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Salvage crews get adrift ship under tow

Salvors from Smit Salvage managed to get a drifting, listing heavy lift ship safely under tow in the North Sea, after bad weather caused the ship to lose cargo overboard. The ship was carrying yachts and workboats, and one of them broke loose from its lashings. Salvors have located the missing boat, which will be the subject of another salvage effort. Salvage crews are the folks who head into danger as others are fleeing it. Their job description says they must be "immune to stress." Photo...

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Salvage crews get adrift ship under tow

Salvors from Smit Salvage managed to get a drifting, listing heavy lift ship safely under tow in the North Sea, after bad weather caused the ship to lose cargo overboard. The ship was carrying yachts and workboats, and one of them broke loose from its lashings. Salvors have located the missing boat, which will be the subject of another salvage effort.

Salvage crews are the folks who head into danger as others are fleeing it. Their job description says they must be “immune to stress.”

Photo credit: Stormy weather in the North Sea, onboard research vessel Walther Herwig III in August 2019. Wikimedia Commons. Photographer: Randel Kreitsberg. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

North Sea salvage operation seeks to avoid disaster

Today we take a look at a salvage operation happening in the North Sea off Norway. A cargo ship is drifting toward shore, listing badly and salvors are trying to save it before it runs aground and causes an oil spill. The salvage company working on this incident is the same one that freed the Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

Photo credit: Stormy weather in the North Sea, onboard research vessel Walther Herwig III in August 2019. Wikimedia Commons. Photographer: Randel Kreitsberg. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Cruise ship company presses CDC for July 4 restart to cruises

At least one major cruise line is pressing the CDC to allow cruises to resume in July with mandatory vaccines. While that might seem like a deal-maker, there are still some big uncertainties for reopening a business model that was the original flashpoint for the pandemic in the US: people crowded together on cruise ships.

New CDC cruise ship orders in the pandemic

The CDC has issued new orders to cruise operators regarding how they can prepare to resume sailing out of U.S. ports as the pandemic eases. The CDC oversees U.S. ports, and the industry must abide by their rules if they want to resume cruises here. COVID-19 vaccinations will be critical in the effort to restart the cruise industry.

Photo: The cruise ship Regatta spent the winter in storage at the Port of Astoria. She maintained a skeleton crew on board to keep the ship in operating order. The Regatta left Astoria at the end of March, headed south to be prepped for what cruise operators hope will be a season of reopening for the industry.

How do ships get more fuel when they need it?

For ships, getting fuel is not as simple as pulling into a gas station like we would do with our cars. So sometimes the fuel comes to the ship. Today we’ll talk about a ship that was being refueled in the Astoria anchorage by a fuel barge that pulled pulled up alongwide the ship, towed by a tug.

Photo credit: Joanne Rideout. Ships in the Astoria Anchorage.

Wind power projects could boost U.S. maritime industry

Today we’ll talk about proposed Biden administration wind energy projects off the U.S. East Coast that would operate under the Jones Act, a U.S. law that requires that ships traveling only between U.S. ports must be U.S. built and flagged, with U.S. citizens (or permaent residents) as crew.

Photo credit: Columbia River Bar Pilots. Big season the Columbia River Bar. Note the height of the buoy compared to the waves: the buoy is about 16 feet tall.

The Ever Green is floating free in the Suez Canal

The mega containership Ever Given is now free and floating in the Suez Canal. The ship had been aground at both ends and wedged sideways in the canal since last Tuesday. It took a combination of a high spring tide and more than a dozen tugs to pull her free. That’s after crews dug and dredged to help free the ship.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons: Robert Schwemmer for NOAA’s National Ocean Service

The Mercy heads out to sea from Portland

The US Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy left Astoria this week after an extended shipyard visit where she underwent maintenance and repairs, a normal procedure for ships that happens about every two years. She’s now ready to resume her humanitarian mission serving the world with medical aid where she’s needed.

Photo credit: Joanne Rideout. The USNS Mercy heads out of Astoria, headed for the Columbia River Bar.

Rounding the Cape of Good Hope

As the mega containership Ever Given remains stuck in the Suez Canal, ships are backing up on either end. With no clear end in sight to the grounding, some ships are taking the long way ’round, around the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa.

While waiting is expensive, making the extra long trip around the bottom of Africa is expensive too, and dangerous, especially at this time of year. We’ll talk about what the risks are.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (near Cape Town). HDR composite from multiple exposures.

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