Headlines: Somalia – pirate attacks on the rise; EU – cooperation in fight against pirates; Pacific Ocean – tsunami warning cancelled; IMO – discharge of Baltic Sea ballast water; DOT – grants awarded to improve ferry docks and facilities; New Orleans – meeting re ballast water discharge standards; Prince Rupert – joint Canada/US oil spill response exercise; and Australia – report on engine room flooding.
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Somalia – pirate attacks on the rise
The US Navy issued a news release stating that pirate activity has increased recently off the coast of Somalia with four attempted attacks since September 19 on merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden. To further improve counter-piracy coordination, representatives from 30 nations and international organizations met in Bahrain. (9/29/09).
EU – cooperation in fight against pirates
The European Union (EU) issued a news release discussing its operations against pirates off the coast of Somalia and cooperation between military actors and the merchant fleets. (9/29/09).
Pacific Ocean – tsunami near Samoa
The NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a bulletin cancelling its prior tsunami warning. The warning was based on a strong earthquake in the Samoa Islands region. Waves in excess of 5 feet were experienced in that region and the death toll there could reach 100. Smaller waves were observed elsewhere in the Pacific basin, little damage was reported outside of the Samoa Islands. (9/29/09).
IMO – discharge of Baltic Sea ballast water
The IMO issued a circular forwarding a communication received from Sweden on behalf of Contracting Parties to the OSPAR and Helsinki Conventions. It provides general guidance on the voluntary interim application of the Ballast Water Exchange Standard contained in regulation D-1 of the BWM Convention by vessels leaving the Baltic Sea and transiting through the North-East Atlantic to other destinations. BWM.2/Circ.22 (8/14/09).
DOT – grants awarded to improve ferry docks and facilities
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a press release stating that it is awarding more than $42 million in grants to improve ferry service and build new docks and facilities in 15 states and Puerto Rico. (9/29/09).
New Orleans – meeting re ballast water discharge standards
The US Coast Guard issued a news release reminding stakeholders that it will host a meeting in New Orleans on September 30 to receive comments on its proposed ballast water discharge standards. (9/29/09).
Prince Rupert – joint Canada/US oil spill response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a joint Canada/US oil spill response exercise is being held in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. (9/28/09).
Australia – report on engine room flooding
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation of the engine room flooding on a cargo ship in Port Kembla, New South Wales on 27 October 2008. While the ship was in port, a ballast pump was disassembled for repair. Unfortunately, the related suction pipe was not blanked off and the suction valves were not isolated. In addition, the work schedule was not well communicated, no work permit was issued, and no warning signs were placed on the ballast valve remote control panel. During cargo discharge operations, the chief mate remotely opened two ballast valves. As a result, about 390 cubic meters of seawater entered the engine room, damaging 22 electric motors located on lower levels. MO 2008-009 (9/29/09).
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 – September 2009