Oil on our doorstep

You can see its very close in relation to our Academy. I know the slick has been creeping up the Galveston channel. I’ll see if I can get some pictures tomorrow.

I believe bolivar ferry has shut down operations as well.

The MV Texas Responder is literally a stones throw away from this spill. Not sure exactly how its used, as it may be geared more for open water clean up.

Some pictures provided by one of my classmates
http://gcaptain.com/photos-show-houston-ship-channel-oil-spill/
http://gcaptain.com/cleanup-crews-battle-significant-oil-spill-in-houston-ship-channel/

Any idea whose fault it was yet?

Not yet. I do know what Kirby boat it was and have heard conditions were foggy.

Bad intersection though with the bolivar cut.

Here is a good one from a buddy of mine.

GOD help them if one Duck or Fish dies! When it is cheaper for a company to kill ten people rather than one Duck, something is seriously wrong.

[QUOTE=Tugs;133628]GOD help them if one Duck or Fish dies! When it is cheaper for a company to kill ten people rather than one Duck, something is seriously wrong.[/QUOTE]

The trick is if 10 people died in this accident (on the American boat anyway) they’d probably be Republicans because there are so many of them in this industry, especially down south on the towboats. The kind of people who are interested duck killing by way of petroleum products wouldn’t take much notice of the 10 dead republicans but they’d launch a million-man-march on DC for the one duck!

The reporting on this spill is as varied and starting to get as sensational as the missing airliner.

Trying to contain a spill with the tidal currents involved is a Sisyphean task.

Where’s Costner when you need him? Haha.

And to think those pilots, who handle no more ships per pilot than anywhere else, want a giant raise and they’re already the highest paid around, if not nearly the highest. Keep it up with the accidents!

Good write up: http://www.maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/The-Final-Word-with-Joseph-Keefe/December-2013/Houston--Home-for-the-Happy-Holidays-.aspx

Someone t-boned someone, barge must have crossed in front of the ship. Who’s fault? Time will tell. At least it was Kirby who is alleged to run a ligit company vs the Mel Oliver situation etc.

Nice! Assign blame before a single detail is known. WTF does anyone’s salary have to do with anything? Are you a migratory bird species lover? If you want to see actual collective expertise and this forum at its finest, go re-read the emergency ship towing thread. Otherwise you should save your amateur speculation for the local paper’s website.

[QUOTE=flotsam;133677]Nice! Assign blame before a single detail is known. WTF does anyone’s salary have to do with anything? Are you a migratory bird species lover? If you want to see actual collective expertise and this forum at its finest, go re-read the emergency ship towing thread. Otherwise you should save your amateur speculation for the local paper’s website.[/QUOTE]

Z’s got a point… I’m not saying he’s 100% right, but pilots are paid the ridiculous sums of money that they are in order to prevent things like this from happening… I’m not attempting to answer this question in any way by asking it rhetorically, this is more for everyone to consider on their own, but I think situations like these bear asking: are we getting our money’s worth?

CGID #: 167
Question: You are on a large merchant vessel entering a U.S. port. There is a Pilot on board and he has the conn. Which statement is TRUE?

A: Answer B: The Master is responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the Pilot is employed for his local knowledge.

I think pilots really should be held to a greater liability in these things, I don’t think it will ever happen since it’s been this way internationally for decades, but I can hope.

You kidding me? Look at a state pilot association’s website for their mission statement and their charter outlining what their responsibility is to the state. It’s usually to prevent accidents by providing local knowledge and ship handling expertise to vessel masters; a condition of a ship transiting that state’s waters is the employment of a STATE APPOINTED pilot. The states and pilots bring such scrutiny upon themselves through their existence. The salary comment is that if you’re going to increase rates (Asking for a raise) don’t give people another reason to not give you one. You ought to not have collisions and oil spills in recent memory.

“The primary responsibility of a Houston Pilot is to protect the public interest by facilitating the safe and efficient movement of vessels in our state waters along the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bar.”

With that said what the fuck, who’s fault it is we don’t know, I already said that, but its the pilots job to avoid this shit!

