Headlines: Malta – MV Arctic Sea hijackers arrested; Singapore Strait – attack by robbers foiled; Malta – passenger ship fire under investigation; Tonga – wreck of ferry positively identified; Singapore – guidance on shipboard operational matters; CBP – correction re containers with residual chemicals; NOAA – ocean and coastal mapping contracting policy; MARAD – Small Shipyard Grants announced; IMO – guidance re serious structural deficiencies in containers; Puget Sound – Pacific Unity exercise; and FMC – repeal of marine terminal agreement exemption.
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Malta – MV Arctic Sea hijackers arrested
The Malta Maritime Authority issued a press release stating that eight persons are being detained by Russian authorities in connection with the suspected hijacking of the MV Arctic Sea. The nationalities of the detained persons are: Estonian, Latvian, and Russian. Malta, as the flag state, is endeavoring to ensure that the ship is granted a safe berth to allow the required investigations into the seaworthiness of the ship. (8/18/09). Note: I am leaning increasingly toward “The Gang the Couldn’t Shoot Straight”.
Singapore Strait – attack by robbers foiled
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that a Singapore-flag tanker was boarded by robbers while anchored near Tanjong Ramunia, Malaysia, just east of Singapore. The three robbers fled in their wooden boat when the 22 crewmembers of the tanker were alerted and mustered on the bridge. (8/15/09).
Malta – passenger ship fire under investigation
The Malta Maritime Authority issued a press release stating that it is investigating a fire on a Maltese-flag passenger vessel that occurred in the port of Stockholm on 18 August. Most of the passengers were ashore when the fire was discovered in the lower forward part of the ship where maintenance was being carried out. The remaining passengers and non-essential crew were evacuated. The situation is now under control. Two crewmembers have been treated for smoke inhalation. (8/18/09).
Tonga – wreck of ferry positively identified
The Royal New Zealand Navy issued a media release stating that a remote operating vehicle (ROV) from the Royal New Zealand Navy Diving Tender HMNZN Mana Wanui has positively identified the wreck of the sunken passenger ferry Princess Ashika in waters off the coast of Tonga. The inter-island ferry sank on August 5. There were 54 survivors. Two bodies were recovered, but as many as 100 passengers and crew may have gone down with the ship when it suddenly sank. (8/18/09).
Singapore – guidance on shipboard operational matters
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a 388-page circular providing guidance on shipboard operational matters approved by the 85th and 86th sessions of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 85 and MSC 86) of the IMO. Guidance is provided on a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to: LRIT, ship stability, fire protection, lifeboat safety, container safety, and bilge discharge systems. Shipping Circular No. 24 of 2009 (8/17/09).
CBP – correction re containers with residual chemicals
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a correction to its July 17 notice of modification of an earlier ruling letter allowing shipping containers that contained residual chemicals to be entered as empty containers. The July 17 notice included only a 30-day delay in the effective date. A 60-day delay in the effective date is what was intended. This correction provides for the appropriate effective date of September 16 for the modification. There is a fly in the ointment, though. Due to a processing error, this correction currently appears only in the print edition of the Customs Bulletin and Decisions. It was inadvertently omitted from the electronic version posted on the CBP internet site. That processing error is being remedied. Meanwhile, though, the print edition, which includes this correction, is authoritative. (8/13/09).
NOAA – ocean and coastal mapping contracting policy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting comment on its draft Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy. While ocean and coastal mapping is a non-delegable mission, it is the intent of NOAA to contract for specific related services when qualified commercial services exist, when such contracts are determined to be the most cost-effective method of conducting those functions, and to the extent funding is available. Comments should be submitted by September 9. 74 Fed. Reg. 41865 (August 19, 2009).
MARAD – Small Shipyard Grants announced
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice of the Small Shipyard Grants. Seventy (70) grants totaling $98 million are being awarded to improve small shipyards throughout the United States. (8/18/09).
IMO – guidance re serious structural deficiencies in containers
The IMO issued a circular amending the guidance on serious structural deficiencies in containers. CSC.1/Circ.137 (6/10/09).
Puget Sound – Pacific Unity exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that members of the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF) will conduct the Pacific Unity humanitarian service training exercise on August 24-27 in the Port Angeles and Seattle areas. Ships from the coast guards of Japan, Canada, China, and Russia, as well as security personnel from South Korea will participate in the event hosted by the US Coast Guard. Training will involve aids to navigation (ATON), search and rescue (SAR), and maritime security operations. (8/18/09).
FMC – repeal of marine terminal agreement exemption
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that it is extending, through September 8, the period in which to submit comments on its proposal to repeal the marine terminal agreement. 74 Fed. Reg. 41831 (August 19, 2009).
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