“Come in Crude, Go Home Refined.”
Barataria Bay, La. – Photo by James Duncan Davidson.
Images of the Disaster in the Gulf
e360 digest In this series of images taken in and around the Gulf of Mexico in late June, a team of independent photographers have documented the ongoing fallout from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Collected as part of the TEDxOilSpill project, the photos — taken from chartered airplanes, fishing boats, and coastal communities across the region — will be shown at a June 28 conference in Washington, D.C. coordinated by
TED Conferences, LLC. “From the source to Gulf Shores [Alabama],” says one of the project participants, “we saw oil ranging from sheen to much heavier all the way to the coast and as far as the eye can see in both directions… There’s no good way to describe how huge an area is impacted.” Daily updates and additional information about the project, as well as some of the images, can be viewed online at tedxoilspill.com/expedition. (PERMALINK)
Apple iPhone First Impressions: Innovation, Glaring Flaws
Eweek – The iPhone 4 is officially available. And although not everyone got their hands on the smartphone before it was sold out, the company’s device is easily the most coveted release of the year. For good reason. The iPhone 4 is a well-designed, highly reliable smartphone that easily bests any of the previous devices that came before it. The iPhone 4 boasts several new features, comes with Apple’s latest iOS 4 operating system, and performs almost all of the tasks that most consumers expect.
But there are also some issues with the iPhone 4. It’s hobbled by a poorly devised antenna that’s causing users to drop calls. It also doesn’t help that the device’s camera is a bit too underpowered when compared with the competition. Simply put, for all the good in the iPhone 4, there is some bad. After 24 hours with the device, those issues show themselves just as quickly as all the great things about it.
Benjamin Franklin’s Theory of Oil on Troubled Waters and its Epistemological Aftermath
DEEP SEA NEWS – We love getting interesting emails from our readers. Some are complaints about our (mostly mine) colorful language, many are emails telling us how they appreciate what we do, several even come from our colleagues who would like us to know about some recent research or a new expedition, and we get many readers asking us specific questions about the ocean and maritime history.
Some of these questions can occasionally get us rolling into new territory and is very exciting for us to learn something new! One such question came several weeks ago from Capt. Chris, formerly of the US Coast Guard. He wrote:
We have been searching and searching for the correct nautical term for the act of dumping oil into the water to calm the seas. As a prior USCG vet, I have heard this term but cannot remember it to save my life… Any Ideas?
- keep reading »
- Jones Act Jones? The Jones Act and the Oil Spill…Not What You Think – Deep Sea News gives a nod to gCaptain’s coverage, and adds even more yet. For your Jones Act reading pleasure »
- As if that’s not enough; Deepwater on Deepwater: Cabotage and the GOM »
The USS Constitution off Castle Island during Navy Week
Boston Herald: Maritime Nation, Always
This coming week the U.S. Navy joins the people of Boston in celebrating Harborfest with the beginning of our sixth annual Boston Navy Week.
Sailors from visiting ships, USS Whidbey Island and USS Hawes, will join Boston’s own USS Constitution and experience the warm hospitality that Bostonians have shown American sailors throughout our history.
The United States has been and will always remain a maritime nation. It is a simple fact of geography. We are bordered by two great oceans, and peaceful and stable sea lanes provide for our economic prosperity. In both peace and war, sea power has been the key to our nation’s ability to protect our global interests and fulfill our global responsibilities.
A Kemp’s Ridley turtle rescued from the BP oil spill is cleaned up at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans. Photograph: Bevil Knapp/EPA – Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent guardian.co.uk
BP Accused of Killing Endangered Sea Turtles in Cleanup Operation
Environmental organisations are demanding that the oil company stop blocking rescue of the turtles, and are pressing the US administration to halt the burning and look at prosecuting BP and its contractors for killing endangered species during the cleanup operation. Harming or killing a sea turtle carries fines of up to $50,000 (£33,000).
