Headlines: USCG – Safety Alert re DSC-equipped VHF marine radios; Astoria – barge capsizes off mouth of Columbia River; DOT – short-term lending program for transportation projects; NOAA – funding availability for Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species 2010; House – hearing on LA/LB Clean Truck Programs; Australia – master and watch officer of Shen Neng 1 arrested; Great Barrier Reef – Shen Neng 1 update; and RMS Titanic strikes iceberg – April 14, 1912.
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USCG – Safety Alert re DSC-equipped VHF marine radios
The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert stating that an automatic channel switching feature found on certain models of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipped VHF marine radios may create an unintended hazard by automatically switching from a working channel to Channel 16 when the radio receives a DSC distress alert, distress alert acknowledgement, or other DSC call where a VHF channel number has been designated. The Coast Guard strongly recommends disabling the automatic channel switching feature when maintaining a listening watch, communicating on the designated bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone, or monitoring the vessel traffic services (VTS) channel. The Coast Guard also strongly recommends that radio operators and other users ensure that the radio is on the proper channel when communicating or maintaining a listening watch. Safety Alert 02-10 (4/13/10).
Astoria – barge capsizes off mouth of Columbia River
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is responding to the capsizing of a barge approximately eight miles from the Columbia River bar near Astoria, Oregon. A Canadian tug reported that the 295-foot barge that it was towing had capsized. The barge was loaded with scrap metal, but was also carrying approximately 500 gallons of diesel fuel. A photo release shows that the barge turned turtle, but did not sink. The scrap metal has presumably sunk to the seabed. A light sheen of oil has been observed near the barge. (4/13/10).
DOT – short-term lending program for transportation contracts
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule regarding the Short-Term Lending Program (STLP), which provides financial assistance in the form of guarantees of short-term revolving lines of credit from Participating Lenders (PLs) to disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and other certified small and disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) in connection with transportation-related contracts at the local, state, and federal level. The final rule comes into effect on May 14. 75 Fed. Reg. 19285 (April 14, 2010).
NOAA – funding availability for Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species 2010
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice soliciting proposals for grant funding for Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species 2010 (and for two aquaculture programs). Proposals for grant funding related to aquatic invasive species must be submitted by May 17. 75 Fed. Reg. 19358 (April 14, 2010).
House – hearing on LA/LB Clean Truck Programs
On May 5, the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on Assessing the Implementation and Impacts of the Clean Truck Programs at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. (4/14/10).
Australia – master and watch officer of Shen Neng 1 arrested
The Australian Federal Police issued a news release stating that the master and chief officer-on-watch of the Shen Neng 1 have been arrested. The master has been charged with liability for vessel causing damage in Marine Park, which carries a maximum penalty of a $55,000 fine. The send man has been charged with person in charge of vessel within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, causing damage to the Marine Park, which carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $220,000 fine. (4/14/10).
Great Barrier Reef – Shen Neng 1 update
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) issued a media release stating that the coal carrier Shen Neng 1 has been towed to a more sheltered anchorage northeast of Great Keppel Island so that inspections can be conducted safely. There are no signs of further oil being leaked from the vessel. (4/13/10).
RMS Titanic strikes iceberg – April 14, 1912
On this date, 98 years ago, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. Some two hours later, early on the morning of April 15, the passenger vessel sank. There have been numerous theories as to why the ship sank; the current favorite is that substandard rivets were utilized in construction. The root cause, though, was complacency. In an attempt to set an Atlantic-crossing speed record on the maiden voyage, the ship was operated at full speed at night through an area known to contain icebergs.
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 – April 2010