’t be afraid to use any of them."

3. The last lesson Captain Rounds thought me that I have never forgotten was this:

“Ships have to be very close to each other to have a collision.”

All my classmates laughed at him for his “simplicity” and implied “stupidity.”

I didn’t laugh. I remembered. It kept me out of trouble in a fifty-five year career, commanding some pretty big ones.

 

"Don't Give Up the Ship"

The crew of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) designed a flag honoring the seven men who died when the ship was involved in a collision with a merchant ship on June 17, 2017.

Read about it: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/crew-of-the-uss-fitzgerald-unveils-flag-honoring-fallen-shipmates

 

Coast Guard Coin

 

This just in from the Navy League Legislative Affairs Weekly Round-Up for May 31, 2019.

Your HQ staff is working hard next month to add more co-sponsors to the United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act of 2019! At no cost to the taxpayer, this bicameral, bipartisan legislation directs the Secretary of the Treasury to mint a total of 1.35 million $5 gold, $1 silver, and half-dollar commemorative coins in the year 2020.  The proceeds after subtracting the cost of designing and issuing the coins will be allocated to the National Coast Guard Museum Association to aid in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the National Coast Guard Museum to be located in New London, CT. As of now it is the only military service without a national museum through which to share its legacy and rich history with the American public. We only have 45 messages to 36 offices this year, but now we've already tripled the cosponsors in the Senate so we need help pushing House members to join the bill! 

Act Now and Contact Your Member of Congress to Request they Co-sponsor the United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act of 2019!

Memorial Day

A lovely granite memorial in Coral Gables, Florida, has been dedicated to the Merchant Mariners of World War II. Read about it:

https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/new-monument-pays-tribute-to-merchant-marines-and-navy-armed-guard?fbclid=IwAR3i1Ed27NWTacuQzShoyPxO0eHa99gYvJSeuNTbuiRVZKUB1A6UX3txX_s

Why America Celebrates National Maritime Day 

Each May 22, America celebrates National Maritime Day in memory of the many thousands of mariners, both civilian and military, who lost their lives in World War II.

Read about it:  https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/america-celebrates-national-maritime-day-2

 

 

 

Merchant Marine Midshipman Honored

A midshipman at the US Merchant Marine Academy was awarded the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement. His performance above and beyond the call of duty centered around his saving the life of a severely dehydrated stowaway aboard the ship on which he was performing his year at sea. He is one of very few midshipmen to have received the award. Most go to career mariners.

Read about it:  https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/usmma-midshipman-awarded-u-s-merchant-marine-medal

 

 

Virtual Ocean Archaeology

 

With today's unmanned submarines and other technology, it is possible for researchers to follow underwater changes in old shipwrecks and related points of interest.

Read about it: https://maritime-executive.com/article/virtual-archaeology-museum-opens

 

 

Who’s Really in Charge of the Ship?

Yes, the captain has the final say on issues aboard ship, but control from management ashore is gaining control. Citing time, money, and such tragedies as El Faro as justification, shipping companies may be knocking the captains off their perches.

Read about it: https://maritime-executive.com/blog/who-s-really-in-charge-of-the-ship

Blue Marlin is Back in the News

The heavy-lift ship Blue Marlin, which returned the USS Cole to the United States after she was attacked in the Port of Adan in 2000, has been attacked by pirates. Her crew managed to seclude itself and radio for help, but the pirates inflicted sufficient damage to the bridge that she is inoperable.

Read about it: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/spanish-navy-rescues-boskalis-heavy-lift-ship-from-pirates

Responding to Maritime Emergencies

Passengers and crew, alike, struggle in times of maritime emergencies. As this article says, some passengers "have never seen salt water" and don't know what to expect. It also points out the modern-day tendency of crew members to look after their own safety  without regard for passenger safety. The days of the Titanic, when the crew went down with the ship after helping passengers to board lifeboats, is gone -- and not for the better. Is lack of crew training responsible? 

Read about it:  https://www.maritime-executive.com/magazine/the-human-side

Service Above and Beyond the Call to Duty

USCG Seaman Apprentice William Ray Flores served exceedingly well at the expense of his life, so well, in fact, that the Coast Guard awarded him its highest medal and named its new cutter in his memory.

Read about it: https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/william-flores-hero-of-the-cutter-blackthorn

Decoy Vessels : Q-Ships

Q-Ships (Q-Boats) were merchant ships operated by the navy to serve as decoy vessels. Instead of carrying cargo, they were heavily armed with concealed weaponry. Their mission was to lure submarines; whereupon, they would attack and sink them. Q-Ships were fairly successful in the British Royal Navy during World War I, but in World War II, they met early demise. By then, with both Allied and Axis powers using them, they were an idea past its time.

Read about it: Alternative Decoy Vessels on the Alert. AMMV News Magazine. Spring 2019, 10-11.

 

 

The Merchant Marine on D-Day

These days, we hear a lot about aviators and their crews working to restore C-47s to their World War II conditions in order to fly to England and France in June of this year to re-enact the Normandy Invasion as it took place in the skies. What we haven’t heard as much about is the role of merchant mariners in the Invasion as it took place on the seas.

