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Video: Drug-Smuggling Freighter Sunk as Artificial Reef off Florida

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 20:33:00

The 1965-built freighter Voici Bernadette was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a drug bust in Miami last year, and she has just begun a new life as an artificial reef off the coast of Fort Pierce, Florida.  Diving associations, economic development groups and seaside municipalities in Florida favor reefing projects for the wildlife habitat and tourism opportunities that they create. Prominent examples off Florida's coast include the former aircraft carrier USS Oriskany - the world's largest intentionally scuttled...

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Norway to Boost High North Communications

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-26 00:01:44

The Norwegian Government has entered into an agreement with state-owned company Space Norway to boost satellite broadband communication for the High North. Space Norway's two satellites will provide coverage 24 hours a day in the area north of latitude 65. The satellites will have an expected lifetime of 15 years and are scheduled to be launched in 2022, on one rocket into a Highly Elliptical Orbit.  Poor coverage in the High North creates challenges for security and emergency preparedness tasks...

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Two More Employees Indicted in Duck Boat Case

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 21:48:37

Two more employees of Ripley Entertainment, the company that operated duck boat rides in Branson, Missouri, along with the captain of the duck boat that sank at Table Rock Lake last summer resulting in the deaths of 17 people, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the U.S. Curtis P. Lanham, 36, of Galena, Missouri, and Charles V. Baltzell, 76, of Kirbyville, Missouri, were charged in a 47-count superseding indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury...

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U.S. Navy Bolsters Navigation Training for Quartermasters

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 21:43:46

The U.S. Navy is now training its first sailors with its the updated Quartermaster (QM) “A” School curriculum, which was revised in the wake of the deadly USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain collisions. The post-accident investigation cited training deficiencies among the many systemic factors behind the casualties. Under the updated curriculum, the graduates will head to their next command as certified operators of a new Voyage Management System (a Navy term for a specially-tailored ECDIS), which features a...

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Maersk Debuts Online Booking with No-Rolling Guarantee

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 19:26:37

Maersk is rolling out a new online booking service that will give customers a slot on board a sailing at a fixed price, with a guarantee against rolling - a major difference from the typical experience for shippers today.  “It is not uncommon to see overbookings to the tune of 30 percent, and often this leads to rolling of the customers’ cargoes since there is overbooking to compensate for the high downfall. This creates a lot of uncertainty for our...

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Why We Will Never See Fully Autonomous Commercial Ships

By Commander David Dubay USCG 2019-06-25 17:24:08

The world will never see fully autonomous transoceanic commercial cargo ships. In fact, autonomous vessels are likely to operate in only very limited situations.  In recent years, the prospect of fully autonomous vessels has become a hot topic for commercial shipping. The same fast-paced advances in technology that have led to projects to automate vehicles in every other sector of the transportation industry have also found their way to the shipping industry. Advances in camera technology, sensors, electromechanical actuators and...

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Supreme Court: No Punitive Damages for Seafarer Injury Claims

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 17:02:11

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a seafarer who sought punitive damages from his employer  after a hatch blew open and injured his hand, finding that punitive damages - that is, extra money awarded to the plaintiff as an additional punishment for the defendant - are not available under an unseaworthiness claim.  Under the general maritime law of unseaworthiness, a seafarer who is injured due an unseaworthy condition may state a claim against the vessel and its owner...

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file photo courtesy of Diamantino Rosa

Fourteen Maritime Organizations Protest Jamming and Spoofing

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 17:02:09

Fourteen maritime organizations sent a letter to U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Karl Schultz on June 25, whch is the IMO's annual “Day of the Seafarer.” The letter urges the USCG to raise the issue of jamming and spoofing of GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals at the IMO Council meeting next month.  The letter offers “GNSS signals have become an important part of marine operations and interfering with them places the efficiency and safety of maritime operations at risk,...

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Trump Questions Need to Protect Persian Gulf Shipping

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-25 14:06:44

Questioning the longstanding American policy of defending maritime security in the Persian Gulf, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the United States does not "need to be there" for merchant shipping in the region.  "China gets 91% of its Oil from the [Strait of Hormuz], Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always...

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