Who did I blame? Either the barge guy, or pilot (ship master), unless it was a mechanical issue. Then I still blame the master of either vessel!

Amateur? Yes I don’t have ANY experience in conning vessels in pilotage water!!!

Speaking of migratory birds, I’m glad this wasn’t by my duck spot. I love eating migratory birds.

I guess you could call me a bird lover.

I’ll post this article, as you have to subscribe to view the entire thing.

[U]Houston Chronicle[/U]

Spill brings concerns of potential economic impact
Economic impact: Closure of Ship Channel could bring refineries to a standstill
Image 1 out of 43
Emergency crews work along a barge that spilled oil after it was struck by a ship near the Texas City Dike on Sunday. Dozens of ships are in involved in clean-up efforts.

By Kiah Collier and Erin Mulvaney

March 23, 2014 | Updated: March 23, 2014 11:43pm

The Houston Ship Channel remained closed to marine traffic Sunday as efforts continued to remove up to 168,000 gallons of heavy oil that spilled into Galveston Bay on Saturday afternoon, inciting concerns about potential widespread economic impact and closure of the eight refineries that make up the world’s second-largest petrochemical complex.

The 52-mile Ship Channel, connecting the country’s largest exporting port to the Gulf of Mexico, will not reopen until the water is clear of the fuel oil that spilled after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City Dike, which officials said Sunday could take several days, if not weeks.

The normally busy waterway sometimes closes for up to several days this time of year when heavy fog affects visibility, but government and industry officials said Sunday a closure lasting longer than that could force refineries to shut down and lead to millions of dollars in economic losses.

“An extended closure to one of the busiest commercial ports in the world would have a major economic impact on the companies waiting in queue,” said maritime lawyer Thomas C. Fitzhugh III, president of the Longshore Institute.

The precautionary closure of Gulf Coast refineries in 2008 during Hurricane Ike sent gasoline prices skyrocketing in the southeastern U.S., to more than $5 a gallon in some areas.

Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, said Sunday it was too early for the company to estimate how the closure will impact its refinery production rates.

Massive daily impact

But industry officials said that refineries are dependent on constant shipments, meaning that they are almost immediately affected when ship traffic is halted during a closure.

Thomas Marian, in-house counsel for the Buffalo Marine Service, which owns a fleet of barges - the bulk dedicated to fueling ships - said refineries need to be stocked at 90 percent to 95 percent of capacity at all times.

With hundreds of ships stalled, “significant amounts of cargo will be placed on hold,” he said, noting that for his company, closure of the channel has an economic impact of about $7 million a day per ship.

A Ship Channel closure lasting four days or more would cause significant economic problems, he said, particularly with the movement of chemicals, including molten sulphur and shale gas.

“You can go a few days without significant repercussions,” said Capt. Bill Diehl, president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, a maritime industry group. “With a long-term closure you will see a big financial impact.”

The eight refineries using the Ship Channel make up about 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity, according to government statistics. Economic impact data calculated for the Port of Houston Authority in 2012 shows daily commerce along the waterway, home to more than 150 private industrial facilities, totals more than $300 million.

Marian said the spill is considered an upper-medium level spill, making it nowhere close to one of the top 10 biggest in history, but that it could have a particularly adverse affect on shipping activity because it occurred near a key intersection where he estimated some 11,000 ships pass through every month.

The spill occurred near what is called the The Texas City Y, so named because it’s the point where ships can turn west to enter the Port of Texas City or continue along the Ship Channel.

Financial impact unclear

Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman, whose Precinct 2 encompasses a large portion of the Ship Channel, said a closure lasting a day or two is not a big deal, but that he was told by Port of Houston Authority officials this one could last longer.

“It is concerning when you start getting closures of multiple days in a row,” he said. “I think one day, like I said, is not unheard of and certainly wouldn’t be too disruptive but multiple days you start really having an impact on our local economy, and regionally and nationally as well … It just really highlights the importance of the Ship Channel and what they do out there.”

