Headlines: Port Arthur oil spill – update; FMC – meeting re passenger vessel financial responsibility; CBP – cargo targeting and examinations; North Atlantic – ill child evacuated from tanker; Florida – tug collides with adrift barge, is holed; MERPAC meeting; USCG – delayed issuance of MMCs; EC – Somalia Training Mission; and UK – procedure for sale of trust ports.
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Port Arthur oil spill – update
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, of the 450,000 gallons of oil spilled in Port Arthur, approximately 220,000 gallons have been recovered or have evaporated or dispersed naturally. Approximately none miles of shoreline have been impacted. Lightering operations for the damaged tanker and for the two tank barges involved in the incident are scheduled to commence shortly. The response effort and the investigation continue. The Coast Guard also issued a photo release. (1/25/10).
FMC – meeting re passenger vessel financial responsibility
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that, on February 16, it will hold a public hearing on the agency’s Passenger Vessel Financial Responsibility Program. This hearing is in conjunction with the FMC’s earlier Notice of Inquiry to solicit information and comments concerning the benefits and burdens of the current Commission requirements by which passenger vessel operators establish proof of financial responsibility in the event of nonperformance. (1/25/10).
CBP – cargo targeting and examinations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued the report of its investigation of the cargo targeting and examination processes utilized by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The investigation focused on the Automated Targeting System. The primary recommendations related to improving documentation to support decisions to waive or inspect high-risk shipments and to improve guidance on how to conduct and record the physical examination of high-risk cargo containers. OIG-10-34 (1/25/10).
North Atlantic – ill child evacuated from tanker
The US Coast Guard issued a video release stating that it medically evacuated a five-year-old boy from a tanker in the North Atlantic approximately 250 miles east of Bermuda after the child experienced symptoms of appendicitis. A helicopter was flown from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Bermuda. It then flew east to meet the tanker. The child and his parents were then flown to Bermuda, where the child is now in the hospital. (1/25/10).
Florida – tug collides with adrift barge, is holed
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it was responding to the collision of a tug and an adrift barge off Delray Beach, Florida, north of Miami. The tug was attempting to get the barge in tow after it broke loose from its moorings. The tug sustained a hole in the forward section of the hull, flooding the bow. The master then intentionally beached the tug. Salvage plans are being developed. The incident is under investigation. (1/25/10).
MERPAC – meeting
The Merchant Marine Personal Advisory Committee (MERPAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will hold a teleconference meeting on February 11. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and prepare recommendations for the Coast Guard concerning the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the implementation of the 1995 amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978. 75 Fed. Reg. 4096 (January 26, 2010).
USCG – delayed issuance of MMCs
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice regarding delayed issuance of merchant mariner credentials (MMCs). In accordance with long-standing policy, mariners may request, in writing on their application, delay issuance of their credential until approximately one month prior to expiration of their current credential. (1/26/10).
EC – Somalia Training Mission
The Council of the European Union issued a press release stating its continued support to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and the efforts of the Somalia Training Mission. Technical assistance to the Somalia Security Forces is particularly important with regard to capacity-building. Support was also expressed for the ongoing deployment of EU NAVFOR Atalanta. (1/25/10).
UK – procedure for sale of trust ports
The Department for Transport issued a Guidance Note concerning procedure for sale of trust ports. (1/25/10).
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 – January 2010