Piper Inness

Piper Inness at the Port of Long Beach

The Ship:

  • IMO: 8964109
  • Type: Lightering Support Vessel (LSV)
  • Owner: Foss Maritime Company
  • Flag: USA
  • Hailing Port: Long Beach, CA
  • Length: 42.00 meters
  • Beam: 8.83 meters
  • Tonnage: 89 GT
  • Year of Build: 1997
  • Builder: C & G Boat Works, Bayou la Batre, AL
  • Yard Number: 32
  • Name History: Brother (1997-2005), Gulf Miracle (2005), Strategic Horizon (2005-07)

The Story:

The first thing to notice about this fairly typical offshore vessel is its role. Instead of an Offshore Support Vessel (OSV), as typically seen on the hundreds of similar vessels roaming the Gulf oil fields, the first portion has had “Lightering” substituted in. While the Long Beach area does have offshore oil wells, the operations are all on manmade islands which don’t require the intensive support as seen in the Gulf. Instead, this boat facilitates the transfer of fuel cargoes between vessels too large for the port, which anchor offshore, and smaller tankers that can transit the port and deliver the cargo to shore installations. Facilitating these evolutions is Piper’s job.

While this relatively oddball offshore role is interesting to note, one should also remember the reason for this vessel’s name.

On February 20th, 2007, the Foss tug Emma Foss was involved in the transfer of a lightering barge to the tractor tug Arthur Foss, when one of the most feared casualties in marine towing occurred, an unexpected taut line. On deck was Piper Inness Cameron, a well-respected deckhand at the Long Beach operations. The two-inch bridle line pinned her against the bulwarks when it failed to release. The mate attempted to come to her aid, but was also struck by the line and suffered a broken leg, and unfortunately, severe trauma from the line resulted in the death of Cameron. Investigation reveled no negligent activities, it was just a pure accident that had one of the worst outcomes possible. However, in memory of Piper’s enthusiasm and spirit, the LSV then entering service was named to commemorate her.

About Fairlane
Photographer, historian, nerd, engineer, thirty-something - Those are a few of the words that describe me. Though I have varied interests, one of my passions in maritime history, which I enjoy sharing. If you want to find out what I can tell, please follow my blog.

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