Headlines: OCS notice of arrival requirement proposed; Advisory re GPS 256 week rollover; USCG – alternative, temporary compliance with VSO training requirement; Influenza updates; Piracy update; Bill introduced re defense against piracy; Bill introduced to reauthorize MARAD; and USCG Auxiliary – 70th anniversary.
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USCG – OCS notice of arrival requirement proposed
The US Coast Guard proposes to require filing of a notice of arrival (NOA) for units planning to engage in activities on the US outer continental shelf (OCS). The proposal would require owners or operators of US and foreign floating facilities, mobile offshore drilling units, and vessels to submit NOA information to the USCG National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) at least 96 hours prior to arrival at the place on the OCS at which it will engage in OCS activities. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by September 21. 74 Fed. Reg. 29439 (June 22, 2009).
USCG – advisory re GPS 256 week rollover
The US Coast Guard Navigation Center issued an advisory stating that some GPS receivers have experienced difficulty due to the GPS 256 week rollover. Two of the counters providing a truncated representation of GPS week in the GPS navigation message reached their maximum value (255) and reset to zero. Anyone with a GPS receiver that began experiencing problems during the timeframe of 11-14 June 2009 should consider consultation with the receiver’s manufacturer. (6/19/09).
USCG – alternative, temporary compliance with VSO training requirement
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that, due to the short time-frame for certification of mariners for vessel security officer (VSO) training (1 July 2009), the Coast Guard, until September 1, 2009, will accept as documentation of completion of this requirement proof of application for the training, accompanied by a course completion certificate. (6/19/09).
WHO & CDC – Influenza A (H1N1) updates
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an update stating that, as of 0700 GMT, 19 June, there have been 44,287 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 180 deaths. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update stating that there have been 21,449 confirmed cases in the United States, including 87 deaths. (6/19/09).
NATO – piracy update
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update on piracy attacks in waters off the northeast coast of Africa. A bulk carrier reported being attacked by three skiffs in the southern portion of the Red Sea. The attack was broken off after the ship engaged in high speed evasive maneuvers, jetting water from its fire hoses, and deployed high voltage cables around the fantail. NATO notes an increase in piratical activity in the Bab el Mandeb and Southern Red Sea area in recent weeks. Mariners should exercise extreme caution when in these waters, as well as when in waters of the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. (6/20/09).
Bill introduced re defense against piracy
Representative LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced a bill (H.R. 2984) to amend title 46, United States Code, to assist in the defense of United States mariners and vessels against piracy, to ensure the traditional right of self-defense of those vessels against piracy, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (6/19/09).
Bill introduced to reauthorize MARAD
Massachusetts Bay – safety zone extended
The US Coast Guard has extended, through July 25, the safety zone on waters of Massachusetts Bay in the vicinity of the wreck of the sunken fishing vessel Patriot. The safety zone is intended to enhance the safety of on-going salvage operations. 74 Fed. Reg. 29383 (June 22, 2009).
TSA – TWIC update
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 17 June) 1,246,502 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 1,084,100 cards have been activated. (6/18/09).
New Zealand – Safe Seas; Clean Seas
Maritime New Zealand posted the June edition of its newsletter Safe Seas; Clean Seas. Topics addressed therein include: review of maritime qualifications and operational limits; wave hazard warnings on charts; and oil spill response. (6/18/09).
Panama Canal – safe boarding of vessels
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that, during the period July 13-17, it will be promoting awareness and compliance with requirements for proper boarding facilities on vessels transiting the Canal. Advisory 10-2009 An inspection checklist has been developed as an aid in determining compliance. (6/17/09).
USCG Auxiliary – 70th anniversary
Tuesday, June 23, marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. On that date in 1939, Congress established a volunteer civilian organization (originally called the Coast Guard Reserve) to promote boating safety and to facilitate Coast Guard operations. Over the past ten years, Auxiliary members nationwide have contributed 44,417,850 hours, taught boating safety classes to 1,678,946 people, conducted 1,170,535 vessel safety checks, and participated in the rescue of 5,083 persons in distress. Semper Paratus.
At approximately 0545 UTC, Sunday, June 21, 2009, the sun reached the highest aspect in the sky for the northern hemisphere, an event otherwise known as the summer solstice or the first day of summer. For the southern hemisphere, it marked the winter solstice or the first day of winter. Those unfortunates residing in the eastern and western hemispheres have no comparable events to celebrate.
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