Headlines: DOJ – guilty plea leads to ban on US port calls; CBP – withdrawal of proposed modification of Jones Act rulings; Columbia River – temporarily closed to navigation at the Dalles Dam; USCG & USN – sailor medically evacuated from submarine; Oversight hearing on USCG SAR mission; NTSB – sinking of fish processing vessel Alaska Ranger; USCG – Project Seahawk; San Diego Bay – naval security zone; FMC – updating of regulations; Alaska – oil spill awareness seminar; Tokyo MOU – criteria for attribution of RO responsibility; and UK – report on truck breaking loose on ro-ro high speed ferry.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items.
DOJ – guilty plea leads to ban on US port calls
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a ship manager pleaded guilty in federal court to violations of the ballast water management statute, the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and the requirement to report hazardous conditions, as well as making false statements to the US Coast Guard. This is reportedly the first prosecution under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. The company has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $2.7 million and a separate $100,000 community service payment to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center for its marine invasive species program. The company will also serve three years probation, during which all ships owned or managed by the company will be barred from entering US ports. (9/30/09).
CBP - withdrawal of proposed modifications of Jones Act rulings
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a General Notice stating that it is withdrawing its July 17 proposed notice of modification and revocation of prior ruling letters relating to the agency’s position regarding the application of the coastwise trade laws to certain merchandise and vessel equipment that are transported between coastwise points. A new notice which will set forth CBP’s proposed action relating to its interpretation of prior decisions on this issue will be published in the Customs Bulletin in the near future. (10/1/09).
Columbia River – temporarily closed to navigation at the Dalles Dam
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Columbia River is temporarily closed to navigation at the Dalles Dam. The US Army Corps of Engineers has closed the navigation lock due to structural irregularities detected in the downstream gate. An assessment is being made to determine if repairs are needed. (9/30/09).
USCG & USN – sailor medically evacuated from submarine
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it medically evacuated a sailor from an unnamed US Navy submarine at an unspecified location off the coast of Washington. (9/30/09).
Oversight hearing on USCG SAR mission
On September 30, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) mission. In addition to reviewing the SAR program, it also examined lessons learned from recent SAR cases. Rear Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara, Deputy Commandant for Operations, testified concerning the training, organization, and technology utilized in performance of this vital mission. The Coast Guard issued a news release regarding the hearing. (9/30/09).
NTSB – sinking of fish processing vessel Alaska Ranger
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a public meeting regarding the sinking of the fish processing vessel Alaska Ranger in the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008. The synopsis of the NTSB investigation states that the probable cause of the sinking was uncontrolled, progressive flooding due to a lack of internal watertight integrity and to a breach of the hull’s watertight envelope, likely caused by a physical rudder loss. Contributing to the loss of life was the vessel’s movement astern, which accelerated the flooding and caused the liferafts to swing out of reach of many crewmembers. (9/30/09).
USCG – Project Seahawk
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, acting on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, it is assuming operational control of Project Seahawk from the Department of Justice. Project Seahawk is a multi-jurisdictional task force responsible for preventing and disrupting illicit activity in the Port of Charleston and minimizing the port’s vulnerability to a terrorist attack or criminal exploitation. (9/30/09).
San Diego Bay – naval security zone
The US Coast Guard is replacing the security zone at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego Bay with an expanded naval security zone. This action also includes the installation of water barriers within the naval security zone. These changes come into effect on November 2. 74 Fed. Reg. 50706 (October 1, 2009).
FMC – updating of regulations
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has amended its regulations to reflect the codification of the Shipping Act in Title 46, US Code, as positive law. No substantive changes are intended by this action. 74 Fed. Reg. 50713 (October 1, 2009).
Alaska – oil spill awareness seminar
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that federal, state, and local agencies, as well as industry representatives met in the Oil Spill Awareness Seminar in Valdez. The purpose of the seminar was to enhance relationships and improve mutual understanding of capabilities. (9/29/09).
Tokyo MOU – criteria for attribution of RO responsibility
The Tokyo MOU on Port State Control released its Criteria for attribution of Recognized Organization (RO) responsibility. RO responsibility for the detention of a vessel under the port state control program will be assessed only relating to detainable deficiencies that are: (1) covered by a statutory certificate that has been issued or endorsed by the RO with a date of survey; and (2) the RO has carried out the last survey or verification audit for the relevant certificate. (9/30/09).
UK – report on truck breaking loose on ro-ro high speed ferry
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the shift of an articulated road tanker on board a roll-on roll-off high-speed sea service cargo ferry in Loch Ryan, Scotland on 28 January 2009. The truck driver left the truck out of gear and did not apply the parking brake. Neither the ferry’s deck securing points nor the truck’s ferry securing points accorded with applicable international or national standards. The lashing straps were of insufficient strength. The truck broke loose as the ferry accelerated on departure from port and trimmed by the stern. The semi-trailer portion of the vehicle crashed through the stern door of the ferry and came to rest on the vessel’s port water jet units. The ferry was able to return to port. Report No. 21/2009 (10/1/09).
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 – October 2009