Headlines: St. Patrick’s Day – green beer all around; Ireland – Coast Guard SAR helicopter contract service; UK & Ireland – assessment of aids to navigation; USCG – conditions of entry for vessels arriving from Timor-Leste; NOSAC meeting; Puget Sound – proposed changes to restricted area; OSHA – hexavalent chromium exposure notification; Chesapeake Bay – seasonal weather buoys set; Charleston – pollution response exercise; Umpqua River – modification to RNA boundary; NOAA – Pacific smelt to be listed as threatened; House – bill introduced re use of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund; Australia – report on bulker-fishing vessel collision; and UK – grounding due to failure of bridge team work.
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St. Patrick’s Day – green beer all around
Today is celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day, in memory of the priest Saint Patrick (circa AD 385-461) who chased all the lawyers (oops, I meant snakes) out of Ireland. Drink some green beer and be Irish, at least for a day. Erin Go Bragh!
Ireland – Coast Guard SAR helicopter contract service
The Irish Department of Transport issued a press release stating that a preferred bidder has been nominated to supply search and rescue (SAR) helicopter contract service for the Irish Coast Guard. (3/15/10).
UK & Ireland – assessment of aids to navigation
The UK Department for Transport released the 256-page Assessment of the Provision of Marine Aids to Navigation around the United Kingdom & Ireland. The report finds that the provision of marine aids to navigation around the UK and Ireland is undertaken to first class standards. It does recommend some major structural changes in the system, especially with regard to the funding of aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland. The report also recommends moving toward a flat structure for Light Dues, with a lower headline rate and removal of the current tonnage and voyage caps. (3/16/10).
USCG – conditions of entry for vessels arriving from Timor-Leste
The US Coast Guard issued an advisory stating that, effective March 29, it will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving to the United States from the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, during their last five port calls. The advisory includes the current list of countries that the US Coast Guard had determined to be not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures. In summary, each affected vessel must: (1) implement the Security Level 2 measures from its ship security plan while in a port of a listed country; (2) ensure that each access point is guarded and that guards have total visibility of the exterior of the vessel while in such a port; (3) attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in such a port; (4) log all security actions; and (5) report actions taken to the pertinent USCG Captain of the Port [COTP] prior to arrival in the US. Port Security Advisory (2-10) (March 15, 2010).
NOSAC – meeting
The National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in New Orleans on April 8. Topics on the agenda include: application of MARPOL Annex Ii to offshore supply vessels (OSVs); medical treatment of injured divers; advance notice of arrival for units arriving on the outer continental shelf (OCS); and the STCW Convention. 75 Fed. Reg. 12772 (March 17, 2010).
Puget Sound – proposed changes to restricted area
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposes to amend its regulations for the restricted area in waters of Puget Sound adjacent to Naval Station Everett to enhance safety and security around the establishment. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 16. 75 Fed. Reg. 12718 (March 17, 2010).
OSHA – hexavalent chromium exposure notification
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a direct final rule revising 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. The direct final rule will come into effect on June 15 unless significant adverse comment is received by April 16. 75 Fed. Reg. 12681 (March 17, 2010). Note: This rulemaking procedure may engender some unintentional confusion. OSHA published its proposed rule on March 16. It and the direct final rule should have been published on the same date, but that did not occur. The two documents should be considered together.
Chesapeake Bay – seasonal weather buoys set
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it recently set the seasonal weather buoys in Chesapeake Bay. The buoys collect and report real-time environmental data, including wind speed, temperature, and wave height. (3/16/10).
Charleston – pollution response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on March 18, it and industry partners will conduct a pollution response exercise on the Cooper River in Charleston. (3/16/10).
Umpqua River – modification to RNA boundary
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is making a modification to the upriver boundary of the regulated navigation area (RNA) on the Umpqua River. By moving the boundary from aid number 8 to aid number 6, the modification will allow better usage of an important recreational fishing site without adversely affecting navigational safety. (3/16/10).
NOAA – Pacific smelt to be listed as threatened
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it plans to list the Pacific smelt as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Pacific smelt ranges from the Mad River in northern California to British Columbia. (3/16/10).
House – bill introduced re use of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
Representative Boustany (R-LA) introduced a bill (H.R. 4844) to ensure that amounts credited to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are used for harbor maintenance. (3/15/10).
Australia – report on bulker-fishing vessel collision
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the report of its investigation of the collision between a bulk carrier and a commercial fishing vessel off Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory on 16 April 2009. There were no injuries, but the fishing vessel had to be abandoned following the collision. The fishing vessel was the give-way vessel, but it had no look-out and thus failed to change course or speed. The bulk carrier had detected the fishing vessel 20 minutes prior to the collision, but failed to use appropriate means to determine the risk of collision and thus failed to attempt evasive maneuvers until too late. Complacency trumped seamanship! MOI No. 264 (3/16/10).
UK – grounding due to failure of bridge team work
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released the report of its investigation of the grounding of a container ship on Monggok Sebarok reef in the Singapore Strait on 16 September 2009. The container ship was on a westerly course transiting the Singapore Strait when three other vessels entered the Strait from Jong Channel just ahead of the container ship. To give those vessels sufficient clearance, the master altered course to starboard. Despite warnings from Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS), the master did not begin the maneuver back to the planned track in sufficient time to avoid grounding on the charted reef. The casualty was largely due to complacency and a failure of bridge team work. The investigation was impaired by the failure of the master to prevent the details of the incident on the voyage data recorder (VDR) from being over-written. The master was unfamiliar with the workings of the VDR. When he pressed the button on the control panel to preserve the data, he did not check to ensure that indictor light showing data preservation had illuminated. Report 2/2010 (3/16/10).
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 – March 2010