Headlines: Gulf of Aden – pirates hijack product tanker; USCG – revision to advisory re ITAR issues; EPA – “glitch” regarding ENOI application for Vessel General Permit; Canada – proposed Arctic Vessel Traffic Services Zone; UK – Thames Barrier closed to protect London from flooding; IMO – summary of DE session; Hampton, Virginia – SAR Forum; and NASA – Chilean earthquake increased Earth’s speed of rotation.
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Gulf of Aden – pirates hijack product tanker
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the product tanker Al Nisr Al Saudi was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel was not in the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) and was not registered with naval authorities. It is now in the vicinity of Garacad, Somalia, a well-known pirate stronghold. The crew of 14 is reportedly in good condition. (3/3/10).
USCG – revision to advisory re ITAR issues
The US Coast Guard issued a revision to its Advisory regarding compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) when weapons are carried on board US-flag commercial vessels transiting high-risk waters. The changes, which are mostly for clarification, are highlighted in the revision. Port Security Advisory 4-09 (Rev 3) (3/2/10).
EPA – “glitch” regarding ENOI application for Vessel General Permit
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently acknowledged that there was a “glitch” in its program for submittal of the Electronic Notice of Intent (ENOI) application for the Vessel General Permit (VGP) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). I do not pretend to understand all the details, but the bottom line is that the EPA system did not always accept and record information related to the onboard treatment system, particularly for those submittals made prior to September 10, 2009. Holders of VGPs are strongly encouraged to check their materials to determine whether the onboard treatment systems data in properly reflected. If it is not, then a resubmittal is in order. (3/2/10). Note: This glitch was identified through the good offices of Kathy Metcalf of the Chamber of Shipping of America.
Canada – proposed Arctic Vessel Traffic Services Zone
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it has proposed to adopt the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations. Among other things, these regulations would establish a mandatory vessel reporting system for ships transiting Canada’s northern waters. Plans call for the proposed regulations to come into effect on 1 July. (2/26/10).
UK – Thames Barrier closed to protect London from flooding
The UK Environment Agency issued a news release stating that the Thames Barrier has been closed for the fifth time in the last three days in order to protect London from flooding. Recent rainfall, combined with high tides and a tidal surge have necessitated this action, which temporarily closes the River Thames to navigation. (3/2/10).
IMO – summary of DE session
The IMO issued a news release summarizing the results of the recently-concluded session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE). The Sub-Committee agreed on draft guidelines for release mechanisms for lifeboats. The new, stricter standards are intended to reduce the number of accidents involving lifeboats, particularly those which have occurred during drills or inspection. (3/2/10).
Hampton, Virginia – SAR Forum
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it, the Virginia Port Authority’s Maritime Incident Response Team, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders will conduct a Search and Rescue (SAR) Forum in Hampton, Virginia on March 3-5. (3/2/10).
NASA – Chilean earthquake increased Earth’s speed of rotation
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a news release stating that the February 27 earthquake off the coast of Chile, which registered a magnitude of 8.8 on the seismic scale, has shortened the length of the day by increasing the Earth’s speed of rotation. The change amounted to 1.26 microseconds per day, so few chronometers will have to be reset. (3/1/10).
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