We Won’t Learn Anything: What Sank El Faro and What Didn’t

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A Coast Guard HH-60 "Jayhawk" helicopter on a law enforcement patrol at sunset over Great Inagua Bahamas.  USCG photo by AST3 Tye Conklin

On Wednesday night, the final rescue crews on the El Faro mission called in, "We are returning to base - negative results," and left the search area. The hearts of family and friends finished a breaking that began a week ago, and all they are left with now are questions. As unspeakably tragic as the last week has been, I know that more heartbreak is … [Read more...]

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning


Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on gCaptain in June 2010 and is reposted every Memorial Day Weekend by popular demand. Many thanks to the parents who have over the years shared this important information. Please Click HERE to share this article with your facebook friends. By Mario Vittone The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and … [Read more...]

Monster Cables: Connecting the Subsea Factory


If the oil and gas industry's dream of a subsea factory is to become reality, then R&D that advances current technology is imperative. Companies like ABB are working to advance subsea power conversion, Aker Solutions is developing capping technologies, and OneSubsea has already built the first multiphase compressor that in and of itself is a quantum leap forward in subsea … [Read more...]

The Upside to a Down Market: Innovation and Standardization in Norway

Image courtesy of XVISION (www.xvision.no)

As a daily consumer of energy, I've been selfishly happy about the lower fuel prices of late. Low gas prices are good - at least that's what I thought.  And then last week, gCaptain sent me to Oslo  to attend the Subsea Valley Conference and Expo, and I learned that low fuel prices are also very bad. For those of you not paying attention (and until last week I was one of … [Read more...]

Playing Pirate Does Not a Sailor Make

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 8.12.10 AM

When I first read of the rescue of the tall ship Liana's Ransom, I contacted friends in the tall ship community to express my sadness at the loss of the vessel, and relief that the crew survived the ordeal. "Liana who?" was the common response. "That's not a 'tall ship,' Mario," they said. "It's probably one of those wanna-be pirate ships, a tourist-attraction powerboat. The … [Read more...]

Trying Very Hard To Die: The Preventable Disease in Commercial Fishing

Fishing vessel offshore

Yesterday, the New York Times published an outstanding piece of journalism - A Speck in the Sea by Paul Tough. In it, Tough tells the story of John Aldridge, a Montauk lobsterman who fell overboard off Long Island this past summer. Aldridge spent 12 hours in the Atlantic using his boots for flotation until a Coast Guard helicopter spotted him and returned him, alive, to shore. … [Read more...]