Headlines: Indian Ocean – pirate action groups disrupted; NATO – previously hijacked vessel being used as pirate platform; Somalia – pirates release hijacked fishing vessel; White House – TSA Administrator nominee; TRB – workshop on offshore wind energy projects; TRB and USCG – meeting of HSCs and AMSCs; PHMSA – risk-based adjustment of transportation security plans; USCG – RNA along Oregon and Washington bars; Kodiak – Rescue 21 Environmental Assessment; SLSDC – update of Seaway regulations; ARC – expanded funding sought for Arctic oil spill research; Senate hearing – DOT budget request; Senate hearing – NOAA budget and fisheries enforcement; Senate – bill introduced to expand offshore wind credits; House – bill introduced to authorize appropriations for NTSB; Court – reduction in LHWCA compensation for failure to take alternative employment; NATO – Secretary-General’s speech; Canada – investigation of sail training vessel capsizing; Ireland – guidelines for accessible maritime passenger transport; Malta – investigation of passenger vessel fatalities; New Zealand – updated form for advance notice of arrival; UK – examination of ro-ro allision with light float; and UK – chemical release halts navigation on River Humber.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. An above-average newsletter.
Indian Ocean – pirate action groups disrupted
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that over the past few days five pirate action groups have been disrupted. A number of mother ships and skiffs have been sunk and over 40 suspected pirates have been taken into custody. In one case, a French fishing vessel was attacked by pirates. Two other fishing vessels came to the assistance of the first vessel. During close contact, the mother ship collided with one of the fishing vessels and sank. The suspected pirates on board were rescued. (3/8/10).
NATO – previously hijacked vessel being used as pirate platform
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) issued a press release stating that a previously hijacked fishing vessel is underway in the Somali Basin and is apparently being used as a pirate platform. (3/8/10).
Somalia – pirates release hijacked fishing vessel
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates on 29 October 2009 has been released by pirates from the port of Heradeere following payment of a ransom. (3/7/10).
White House – TSA Administrator nominee
The White House issued a news release stating that President Obama intends to nominate MGEN Robert A. Harding, USA (ret) to serve as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). (3/8/10).
TRB – workshop on offshore wind energy projects
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies issued a notice stating that, on March 25, it will host a workshop in Washington, DC on offshore wind energy projects. (12/21/09).
TRB and USCG – meeting of HSCs and AMSCs
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies issued a notice stating that, on June 8-10, it and the US Coast Guard will sponsor a joint conference of the Harbor Safety Committees (HSCs) and the Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSCs) in Jersey City. (1/21/10).
PHMSA – risk-based adjustment of transportation security plans
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule modifying current security plan requirements applicable to commercial transportation of hazardous materials by air, rail, vessel, and highway. The modification narrows the list of materials subject to security plan requirements and reduces associated regulatory costs and paperwork requirements. The changes come into effect on October 1. Voluntary compliance is authorized as of April 8. 75 Fed. Reg. 10973 (March 9, 2010).
USCG – RNA along Oregon and Washington bars
The US Coast Guard issued a correction to its recent rulemaking establishing regulated navigation areas (RNAs) at certain bars along the Oregon and Washington coasts. Among other things, the correction includes an option for mariners to use VHF-FM Channel 16 for notifying the Coast Guard. The corrections come into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 10687 (March 9, 2010).
Kodiak – Rescue 21 Environmental Assessment
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that comment is sought on the Environmental Assessment for construction, operation, and maintenance of a proposed Rescue 21 communications facility in the Middle Cape area of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. (3/8/10).
SLSDC – update of Seaway regulations
The US Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), in coordination with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada, has updated the Seaway Regulations and Rules. The changes come into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 10688 (March 9, 2010).
ARC – expanded funding sought for Arctic oil spill research
The US Arctic Research Commission (ARC) issued a draft White Paper recommending expanded funding for Arctic/Subarctic Oil Spill Research. It points out that risks of oil spills in polar waters may be growing due to changing climate and sea ice conditions, increasing offshore energy exploration, and projected shipping growth. (2/24/10).
Senate hearing – Department of Transportation budget request
On March 4, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a hearing on the FY 2011 budget request for the Department of Transportation. Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) pointed out the importance of national transportation goals and clear objectives. Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) discussed the proposed establishment of a multi-modal grant and loan program. Deputy Secretary John Porcari testified concerning the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure. The Committee issued a news release following the hearing. (3/4/10).
Senate hearing – NOAA budget request and fisheries enforcement
On March 3, the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a hearing on the FY 2011 budget request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and on its fisheries enforcement program and operations. Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) spoke of the need to strengthen the scientific work of the agency. Subcommittee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) discussed the importance of a healthy oceanic environment. NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco emphasized the importance of rebuilding NOAA’s capital infrastructure. Department of Commerce (DOC) Inspector General Todd Zinser testified concerning the need for better oversight of NOAA’s fisheries enforcement program and operations. (3/3/10).
Senate – bill introduced to expand offshore wind credits
Senator Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill (S. 3062) to extend credits related to the production of electricity from offshore wind, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (3/3/10).
House – bill introduced to authorize appropriations for NTSB
Representative Oberstar (D-MN) introduced National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 4714) to amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, and for other purposes. If enacted into law, the bill would, among other things, allow the NTSB to delegate authority to investigate a major marine casualty to an officer of the US Coast Guard. (3/2/10).
Court – reduction in LHWCA compensation for failure to take alternative employment
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), compensation for an injured longshoreman was properly reduced by the amount that he could have earned in non-longshore work despite claimant’s contention that taking such work could have jeopardized his status as a longshoreman. Rhine v. Stevedoring Services of America, No. 08-73370 (9th Cir., March 5, 2010).
NATO – Secretary-General’s speech
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) released the text of the speech delivered by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Among other things, he discussed the common interests of NATO and Bahrain with regard to counter-piracy, maritime security, and environmental protection. (3/7/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Canada – investigation of sail training vessel capsizing
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued a media release stating that it will conduct a safety investigation into the capsizing and sinking of the sail training vessel Concordia, which occurred on February 17 off the coast of Brazil. (3/3/10).
Ireland – guidelines for accessible maritime passenger transport
The Irish Department of Transport issued a press release announcing publication of Guidelines for Accessible Maritime Passenger Transport, aimed at making maritime passenger transport more accessible and useable for everyone. (3/5/10).
Malta – investigation of passenger vessel fatalities
Transport Malta issued a news release stating that it has commenced an investigation into circumstances surrounding the casualty that occurred on the passenger ship Louis Majesty in the Mediterranean Sea on March 3 while en route from Barcelona to Genoa. The ship was struck by abnormally high waves, which smashed various windows on the ship and resulted in the deaths of two passengers and the injury of six others. (3/3/10).
New Zealand – updated form for advance notice of arrival
The New Zealand Customs Service issued an updated version of Form NZCS 344 – Advance Notice of Arrival. (3/8/10).
UK – examination of ro-ro allision with light float
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the summary of its Preliminary Examination of circumstances surrounding the allision of a light float on the River Mersey by a ro-ro cargo ferry. The master was distracted after power was lost to the bow thruster. He failed to notice, until it was too late, that the vessel was being set down on the light float. A major factor in the casualty was failure to properly utilize the bridge management team. (3/8/10).
UK – chemical release halts navigation on River Humber
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that it established a temporary danger area (TDA) halting navigation on the River Humber after a chemical company adjacent to the river reported the release of titanium tetrachloride. Four employees at the facility suffered chemical burns and toxic inhalation. (3/5/10).
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