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ISMA N.E.L.C. NAVIGATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 
Since the inception of the International Shipmaster’s Association, There has been a Navigation, Engineering and Legislative Committee. Its goals have been as a committee to bring forth recommendations to the necessary governmental and legislative bodies, for the necessary improvements to the Great Lakes Navigation lights, buoys, aids to navigation, and infrastructure, dredging recommendations, channel runs, Break walls, Radio Traffic Call in Points, Weather Reporting and forecasting. As technology has evolved, in more recent times there has been discussion and recommendation on SSB Radio, Radio location and triangulation beacons, Loran A, VHF radio, Loran C, RACONS, Sat Nav, GPS, DGPS, VHF Radio, AIS.
THE LIST BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE ISMA ACCOMPLISHMENTS OVER THE PAST CENTURY
1905 FEB 01 – GREAT LAKES IMPROVEMENTS
  • Working with the Lighthouse Department:
  • Required the construction of a breakwater outside of Rogers City.
  • Required the necessity of fog signals throughout the lakes
  • Lake St. Clair Windmill Point obstruction removal, and placement of a lighted gas buoys on the North side of the shoals around Peche Island.
  • Extending the operating season as late as possible depending on annual ice conditions of the Lightships moored at the following locations: White Shoal; Lansing Shoal; Greys Reef, Eleven foot shoal, Straits of Mackinac.
  • Waugoshance Point Light placement
  • The installation of a new light house on White shoal with a large tower visible in daylight and a highly placed light, as a channel guide for the ship’s transiting from Grey’s Reef. A fog signal to be placed on the light so that it can be located in all conditions. The Light structure to be so located that any vessels weather transiting East/West or North/South could use it.
  • Placement of a fog signal on Thirty Mile Point Light, Lake Ontario.
  • Change of the fog signal from a bell to a steam whistle at the Colchester Reef light station.
  • Placement of a Lighthouse and fog signal at Point Abino, on Lake Erie, due to the amount of traffic calling in and out of Buffalo.

 

1906 GROSSE ILE LIGHT, DETROIT RIVER

During the 19th century, industry and commerce rapidly expanded throughout the Midwest, and all the ports of the Upper and Western Great Lakes were accessed by transiting the Detroit River. As traffic in the river increased, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, petitioned Congress to establish navigation lights to enable 24 hour operations of their steam powered ships.
The request was granted in 1891 when the first pair of channel guidance lights – range lights – were established on Hennepin Point to guide up bound ships past the sandbar off the southwest point of Fighting Island.
Three years later Congress appropriated money to establish another set of lights to serve down bound traffic, the Grosse Ile North Channel range lights. They were lighted on July 16, 1894 and identified the Fighting Island channel north of Mamajuda Island.

Jan 30, 1907: TOLEDO

A broader and deeper channel for Maumee bay and river and improvement in the life saving stations on the great lakes.

 

Oct. 19, 1912. LIVINGSTONE CHANNEL DETROIT, MICH.

With the booming of guns and blowing of steamship whistles, the Livingston channel, from the lower Detroit River into Lake Erie, was formally opened to commerce to-day and a fleet of fifteen vessels passed through it and on to lower lake port destinations.
The new channel is constructed at a cost of $10,000,000 and will relieve congestion in the dangerous Lime Kiln crossing, where rocky banks and a swift current have heretofore troubled navigators and deleayed traffic. For a number of years Mr. [William] Livingstone advocated the construction of an independent waterway for down-bound vessels in the lower Detroit river and spent much time interesting the government engineers in the work and prevailing upon congress to supply the necessary funds for the development of the channel. In 1906 congress made an appropriation and authorized it to be known as the "Livingstone Channel" in recognition of the many services rendered by Mr. Livingstone. Work was begun in the spring of 1908 and completed in the fall of 1912. The channel was opened to commerce October 19, 1912, with imposing ceremonies. This channel ranks with the important engineering feats of the age.

Jan 29, 1931 RADIO BEACONS:

The Recommendation and successful Installation of a New Radio beacon Nav System at Rochester, NY, deepening of the Navigation Channel, and re-construction and re-enforcement of the outer break walls in order to make the port more commercially viable due to the new deep draft ships that will be coming through the New Welland Canal opening this year.

Jan 31, 1941 MILWAUKEE, Wis., WEATHER FORECASTING

The International Shipmasters' Association yesterday adopted resolutions demanding an overhauling of Great Lakes weather forecasting, including the establishment of a forecasting center on the Great Lakes and four daily weather broadcasts by radiophone to lake boats. 