The Obama administration, confirming the kills, said BP was under orders to avoid the turtles. “My understanding is that protocols include looking for wildlife prior to igniting of oil,” a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said. “We take these things very seriously.”
Chi-Town: Durbin Asks Obama to Appoint Carp Czar
WGN9 News Chicago – As concerns mount about the presence of Asian carp near Lake Michigan, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today urged President Obama to appoint a carp czar to oversee efforts to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
“We need to have one person who coordinates the efforts of the federal, state and local agencies that are doing everything they can to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan,” Durbin said during a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium. “We believe it’s absolutely essential.”
Durbin was responding to the discovery of a bighead carp, a variety of Asian carp, during routine sampling this week in Lake Calumet, just six miles from Lake Michigan.
COMMUNITY In an ecosystem known as a cold seep, which thrives on the Gulf of Mexico seabed, tube worms that could be centuries old thrive among corals, crabs, brittle stars and other creatures. More Photos »
Cold, Dark and Teeming With Life
NY TIMES – The deep seabed was once considered a biological desert. Life, the logic went, was synonymous with light and photosynthesis. The sun powered the planet’s food chains, and only a few scavengers could ply the preternaturally dark abyss.
Then, in 1977, oceanographers working in the deep Pacific stumbled on bizarre ecosystems lush with clams, mussels and big tube worms — a cornucopia of abyssal life built on microbes that thrived in hot, mineral-rich waters welling up from volcanic cracks, feeding on the chemicals that leached into the seawater and serving as the basis for whole chains of life that got along just fine without sunlight.
The minerals service is joining with other federal agencies to study whether the BP spill is harming the dark habitats. Scientists say ships may go to sea as soon as July, sending tethered robots down to the icy seabed to examine the seep communities and take samples for analysis.
Cyprus ‘Arms Ship’ Contains Mining Explosives, Sudan Claims
KHARTOUM (AFP) Jordan Times — Sudanese officials said on Wednesday that a cargo ship seized by Cyprus suspected of trying to deliver weapons to Sudan in contravention of a UN embargo has explosives on board for a gold mining firm.
“The boat contains explosives destined for Port Sudan, for mining firm Ariab which needs them to work a gold mine,” Abdelbaqi Al Gilani, Sudan’s minister responsible for mining, told AFP.
On Tuesday, Cyprus said it placed the “Santiago” anchored off the southern city of Limassol under police guard with a suspected military cargo that would contravene a 2004 UN embargo on arms sales and deliveries to Sudan.
- more »
- Reuters Africa – Cyprus probes weapons on Sudan-bound ship »
- UPDATE Sudan ‘arms ship’ allowed to leave Cyprus waters »
Deep Water Writing: Two Gulfs
It was my third time on a ship in the Middle East that I remember thinking to myself “If there is one place in the world where I do not want to work I’ve found it.” Between the heat, the sand, the barren landscape and the underlying hostility toward Americans there were very few if any redeeming qualities to make a 21-day sea passage feel worthwhile once the adventure had worn off.
Today I’m more willing to accept the Middle East as a necessary part of my occupation. If this is where the cargo needs to be shipped and my ship is bringing it then so be it. A job is not to be taken for granted .
Still, it isn’t without some reservation that I sign on especially with the situation off Somalia. The following message, transmitted daily by the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur is a good reminder of what mariners are up against in these dangerous waters:
WARNING WARNING WARNING
21 0001 UTC JUN 2010 – SOMALI PIRATES ATTACKING SHIPS OFF THE ENTIRE COAST OF SOMALIA AND BEYOND INCLUDING NORTHERN SOMALI COAST, GULF OF ADEN, SOUTH RED SEA/BAB EL MANDEB, OFF YEMEN, ARABIAN SEA/OFF OMAN, OFF EASTERN AND SOUTHERN SOMALI COAST, OFF NEIGHBOURING KENYA, OFF TANZANIA, OFF SEYCHELLES, OFF MADAGASCAR, WEST AND CENTRAL INDIAN OCEAN AND WEST AND SOUTH INDIA AND WEST MALDIVES. 311 ATTACKS INCLUDING 72 HIJACKINGS HAVE BEEN REPORTED BY VESSELS SINCE JANUARY 2009.
