April 13, 2009
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Indian Ocean – rescue of Captain Phillips
The US Department of Defense issued a news release expressing the appreciation of President Obama for all the persons and effort behind the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, master of the US-flag container ship MAERSK ALABAMA. After pirates tried to hijack his ship in waters of the Indian Ocean off Somalia, Captain Phillips was taken hostage. Of the four pirates involved in the hijacking/hostage-taking, one surrendered and the other three were killed during the rescue. A second news release provides more details of the rescue effort. Full marks all around! (4/12/09).
Gulf of Aden & African East Coast – transit advice
The US Navy Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) Bahrain issued a newsletter recommending that merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden participate in the Gulf of Aden Group Transit (GOA GT) scheme so as to increase the availability of naval escorts. Vessels transiting the East Coast of Africa, from Somalia as far south as the Seychelles, should remain at least 600 miles offshore if possible. Vigilance should be exercised in these dangerous areas. (4/9/09).
USCG – RNA for bars on Pacific Northwest coast - meetings
The US Coast Guard will host meetings in Astoria (April 14) and Newport (April 15) to receive comments on its proposal to establish regulated navigation areas (RNAs) for certain bars along the coasts of Oregon and Washington. The proposal would establish procedures for restricting and/or closing those bars during hazardous conditions, as well as additional safety requirements for recreational and small commercial vessels operating in the RNAs. Written comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 19. 74 Fed. Reg. 16814 (April 13, 2009).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on May 1. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the IMO Diplomatic Conference for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, to be held in Hong Kong on May 11-15. 74 Fed. Reg. 16908 (April 13, 2009).
MARAD – Assistance to Small Shipyards Grant Program
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice clarifying the application submission date for the Small Shipyard Grant Program. Such applications must be received by MARAD not later than 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 11. Plans call for grants to be awarded no later than July 9. 74 Fed. Reg. 16912 (April 13, 2009).
DOJ – proposed consent decree re Port of Astoria
The Department of Justice is seeking comments on the proposed consent decree in United States v. Port of Astoria. The United States had filed a complaint against the Port alleging violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) by discharging pollutants by the Port in violation of its federal permit. Comments on the proposed consent decree should be submitted within 30 days. 74 Fed. Reg. 16893 (April 13, 2009).
OFAC – economic sanctions re Côte d’Ivoire
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is adding a new part to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) relating to economic sanctions against persons contributing to the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. The new regulations come into effect immediately. 74 Fed. Reg. 16763 (April 13, 2009).
OFAC – economic sanctions re weapons of mass destruction proliferators
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is adding a new part to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) relating to economic sanctions against weapons of mass destruction proliferators. The new regulations come into effect immediately. 74 Fed. Reg. 16771 (April 13, 2009).
USCG – letters of recommendation re LNG facilities
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it issued letters of recommendation for eight liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities located throughout the Gulf Coast. The letters indicate that the waterways associated with Calhoun LNG, Point Comfort, Texas; Freeport LNG Phase II, Freeport, Texas; Golden Pass LNG, Sabine Pass, Texas; Port Arthur LNG, Port Arthur, Texas; Creole Trail LNG, Cameron, La.; Sabine Pass LNG Phase II, Cameron Parish, La.; Casotte Landing LNG, Pascagoula, Miss.; and Gulf LNG Clean Energy, Pascagoula, Miss., are suitable for the expected vessel traffic at those facilities. The letters have been sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for consideration by that agency in making licensing decisions for these various proposed facilities. (4/10/09).
Great Lakes – 2008-09 icebreaking season concluding
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the international cooperative 2008-09 icebreaking season on the Great Lakes is coming to a conclusion. (4/10/09).
San Diego – search suspended for missing mariner
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the search for the mariner lost overboard during an offshore ship-to-ship transfer has been suspended. (4/9/09).
USCG – reminder re TWIC deadline
The US Coast Guard issued a press release reminding maritime workers that the requirement for possession of a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to gain unescorted access to regulated US maritime facilities and vessels comes into effect nationwide on April 15. (4/10/09).
Bellingham – joint agency boarding
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the joint agency boarding of a fish processing vessel in Bellingham, Washington resulted in the extradition of crewmember to police jurisdiction when it was found that he had outstanding arrest warrants. The immigration status of two other crewmembers was verified. The boarding was conducted by members of the US Coast Guard and the US Border Patrol. (4/10/09).
Canada – proposal for joint ECA with the US
Transport Canada issued a media release stating that a joint Canada-US proposal has been submitted to the IMO to establish an emission control area (ECA) in North American coastal waters. The measure is intended to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and particulates from ship engine exhausts. Formal adoption by the IMO of the proposal is expected in March 2010. (4/9/09).
Singapore – update re Somalia piracy
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular advising the maritime community of recent developments concerning piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the East Coast of Somalia. There has been a noticeable increase in pirate attacks recently, up to a distance of 600 nautical miles from shore. Vigilance is required of vessels transiting these waters. Shipping Circular No. 14 of 2009 (4/9/09).
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 – April 2009