Headlines: Somalia – pirates release hijacked fishing vessel; USN – best management practices to avoid pirate attacks; Bay of Bengal – daylight robbery of barge under tow; Houston Ship Channel – tug sinks, one crewmember missing; NOAA – wreck of airship Macon named national historic site; Court – insurance exclusion for failure to maintain vessel; EC – one-stop helpdesk for motorways of the sea; Paris MOU – FAQ re new inspection regime; and UK – sea passenger statistics for 2009.
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Somalia – pirates release hijacked fishing vessel
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that Somali pirates released the Taiwanese fishing vessel Win Far 161 and its crew of 28. The vessel was hijacked on 6 April 2009 in the Somali Basin about 160nm north of the Seychelles. It had not been registered with military authorities. (2/11/10). Note: There are unconfirmed reports that three crewmembers died while the vessel was being held by the pirates.
USN – best management practices to avoid pirate attacks
The US Navy issued a press release encouraging vessels to follow “best management practices” when transiting areas where pirate attacks are common. Pirate activity may be expected in the area between the Somali coast, the Arabian Peninsula, the Maldives, and the Comoros Islands. (2/11/10).
Bay of Bengal – daylight robbery of barge under tow
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that two robbers in a boat boarded a flat-top crane barge being towed along the coast of Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal from Malaysia to Bangladesh. The robbers stole a canvas and some rope before returning to their boat. They then followed the tug and barge for several hours. (2/10/10).
Houston Ship Channel – tug sinks, one crewmember missing
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has closed the Houston Ship Channel to navigation from the Vopak facility to Sims Bayou in support of the search and rescue effort for the crewmember missing after a tug sank in the Channel. The other four crewmembers on the tug were rescued. A salvage plan is under consideration. The incident is under investigation. A second news release states that a body, believed to be that of the missing crewmember has been recovered from the water near the wreck of the tug. (2/11/10).
NOAA – wreck of airship Macon named national historic site
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that the wreck of the US Navy airship Macon has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. On February 12, 1935, the airship crashed and sank into the Pacific Ocean in what is now the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. All but two of the Macon’s 83 crewmembers were rescued. The Macon was one of the largest dirigibles ever built (785 feet in length). It carried four Sparrowhawk biplanes. (2/11/10).
Court – insurance exclusion for failure to maintain vessel
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a clause in a marine insurance policy excluding coverage for “lack of reasonable care or due diligence in maintenance of your watercraft” is unambiguous and must be enforced. Shepard v. Foremost Insurance Co., No. 09-35291 (9th Cir, February 10, 2010).
EC – one-stop helpdesk for motorways of the sea
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has launched a one-stop helpdesk on funding possibilities for “motorways of the sea” projects. (2/10/10).
Paris MOU – FAQ re new inspection regime
The Paris MOU issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding its new port state control inspection regime, scheduled to commence on 1 January 2011. (2/11/10).
UK – sea passenger statistics 2009
The UK Department for Transport issued the Sea Passenger Statistics 2009. International short sea passenger journeys to and from the UK dropped 5%, to 21.6 million. For comparison, passenger journeys through the Channel Tunnel dropped 4%, to 17 million. Over the period 1999-2009, international short sea passenger journeys to and from the UK fell by 31%. (2/11/10).
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 – February 2010