Divers Find Wreck of Cargo Ship 112 Years After it Disappeared
June 23, 2010 / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – The 291-foot-long L.R. Doty was carrying a cargo of corn when it sank during a ferocious storm on Oct. 25, 1898. All 17 people aboard and the ship’s two cats, Dewey and Watson, were lost.
When a group of divers and maritime historians discovered the L.R. Doty’s grave about 20 miles off Oak Creek in 320 feet of water, they found an intact ship sitting upright. It was in remarkable condition considering it’s been underwater for more than a century, courtesy of the frigid waters of the Great Lakes that act as a great preservative of wooden ships.
EU & US Sanctions will Make Iran Self-Sufficient, Claims Minister
An Iranian oil official said on Friday that the new US and European sanctions against the Islamic republic bring it closer to self-sufficiency, including in refining petrol.
AFP -”The more Americans and Europeans sanction us, the closer it takes us to self-sufficiency,” Fars news agency quoted Ali Reza Zeighami, deputy oil minister and head of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, as saying.
On June 9, the UN Security Council passed a fourth set of sanctions against Iran, and this was followed by the European Union and United States levying separate measures against it.
The US measures aim to choke off Iran’s access to imports of refined petroleum products such as petrol and jet fuel, and curb its access to the international banking system. Iran is OPEC’s second largest oil exporter but has to import a large part of its needs in petroleum products, including petrol.
Final Piece in Place for Industry-Funded Rescue Tug
SEATTLE (KPLU) – The maritime industry in Washington has agreed on how to divvy up the cost of an oil-spill prevention tug boat near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s the final chapter of a saga that’s gone on for more than a decade.
A tugboat has been stationed at Neah Bay on Washington’s northwest tip every winter since 1999 – and year-round since 2008. The aim is to prevent a catastrophic oil spill. The so-called “rescue tug” goes to the aid of ships that lose power or steering, and might otherwise run aground.
Florida: Archaeologists Try to Determine Shipwreck’s Origin
KEY LARGO, Fla. — Archeologists have spent the last week diving off Key Largo to try and determine the origin of a century-old shipwreck. Researchers with the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society in Washington were expected to finish documenting the wreck on Saturday.
The society’s board president says the ship is likely a barge because of its lack of motorized parts. Brenda Altmeier, of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, says remains of cement sampled in 2008 date to the mid-1800s.
Researchers will try to identify the barge by estimating its size and using maritime records to compare it with ships in the area at the time. Altmeier says documents indicate there were 23 ships that sunk, were abandoned or otherwise lost on Pickles Reef. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]
gCaptain Forums are Alive with the Sound of Typing
- Open America’s Water Act – POLL 25 June 2010, 5:05 am Today, Senator John McCain introduced a bill that would fully repeal the Jones Act and we’d like to hear where you stand on this issue. Read the……
- Open American Waters Act 25 June 2010, 4:34 am Mike, John, I am just so unsure of where we (gCaptain members), sit on this topic, and so I wonder if there is any way you guys could conduct a……
The six opening’s (on both sides of the vessel, 12 opening’s in all) near the bow of the vessel that pulls in the oil “A Whale”, is billed as the largest oil skimmer vessel in the world docked at Norfolk International Terminal before sailing to the Gulf area this afternoon. The A Whale is 1115 feet long and 196 feet wide and can hold 1 million barrels of recovered oil. Joe Fudge, Daily Press / June 24, 2010
Giant Oil Skimmer Makes Stop in Norfolk on Way to Gulf Oil Cleanup
NORFOLK — After making a brief stop in Norfolk for refueling, U.S. Coast Guard inspections and an all-out publicity blitz intended to drum up public support, a giant tanker billed as the world’s largest oil skimming vessel set sail Friday for the Gulf of Mexico where it hopes to assist in the oil-cleanup effort.
