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Megler Bridge anniversary

Today we'll talk about the anniversary this week of the 1966 opening of the Astoria Megler Bridge across the Columbia, and share some memories from Long Beach Penisula historian Frank Lehn, who crossed the bridge as a kid on vacation with his family. Frank featured an article about the bridges historic opening on his Facebook Page: The Long Beach Peninsula Friends of Facebook, a great local source for PNW information and photos.

Archive Podcasts:

Ship adrift? Could be part of the new normal

This morning, there’s a ship adrift in the ocean off Tillamook. Turns out this strategy might be part of the new normal for ships in the age of COVID-19. The ship is slated to arrive in the Columbia River around 2 pm today, and may be waiting offshore by drifting for awhile.

The trick is to arrive at your berth when there are longshoremen around to help. With social distaincing requirements and health precautions in place, longshoremen are not as plentiful at ports as they were before. So ships want to time their arrival when there are people there to unload the ship. Otherwise, they spend money while they wait. Drifting at sea is free and saves fuel.

COVID-19: Locally, we are flattening the curve

Today on the Ship Report we look again at the situation in Florida, where the USCG has declined to airlift sick passengers off cruise ships because local medical facilities are flooded with COVID-19 patients. Locally here in Clatsop County, Oregon, our local officials took action early to keep cruise ships out of our local port, long before there were cruise ships offshore here with ill passengers looking to come into port. Our Ship Report hat is off to them for their foresight, and our gratitude goes to local residents who are staying home and helping to flatten the curve of contagion. With your help, we hope to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our small coastal communities, which would quickly be overwhelmed with patients if that happened. The Ship Report message today is: Stay home, stay safe, and keep your neighbors safe as well.

USCG limits air rescues of ill passengers from foreign flag ships

The USCG issued a marine bulletin this week for it’s 7th District, which includes the cruise ship hub of Florida, along with Puerto Rico, Georgia and South Carolina. The temporary change means that if someone needs to be airlifted off a cruise ship because of illness, and that ship is not registered in the U.S. (and most are not for financial reasons), they will consult with a USCG physician and see whether medical facilities on land can handle another patient. Florida has been hit hard by COVID-19 and land based hospitals are struggling to meet demand.

How is international cargo changing with COVID-19?

Markets are shifting to adjust to the new normal with COVID-19 hitting some markets hard and helping others.

This lovely photo was taken by Astoria photographer Scott Saulsbury. You’ll find his photos on Facebook and also in his book, Light, Water, and Steel:

Navy hospital ships to help in pandemic

The USNS Mercy and Comfort are two US Navy hospital ships that traditionally go on missions of assistance to other nations. Right now, they’re needed here. We often see the USNS Mercy on the Columbia, when she visit Portland to change crews and get supplies. She has 1000 hospital beds, numerous operationing rooms and a complete staff of doctors and nurses.

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