Headlines: Malta – MV Arctic Sea under Russian military control; USCG – ballast water living organism standard; USCG – escort vessel rulemaking withdrawn; UK – safety bulletin – windlass failure; EPA – boat manufacturers to pay civil penalties; Delaware River – tanker grounds, refloated; USCG – fish barrier information; and Panama Canal – 95th anniversary of first transit.
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Malta – MV Arctic Sea under Russian military control
The Malta Maritime Authority issued a press release stating that the MV Arctic Sea is under the control of the Russian military forces. Further clarification is being sought and will be released once it has been confirmed. (8/17/09). I can’t wait to read the book and see the movie! Will it be a sequel to “The Hunt for Red October” or “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight”?
USCG – ballast water living organism standard
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has completed its review of the US Coast Guard proposal to add a performance standard to its regulations for ballast water management methods being used as an alternative to mid-ocean ballast water exchange. The proposal should be published in the Federal Register soon, at which time the public comment period will commence. (8/13/09).
USCG – escort vessel rulemaking withdrawn
The US Coast Guard is withdrawing its proposed rule concerning the extension of escort vessel requirements to waters of the United States generally. Such a rule is currently in place for single-hull oil tankers in Prince William Sound and Puget Sound. The proposal considered the possibility of extending the requirement to other US waters and to other vessels. The Coast Guard concluded that a rulemaking of national scope is neither necessary nor advisable given the existence of more locally-oriented options for considering escort vessel requirements. 74 Fed. Reg. 41646 (August 18, 2009).
UK – safety bulletin – windlass failure
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a Safety Bulletin containing an urgent safety recommendation concerning the risk of catastrophic failure of high pressure hydraulic anchor windlasses. The identified failures appear to have occurred when heaving in the anchor in adverse sea and weather conditions when the anchor chain has been tensioned beyond the intended safe loading of its windlass. This can be avoided by: (1) closely monitoring the predicted weather and sea conditions and ensuring that the anchor is recovered in good time; and (2) using main engines to maneuver a vessel to relieve tension in the anchor chain before heaving in. Until technical solutions are introduced by all windlass manufacturers that prevent overloading of high-pressure windlasses, it is imperative that an anchor chain be closely monitored when weighing and that heaving in is stopped as soon as any significant tensioning is observed or difficulty is experienced. In particular, TTS Kocks GmbH is recommended to expedite its action to identify the technical reasons for the catastrophic failures of its windlass motors and determine engineering and design solutions to prevent similar accidents on board vessels fitted with its equipment. It is also requested the ship owners and others in the maritime community forward to MAIB details of any incidents that have resulted in the fracture of windlass motor casings. (8/17/09).
EPA – boat manufacturers to pay civil penalties
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that two boat manufacturers have agreed to pay civil penalties totaling over $50,000 for failure to submit timely reports of their use of toxic chemicals used during the manufacturing process. (8/17/09).
Delaware River – tanker grounds, refloated
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a tanker grounded in the Delaware River near Wilmington. It was refloated some hours later with no reports of injury or pollution. The incident is under investigation. (8/17/09).
USCG – fish barrier information
The US Coast Guard has created a web site providing information on the fish barrier located in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois. (8/12/09).
Panama Canal – 95th anniversary of first transit
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release noting that the first transit of the Panama Canal, by the merchant vessel Ancón, occurred on August 15, 1914. (8/14/09).
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 – August 2009