The Most Recent Ship Report Podcast:
This holiday weekend, with its gorgeous weather, drew many visitors to Pacific Northwest beaches. For one family, the weekend ended in tragedy, as a 14 year old boy was swept out to sea off Long Beach, Washington. Another life claimed by the ocean, because someone did not understand what they were up against here, despite posted warning signs, and numerous deaths annually.
The bottom line here is this: Pacific Northwest waters are not a pool, not a lake, not a placid beach in Hawaii or Florida where the water is like a bathtub and the waves are gentle. It’s cold, there are merciless currents and your chances of dying are high.
For the average visitor, these waters are not safe to swim in. But clearly, the message is not getting out to people.
Nice weather, a holiday weekend, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. As I do every year, here are a few tips to help keep you and yours safe as you enjoy our deceptively dangerous maritime environment here the PNW.
The Millenium Bulk Terminals project which would have shipped coal from Longview Washington to Asia, seems finally dead in the water for good. An attempt to take the case before the U.S. Supreme Court seems unlikely to get a hearing, because the project has gone bankrupt. It’s one in a serious of controversial fossil fuel projects that have failed on the Columbia, because of intense local citizen and government opposition.
Today we recognize a local community college for its commitment to maritime education. Clatsop Community College’s maritime program has been named a “center of excellence” by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, for maritime work force training .
It looks like ocean cruises will be back in July and August. We’ll take a look at how companies are making that happen in concert with the CDC, and how changes could affect Astoria’s cruise ship schedule.
As the containership Ever Given remains anchored in the Suez after being freed from grounding in the canal in March, the canal authority is seeking $916 million dollars in costs from the ship’s owner. This seems like a lot of money to us ordinary mortals, and it is. But in the maritime industry, costs can be huge. Today we take a look at what it costs to get a containership from one place to another.
More than a year after the pandemic shut down countries around the world, about 200,00 merchant mariners remain trapped on cargo ships, some of them working for 20 months with out a break. Exhaustion and burnout are real dangers that translate into more accidents and increased risk of suicide.
Today, the little known story of an amazing man, Robert Smalls. Smalls was a slave in South Carolina in the years leading up to the Civil War, but became a skilled mariner handling ships in Charleston Harbor for his “master.” He evntuallty used those skills to commandeer a ship and sail his family, and the families of other slaves, to freedom through a Confederate blockade. His life was filled with many “firsts.” He became a decorated war veteran, a member of the U.S. Congress, and eventually purchased the plantation where he had once been a slave and lived there until his death in 1915.
Photo credit: Photo of Robert Smalls from the U.S Library of Congress photo collection. Photo attributed to famed Civil War photographers Matthew Brady and Levin C. Handy.
Today we’ll talk about inflation risks in the global economy, and how that might affect shipping here on the Columbia River.