Monthly Archives: June 2010

Funny video dramatizing an old maritime joke.

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Volunteer to help in the Gulf.

Enter your zip code to see what kind of volunteers are needed in your area.

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Boating Season in Full Swing

The 2010 boating season is in full swing, it is important to remember the basics of safety when on the water. We are offering some basic boating safety tips, hoping that you will have many fun and safe boating experiences.

Leave Alcohol on Shore: In 2008, alcohol was either a direct or indirect contributing factor in 35 percent of all boating fatalities.

Take a Boating Safety Course: More than 70 percent of all reported boating fatalities in 2008 occurred on boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety course. You may even qualify for a reduced insurance rate if you complete a safety course.

File a Float Plan: The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you always tell a friend or family member where you plan to go and when you will return. Make it a habit before leaving on any boat trip. The proper officials can be notified promptly if you don’t return when expected.

Be Weather-Wise: A calm day can quickly turn ugly on the water. Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and stay on top of the forecast while boating. Promptly heed all weather and storm advisories.

Use and Maintain the Right Safety Equipment:

  • Life Jackets and Personal Flotation Devices – State law requires each person on board to have a properly-fitting U.S. Coast Guard approved serviceable life jacket. Also, boats longer than 16 feet must have a throwable Personal Flotation Device.
  • Fire Extinguishers – If your boat has any enclosed compartments or a false floor, you must carry a Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher. Make sure it is charged and accessible.
  • Boat Lights – Always test your boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
  • Emergency Supplies – Keep on board in a floating pouch: maps, flares, and a first aid kit.
  • Anchor – Make sure you have one and can properly use it. Improper anchoring may cause fatal accidents.

Designate an Assistant Skipper: Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and other boating safety tips. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone back to shore.

More information on boating safety is available at

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Join America’s Waterway Watch

This summer, you have the opportunity to contribute to improving our nation’s security by doing what comes naturally, paying attention to what’s happening on the water, and reporting anything suspicious to the US Coast Guard.  America’s Waterway Watch, a program sponsored by the US Coast Guard, brings the neighborhood-watch concept to the waters where we work and play. This allows boaters to be a part of the solution to security concerns because we usually know what does and does not look right on the water.

If you are a tow boat operator, a recreational boater, a fisherman, a marina operator, or otherwise live, work or engage in recreational activities around America’s waterways, the United States Coast Guard wants your help in keeping these areas safe and secure. You can do this by participating in its America’s Waterway Watch (AWW) program, a nationwide initiative similar to the well known and successful Neighborhood Watch program that asks community members to report suspicious activities to local law enforcement agencies.

You should always remember that people are not suspicious, behavior is. And if you observe suspicious behavior or activity, you should simply note the details and contact local law enforcement. You are not expected to approach or challenge anyone acting in a suspicious manner.

The Coast Guard sponsors a 24 hour hotline, 1-877-24-WATCH (1-877-249-2824) that boaters can call should they see something unusual. Add this number to your cell phone. Additional information can be found at

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Florida Wildlife Commission Encourages Boaters To Slow Down In Oil Cleanup Areas

Because of the large number of oil containment booms and cleanup equipment being deployed around the state in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section is asking boaters to slow down where oil cleanup is under way.

The FWC encourages all boaters to operate at slow speed within 300 feet of all authorized booms. Boaters operating near any oil-containment booms or cleanup equipment should exercise extreme caution and comply with all applicable navigational rules. Oil-skimming equipment is large and cumbersome, and it is restricted in its ability to maneuver. As a result, boaters should be prepared to stay clear of these vessels when operating near them.

Failure to operate at slow speed in these areas could result in injury, damage to vessels and damage to the containment booms. Additionally, the wake that results from a vessel operating above slow speed in areas where a boom has been deployed can reduce the effectiveness of the boom, resulting in further environmental damage.

FWC officers and local marine units will be on the water encouraging boaters to operate at slow speed in those areas where cleanup efforts are under way.

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S.S. John W. Brown at Penn's Landing

On display during the Delaware River Day over Memorial Day Weekend was the S.S. John W. Brown. One of two surviving, fully operational Liberty ships preserved in the United States, the S.S. John W. Brown is the product of an emergency shipbuilding program of World War II that resulted in the construction of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

Designed as cheap and quickly built cargo steamers, the Liberty ships formed the backbone of a massive sealift of troops, arms, material and ordnance to every theater of war. Two-thirds of all the cargo that left the United States during the war was shipped in Liberty ships. Two hundred of them were lost, either to enemy action or to a range of maritime mishaps such as collision, grounding or fire at sea, but there were simply so many of them that the enemy could never hope to sink enough Liberty ships to close the sea lanes, and the supplies got through.


Class: EC2-S-C1 Type Liberty Ship
Launched: September 7, 1942
At: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland
Length: 441 feet, 6 inches
Beam:57 feet
Draft: 27 feet, 9 inches
Displacement: 14,245 tons
Gross: 7,176 tons
Capacity: 8,500 long tons
Armament: Three 3-inch/50 caliber guns; one 5-inch/38 caliber gun; eight 20mm guns.

USS John W. Brown Dressed and Underway

The S.S. John W. Brown looks now almost exactly as she did toward the endof World War II. Despite her grey paint and many guns, she is not a warship but rather a merchant ship.

The Brown was built by the government and was under the control of the War Shipping Administration. This ship and her many sisters were operated under what was known as a general agency agreement, by almost 90 different American steamship companies, which were paid by Uncle Sam to manage the ships. The cargo they carried and the ports they visited were entirely controlled by the government.

A Liberty ship can carry almost 9,000 tons of cargo, about the same as 300 railroad boxcars. Liberty ships carried every conceivable cargo during the war – from beans to bullets. Some, like the John W. Brown, were also fitted out to carry troops as well as cargo. Around 500 soldiers at a time could be carried aboard this ship. She saw duty in many Mediterranean ports during invasions and steamed in convoys that were attacked by enemy aircraft and submarines, but she was never seriously damaged by the enemy.

The Brown has now been rededicated as a memorial museum ship. She honors the memory of the shipyard workers, merchant seamen and Naval Armed Guard who built, sailed and defended the Liberty Fleet. The S.S. John W. Brown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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And It Comes With A Matching Car

This incredible 122 foot state-of-the-art super-yacht comes with its own supercar which can be stored on board. If you have the extra $25,000,000 laying around, it could be yours, but you need to hurry. The company is only making six of them and five are already on order in the first week of marketing efforts.

The luxury yacht has a plush Art Deco interior, four large, double state rooms, a reception area, salon, 52 inch LED TVs and state-of-the art sound systems in every room.

No need to take your time getting from one place to another as this ship can reach top speeds of 43 knots, with its twin MTU 16V000 engines. If that isn’t quick enough you can add the optional Rolls Royce KaMeWa boosters offering a staggering 14,000 horse power with the ability to achieve 55 knots.

But not to be outdone, the supercar, which is powered by a 880hp twin turbo V12 engine, has a top speed of 233 MPH.

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