 

Jan 28, 1944 BUFFALO, N.Y. – ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY PROPOSAL

A Government-proposed deepening of the St. Lawrence River "would open the Great Lakes to competition of tramp steamers of the world and would drive both United States and Canadian owned steamers to minimum operation," the International Shipmasters' Association says.

January 28 , 1947 TORONTO.  NAV AIDS

Increased and improved navigational aids on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are being sought by the International Shipmasters’ Association which opened its three – day convention in Toronto today under the chairmanship of Capt. E.P. Thorpe, Buffalo.  Twelve American and Canadian lodges of the International association were represented.

 

January 23, 1963- The Milwaukee Sentinel - Shipmasters urge US Lake Ship Aid

Federal legislation in the form of subsidies to permit American vessels on the Great Lakes to better compete with foreign shipping on the lakes will be urged by the International Shipmasters' Association, which is holding its 1963 Grand Lodge convention at the Plankinton Hotel in Milwaukee. 
Capt Arne D. Tenhula, Grand President-elect, said Tuesday that the problem of foreign competition, which has become more intense since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway three years ago, is one of two primary problems to be discussed by 627 Grand Lodge members during the three day convention.
Besides the subside legislation, special attention will also be devoted to methods of increasing navigation safety on the Great Lakes by:

  • Seeking federal legislation to require all foreign ships while traveling the lakes to have on board qualified American or Canadian pilots. 
  • Establishing closer cooperation between American and Canadian authorities in promoting safer navigation through more comprehensive weather reporting, improved light signals, more effective radio telephone communication and other means.

"Foreign vessels," Tenhula said, "are able to operate at about one-third the cost of American independent companies.  It requires approximately $78,000 each month to operate an American supership lake freighter, while only $16,000 is needed by some foreign ships to do the equivalent job."
In 1936, Tenhula said, congress passed the merchant marine act, in effect today, giving subsides to ocean going vessels to compete with foreign companies, but the act excluded ships on the Great Lakes.
It is this legislation that the shipmasters' association hopes to have amended so that Great Lakes shipping can have the same benefits.

JANUARY 28, 1965 - SHIP MASTERS OPPOSE PILOT RULE CHANGES - TOLEDO CAPTAIN NAMED TREASURER OF ASSOCIATION
 
CLEVELAND, Jan. 29 (AP) – Great Lakes ship masters adopted a resolution yesterday opposing any changes in the pilot rules on the Great Lakes.

Currently, ship whistles on the lakes are blown in all weather – if the pilot is able to see a passing vessel or not.  On all other waterways, the other vessel must be in sight before the signal is blown. 
Lakes captains contend that in an emergency an officer is likely to return to rules and signals he has followed all his life and that any changes would result in more collisions and disasters.

Other resolutions adopted were:

  • That foreign ships coming into American waters carry three pilots, as American and Canadian ships must.
  • Protesting the so-called “B” certificate issued by the department of transport of Canada to foreigners who have had five trips on the lakes.  It permits their vessels to proceed into congested waters without American or Canadian pilots.  The certificate is recognized by the coast guard and navy for vessels in American waters.
  • Favoring government subsidies for the reconstruction and building of ships by American vessel owners equal to that now sponsored by the Canadian government.
FEBRUARY 24, 1976 MASTERS STILL OPPOSE LONGER SHIPPING SEASON

In Detroit, the shipmasters’ association said crew safety and navigational problems should have been solved before the $9-million extended winter navigation study started.  The prime interest in any study, the association said, should be the safety of ships and crews.
Support for extending the winter season came Monday from the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers’ Association, the Ohio governor and Ohio department of natural resources. 
Public officer for the Corps of Engineers, Michael Perrini, said today that the interim report on the five-year study would eventually go before the U.S. Congress.
The interim report says that an evaluation of techniques developed during the study shows that an extended winter season until January 31 on lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan and Erie is economically and environmentally feasible.
The average annual cost of operating an extended season would be about $5 million, the report says with benefits of $18.7 million. 

JANUARY 2010

ISMA NELC had a say in the placement and construction of the New Munuscong Lake [Mud Lake] Junction Crib, in order to replace the Junction buoy, which was erected in November 2011.

October 2012

Following three years of lobbying by the NELC, the US Coast Guard issued a Final Rule stating that speed limits will no longer apply to the 2.5 mile section of the Detroit River between Detroit River Light and Light D33. 

2013

At the recommendation of Green Bay Lodge No. 18, improvements were made to aids to navigation in the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, including the range lights and Ship Canal Lead Light. 

Also at the request of Lodge 18, the characteristic of Milwaukee South Pierhead Light was changed to Flashing Green; making it easier to distinguish from shore lights.