The Taiwanese-owned, Liberian-flagged ship dubbed the “A Whale” stands 10 stories high, stretches 1,115 feet in length and has a nearly 200-foot beam. It displaces more water than an aircraft carrier.
Hawsepiper: I’ve Got to Say…
My new generator kicks bubblegum and chews ass. Twice the power, 1/3 the size, half the noise, and, this is no BS, the generator house is cooler than ambient temp. Usually it’s a 100% shit show in there this time of year. Now, next year when Old Yeller (the other genset) reaches 15,000 hours, she’ll be heading out behind the barn instead of going to the vet’s office… you know, pistols for two, breakfast for one after?
Pay no attention to the less-than pristine coloration of the louvers. This winter when it’s assy outside, they’ll be getting a gloss coat of white. I’m a dick like that. I hate dirty fingerprints, so everything gets painted white. No hiding.
see also: doldrums »
Saturday, June 26, 2010 – Indian villagers watch the Panama-registered vessel Aegean Glory, detained near Diamond Harbour in the Bay of Bengal, nearly 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal state. Indian authorities have detained the Pakistan-bound ship after it was found to be carrying a cargo of military hardware, including rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns, police said Saturday. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
India Detains Pakistan-Bound Ship Carrying Weapons
CALCUTTA, India — The Panama-registered vessel MV Agean Glory sailed from Monrovia, Liberia, to Bangladesh via Mauritius. It then traveled to Calcutta, police said. The origin of the weapons was not immediately known.
The vessel offloaded civilian goods including a car in Calcutta, which also serves as a port for mountainous Nepal, top police official Bhupinder Singh told The Associated Press.
- more »
- TIMES OF INDIA – Karachi-bound ship carrying arms sets sail for Kolkata »
Is Louisiana’s Oil-Blocking Sand Berm Project Doomed?
80 BEATS / DISCOVER – Scientists raised several objections to the state’s first proposal last month to build a long line of sand berms on 10 May. One key concern was that taking sand from in front of the Chandeleur Islands would make them more vulnerable to erosion. The state agreed to change its approach by taking sand from a site further away and then pumping it through pipes to build the berms (ScienceNOW).
However, that didn’t happen. Louisiana officials said they couldn’t get the pipes built in time, and asked the feds to let them dredge near Chandeleur at least until the other site was ready. OK, the Interior Department said—you’ve got a week…
On March 20th 2001, the P-36, stationed over Roncador, sank after three explosions left 11 workers dead. At the time, the world’s biggest semisubmersible had been producing 84,000 b/d and 1.3 million cu m/d of gas.
The P-36 had been projected to produce 90,000 b/d of crude by the end of the year and to peak at its capacity of 180,000 b/d by 2004. Cause of the explosions were unknown although Petrobras said there had been a gas leak that escaped into the column where the blasts took place.
Water flooded the platform’s pontoons, causing the platform to list at a 25° angle. The platform commenced sinking, despite 4,100t of nitrogen being pumped into the flooded compartments at a rate of 200 l./hour in an attempt to discharge about 15% of the estimated 7 million litres.
Maersk’s Sustainable Seafood Saga
The world’s largest container-shipping company, Maersk, made headlines throughout the seafood business press recently. In a case of good intentions, misunderstandings, and clarifications, the New Zealand government, Greenpeace, and John Sackton of SeafoodNews.com all played a role. Sustainable Ocean Project clears up the story and teases out a couple positive messages.
On May 27th, Greenpeace New Zealand announced that Maersk “refuses to transport unsustainable seafood including New Zealand species.” Maersk never issued its own press release on this commitment but a company executive was quoted in Greenpeace’s release saying they “recognize the global concerns over the overfishing of toothfish species and support efforts to curb this trade.”
