VA-NC Kommandor Susan taking bottom samples

VA – NC – Offshore Kitty Hawk Wind Area Survey:
Horizon Geosciences will be performing geotechnical surveys consisting of borehole drilling and sampling. The S/V KOMMANDOR SUSAN is expected to commence operations in the area 1 August 2020 and be on site for until approximately 15 Sep 2020, work will be conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the geotechnical works the vessel will be operating a drill rig and all vessels are requested to remain at least 500 m clear. KOMMANDOR SUSAN may be contacted on VHF-FM channels 16 and 12 or at cell 00 44 1224 672 306. For more information or questions, contact Matt Moulton at 44 0 778 666 3035. Charts: 12200 12204 12205 (5th District LNM Week 30/2020)

UK flagged. I guess it means returning to the UK without touching US soil if the Jones Act means anything.

She arrived from another job. Last port: New Bedford:

The name was familiar but I’d forgotten where from. Testing bottom composition for wind farms I can get behind.

She can’t get through Oregon Inlet, that we know.

Or return to New Bedford unless they have a waiver. Am I right?

She doesn’t carry any cargo between US ports


Are you sure about no passengers/crew? Maybe if they return or pick up pax/crew/equipment in New Bedford, they can’t be said to be transporting between ports.

I hope she carry a marine crew. (No crewless vessels of this size/type yet) Bound to be some Geophysical technicians as well. Don’t know if there are any “visitors” on board, but paying Pax is unlikely.

Maybe some Americans on board to observe the operation?
If so, would they have to go with her to UK, spend 2 weeks in quarantine and hope that there are flights back to US, then spend another 2 weeks in isolation? (If they are allowed back at all, that is)

By pax I mean scientists/technicians who aren’t going to be on board for transits to the UK or another foreign port. Too short a time to be concerned with crew changes.

Worst case, crew boat to shore I guess?
Lucky other countries don’t have laws like that.

It’s rather dicey for even crewboats in Oregon Inlet. It shifts so much. A pal works a charter on a daily basis. Never the same as the week or day before. A recent scallop boat “Monument” sits off the channel as the most recent victim of the ever moving channel.

You mean the Ocean Pursuit?:

The owner walked away and never looked back.

1 Like

I hope they got the scallops off before this mishap. Owner as you know, has been a no show during this debacle. The Inlet doesn’t care and is not very forgiving.

Highland Eagle was on the Lakes last year checking bottom conditions west of the Mackinac Bridge for a proposed Enbridge Co. pipeline tunnel. They ran down to Calcite (Rogers City) for crew change and supplies. UK flag with a Fugro drill/survey crew but Brit bridge staff. I guess those waivers are a dime a dozen.

Ticks me off they didn’t hire a US boat for the job. Worked out for the pilot’s though…CG said they needed someone aboard even on DP; big coin throughout the project.


The Jones Act has no effect on crew joining or leaving only passengers.
Geotechnical engineers would be signed on much the same as seismic crew. Observers could be signed on as supernumeraries, my wife signed on as a supernumerary, with a US passport, on a British registered ship and there was no problem .

1 Like

I have no problem with the crew change; what frosts me is a Canadian company with a rather poor pipeline safety record to begin with (their spill in the Kalamazoo River 6yrs ago is still jacking up my duck hunting spots) brought a UK registered vessel here to work in US water when we all know damn well there are lots of large US flag OSVs sitting dock side without work that had moon pools, deck space, and the ability to bolt on a core sample rig for drilling in water less than 500ft (264ft max along their survey track).

Come to think of it, would any US citizens arriving on a ship/boat coming from the US even be allowed ashore in the UK/Europe?

Isn’t there any other (and safer) place around there that they can call at to drop off anybody that is not needed for the crossing/transit to next job?

Does it “tick you off” when a US flag boat gets a job in a foreign country as well?

Closest safe port would be Norfolk appx 80-85 miles north. A very small staging (and shallow) area at Lynnhaven Inlet has supposedly been leased just inside the bridge by one of the wind farm groups. Oregon Inlet can probably be used with a shallow draft crewboat with a local captain just to switch out personnel. The old bridge debris is being barged up the Intracoastal to Norfolk or south about the same distance. Has added a few $$$$$$$$ to the project.

I would guess they were light. AFAIK most scalloping is done farther north in New England where most of the boats are based and that’s where they offload. I know of one owned in Newport News but they work out of Connecticut.