In the U.S. we are celebrating National Maritime Day today. After combing many news outlets it's clear that there is no coverage in the mainstream media.
National Maritime Day 2014 should put these issues front and center, there needs to be a cooperative effort to bring this to everyone's attention. The annual repetition of industry troubles may be the angle some journalists need to pick up the story. Wouldn't you love to see a "Still No Money for Critical Dredging" story for next year's National Maritime Day?
Ideas are welcome in the comments or by email.
Photo Courtesy of US Navy
Lightning can cause damage to many parts of a vessel. Protection from lightning can be achieved with simple materials and techniques.
While many commercial vessels are safe because of metal construction, fiberglass vessels can be very dangerous if the energy is not routed away from electronics and crew areas.
Every year there are new vessels and equipment brought into ports and harbors. If any of these new additions have poorly grounded connections your vessel can suffer from electrolysis. Serious damage can occur in weeks, so know how sacrificial anodes work and be sure and use them if you want to preserve your metal parts below the waterline.
It's that time of year again when risk of hypothermia rises. Be sure to review symptoms and treatments for hypothermia and stay safe this season.
The spring and autumn bring many hopes for new, exciting jobs. With these hopes come emails.
To answer some of the more common questions, here are a few resources to consider as you move forward in your maritime education.
Email if you still have questions.
The "Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act" passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill outlines a plan to conserve the gas for strategic use while selling the excess for a fair market profit.
Helium mismanagement threatens certain manufacturing processes in our industry. Some aluminum alloys must be shielded with helium for protection from oxidation and to concentrate heat in the weld area. An eventual loss of helium for private use will render these alloys obsolete. We will not be the only ones affected; medical imaging, electronics manufacturing, and many types of research depend on helium.
Next, the Senate must pass their version of this bill. It's the toughest step since there is no similar senate partnership as there is in the House Chamber. If the Senate can manage to pass this common sense bill the President will likely sign it into law. Chuck Hagel's recent confirmation to Secretary of Defense could help bend the ear of the administration even if the bill is imperfect. Hagel served the region where most of the world's helium is produced as U.S. Representative so he may be the key to finally getting this job done.
We can only hope that the ongoing helium crisis will be resolved soon. This is only the first test of approaching conservation issues in a long term healthy business strategy. Because the shortage is now being framed as a defense issue it will get additional scrutiny. Just remember, once it's all gone it's gone forever because it is very difficult to store.
Photo US Navy
Yesterday was About.Com's 17th birthday, it all started in 1996. That's a long time for an online brand but just a tick of the clock in the history of shipping. What were you doing in 1996?
Many organizations were still working through STCW training issues, it was a real circus after the amendments with many new training programs popping up overnight. Locally, environmental concerns about the Zebra Mussel turned to infrastructure concerns when the small mollusk had to be removed from long lengths of freshwater intake all around the Great Lakes. More businesses sprouted to remediate the mussels and keep them out of ballast water.
The environmental practices of the mid-1990's look much the same as they do today, only with much more human capital pushing adoption and efficiency forward. Thank you internet. The formal fight against pollution began forty three years ago.
On this day in 1970 Earth Day was founded in the United States to bring attention to environmental issues. Our environmental practices were disastrous at the time before the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Today, we are well on our way to much more efficient and clean global fleet. What local changes have had the most impact in your area?
Drop us an email or comment, we love to hear from readers.
It's a common question; What is that speed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour? The public doesn't always understand knots as a unit of measure even though the rough method for calculation is very simple.
Full precision calculation and rough estimates both have their uses, but don't use two digit precision for long distances or high speeds or you will have significant errors and that could be dangerous.
Photo Courtesy of NASA