Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blog – 7 April 2009

April 7, 2009

Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Note: Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Improvements in this blog site, while slow, are due to the assistance of Kim Nettles. She rapidly points me to the improvements. I, with the speed of a glacier, implement them. Please bear with me.

MARAD – meeting re Atlantic Sea Island LNG DWP

clip_image002 The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that it will hold a public meeting regarding the proposal by Atlantic Sea Island Group to construct and operate the Safe Harbor Energy liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) in waters of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 13.5 miles south of the City of Long Beach, New York. The meeting will be held in Rockaway, New York on April 19. Written comments should be submitted by May 3. 74 Fed. Reg. 15825 (April 7, 2009).

USCG – limited equivalent security measures re TWIC

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a change to its Policy Advisory Council (PAC) decision regarding limited equivalent security measures as regards activation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card. Due to various production issues, receipt and activation of TWICs by all maritime transportation workers who have applied has not been effected. To minimize disruptions, regulated facilities in certain Captain of the Port (COTP) zones are being allowed to institute limited equivalent security measures so as to permit unescorted access to secure areas by maritime workers awaiting receipt and activation of their TWICs. These equivalent measures may remain in place until April 14 (for facilities in COTP Zones Morgan City and New Orleans0; April 24 (for facilities in COTP Zone New York); and May 13 (for facilities in COTP Zones Houston/Galveston, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Port Arthur, San Juan, and Guam). Similar guidance is being developed to facilitate the transition for all Coast Guard-credentialed mariners and crew aboard regulated vessels who are required to obtain a TWIC by April 15. The PAC decision may be found on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site. (4/3/09).

White House – approval sought for liability protocol to Antarctic Treaty

clip_image006 The White House issued a Message from President Obama to the US Senate forwarding for advice and consent Annex VI on Liability Arising from Environmental Emergencies to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. (4/2/09).

DOS – limits proposed for Antarctic tourism

clip_image008 The Department of State released remarks delivered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Joint Session of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton expressed continued US support for the Antarctic Treaty and proposed, among other things, limits on landings in Antarctica from ships carrying large numbers of tourists. (4/6/09).

USCG – ISO a few good people

clip_image004[1] The US Coast Guard issued a vacancy announcement for a Supervisory Transportation Specialist to serve as the Chief, Maritime Personnel Qualification Standards Division at Coast Guard Headquarters. Applications must be received by April 15. The Coast Guard issued a second vacancy announcement for a Supervisory Marine Transportation Specialist to serve as the Division Chief for development and management of policy and enforcement of the US Mariner Credentialing Program at Coast Guard Headquarters. Applications must be received by April 30. Other positions for which the Coast Guard is in search of qualified applicants may be found at Job Search. (4/3/09).

TSA – TWIC update

clip_image010 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 2 April) 1,078,881 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 865,470 cards have been activated. (4/2/09).

CBP – unmanifested seahorses

clip_image012 The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that it seized a shipment of seahorses that arrived in Newark from China. The shipment was in a container manifested as food and candy. Seahorses are protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the US Endangered Species Act. They must be separately declared at the species level in the cargo manifest. (4/3/09).

Cook Inlet – Drift River Terminal update

clip_image014 The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that approximately 3.8 million gallons of crude oil stored at the Drift River Terminal on the west shore of Cook Inlet has been transferred to a tanker. The tanker also pumped about 840,000 gallons of water from Cook Inlet into the terminal’s storage tanks to keep them from becoming buoyant. Due to the continuing, but intermittent eruptions of Mount Redoubt, the personnel at the terminal will be evacuated upon completion of some housekeeping and security tasks. (4/6/09).

MARAD – advisory re anti-piracy calling procedures

clip_image002[1] The Maritime Administration (MARAD issued an advisory updating suggested anti-piracy distress calling procedures for commercial vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and/or the east coast of Somalia. When in distress, the initial call for help should be made on VHF-16 (primary), VHF-08 (secondary) and MF/HF DSC. That should be followed by making contact with UKMTO or MARLO Bahrain. The ship security alert system (SSAS) should also be activated. Advisory 2009-02 (4/1/09).

MARAD – advisory re transits off east coast of Somalia

clip_image002[2] The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an advisory noting that piracy off the east coast of Somalia has increased and attacks against commercial vessels have occurred more than 400 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia and also off the coast of Tanzania. Masters should exercise vigilance when in or near these waters. Advisory 2009-03 (4/1/09).

USCG – TWIC status during MMC application process

clip_image004[2] The US Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) issued guidance advising that, when an individual applies for a merchant mariner credential (MMC), the NMC will accept proof that the individual has applied for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and successfully completed the Security Threat Assessment as sufficient for NMC’s processing of the MMC application. (4/3/09).

USCG – clarifications re merchant mariner credentialing process

clip_image004[3] The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued clarifications to the merchant mariner credentialing process. It provides guidance on the relationship between the MMC and the TWIC. (4/2/09).

USCG – new MMC user fees

clip_image004[4] The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice reminding mariners that the new user fees for merchant mariner credentials (MMCs) come into effect on April 15. In most cases, the fees charged to mariners will be lower than in the past because one application can be used for multiple credentials. (3/26/09).

USCG – mailing of application for MMC

clip_image004[5] The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice reminding mariners that, as of April 15, they may mail their application for a merchant mariner credential (MMC) to the local Regional Examination Center (REC). Mariners will no longer be required to appear in person at the REC to be fingerprinted, provide proof of identity, and submit the application, so long as they have a valid TWIC or have applied for a TWIC and successfully passed the Security Threat Assessment. (3/26/09).

Port Arthur – Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise

clip_image004[6] The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it is establishing the Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise in Port Arthur. The center will serve as the agency’s focal point in the regulation and examination of gas ships and will maintain expertise in cryogenic and compressed gas carrier technology and operations. (4/6/09).

DOJ – ship operator pleads guilty

clip_image016 The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the operator of a foreign chemical tanker pleaded guilty to conspiracy, falsification of records, false statements, obstruction of justice, and failure to maintain an accurate oil record book (ORB). The company has agreed to pay a fine of $2.5 million and to institute an environmental compliance program while on probation for three years. (4/6/09).

Hong Kong – reclamation works in Central Harbour

clip_image018 The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice advising the maritime community that reclamation works will be carried out in Central Harbour for approximately 12 months. Mariners should exercise caution when navigating in the vicinity of this project area. Notice No. 42 of 2009 (4/2/09).

New Zealand – yacht rescue in remote Pacific waters

clip_image020 Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that it is coordinating the response to a disabled yacht in remote Pacific waters approximately 2,000 miles east of New Zealand. The yacht has become dismasted and its engine is out of action. The nearest known vessel, the tanker HELLESPONT TROOPER, has diverted to assist, but will take two days to arrive. (4/6/09).

South Korea – joining counter-piracy operations

clip_image022 The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Republic of Korea Task Group Chung-Hae and its flagship ROKS Munmu the Great (DDG 976) arrived in Bahrain in preparation for joining Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 in the Gulf of Aden conducting counter-piracy operations. (4/5/09).

UK – MAIB business plan

clip_image024 The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published its Business Plan 2009-10. The plan contains details of specific areas of work planned for the coming year, together with a description of the way the MAIB conducts its investigations, and the means by which it is funded. (4/6/09).

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

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