Grand jury indicts captain in Missouri duck boat sinking

The Stretch Duck 7 recovered from Table Rock Lake, Mo., is undergoing analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB photo.

A federal grand jury has accused the captain of a duck boat that sank in Missouri last summer of misconduct, negligence and inattention to duty in the accident that killed 17 people.

The indictment charges Kenneth Scott McKee, 51, who operated Stretch Duck 7 on Table Rock Lake July 19, with a number of violations including:

  • Not properly assessing the weather and going out with lightning in the area;
  • Operating the vessel in violation of conditions and limitations on its Coast Guard Certificate of...

New special agent in charge for Coast Guard Investigative Service Southeast

Coast Guard Investigative Service agents transfer Doel Joel Ortiz Cirino, one of Puerto Rico’s Top Most Wanted criminals, from the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier to local authorities at Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, May 3, 2018. Ortiz Cirino was wanted by local law enforcement for the 2017 murder of a 3-year-old female. Coast Guard photo/Ricardo Castrodad.

Zinnia James, an Iraq veteran and longtime criminal investigator with the Department of Defense, has been appointed as the first Hispanic woman to serve as a special agent in charge in the Coast Guard Investigative Service. James will lead six CGIS Resident Agent Offices overseeing an area of 1.7 million square miles, including Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and 34 foreign nations and territories.

“I am thrilled to be able to appoint Zinnia to this SAC position,” said Michael...

German bulk carrier company fined $3.2 million for ‘magic pipe’ oil discharges

The bulk carrier Marguerita was equipped with a 'magic pipe' to conceal illegal oily waste discharges, according to U.S. prosecutors. MST photo.

A German shipping company that transports clay slurry for use in U.S. paper mills pleaded guilty and was sentenced Nov. 2 in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and maintaining falsified logbooks to conceal use of a “magic pipe” to conceal discharges of oily bilge waste, the U.S. Justice Department said.

MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), based in Bavaria, Germany, pleaded guilty to the charges involving one of its bulk carriers, the 607’x76’, 27,674 dwt Marguer...

Coast Guard crackdown on Lake Michigan illegal charters

Boarding officers from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor prepare to approach a boat operator on Lake Michigan to ensure there are enough life jackets onboard for each passenger, August 18, 2018. Coast Guard photo/ Master CPO Alan Haraf.

The Coast Guard issued fines and pulled one professional mariner’s credential during a campaign to enforce rules against boats operating as illegal charters on Lake Michigan.

The Chicago-area sweeps, conducted over the summer in cooperation with local agencies including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Chicago Police Marine Unit, were part of a larger national effort by Coast Guard districts to target unlicensed and uninspected vessels for hire in their regions.

Some campaigns...

Bollinger delivers 31st FRC to Coast Guard

The 31st Fast Response Cutter in Key West, Fla. Bollinger Shipyards photo

Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., has delivered the Terrell Horne, the 31st Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard took delivery on Oct. 25, 2018, in Key West, Fla.

Powered by two MTU diesels, producing a total of 5,762 hp, the 154’x25′ Sentinel-class patrol craft has a flank speed over 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26′ cutter boat. The FRC has been described as an...

Mariners can replace credentials lost in Michael for free

MMC cover and U.S. Coast Guard Shield courtesy U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has issued a bulletin on how U.S. mariners can receive free duplicate merchant mariner credentials (MMCs) to replace originals lost or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Michael or subsequent flooding.

The bulletin said that mariners should follow the following steps to obtain an expedited replacement credential:

• Provide a statement of loss to the National Maritime Center (NMC) either by fax to (304) 433-3412 or via e-mail to [email protected]. The statement should contain:...

Icebreakers carry on, as new funding remains uncertain

Scientists and engineers deploy an ice tethered profiler on the Arctic ice Sept. 30, 2018, about 350 miles northeast of Barrow, Alaska, from the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. NyxoLyno Cangemi/Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard completed science missions with one of its remaining icebreakers while repairing the other this summer, as uncertainty continues over when the government will start building the first new polar ship in decades.

The crew of the 420’ medium icebreaker Healy completed their second mission of their Arctic West Summer 2018 deployment Oct. 18, returning to their Seattle homeport after studying stratified ocean dynamics in the Arctic (SODA) for the Office of Naval Research.

The project,...

Federal audit knocks Coast Guard oversight of TWIC program

Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Fairchild, with the U.S. Coast Guard Incident Management Division, checks a port security guard's Transportation Worker Identification Credential  (TWIC) at Young Brothers in Honolulu. U.S. Coast Guard photo/PA3 Luke Clayton

Numerous shortcomings in the Coast Guard’s handling of the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) program could jeopardize security at many high-risk maritime facilities, according to a new audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General.

“The Coast Guard needs to improve its oversight of the TWIC program to reduce the risk of transportation security incidents,” according to the Sept. 28 audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that was sent to Rear Adm. John...

Rescue operations underway in wake of Hurricane Michael

A capsized passenger vessel as seen by Coast Guard crew members aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft during an aerial assessment of hurricane damage between Clearwater and Apalachicola, Fla., Oct. 11, 2018. Coast Guard photo/PO2 Ashley J. Johnson.

Coast Guard boat and aviation units deployed along the Florida Panhandle coast a day after Hurricane Michael slammed Panama City, before moving swiftly northeast over the still-sodden Carolinas.

The storm center made landfall around 2 p.m. Wednesday near Mexico Beach, a resort town about 24 miles east of Panama City.  Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called the town “ground  zero” for the hurricane impacts and said it was virtually wiped out.

A massive search and...

Weeks Marine gets first New York Coast Guard COIs

The Weeks Marine tugboat Katherine is one of two vessels that received the first Subchapter M certificates of inspection from the Coast Guard in New York. Weeks Marine photo.

The Coast Guard’s New York sector presented its first Subchapter M certificates of inspection to Weeks Marine, Inc. (WMI), Cranford, N.J., for achieving full compliance with the regulations on a pair of its tugboats.

The 77.1’x26’x10.6’, 2,000-hp Elizabeth and the 99.1’x32’x14’, 3,000-hp Katherine are the first to go through the COI process with the sector’s New York Waterways Branch.

The Weeks Marine tug Elizabeth. Weeks Marine photo.

Cmdr. Jacob Hobson presented the COIs to Ronnie Clifford,...

Join Our Newsletter
Enter your email to receive a weekly round-up of shipping news.