Later that day, John Sackton reported, “Greenpeace gets some major shippers to refuse to transport toothfish, orange roughy.” For a company that transports 20% of the world’s seafood cargo, this could have major implications.
New BIW Ship Honors Navy SEAL
On Friday, Bath Iron Works played host to an emotional keel laying ceremony, marking an initial milestone in the construction of a destroyer named in Michael Murphy’s honor, the DDG-112.
In the days of wooden vessels, the laying of the long backbone timber of the ship, upon which everything else would balance, was a celebrated event. In today’s steel shipbuilding process, the traditional ceremony revolves around the completion of the first of several nearly 900-ton building block units to be built.
In addition to honoring Murphy, the DDG-112 represents the final ship in the DDG-51 Flight IIA line, a modernized subsection of the Arleigh Burke class first put into service in 2000.
NJ: Port Authority to Buy Former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne in Effort to Expand Ports
BAYONNE — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is buying a huge chunk of the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne and all of the Global Terminal container port in Jersey City as part of a plan to ensure the future growth of the region’s ports.
Under terms of the deal disclosed by the Port Authority tonight, Bayonne will receive payments totaling $235 million spread over 24 years, including $135 million for the 130 acres of Ocean Terminal, plus almost 100 underwater acres surrounding the peninsula. The agency will pay the city another $100 million for permanent roadway easements to assure that trucks and other vehicles always have access to the site.
- more »
- NJ.com – Bayonne dock workers give thumbs up to Port Authority plan for expanded container port instead of housing »
NOAA Ship Delaware II to Collect Tunas, Swordfish, Water Samples on Deepwater Horizon Spill Study
NOAA ship Delaware II departs Key West, Fla., today to collect tunas, swordfish and sharks, to gather data about the conditions these highly migratory species are experiencing in waters around the Gulf of Mexico spill site.
During the two-week mission, the research vessel will use longline fishing gear to capture the fish, and assess their environment using sophisticated water chemistry monitoring instruments. Researchers will only retain the fish needed to get enough samples for the study. Every effort is made to release any animals caught but not needed for sampling. Some may also be fitted with satellite tags to help determine how much time these highly migratory animals spend in oiled and unoiled waters.
Oceanographic Surface Drifters Deployed by Florida Peninsula Command
The buoys, Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoys (SLDMB), are air-deployable, standard oceanographic surface drifters that report their GPS positions every 30 minutes, via a satellite system to a Coast Guard Operational System Center. Members of the Florida Peninsula Command Post (FPCP) Unified Command are utilizing these additional buoys to gain more information about water motion near the Florida Panhandle and Eddy Franklin.
The motor vessels Sea Sub and Ocean Star are actively patrolling the loop current west of Dry Tortugas using visual observations and collection nets to monitor and assess this area. The 96’ offshore supply vessel, Richard L. Becker is patrolling a broad region of the central Gulf of Mexico to provide real-time surface monitoring near the Eddy Franklin.
The drift tracks of all Coast Guard drifters currently deployed in the Gulf of Mexico can be viewed at: http://ocgweb.marine.usf.edu//DrifterMaps/OilDrifters_all_active.php
OpEd – Lifting the Deepwater Moratorium: Loss of Life Takes Backseat
HUFFINGTON POST – In his 22-page order Feldman gave passing reference, in a footnote, to the deaths of the 11 on the Deepwater Horizon and the vast destruction of wildlife and eco-systems caused by the spill. He also trivialized the the loss of generations-long fishing and seafood businesses caused by this disaster.
In his order, he was concerned about the government’s generalizing the massive failure of the Horizon’s safety systems to all deepwater rigs, asserting that the ban should be rig-specific, ignoring the fact that all deepwater rigs use virtually identical technology that just failed so catastrophically. The Interior Department has pledged to rewrite the moratorium order to answer Fedlman’s assertions, also appealing the stay that he issued.
