Headlines: Piracy update; World Oceans Day; Marine litter; Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee; Technical amendments to Title 33, CFR; Coast Guard authorization bill; Bill to exempt vessel operators on Lake Texoma; Australia – IMO audit report; and UK – report on passenger lost overboard.
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USN – new update re Somali pirates
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Somali pirates seem to have altered their tactics recently. Mariners are urged to use weather to their advantage now that the monsoon season has arrived. Pirates are operating further offshore in the Indian Ocean and may have commenced operations in the southern Red Sea, so vigilance when in these waters is required. The number of piratical attacks at night has increased, so 24-hour lookouts are appropriate. (6/9/09).
UN – World Oceans Day
The United Nations (UN) issued a proclamation in recognition of World Oceans Day. The proclamation notes that oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life. They power our climate and are a critical part of our biosphere. (6/8/09).
UNEP – marine litter
The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) released its report entitled “Marine Litter: A Global Challenge”. The report attempts to take stock of the marine litter situation in the 12 major regional seas. The report's findings indicate that despite several international, regional and national efforts to reverse marine pollution, alarming quantities of rubbish thrown out to sea continue to endanger people's safety and health, entrap wildlife, damage nautical equipment and deface coastal areas around the world. (6/8/09).
EC – vital role of healthy oceans
In recognition of World Oceans Day, the European Commission (EC) issued a press release noting the vital role played by healthy oceans. (6/8/09).
Maine – “no discharge” zone
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it has determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of Kennebunk/Kennebunkport/Wells, Maine. 74 Fed. Reg. 27537 (June 10, 2009).
USCG – Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that the Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MMMAC) has been established. The committee will advise the Coast Guard on matters related to the medical evaluation process and evaluation criteria for medical certification of US merchant mariners. Individuals interested in serving on this committee should submit their applications by August 3. 74 Fed. Reg. 27557 (June 10, 2009).
USCG – technical amendments to Title 33, CFR
The US Coast Guard issued a rulemaking that makes a variety of non-substantive changes to Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – Navigation and Navigable Waters. The amendments come into effect immediately. 74 Fed. Reg. 27435 (June 10, 2009).
Bill introduced re Coast Guard authorization
Senator Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (S. 1194) to reauthorize the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, and for other purposes. Among other things, the bill provides for continued operation of the LORAN-C system and for transition to the eLORAN system. (6/4/09).
Bill introduced to exempt vessel operators on Lake Texoma
Senator Inhofe (R-OK) introduced a bill (S. 1205) to exempt guides for hire and other operators of uninspected vessels on Lake Texoma from Coast Guard and other regulations, and for other purposes. The official text of this bill is not yet available. (6/8/09).
MARAD – another obsolete ship sold for recycling
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that the obsolete ship Suribachi has been sold to a shipbreaking company in Brownsville, Texas. The ship is currently in the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet. (6/8/09).
Lake Erie – oil spill response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that a joint US-Canadian oil spill response exercise will be conducted in Port Clinton, Ohio and the Lake Erie Islands on Wednesday, June 10. (6/8/09).
Australia – IMO audit report
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that an audit of the agency in accordance with the IMO Member State Voluntary Audit Scheme has been completed. The audit found that the AMSA substantially meets its obligations in respect of the IMO instruments to which Australia is a party. (6/9/09).
UK – report on passenger lost overboard
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the loss of a passenger overboard from a small passenger vessel on the River Thames on 17 August 2008. The vessel was secured to a pier using only one mooring line. The master was distracted by commercial issues. When the stern started drifting away from the pier, the mate who was assisting passengers to disembark moved to attach additional mooring lines, but passengers were allowed to continue disembarking without supervision. A gap opened between the disembarkation point and the pier. A passenger slipped while disembarking and fell into the river. His body was recovered five days later. A postmortem determined cause of death as drowning in the presence of alcohol intoxication. The root cause of the incident was determined to be a poor safety management system on the vessel. Report No. 12/2009 (6/9/09).
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 – June 2009