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Monthly Maritime News Roundup: October, 2016

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^ Image “News Dice Show Coverage Of Current Events” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

October might be known for festive frights, but a number of events in the maritime industry gave us some real world scares. Hurricane Matthew kicked off the month, weaving its way from the Caribbean to the Southeastern United States. Its destructive path ushered in 100 mph winds, storm surges as high as 9 feet, with rainfall and flooding. The price tag for damages is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Read More

In the Wake of Tragedy: Updates on Missing Ship El Faro

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Following the heartbreaking tragedy of the El Faro’s October loss, pieces of the puzzle are slowly moving into place: the NTSB releases a Preliminary Report on the investigation; Navy salvage and diving teams are tasked to search for the missing vessel; the owners of the container ship establish a relief fund for the grieving families of lost crew; and lawsuits – one to the tune of $100 million – are filed against those who may be held accountable.

Earlier this October, cargo ship El Faro was believed to have been caught in the clutches of the devastating Hurricane Joaquin, an encounter that would ultimately lead to its loss. The 790-foot, roll-on, roll-off container ship was in the middle of an otherwise regular run between Florida and Puerto Rico when they issued a distress call, detailing lost propulsion, flooding and listing. It would be the ship’s final communication. Read More

Search and Rescue Ops After Hurricane Joaquin

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Hurricane Joaquin is about as “extreme” as extreme weather events can get – ushering in harsh winds, storm surges, and even flooding dubbed as a ‘thousand-year-event,’ – its effects were felt on land and sea in full force, keeping local governments and federal agencies busy with search, rescue, recovery and emergency aid.

In South Carolina, record rainfall caused by Hurricane Joaquin and a separate low pressure system, brought deadly flooding on roadways. In a single, 12-hour period along the course of the harsh weather, for example, there were 315 vehicle collisions and over 750 calls for assistance from motorists. The President of the United States had declared a state of emergency to authorize federal aid. On-hand to assist South Carolina were the National Guard, and shared resources from states Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee. Other states had declared emergencies too, including Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. Read More

September in the Arctic

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The Arctic has been one of the biggest points of interest in the maritime industry over the last few years. With climate change creating massive changes in the once forbidding region, more and more actors are entering the picture – governments establishing stronger footholds; natural resource companies angling for opportunities to explore and extract; shipping companies exploring more efficient routes to their destinations; conservationists advocating for the environment and the livelihoods of local communities; and travel operators and their clientele hoping for tourism revenues and adventure; just to name a few. It’s a complex and dynamic time for the Arctic, and this September saw a particularly heavy load of news for the region. Kemplon Engineering runs down some of these developments. Read More