OSG Vision; photo by Tugster
Other Watersheds 7: The Delaware; on Tugster
Many thanks to Jeff Schurr and Capt. John Curdy, who gave me a first-rate tour of 20ish miles of greater Philadelphia waterfront from the Delaware line up to the Delair and Betsy Ross Bridges. According to a studied source: “Of the 360 major American ports, the Delaware River ranks second in total tonnage shipped, and eighth in the dollar value of the cargo. Every year, 2600 ships call into our port, which claims to employ 75,000 people.”
More posts and maps on Philly–in all its vibrancy as a port– in the next few days, but for now, a sampling, an overview of old and new, starting with the most threatened ones…
PC Purgatory. Increased Complexity Equals Reduced Reliability
The Marine Installer’s Rant – So for starters, what could go wrong with a Windows based computer on your boat? Everything!. PC’s have eaten thousands of pages of my work over the years, and I can barely keep the one on my desk consistently operating. And now you want it to perform in a marine environment, and as the primary source for the vessel navigation? Blue screens of death, frozen pages, and resets, are all things PC users have had to live with throughout the years.
Lets take a look under the hood, and see what kind of stuff we have there. Starting from left to right is a Sea Level four port serial to USB converter, and thankfully labeled. Plugged into it is the Insight sounder, Insight radar, GPS, and heading sensor. The Sea Level box is connected to the silver USB hub box, along with the Airmar weather station. The leg bone connected to the knee bone…
Pitching tilting forward and backward (rotational, along y-axis about the center point):
six degrees of freedom and the drunken sailor
BOWSPRITE - follow the drunken sailors and sing along… »
Tampa: Coast Guard flights from Clearwater to oil spill show “a huge, grand-scale thing”
To Petty Officer Kelly Smith, making his sixth flight over the gulf to observe the oil spill, “it’s really remarkable just how much stuff is out there. It’s a huge grand-scale thing.”
In the war against the spill, Smith and other crew members are forward scouts. They fly from the Clearwater air station, scanning gulf waters to see if the enemy has advanced. And the next day, they or another crew will fly again, and again and again, trying each day to pinpoint the oil’s leading edge. They use radar, infrared, cameras and eyeballs.
VIDEO and more »
Tons of Oil Collected with Homemade Invention
CNN – Several shrimp boats troll the waters off the Florida panhandle – an odd sight these days, since fishing has been banned in the area.
These vessels are not looking for shrimp: they are hunting oil on the surface of the water. And soon, these boats will be outfitted with a homemade contraption that can pick up tons of the stuff in just a few hours.
Boat captain Gerry Matherne, a second-generation oil industry veteran and a contractor for BP, invented the contraption. He is using his invention to help clean up the oil leaking from the damaged well following the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
- VIDEO and more »
Tricky Sea Ice Predictions Call for Scientists to Open Their Data
BITTER END – Wired.com is reporting:
With sea ice levels in the Arctic at record lows this month, a new report comparing scientists’ predictions calls for caution in over-interpreting a few weeks worth of data from the North Pole.
The Sea Ice Outlook, which will be released this week, brings together more than a dozen teams’ best guesses at how much sea ice will disappear by the end of the warm season in September.
Towmasters – Knives for Mariners: A Clarification
On June 5th I posted about the trouble that survivors from the Deepwater Horizon disaster had during their evacuation of the doomed rig. Specifically, while being towed away from the rig and the crude oil burning on the water’s surface beneath it, they fetched up into the raft’s sea painter and were held fast. This was discovered when the rescue craft ceased to make sternway and the raft tilted over at a 45-degree angle, dumping some of the survivors into the sea.
As fortune would have it the rescue craft that was towing them, deployed from the supply boat that had been working the rig when the blowout occurred, was manned by at least one seafarer that carried a multi-tool which included a blade of some sort. This was tossed to the raft and they were able to cut themselves free.
