MarAd sends ships to Haiti
The U.S. Maritime Administration is sending five ships to assist in the relief effort in Haiti, including one of two high-speed ferries that were built by Hawaii Superferry under the Title XI program and which were returned to MarAd after the company went bankrupt.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said MarAd is sending the ferry Huakai, which is capable of traveling up to 40 knots in the open ocean, along with four ships from its Ready Reserve Fleet.
'These ships will add crucial capabilities by supporting operations to move large volumes of people and cargo,' La Hood said.
MarAd spokesman Susan Clark said it was not yet known exactly how the ships will be deployed, but they are capable of being deployed in five to 10 days. The ships are owned or controlled by MarAd and manned by civilian U.S. merchant mariners.
The other ships being deployed are:
' Gopher State and Cornhusker State, two crane ships designed to provide the capability to load and unload containers and other cargo in ports where facilities are badly damaged or nonexistent. The crane ships can also carry containers, small barges or landing craft, and may be useful in Port-au-Prince where the port was largely destroyed in last week’s earthquake.
' Petersburg, an offshore petroleum discharge system tanker that has been specially modified to deliver petroleum products to military forces in areas where port facilities are damaged or non-existent. The ship can pump 1.2 million gallons per day from up to four miles offshore and at water depths of 200 feet. If the ship is moored within two nautical miles of the shore, two different products may be pumped simultaneously through two separate conduits.
' Cape May, a sea barge clipper class vessel, capable of carrying barges as well as sections of causeway, and other materials used by the construction battalions or Seabees of the U.S. Navy.
The ships are all based in Norfolk, except for the Petersburg, which is based in Alameda, Calif.
MarAd said 15 of its ships were deployed during the 1994 multinational intervention in Haiti called “Uphold Democracy,” which ended a military coup and reinstalled Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president.
Meanwhile, Crowley Maritime said Monday it has a ship carrying 80 containers of cargo for U.S. Transcom, largely meals ready to eat and water, bound for Haiti. The cargo will be delivered to Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic, then trucked to Haiti.
Spokesman Mark Miller said employees from Crowley's Titan Salvage unit are working in Port-au-Prince, looking at possible sites where barges or landing craft might be able to deliver cargo. He noted that Crowley has wide experience in delivering cargo “on the beach” at locations such as the North Slope of Alaska, Far East Russia, and West Africa.
The Boston Globe reported the Massachusetts Maritime Academy has decided to end its 'Sea Term' early and that its ship, the T.S. Kennedy, will be dispatched to assist in the Haitian earthquake relief effort. The Globe said the ship, originally bound for Cura'ao, turned around and headed for Fort Lauderdale to take on supplies for the mission.
Tuesday morning container-on-barge company Trailer Bridge said it is expanding its Dominican Republic sailings from every two weeks to weekly, using vessels that currently link the ports of Jacksonville, Fla., to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, beginning in the last week of January.
The company said the expansion was planned prior to the earthquake, but said it was “working with the U.S. and local governments and private parties to explore options for use of our additional available vessels in the relief effort.'