Headlines: Somali Basin – container ship evades pirate attack; Somali Basin – EU warship sinks another suspected pirate skiff; CBP – Vessel Inspection Guide; FMC – US export issues; Washington, DC – bridge allision investigated; Anchorage – multi-national oil spill tabletop exercise; Delaware River and Bay Oil Spill Advisory Committee meeting cancelled; CBP – members sought for COAC; NOAA & FWS – recovery plan for Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle; NOAA & FWS – Loggerhead sea turtles; OSHA – proposal re hexavalent chromium exposure notification; Court – right of insured to independent maritime counsel; Washington State – ship owner to pay $588,000 for oil spill environmental damage; EC – companies invited to apply for Marco Polo funding; Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy – executed 14 March 1757; and Amoco Cadiz oil spill – 16 March 1978.
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Somali Basin – container ship evades pirate attack
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a Liberian-flag container ship en route Salalah, Oman came under attack by pirates. The ship incurred damage to its funnel and to the crane forward of the bridge from small arms fire, but was able to evade boarding. (3/14/10).
Somali Basin – EU warship sinks another suspected pirate skiff
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that an EU warship sank a suspected pirate skiff discovered in the vicinity of five recent pirate attacks. (3/14/10).
CBP – Vessel Inspection Guide
With little fanfare, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) posted its Vessel Inspection Guide. The Guide discusses the procedures, regulations, and documentation for crew and passengers arriving in the United States by ship. (December 2009). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Sean Duffy of Gulf States Maritime Association.
FMC – US export issues
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) established on its internet site a new web page devoted to US export issues. (3/15/10).
Washington, DC – bridge allision investigated
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is investigating circumstances surrounding the striking of 14th Street across the Potomac River at Washington, DC by an 80-foot long construction barge. (3/15/10).
Anchorage – multi-national oil spill tabletop exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that representatives from the Canadian and US Coast Guard’s, Arctic region stakeholders, and established responders will conduct a joint Canada-United States North (CANUSNORTH) tabletop oil spill response exercise in Anchorage, Alaska on March 16-17. The exercise will focus on response to an oil spill in contiguous waters of the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea. (3/15/10).
Delaware River and Bay Oil Spill Advisory Committee – meeting canceled
The meeting of the Delaware River and Bay Oil Spill Advisory Committee (DRBOSAC), scheduled for March 17, has been canceled. 75 Fed. Reg. 12561 (March 16, 2010).
CBP – members sought for COAC
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is seeking applications for membership on the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC). Applications should reach CBP by May 15. 75 Fed. Reg. 12561 (March 16, 2010).
NOAA & FWS – recovery plan for Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are seeking comments on the draft Bi-National Recovery Plan for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. The draft plan was developed jointly with the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of Mexico. Comments should be submitted by May 17. 75 Fed. Reg. 12496 (March 16, 2010).
NOAA & FWS – Loggerhead sea turtles
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are proposing to list nine distinct population segments of Loggerhead sea turtles as endangered or threatened. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 14. 75 Fed. Reg. 12598 (March 16, 2010).
OSHA – proposal re hexavalent chromium exposure notification
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposes to revise the notification requirements in the exposure determination provisions of the hexavalent chromium standards. Hexavalent chromium is an emission commonly associated with welding and other industrial processes. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 15. 75 Fed. Reg. 12485 (March 16, 2010).
Court – right of insured to independent maritime counsel
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that an insured is allowed reasonable discretion in hiring independent maritime counsel in a complex matter and is entitled to reimbursement of such expenses from its insurer. Insured, though, is not entitled to unreasonably disregard insurer’s recommendations of counsel. New York Marine v. Lafarge North America, No. 08-5504-cv (9th Cir., March 15, 2010).
Washington State – ship owner to pay $588,000 for oil spill environmental damage
The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a news release stating that a tanker owner has entered into a proposed consent agreement for payment of $588,000 in settlement of federal, state, and Indian tribe claims of environmental damage stemming from a 2004 oil spill in Puget Sound’s Dalco Passage near Tacoma. (3/15/10).
EC – companies invited to apply for Marco Polo funding
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release inviting companies to submit proposals for the creation and upgrade of freight transport services under the Marco Polo program. The goal is to shift freight off European roadways to alternative modes, such as short sea shipping and inland waterways. (3/15/10).
Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy – executed 14 March 1757
On 14 March 1757, Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy, was executed by firing squad while he was kneeling on the forecastle of the HMS Monarch in the Solent. Admiral Byng had been court-martialed for personal cowardice, disaffection, and for not having done his utmost to prevent Minorca from falling to the French following the Battle of Minorca on May 20, 1756. He was convicted only of “failing to do his utmost”. The British and French fleets were numerically equal (ten ships each), but the British had scrapped their group together hastily and its ships were in disrepair. The British fleet suffered significant, but not fatal, battle damage. When the French fleet departed at the end of the engagement, Admiral Byng did not order his fleet to follow. Rather he had the fleet sail to Gibraltar for repairs. It was this departure to Gibraltar that the court-martial interpreted as a failure by the Admiral to do his utmost against the French. The court-martial was highly controversial, with many contending that the Navy panel had found the Admiral guilty to hide their own failure to properly prepare the fleet for the mission. Regardless, the event is said to have instilled a tradition of aggressiveness in Royal Navy officers.
AMOCO CADIZ oil spill – 16 March 1978
On March 16, 1978, the very large crude carrier (VLCC) AMOCO CADIZ lost steering in a Force 10 storm and grounded on Portsall Rocks off the coast of Brittany, France. As it broke up, the tanker lost its entire cargo of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil. The coastal areas in the vicinity were heavily impacted by the spill. After receiving limited compensation under the Civil Liability Compensation (CLC) and Funds Conventions, the Government of France brought suit in the United States against Amoco Oil Company, the parent company (twice removed) of the ship owner. The federal court awarded damages in favor of France, holding that the liability allocation and channeling provisions in the conventions were not applicable since the US was not party thereto.
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 – March 2010