I wish I could see video of the under-heavy-pressure throw and the catch: butterfingers = death! Whether they were subject to a knife ban by their company, Tidewater Marine, is unknown at this time. What matters is that they had a knife when a knife was needed, and it was used to save lives.
Unofficial CG Blog: A Challenge to Maritime Domain Awareness
Here is an interesting article discussing how the Iranians are using shell corporations and changes of name and ownership to disguise their control of ships being used to circumvent sanctions. This would seem to have important implications for any attempt to maintain Maritime Domain Awareness, and identify potentially hostile ships attempting to enter US ports. As we attempt to do this, let’s make sure it is more effective than the TSA’s “no fly list.”
USCG and Navy New Global Response Cutter Made Entirely of Composite Materials
Sea Trials Giving New Boat a Workout
WASHINGTON state — The Westport Shipyard began sea trials Friday on what it hopes will be the next generation vessel for the U.S. Coast Guard and the Navy. The 43 Global Response Cutter is 43 meters or 141 feet long and is made entirely out of composite materials.
Purcell said the Shipyard is now trying to convince the U.S. government to shift to a composite build for its Navy and Coast Guard ships rather than the existing aluminum and steel builds.
“You have to think Boeing,” Philip Purcell, a vice president at the Westport Shipyard said. “Boeing is going composite because its lighter, stronger and gives you double the cycles.”
Virginia Beach Man to Serve 37 Months for Conspiracy to Bribe Panama Officials for Contracts
RICHMOND, Va. — A 64-year-old Virginia Beach man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to bribe former Panamanian officials to secure contracts to maintain buoys and lighthouses outside the Panama Canal.
John Warwick was sentenced to 37 months Friday in U.S. District Court for conspiring to pay off foreign government officials to get business for Ports Engineering Consultants Corp. He also was ordered to serve two years supervised release after his prison term, and to forfeit $331,000 in proceeds of the crime.
Another conspirator, Charles Jumet, was sentenced in April to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]
USNS INVINCIBLE and USNS OBSERVATION ISLAND – Photo by Nate the Mate / Flickr
VT Halter Marine to Christen New Research Vessel at Pascagoula Shipyard
PASCAGOULA, Miss. — VT Halter Marine Inc. will hold the christening for the a new missile range instrumentation ship Saturday at its Pascagoula shipyard. Susan Lorenzen Black of Bellevue, Wash., will christen the ship the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen. Black is the daughter of ship’s namesake, the late Dr. Howard O. Lorenzen.
The vessel will replace USNS Observation Island as the support platform for the Cobra Judy Replacement Program, which provides worldwide, high-quality, high-resolution, multi-wavelength radar intelligence data. It will be crewed by the Military Sealift Command. Upon completion, the vessel will be added to a fleet of other oceanographic and hydrographic survey and special mission ships. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]
An oil worker’s hat lies on a polluted Louisiana beach. Photograph: Lee Celano/Reuters
Waiving the Jones Act – Sending a Message or Making a Buck?
KENNEBEC CAPTAIN – Oil is spewing into the Gulf at the rate of 60,000 bbl/day, what is that? If you are Florida Senator George LeMieux, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison or John Cornyn of Texas it is a perfect opportunity to weaken the Jones Act.
The story is here Gulf coast senators introduce bill to allow foreign ships to help with BP oil spill clean-up. The story explains that the Jones Act does not apply to the clean-up outside three miles where the foreign ships would be used, but they want to waiver the law anyway.
Still, Hutchison said in a radio interview Monday that there was no reason why the U.S. should not be as open as possible to foreign aid.
Just in case, I suppose.
Victorian-style sailor, complete with grog. The wording ‘What shall we do with drunken sailor?’ is printed on the base, which topples the sailor over when pressed. Designed exclusively for Brunel’s SS Great Britain.