Here’s a quick roundup of some of the latest headlines in the maritime world.
Morganza Spillway will open, barge will be sunk in Bayou Chene
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will officially open the Morganza Control Structure and Floodway June 2.
Current forecasts indicate the river will reach a stage in excess of 62 feet at Red River Landing. Corps District Commander Michael Clancy requested permission to operate the Morganza Floodway to prevent the flood control structure from over-topping, to minimize stress in leveed reaches, and to preserve encroachment on freeboard downstream.
The Corps currently anticipates the need to divert approximately 150,000 cubic feet per second into the floodway to avoid over-topping of the structure. It will gradually open the spillway to minimize impacts to wildlife, and allow federal and state resource agencies to coordinate and implement rescue efforts for various species.
Little Rock port officials planning for the worst, call Arkansas River conditions ‘unsafe’
Source: Talk Business & Politics
As the Arkansas River reaches historic levels in central Arkansas, Little Rock Port Authority officials have halted all barge traffic amid concerns that waters will crest and create dangerous conditions on the waterway transportation system.
Following flooding upriver along the Arkansas River system, known officially as the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, central Arkansas officials are anxiously awaiting word from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers if the river will crest and overflow the levee protecting the sixth-longest tributary in the U.S.
2,100 gallons of oil spilled in Louisiana; cleanup effort underway after leak secured
Approximately 2,100 gallons of crude oil spilled from the Bowley Cap Facility in Lake Bully Bonds into a marshy area surrounding the facility on Sunday, May 26.
The spill resulted from a mechanical failure at the facility. The leak has since been secured. Cleanup operations are underway to recover the spilled product.
Search Called Off for Missing Maersk Boxship Officer
Source: The Maritime Executive
The search for a Maersk container ship officer who went overboard last weekend was unsuccessful and has been called off, according to Maersk Line.
At about 0930 on Sunday morning, the sub-Panamax container ship Maersk Patras reported that the second officer had gone overboard in the Saint Lawrence River, about 100 nm to the northeast of Quebec City. The Marine Search & Rescue Centre (MSRC) of the Canadian Coast Guard immediately lauched a search effort with the help of several vessels, including Maersk Patras, the CCG response vessel Cap de Rabast, the pilot boat Grandes Eaux, and the CCG hovercraft Sipu Muin. Airborne assets also participated in the effort.
The search was not successful, and MSRC called it off on Sunday evening at about 2000 local time.
Crane Fatality: Commanding Officer Temporarily Relieved of Duty
Source: The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Coast Guard has released the results of an investigation into the January 31 crane accident in the Coast Guard buoy yard in Homer, which resulted in the death of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski.
The investigation found improper operation of the shoreside crane was the direct cause of the mishap – neither of the two men operating the crane were qualified to perform the duties being undertaken. Kozloski, in conversation with another within the operating envelope, was struck by the toppling crane after a lift exceeding its capabilities was attempted. The investigation revealed leadership deficiencies aboard the Cutter Hickory which contributed to inadequate crewmember training and complacency with shoreside operations.
Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, temporarily relieved the commanding officer of Homer-based Cutter Hickory citing a loss of confidence in the officer’s ability to perform his duties.
Arkansas company buys remainder of Branson duck boat fleet
Source: The Journal Times
The company that originally owned a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer killing 17 people has sold the remainder of its fleet to an Arkansas-based investment company.
Stacy Roberts, who owns DUKW Arkansas, LLC, said that his Hot Springs, Arkansas company purchased 18 duck boats on April 23 from Ride the Ducks International, which originally owned the ill-fated Branson duck boat that sank in July.