Headlines: Web-based merchant mariner credential verification tool; UK – report on low carbon transport; CTAC meeting; Members sought for CTAC; LRIT status report; IMO – NOAEL and LOAEL values for halocarbon fire-extinguishing agents; IMO – equivalent fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems; IMO – fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing systems; Newport Beach – ferry grounds; Panama Canal – marine simulation and training conference; and Stockholm-Andrea Doria collision (25 July 1956).
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USCG – web-based merchant mariner credential verification tool
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has launched a web-based tool to provide information on the validity of merchant mariner credentials. The Merchant Mariner Credential Verification tool provides marine employers and port state control officers the capability to verify US merchant mariners credentials (MMC). The MMC information may be accessed via: (1) credential type and serial number; (2) Mariner Reference number; or (3) last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the mariner’s social security number. The tool may be accessed by going to Homeport, clicking on Merchant Mariners (on the left side of the screen), and then clicking on Merchant Mariner Credential Verification. (7/23/09). Note: This is a highly welcome development. In the past, employers have sometimes had difficulty in determining mariner qualifications. This tool will resolve that problem. Many, if not all, states post on the web information regarding licensed individuals (including lawyers, doctors, and barbers). This new tool will also allow individual mariners to check on the status of their own MMCs, providing them with an opportunity to discover and correct possible errors.
UK – report on low carbon transport
The UK Department for Transport posted the government report: Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future. Among other things, the report looks to the shipping industry to exploit the full potential of technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce air emissions. It also promotes the inclusion of international aviation and shipping in the emissions trading systems to be negotiated at the upcoming United Nations meeting in Copenhagen. The report is accompanied by an impact assessment. (7/23/09).
CTAC – meeting
The Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) and a selection of its subcommittees and working groups, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Washington, DC on August 11 and 12. 74 Fed. Reg. 36733 (July 24, 2009).
USCG – members sought for CTAC
The US Coast Guard is seeking applications for appointment to membership on the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), which advises the service on matters relating to the safe and secure transportation and handling of hazardous materials in bulk on US-flag vessels in US ports and waterways. Applications should be received by September 30. 74 Fed. Reg. 36735 (July 24, 2009).
IMSO – LRIT status report
The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) issued a notice on the status of the Long-Range Information and Tracking (LRIT) system. In addition to the original six LRIT Data Centres (Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands, and United States), fourteen more Data Centres have been integrated into the system: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, China, EMSA [on behalf of 29 European countries], Isle of Man, Jamaica, Japan, Sierra Leone, Singapore, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu. A further 42 Data Centres are expected to be integrated by the end of 2009. (7/17/09).
IMO – NOAEL and LOAEL values for halocarbon fire-extinguishing agents
The IMO issued a circular forwarding guidelines on determining the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) and lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) values for halocarbon fire-extinguishing agents. MSC.1/Circ.1316 (6/10/09).
IMO – equivalent fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems
The IMO issued a circular providing guidance on application for existing approvals according to the revised guidelines for the approval of equivalent fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems, as referred to in SOLAS 74, for machinery spaces and cargo pump-rooms (MSC/Circ.848). MSC.1/Circ.1317 (6/11/09).
IMO – fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing systems
The IMO issued a circular forwarding guidelines for the maintenance and inspection of fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing systems. MSC.1/Circ.1318 (6/11/09).
Newport Beach – ferry grounds
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a 57-foot car ferry grounded at Balboa Island, California, incurring a 2-foot hole in the hull. There were no passengers on board at the time. There have been no reports of injuries or pollution. The ferry has been refloated and taken to a nearby shipyard for repair. The incident is under investigation. (7/22/09).
Panama Canal – marine simulation and training conference
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that it will host a marine simulation and training conference in Panama City on August 17-20. (7/22/09).
Stockholm-Andrea Doria collision – July 25, 1956
The Swedish passenger ship Stockholm and the Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria collided on the edge of a heavy fog bank off Nantucket on July 25, 1956. The Andrea Doria sank several hours after the collision, but not before 1660 passengers and crew were rescued. There were 46 deaths. While the exact cause of the casualty has never been determined, it appears to have been a “radar-assisted” collision, with the officers of the watch on both vessels misinterpreting the radar images and taking the wrong actions. The wreck of the Andrea Doria has become a popular, though notorious, destination for deep-sea divers. The Stockholm was rebuilt following the collision. It has gone through a number of owners and names and now sails as the cruise ship Athena. On December 3, 2008, it was attacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden, but was able to evade the attempted boarding.
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 – July 2009