Friday, April 24, 2009

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 24 April 2009

Headlines: piracy; Australia – National Maritime Emergency Response Arrangement; Great Lakes pilotage rate increase; EU – passenger rights; Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting; proposed LNG facility at Fall River;

April 24, 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.

EU – update on piracy off Somalia

clip_image002 The EU NAVFOR Somalia issued a press release stating that a French frigate handed 11 suspected pirates over to the Kenya courts. The individuals had been captured from a mothership that took part in an attack on a commercial vessel in the Indian Ocean. In other news, the M/V Stolt Strength and its crew were released from pirate control. (4/23/09).

USN – Singapore Navy joins CTF 151

clip_image004 clip_image006 The US Navy issued a news release stating that a Singaporean counterpiracy task group has joined Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 conducting operations off the coast of Somalia. The task group includes the Landing Ship Tank (LST) RSS Persistence (209). (4/23/09).

EC – monies to be pledged to help boost security in Somalia

clip_image002[1] The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it will pledge at least €60 million to support Somalia’s security institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at an upcoming International Donor Conference on Somalia. The conference, which aims to assist Somalia’s new government to establish increased security and stability across the country, is considered critical for tackling the root causes of piracy in international waters off its coastline. (4/23/09).

Australia – National Marine Emergency Response Arrangement

clip_image008 The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice advising the maritime community of the establishment of the National Maritime Emergency Response Arrangement. This Arrangement includes the position of Maritime Emergency Response Commander (MERCOM) to manage responses to maritime incidents, including powers of intervention. Note: This arrangement is closely modeled on that previously established in the UK. It provides the incident commander with broad powers of intervention (as occurs in the UK) and deserves serious consideration in other jurisdictions, including the United States. Marine Notice 8/2009 (4/23/09).

Great Lakes – US pilotage rate increase proposed

clip_image010 The US Coast Guard is proposing to update the rates for pilotage on the Great Lakes by 9.41%, effective August 1, to generate sufficient revenue to cover allowable expenses, target pilot compensation, and returns on investments. Among other things, it is intended to increase the ratio of pilots to “bridge hours.” Comments on the proposal should be submitted by May 26. 74 Fed. Reg. 18669 (April 24, 2009).

Maine – petition for “no discharge” zone

clip_image012 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition from the State of Maine requesting a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for waters of Southern Mount Desert Island. Comments on this petition should be submitted by May 26. 74 Fed. Reg. 18706 (April 24, 2009).

Bill introduced to bar import of Iranian refined petroleum

clip_image014 Representative Kirk (R-IL) introduced the Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 1985) to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran to include refined petroleum, and for other purposes. (4/21/09).

Resolution adopted honoring rescue of Captain Phillips

clip_image014[1] Representative Welch (D-VT) introduced and the House promptly adopted a resolution (H. Res. 339) expressing the sense of the United States House of Representatives regarding the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips by Somali pirates, the rescue of Captain Phillips by United States Navy SEALs and the crews of the USS Bainbridge, USS Boxer, USS Halyburton and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, and for other purposes. (4/22/09).

Bill introduced re marine mammal research program

clip_image014[2] Representative Abercrombie (D-HI) introduced a bill (H.R. 2029) to authorize the Marine Mammal Commission to establish a national research program to fund basic and applied research on marine mammals, and for other purposes. (4/22/09).

Bill introduced to protection oceans and Great Lakes

clip_image016 Senator Boxer (D-CA) introduced a bill (S. 858) to protect the oceans and Great Lakes, and for other purposes. (4/22/09).

Bill introduced re marine mammal rescue assistance

clip_image016[1] Senator Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a bill (S. 859) to amend the provisions of law relating to the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program, and for other purposes. (4/22/09).

EP – passenger rights

clip_image018 The European Parliament (EP) issued a news release stating that MEPs voted in first reading on a report on the rights of passengers traveling by sea and inland waterway (587 in favor, 8 against, 19 abstentions). Under the report, maritime transportation companies will have to provide passengers with compensation if the journey is interrupted, as follows: (a) 25% of the ticket price for a delay in arrival of between one and two hours; (b) 50% of the ticket price for a delay of two hours or more; and (c) 100% of the ticket price if the carrier does not provide another transport service under reasonable conditions or information about alternative transport. The compensation rules would not apply in cases of force majeure. (4/23/09).

Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting – transcript of teleconference

clip_image020 The US Department of State released the transcript of the teleconference conducted at the conclusion of Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting XXXII in Baltimore. Among the topics addressed were ecosystem protection and limitations being placed on tourism in the Antarctic. (4/17/09).

Fall River – meeting re proposed LNG facility

clip_image010[1] The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it hosted the second of two navigation safety-focused work group meetings with partner agencies and local navigational experts to review and validate the waterway suitability assessment related to the facility proposed to be constructed and operated in Mount Hope Bay for the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The assessment, when finalized, will be forwarded to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for consideration in its decision as to whether a license should be granted for the proposed facility. (4/22/09).

Chicago – maritime law enforcement exercise

clip_image010[2] The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it hosted a multi-agency maritime law enforcement exercise about the motor vessel ABEGWEIT in Chicago. Officers and agents from the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Police Marine Unit, EPA Criminal Investigation Division, Customs & Border Protection, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency joined the Coast Guard in practicing response techniques and procedures aboard the vessel. (4/23/09).

Alaska – medical evacuation of unconscious crewmember

clip_image010[3] The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it medically evacuated from a freighter 120 miles south of Kodiak a crewmen found unconscious in the engine room. (4/22/09).

UK – master fined for allowing drunken crewmembers on board

clip_image022 The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the master of an offshore supply vessel was fined £1,800 for allowing drunken crewmembers on board the ship in violation of the ISM Code. While the ship was in port in Lerwick Harbour in November 2007, the master and several crewmembers went to a local pub for drinks. When they returned several hours later, one of the crewmembers fell down the stairs, later dying of his injuries. The master was found by the court to have taken no action despite knowing of the crewmember’s inebriation. (4/23/09).

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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