Headlines: Pandemic flu guidance; swine flu update; suspected pirates apprehended; renewable energy on the OCS; FMC Commissioner Harold Creel; Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement Act; regional SAR center in Liberia; UK investigation of fatal shipboard injury
April 29, 2009
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DHS & USCG – Maritime Pandemic Flu Guideline
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Coast Guard reissued their Maritime Pandemic Flu Guideline. The document serves as a non-prescriptive reference for the maritime sector on how to augment and tailor their existing emergency response plans given the unique challenges an influenza pandemic presents. Note: Given the events of the past week, it should be appreciated that this document was written more than a year ago. (4/28/09).
CDC – swine flu update
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update stating that there are now 64 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States. The CDC recommends that non-essential travel to Mexico be avoided. (4/29/09).
UK – caution against travel to Mexico
The UK Department for Transport issued a notice stating that the UK Government is advising against all but essential travel to Mexico due to the swine flu outbreak. (4/28/09).
EU MSC(HOA) – suspected pirates apprehended
The European Union Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa [EU MSC(HOA)] issued a press release stating that a Spanish warship operating with EU NAVFOR Somalia apprehended none suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean north of the Seychelles islands shortly after the attack on the cruise ship Melody. The suspects are now in the custody of the Seychelles Coast Guard. (4/28/09).
MMS – renewable energy and alternate uses of existing OCS facilities
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) promulgated final regulations to establish a program to grant leases, easements, and rights-of-way (ROW) for renewable energy project activities on the outer continental shelf (OCS), as well as certain previously unauthorized activities that involve the alternate use of existing facilities located on the OCS; and to establish the methods for sharing revenues generated by this program with nearby coastal states. These regulations are intended to ensure the orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible development of renewable energy sources on the OCS. The regulations come into force on June 29. 74 Fed. Reg. 19637 (April 29, 2009).
FMC – Commissioner Harold Creel announces departure
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that Commissioner Harold J. Creel, Jr. announced that he will be leaving the agency at the end of his term on June 30, 2009. Commissioner Creel has been with the FMC since he was nominated by President Clinton in 1994. He served as Chairman from 1996 to 2002, making him the longest tenured Chairman in the agency’s history. Note: Commissioner Creel is a true gentleman and a consummate professional. He will be sorely missed on the Commission. (4/28/09).
House of Representatives – Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement Act
The House of Representatives has passed the Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement Act (H.R. 1747). The bill authorizes $153 million for construction of a new icebreaker for use on the Great Lakes. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Note: This bill only allows the construction. Separate legislation will be needed to appropriate the monies necessary to make the ship a reality. (4/27/09).
Liberia – regional SAR center opens
The IMO issued a news release stating that the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre has been commissioned in Monrovia, Liberia. The Centre will coordinate search and rescue (SAR) cases in waters of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (4/28/09).
UK – investigation of fatal shipboard injury during heavy weather
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the fatal injury of a crewmember and the serious injury of a second crewmember on board a container ship in heavy weather in the South China Sea on 23 September 2008. The two crewmembers were struck by a large wave when they went to the exposed forecastle deck to secure a leaking stores hatch and loose anchor securing chain. Investigation revealed that the crew did not fully appreciate the risk of large waves in the prevailing conditions. Subsequently, the ship’s manager has provided crews with enhanced training on risk assessment, improved its internal auditing procedures, and amended its risk assessment relating to movement of personnel on exposed decks in heavy weather. Report No. 9/2009 (4/28/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – April 2009