Headlines: DOJ – company admits to falsifying oil record book; Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands – Port Condition Yankee; Prudhoe Bay – medical evacuation from cruise ship; ACPIL meeting; UK – report on Riverdance casualty; Australia – clean-up continues from offshore oil leak; Gulf of Aden – EU-Saudi coordination; NTSB – public docket on sinking of Alaska Ranger; EMSA – Marine Support Services now 24/7; and UK – Red Ensign Day.
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DOJ – company admits to falsifying oil record book
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release stating that a shipping company pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to keep accurate oily water discharge records and to using falsified records to conceal the discharge at sea of untreated bilge waste. The company was fined $1 million and will make a $350,000 community service payment. The chief engineer and second engineer had previously pleaded guilty and sentenced to three months probation with the condition that they each serve one month in a community corrections facility. (9/3/09).
Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands – Port Condition Yankee
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that Port Condition YANKEE has been set for the waters of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands due to the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Erika. (9/3/09).
Prudhoe Bay – medical evacuation from cruise ship
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is coordinating the medical evacuation of a passenger from the cruise ship Bremen near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The evacuation is being undertaken by Alaska Clean Seas and British Petroleum. (9/3/09).
ACPIL – meeting
The Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL), sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on October 19-20. Topics on the agenda include the new Rotterdam Rules on carriage of goods at sea and the UNCITRAL E-Commerce and Letter of Credit Conventions. 74 Fed. Reg. 45888 (September 4, 2009).
UK – report on Riverdance casualty
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released the report of its investigation into the grounding and subsequent loss of the ro-ro cargo vessel Riverdance on Shell Flats – Cleveleys Beach, Lancashire on 31 January 2008. The root cause seems to have been complacency. The true weights and dispositions of the cargo were not calculated, nor was the ship’s stability. Despite the heavy weather conditions, some openings on the weather deck were not closed off. The ship proceeded in following seas at a speed slightly slower than that of the following wave train. A late attempt to bring the ship’s head into the wind was not thought through and exacerbated the ship’s port heel. The excessive heel caused the port main engine to trip, leaving the ship without sufficient power to bring its head into the wind or to avoid grounding. Because the distribution of weights on board the ship was unknown, the amount of ballast transferred immediately after the grounding was based on the master’s estimate. The owner’s shore-based crisis management team did not have access to accurate stability information and was unable to adequately support the master. Fortunately, the crew was safely evacuated. Attempts to refloat the ship were unsuccessful and it was eventually cut up in-situ. Report No. 18/2009 (9/3/09).
Australia – clean-up continues from offshore oil leak
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that clean-up of the oil leak offshore of Western Australia continues. Dispersants are being applied and containment/recovery operations are about to commence. (9/3/09).
Gulf of Aden – EU-Saudi coordination
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release summarizing recent coordination of operations between two EU warships and the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) KSAS Yunbou. The KSAS Yunbou is a naval tanker. It conducted replenishment at sea operations with the two EU warships. (9/2/09).
NTSB – public docket on sinking of Alaska Ranger
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a press advisory stating that, on September 4, it will open a public accident docket as part of its investigation into the sinking of the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger in the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008. Five of the 47 persons aboard the vessel died in the casualty. (9/3/09).
EMSA – Marine Support Services now 24/7
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued a press release stating that, from 1 September, its Maritime Support Services (MSS) center is operational continuously. It provides access to EU ship information, marine pollution monitoring services, and emergency response capabilities for EU Member States. (9/2/09).
UK – Red Ensign Day
The UK Department for Transport issued a press release reminding readers that September 3, 2009 was the tenth anniversary of the commencement of Red Ensign Day (or Merchant Navy Day), celebrating the British shipping industry as well as providing an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made by merchant seamen over the years.
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