Headlines: NATO – piracy update – catch and release; EPA orders Hawaii DOT to protect coastal waters; EPA launches NetDMR; Port Neches oil spill response; World Maritime Day Parallel Event; Forum on ballast water management systems announced; Report on cruise ship heavy weather incident; Reminder re IMSBC Code; and UK – venting of tanks.
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NATO – piracy update – catch and release
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update stating that a Portuguese frigate operating as part of the NATP counter-piracy patrol foiled a pirate attack on a container ship in the Gulf of Aden on 22 June. The frigate captured eight pirates. The pirates were freed after consultation with the Portuguese Government, but their weapons (four assault rifles, a grenade launcher, grenades, and explosives) were confiscated. Note: One wonders how much longer it will take the international community to establish necessary procedures to effectively tackle the on-going piracy problem. (6/22/09).
EPA – Hawaii DOT ordered to protect coastal waters
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that it ordered the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Harbors Division to comply with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) stormwater restrictions at the Honolulu and Kalaeloa-Barbers Point Harbors on Oahu. Fuel, oil, and debris are being carried by stormwater from Harbor Division and tenant facilities into harbor waters. (6/23/09).
EPA – NetDMR launched
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that, commencing June 22, electronic submittal of Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) will be available in selected EPA Regions and various states with the launching of the Network Discharge Monitoring Report (NetDMR) system. The system is currently available in EPA Region 1 (New Hampshire and Massachusetts); Region 3 (District of Columbia); Region 6 (Gulf of Mexico); and the states of Utah and Louisiana. NetDMR is expected to expand nationwide with time. 74 Fed. Reg. 30075 (June 24, 2009).
Port Neches – oil spill response
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and the Texas General Land Office responded to the spill of approximately 100 gallons of oil released into the Sabine Neches Waterway at Port Neches. The incident is under investigation. (6/22/09).
IMO – World Maritime Day Parallel Event
The IMO issued a Circular Letter advising of the celebration of the IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event in the United States on 15-18 October. The event will be co-hosted by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos and US Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen. (6/12/09).
IMO – forum on ballast water management systems announced
The IMO issued a notice stating that it and the World Maritime University (WMU) are co-sponsoring the Global R & D Forum on Emerging Ballast Water Management Systems in Malmo, Sweden on 27-29 January 2010. Papers for possible presentation at the Forum should be submitted by 1 October. (6/23/09).
UK – report on cruise ship heavy weather incident
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of heavy weather encountered by a cruise ship 200 miles NNE of North Cape, New Zealand on 30 July 2008 resulting in injuries to 77 passengers and crew. The ship rolled heavily in gale force winds and high seas. The master had hove to as the storm increased in intensity, but the reduction in speed made the one working stabilizer ineffective. The ship rolled heavily three times, to an estimated angle of heel of 31°. Many of the injuries incurred were due to falls or to contact with unsecured furnishings. Factors in this casualty included insufficient securing arrangements for ship furnishings and operation of the ship in heavy weather areas without adequate stabilizers. Report No. 14/2009 (6/24/09).
UK – reminder re IMSBC Code
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a note reminding owners, operators, and masters that the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code was adopted by IMO resolution MSC.268(85). It supersedes the existing Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes, 2004. The IMSBC Code may be applied voluntarily from 1 January 2009 and enters into force on 1 January 2011. The new Code is intended to facilitate the loading, trimming, transport, and unloading of solid bulk cargoes. MIN 349 (M) (6/10/09).
UK – venting of tanks
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that onshore winds have brought oil smells to the Southwold area. The smells emanate from tankers engaged in venting or in ship-to-ship transfers. Venting becomes necessary when the oil cargo expands due to high temperatures. The MCA rightly declines to use legislation to address these operational issues, but encourages tankers to move their operations at least eight miles offshore when possible. (6/23/09).
Errata – survey of wreck of USS Monitor
In Tuesday’s newsletter, I reported that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it and partner organizations will be conducting a survey of the wreck of the USS Monitor located on the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 16 miles off the coast of Georgia. The ship sank in a storm on New Year’s Eve, 1862. If the item was accurate, the survey will take a long time because the ship actually sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. For some reason, understood by those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, I got the locations of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary reversed. Mea culpa! (6/22/09).
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