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 […]

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

Image courtesy of XVISION (

*+-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. […]

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 […]

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Photo (c) Shutterstock/AntonSokolov

*+-Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. In this article, Mario explains what drowning really looks like and how to recognize it when its happening.

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 […]

Eight Survive Helicopter Ditching

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Todd Frantom

*+-This morning at around 7:42 local time, a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying six oil and gas workers ditched some 150+ kilometers off Bintulu, Malaysia. The passengers, from from France, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Canada, along with two flight crew, all escaped the aircraft as it sank and were recovered by a passing vessel according to reports. […]

Into the Storm – The Final Days and Decisions on Bounty

Bounty - July 8th, 2008 - Port Angeles, Washington

*+-Drivers always slow down and rubberneck at car accidents, don’t they?  Like me, you may have caught yourself complaining about the practice and wondering “Why are people so morbid that they have to slow down and look?”  That’s what we all say, at least until we get close enough to see, and though we might […]

Bulk Trade-Off: Blood for Money in Indonesia

Nickel ore from Indonesia, loaded in remote ports like Obi Island (in yellow) - far from the prying eyes of regulators.

*+-On February 17th of this year, the Harita Bauxite sank off Cape Balinao in the South China Sea. Of the twenty-four men aboard, only nine survived. The sea can be a dangerous place, of course, and things happen out there, but the Harita Bauxite’s sinking is troubling beyond the tragic loss of fifteen men. That’s […]

Hansen and HMS Bounty Organization Sued for $90 Million


*+-The official USCG and NTSB reports on the sinking of Bounty aren’t out yet. Even so, the lawyers for Claudene Christian’s mother (also named Claudene) felt they had more than enough to bring suit against owner Robert Hansen and the HMS Bounty Organization.  On April 6th, attorney Ralph Mellusi filed a lawsuit on behalf of […]

Hard Core Training for Hard Work

47 foot MLB

*+-When Coast Guard boat crews go out to train, they like to make things as real as possible.  That means that when rough weather rolls in, it’s time to go out.  Station Cape Disappointment (apparently) doesn’t take a break just because their “real” is a little more real than most. To get good at driving […]