March 6, 2009
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Daylight saving time – reminder
At 2:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 8, the United States will transition to daylight savings time. It is unclear where this saved daylight is located, but somehow it is returned later in the year. In the meantime, spring forward!
CBP – National Customs Automation Program test of ACE
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that it will be conducting a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Entry Summary, Accounts, and Revenue (ESAR II) capabilities. The test will commence no earlier than March 15 in selected ports (including Long Beach). Commencing no earlier than April 15, the test will expand to a number of other ports (including, but not limited to, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco, and Seattle). Commencing no earlier than June 15, the test will expand to the remaining ports nationwide. 74 Fed. Reg. 9826 (March 6, 2009).
Massachusetts Bay – marine mammals and LNG facility
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received an application for authorization to take a small number of marine mammals incidental to operating and maintaining the Northeast Gateway liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Massachusetts Bay. Comments on this application should be submitted by April 6. 74 Fed. Reg. 9801 (March 6, 2009).
NOAA – nomination of marine protected areas to the national system
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received nominations from federal, state, commonwealth, and territorial governments of existing marine protected areas for potential inclusion in the national system of marine protected areas. Comments on these nominations should be submitted by April 6. 74 Fed. Reg. 9798 (March 6, 2009).
San Juan – security zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a permanent security zone on waters of San Juan Harbor within 100 yards of the Coast Guard Base. The security zone comes into effect on April 6. 74 Fed. Reg. 9768 (March 6, 2009).
NBSAC – meeting
The National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) and its subcommittees, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Orlando on April 4-6. 74 Fed. Reg. 9825 (March 6, 2009).
Houston – tanker grounds in Ship Channel
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it is monitoring the grounding and refloating of a tanker that occurred in the Houston Ship Channel. The incident is under investigation. (3/3/09).
TSA – TWIC update
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an update to its status report on the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The TWIC Dashboard shows that (as of 5 March) 995,472 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 763,145 cards have been activated. (3/5/09).
FMC – meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an official notice stating that its next meeting will be on March 11 at its office in Washington, DC. Among the topics on the agenda is passenger vessel financial responsibility. 74 Fed. Reg. 9383 (March 6, 2009).
Corps of Engineers may be liable for negligent dredge and fill
In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a summary judgment that had been granted in favor of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Plaintiff alleged injuries were incurred when he dove into waters off Miami Beach and struck his head on a basketball-sized rock. The Corps of Engineers some years before had contracted with Dade County to replenish the beach using only non-rocky sandy material. The Corps of Engineers asserted that it was immune from liability for these injuries under the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The district court agreed with the Corps, but the appellate court ruled that the issue did not involve an exercise of sovereign discretion, but the potentially negligent execution of the contract with Dade County. Downs v. US Army Corps of Engineers, No. 07-11827 (11th Cir., March 4, 2009).
IMO – testing, inspection & approval of containers
The IMO issued a circular forwarding an updated list of organizations that have been approved by various flag administrations for testing, inspection, and approval of shipping containers in accordance with the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972. CSC.1/Circ.136 (2/9/09).
IMO – transport of migrants by sea
The IMO issued a circular forwarding summaries relating to incidents of unsafe practices associated with the trafficking or transport of migrants by sea. The IMO only received reports on 55 incidents during 2008 involving 1,266 migrants. These reports came from only three nations. All member states are encouraged to submit relevant information. MSC.3/Circ.16 (2/3/09).
Tokyo MOU – results of concentrated inspection campaign
The Tokyo MOU issued a press release summarizing the results of its recent concentrated inspection campaign, which focused on compliance with SOLAS Chapter V – Safety of Navigation. During the campaign, 4,811 vessels were inspected and 243 (5.05%) were detained for deficiencies. Of these, 42 vessels were detained for non-compliance with SOLAS Chapter V. The most notable deficiencies related to lack of adequate charts and publications (57.39%), other navigation equipment/arrangements (7.47%), and voyage data recorder – VDR (7.11%). (2/27/09).
Herald of Free Enterprise – March 6, 1987
The HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was a double-ended ro-ro car and passenger ferry operating between Bruges-Zeebrougge, Belgium and Dover, England. On March 6, 1987, it departed Bruges-Zeebrougge with a crew of 80, carrying 459 passengers, 81 cars, 3 buses, and 47 trucks. Due to a series of mistakes, the bow doors were not closed prior to leaving port. Upon leaving the harbor and while proceeding at over 18 knots, water entered the vehicle deck in large quantities. The free-surface effect of the water impaired stability and led to the capsizing, which occurred in less than one minute. The sinking resulted in 193 deaths. Following the accident and investigation, various changes were made to IMO regulations regarding design and operation of ro-ro passenger vessels. The incident was also the impetus for establishment of the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – March 2009
Redistribution permitted with attribution