Port of Houston Authority Chairman Janiece Longoria said Sunday it is “unclear at this point how long the channel may be closed or the financial impact to industry stakeholders, and to POHA and its customers,” but that a Ship Channel closure is “always of concern to the Port of Houston Authority and to all Houston Ship Channel users.”

Nathan Wesely, president of West Gulf Maritime Association, noted the Coast Guard has established an emergency safety zone in the area where the spill occurred that is enforceable through March 29, meaning the closure could last until then.

“The sooner they open it, the less disruption there will be,” he said. “With ships backed up and trying to get in and get out, the economic impact gets worse.”

Energy and shipping are not the only industries affected.

Representatives from Carnival Cruise line and Royal Caribbean reported Sunday that thousands on board their ships were waiting to dock in Galveston, and said they were having to revise cruise schedules.

“Carnival sincerely apologizes to its guests for this disruption to their vacation plans,” the cruise line said in a statement.

Morman said it is “too early to tell what happened” on Saturday that led to the spill, but expressed confidence in the U.S. Coast Guard’s ability to act swiftly, noting they are well aware of what is at stake.

“I know those guys are top notch so I’m very confident that we’ve got the best and brightest working on it, it is just a matter of how quickly can they get things done and get everybody back to business,” he said. “I know that’ll happen as soon as possible, it’s just a matter of when would that be?”

Diehl, at the Port Bureau, said the level of ship traffic has remained steady in recent years in attributing the crash to heavy fog. No restrictions were in place, however, he said.

“On a day like yesterday, what you normally do is wait until the fog burns off,” he said.

Again, why don’t you post one factual component of the incident before you start linking fault with compensation? “Who’s fault is it, we don’t know, but it’s the pilot’s job to avoid this shit” is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read here. THAT is amateur bullshit. If some moron on the back watch cuts in front of you in a narrow channel leaving no time for evasive maneuvers, then that accident was not avoidable by at least one party. If it turns out the pilot was grossly negligent, have a field day. Until then, what the F do you know? Apparently just what you can Google about the Houston Pilots.

Jury of my peers? If you’re my peer, no thanks. I’ll wait til the facts come out.

From what I see in the pictures, the barge was hit on its starboard side. The Houston Ship Channel usually holds right of way (I think) for vessels crossing it via the ICWW and I am certain that the vessel that was more restricted in its maneuverability (ie the deeper draft ship) holds right of way. But even if I am incorrect in all this, [B]the barge was hit on its starboard side.[/B] Clearly the pilots fault (sarcasticly).

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;133681]CGID #: 167
Question: You are on a large merchant vessel entering a U.S. port. There is a Pilot on board and he has the conn. Which statement is TRUE?

A: Answer B: The Master is responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the Pilot is employed for his local knowledge.

I think pilots really should be held to a greater liability in these things, I don’t think it will ever happen since it’s been this way internationally for decades, but I can hope.[/QUOTE]

George A Quick
MASTER / PILOT RELATIONSHIP (pdf)

No American legal decision has ever held that compulsory pilotage was advisory in nature,

“Confusing the issue on checks and balances in the relationship is the mistaken perception that the pilot is aboard in an advisory capacity. This is not true in actual practice in pilotage waters or in the law as applied in North America. The pilot “conducting” the ship gives all the directions concerning the ships movement and it is the master who may advise the pilot as to the capabilities of the ship or its equipment or crew.

Did I say, or imply gross negligence? Did I say the pilot was indeed at fault? I’ve continually said who knows at this point (not me). Someone’s taking this personally.

What are pilots for if it doesn’t include avoiding collisions in narrow channels? Enlighten me.

We all know that if some bozo cuts out in front of you without time to do anything he is at fault, but in reality when is it ever %100 one vessels fault in the eye of the real world? Too many NTSB reports say otherwise.

Even still, in one sentence you say you don’t know who’s at fault, and then go on to reiterate the pilot’s responsibility to avoid collisions. Obviously you can not be enlightened.

We all ought to be considered innocent until proven guilty on here of all places. Hope you make more money than the rest of us so that when we collide I can automatically blame you. And then say I never blamed you.