More than likely, none of the old merchant ships will make it to Europe for the occasion. After all, only three Liberty ships and one or two Victory ships are still operational, and that doesn’t mean they are seaworthy. The John W. Brown merely travels the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore and Norfolk. The Jeremiah O’Brien travels between its pier near Fisherman’s Wharf and the Pacific Ocean, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Yet, the old ships and the men who crewed them played a vital role, both in the war and in the Invasion that turned the tide of the war.

 

Read about it:

Felknor, Bruce. 75 Years After D-Day: A Look at the Normandy Invasion (excerpts). Reprinted in the AAMV News Magazine, Spring 2019, from the complete article, which appeared in the New York Times (publication date unknown) and on the Merchant Marine website, www.usmm.org.

Once Again, Pierside

The USS Fitzgerald, which was involved in a collision with a merchant ship in 2017 and was taken to Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for repairs, is out of dry dock. Now moored to a pier at the Shipyard, it will undergo further repairs and renovations.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/uss-fitzgerald-returns-to-the-water

Seaspeak

Ever heard of Seaspeak? It is a method of communication being used to ensure that international mariners understand important messages at sea.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/fast-facts-what-is-seaspeak

Identifying Substandard Ships

The Coast Guard is getting involved in the effort to identify substandard ships carrying the American flag. Their involvement will help to reduce such incidents as the sinking of El Faro.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/targeted-review-finds-deficiencies-on-dozens-of-u-s-flag-ships?fbclid=IwAR0iCkpjBx50ceoSqSDAknOofU34fwzRwW8q68-0W7dP2uOmiv_5fM0VxSU

Passenger Safety

If Senator Deb Fischer (Republican, Nebraska) has her way, the maritime industry will be tightening controls over how its ships ensure passenger safety.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/u-s-senator-introduces-bill-on-cruise-ship-deaths

Plastic Waste

Organizations in the Nordic countries are making efforts to put an end to plastic waste contamination in the world's oceans -- and it's coming not a moment too soon.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/nordic-countries-call-for-ocean-plastic-treaty

Hijackings at Sea

Not long ago, the Maritime Executive published an article about a merchant mariner who was hijacked four years ago. No longer serving the shipping company, he was receiving no pay. His family was suffering. Their friends and families had dipped well into their savings in an effort to help them, but the well was running dry. Now, efforts are being made to establish a declaration on human rights for those at sea. This is important, because piracy at sea is increasing exponentially. Mariners are not safe!

https://maritime-executive.com/article/first-geneva-declaration-on-human-rights-at-sea-published

Rescue at Sea

Merchant mariners working aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean rescued two survivors of a small aircraft crash.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/video-royal-princess-rescues-two-survivors-from-aircraft-crash

Human Rights at Sea

 

A week or so ago, the Maritime Executive published an article about a merchant mariner who was hijacked four years ago. No longer serving the shipping company, he was receiving no pay. His family was suffering. Their friends and families had dipped well into their savings in an effort to help them, but the well was running dry.

Now, efforts are being made to establish a declaration on human rights for those at sea. This is important, because piracy at sea is increasing exponentially. Mariners are not safe!

Read more about it:

https://maritime-executive.com/article/first-geneva-declaration-on-human-rights-at-sea-published

 

The Merchant Marine at Work

 

Merchant mariners working aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean rescued two survivors of a small aircraft crash.

Read about it and watch a video of the rescue: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/video-royal-princess-rescues-two-survivors-from-aircraft-crash

 

A Forest in a Ship

 

SS Ayrfield by Jason Baker (Creative Commons licenses 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The SS Ayrfield, a 102-year-old transport ship sank off the coast of Australia. A forest (or thicket, as the Australians would say) has grown within its hull.

According to Wikimedia Commons, the SS Ayrfield, originally the SS Corrimal, was a steel-hulled steamship, built in the United Kingdom in 1911 and registered at Sydney in 1912. Purchased by the Commonwealth Government, it was used to transport supplies to American troops stationed in the Pacific during the second world war.

Read more about it:

https://mymodernmet.com/ss-ayrfield-the-floating-forest/?fbclid=IwAR1lX1woHRPaPWx4Kt4uO5a3M6ZARuu67NWeKgBdiTIQAIXRQXxYa7YMWN0

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ss-ayerfield?fbclid=IwAR2CyXZqyiPQKv9Y1uDZZCm6cCD9rt_W7n88YygrI56b0f-TQc7S7deIxTQ

Many thanks go to Sheila Sova of the American Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II.

 

 

SS American Victory

 

After the US Maritime Commission experienced the strengths and weaknesses of the Liberty Ships, it went back to the drawing board and designed a stronger, improved class of merchant ships for use in World War II. They were called Victory ships.One such ship, the SS American Victory, was rescued from demolition and is being restored in Tampa, Florida, where it will serve as a museum ship. It recently received a fresh coat of paint in camouflage colors. The following photograph (photographer unknown) appears on the cover of the American Merchant Marine Veterans News Magazine (Fall 2018).

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