Headlines: Yemen – pirates hijack ro-ro vessel; USN – Somali mariners rescued; Florida Keys – disabled container ship adrift; NOAA – OER Strategic Plan; Alaska – Governor proposes reduction in head tax; UK – leisure skipper fined for going the wrong way; Canada – reducing air pollution from ships; and EPA – IMO approves North American ECA – errata.
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Yemen – pirates hijack ro-ro vessel
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that pirates hijacked a small ro-ro vessel 10 nautical miles off the Port of Aden, Yemen. The vessel, with its crew of 24, is now headed toward Somalia. (3/29/10).
USN – Somali mariners rescued
The US Navy issued a news release stating that, while on counter-piracy patrol, one of its warships observed a skiff adrift in the Gulf of Aden. Inspection revealed 30 men, women, and children on board. The engines on the skiff had broken down four days previously and the occupants were in distress. The mariners were provided with food, water, and blankets and were then put ashore in Somalia. (3/29/10).
Florida Keys – disabled container ship adrift
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is responding to a disabled container ship near the Florida Keys. The ship, which was en route from Guatemala to Miami, suffered an engine casualty and lost propulsion. A second news release states that the Coast Guard is working with salvage companies to bring the vessel into port. The incident is under investigation. (3/29/10).
NOAA – OER Strategic Plan
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking comments on its draft Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) Strategic Plan FY 2011-2015. Comments should be submitted by September 30. 75 Fed. Reg. 15686 (March 30, 2010).
Alaska – Governor proposes reduction in head tax
The Office of the Governor of Alaska issued a press release stating that Governor Parnell submitted a bill to the state legislature to boost tourism by reducing from $46 to $34.50 the cruise ship passenger tax. (3/25/10).
UK – leisure skipper fined for going the wrong way
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the skipper of a leisure vessel was fined £20,000 for going the wrong way in the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) for approximately 4 hours and a distance of 20 miles. During this time, he had close encounters with three other vessels, two of which were carrying dangerous or polluting cargoes. (3/29/10).
Canada – reducing air pollution from ships
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that Canada is collaborating with the United States and France to reduce air emissions from ships by implementing the North American Emission Control Area (ECA), recently approved by the IMO. As part of that effort, Canada has acceded to MARPOL Annexes IV (sewage), V (garbage), and VI (air pollution). (3/26/10).
EPA – IMO approves North American ECA – errata
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) officially accepted the proposal to designate certain waters off the coasts of North America as an Emission Control Area (ECA). When the ECA standards will phase in starting in 2012, the sulphur content of fuel oil for ships subject to MARPOL Annex VI will be limited to 1.00% m/m. Ships may also utilize approved technical measures to lower their sulphur-oxide emissions to an equivalent level. (3/26/10). Note: The North American ECA will apply to most coastal waters of Canada and the United States and to waters surrounding the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. It will have a particular impact on vessels engaged in the Canadian and US coastwise trade as those vessels will operate almost exclusively within the ECA. Yesterday’s newsletter exhibited some of my confusion on this development. One of my long-suffering readers gently pointed out to me that, while the ECA will come into effect on 1 August 2011, it includes a provision stating that during the first twelve months immediately following an amendment designating a specific ECA, ships operating in that ECA are exempt from the requirements for utilizing the low sulphur fuel oil (or utilizing the equivalent technical methodology). Thus, for practical purposes, the deadline will be 1 August 2012.
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