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
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EU – update on piracy off Somalia
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Bill introduced re marine mammal rescue assistance
EP – passenger rights
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
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
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
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
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
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