Headlines: Indian Ocean – pirates hijack three fishing vessels; Malaysia – tug possibly hijacked; DOJ – FPCA conviction leads to 87 month prison sentence; FMC – alert re fraudulent email scheme; SLSDC – bi-national process for setting opening dates for Seaway; HSRP meeting; NOAA – members sought for HSRP; USCG – members sought for TSAC; House – bill introduced to authorize vessel loan guarantees; Senate – bill introduced re spending of HMT funds; Senate – bill introduced to stimulate offshore wind power industry; and Australia – Shen Neng 1 update.
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Indian Ocean – pirates hijack three fishing vessels
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that pirates hijacked three fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean approximately 1,200 nautical miles east of Somalia. This is the furthest east that the pirates have been known to operate. (4/20/10).
Malaysia – tug possibly hijacked
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that a tug has possibly been hijacked off the southeast coast of Malaysia. The tug was towing a barge from Indonesia to Thailand. The vessel’s SSAS has been activated and radiotelephone contact has been lost. The tug appears to be heading easterly in the general direction of the Philippines. The barge has been sighted by an airplane, but there have been no visual contacts of the tug. (4/19/10).
DOJ – FCPA conviction leads to 87 month prison sentence
The US Department of Justice issued a news release stating that an individual convicted of violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and making a false statement to federal agents was sentenced to 87 months in prison, a fine of $15,000, and three years of supervised release following the prison term. The individual was convicted after pleading guilty to bribing Panamanian Government officials to secure a government contract to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panama’s waterways. (4/19/10).
FMC – alert re fraudulent email scheme
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it learned of a scheme that uses the name of the FMC in an attempt to perpetuate a scam on consumers. Recipients of suspicious emails purporting to be from the FMC should be alert. (4/20/10).
SLSDC – bi-national process for setting opening dates for Seaway
The US Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) issued a news release stating that the process for establishing the opening and closing dates of the St. Lawrence Seaway is governed by long-standing bi-national agreements between Canada and the United States. Establishment of those dates is not subject to the notice-and-comment process of the US Administrative Procedure Act. (4/20/10).
HSRP – meeting
The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP), sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will meet in Providence on May 5-6. Topics on the agenda include: NOAA’s work in the Arctic, sea level rise, coastal and marine spatial planning, and navigation product distribution. 75 Fed. Reg. 20816 (April 21, 2010).
NOAA – members sought for HSRP
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting applications for membership on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). Applications should be submitted by June 30. 75 Fed. Reg. 20809 (April 21, 2010).
USCG – members sought for TSAC
The US Coast Guard is soliciting applications for membership on the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC). Applications should be received by May 21. 75 Fed. Reg. 20856 (April 21, 2010).
House – bill introduced to authorize vessel loan guarantees
Representative Wittman (R-VA) introduced the National Shipbuilding Budget Policy Act (H.R. 5035) to authorize appropriations for the construction of vessels for the Navy and to authorize appropriations for loan guarantees for commercial vessels. The bill, if enacted into law, would authorize loan guarantees, under what is popularly known as the Title XI Program, in the amount of $60 million annually through fiscal year 2015. (4/15/10).
Senate – bill introduced re spending of HMT funds
Senator Levin (D-MI) introduced the Harbor Maintenance Act of 2010 (S. 3213) to ensure that amounts credited to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are used for harbor maintenance. Senator Levin issued a press release stating that, if enacted, the bill would make it difficult to not spend all HMT monies each year on HMT projects. (4/15/10).
Senate – bill introduced to stimulate offshore wind power industry
Senator Brown (D-OH) introduced a bill (S. 3226) to require the Secretary of Energy to take actions to stimulate the emergence of an offshore wind power industry in the United States, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available, but Senator Brown issued a press release explaining that the goal is to create more clean energy jobs. (4/19/10).
Australia – Shen Neng 1 update
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) issued a media release stating that the Shen Neng 1 will be brought into Gladstone to offload cargo and potentially undergo repairs before being towed overseas. Five tugs will be used in the owing and berthing of the bulk carrier with another tug and a response craft standing by. (4/19/10).
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 – April 2010