Headlines: Gulf of Aden – vessel protection detachment deters piratical attack; Indian Ocean – piratical hijacking of chemical tanker; USCG – proposed implementation of STCW amendments; Oregon and Washington – RNAs along coastal bars; USCG – safety alert re sailboat rigging dangers; Bill introduced to reauthorize NTSB; Recent ruling re EFTs and Rule B applies retroactively; Longshoreman’s claim against third party is not pursuant to LHWCA; St. Lawrence Seaway – closing of 2009 navigation season; and EU – Council conclusions on integrated maritime policy.
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Gulf of Aden – vessel protection detachment deters piratical attack
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the vessel protection detachment (VPD) on a Ukrainian cargo ship deterred a piratical attack in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates operating from two attack skiffs assaulted the cargo ship, firing Kalashnikovs and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). The VPD returned fire and the pirates broke off their attack. (11/17/09).
Indian Ocean – piratical hijacking of chemical tanker
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a chemical tanker with a crew of 28 North Koreans was hijacked by prates in the Indian Ocean 180 nautical miles northwest of the Seychelles. The ship had been en route Mombasa. (11/17/09).
USCG – proposed implementation of STCW amendments
The US Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to fully incorporate the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention), as well as the Seafarer’s Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code) in the requirements for the credentialing of US merchant mariners. The changes proposed incorporate lessons learned from implementation of the STCW Convention and STCW Code through the interim rule and attempt to clarify those regulations that have generated confusion in the past. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by February 16, 2010. 74 Fed. Reg. 59353 (November 17, 2009).
Oregon and Washington – RNAs along coastal bars
The US Coast Guard promulgated its final rule establishing regulated navigation areas (RNAs) covering specific bars along the coasts of Oregon and Washington. The RNAs are considered necessary to enhance the safety of persons and vessels operating in these hazardous bar areas. The RNAs do so by establishing clear procedures for restricting and/or closing the bars and mandating additional safety requirements for recreational and small commercial vessels operating in the RNAs when certain conditions exist. The rule comes into effect on December 17. 74 Fed. Reg. 59098 (November 17, 2009).
USCG – safety alert re sailboat rigging dangers
The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert reminding owners and operators of passenger-carrying sailing catamarans of the importance of regular examination of standing rigging. Corrosion and fatigue failure can cause sudden dismasting. An enhanced inspection regime for sailboat rigging, masts, and associated components is also discussed in Sector Honolulu Inspection Note #13. (11/16/09).
Bill introduced to reauthorize NTSB
Senator Dorgan (D-ND) introduced the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 2768) to amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2010 through 2014, and for other purposes. (11/10/09).
Recent ruling re EFTs and Rule B applies retroactively
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that its recent decision holding that an electronic funds transfer (EFT) is not properly attachable under a maritime attachment order in the federal district courts of New York pursuant to Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applies retroactively. The instant case was in active litigation and a Rule B attachment of defendant’s EFT was in effect prior to the appellate court’s recent decision. The court is the instant case ruled that, since the Rule B attachment related to the jurisdiction of the court, it should be applied retroactively. Failure to raise the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction before the federal district court did not, in this case, constitute waiver because this particular defense did not exist until the appellate court’s recent ruling. The case was remanded to determine whether there was an alternative basis on which to find personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Hawknet, Ltd. v. Overseas Shipping Agencies, No. 09-2128-cv (2nd Cir., November 13, 2009).
Longshoreman’s claim against third party is not pursuant to LHWCA
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a claim by a longshoreman against a third party for injuries incurred while unloading a barge are not pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, the insurers for the barge owner denied coverage of the personal injury claim brought by the longshoreman, relying on a provision in the insurance contract excluding coverage for claims against the insured brought “pursuant to” the LHWCA. The appellate court held that, while the type of third party claim in this case is mentioned in the LHWCA, it was merely to note that the longshoreman’s traditional right to bring such a suit was preserved in the LHWCA. Thus, this particular claim would have been allowable prior to enactment of the LHWCA and was not pursuant to the statute. Bayou Steel Corp. v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 08-31206 (5th Cir., November 10, 2009).
St. Lawrence Seaway – closing of 2009 navigation season
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a notice stating that Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway will close at 23:59 on December 29. Notice No. 8 – 2009 (11/16/09).
EU – Council conclusions on integrated maritime policy
The Council of the European Union issued its Conclusions on an integrated maritime policy. (11/16/09).
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 – November 2009