Headlines: Somalia – warship seizes suspected pirate vessel; Somali Basin – pirate mother ship and skiff destroyed; Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU sinking; Connecticut – maritime incident training exercise; USCG – members sought for NMSAC; Access Board meeting; US Supreme Court – Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal motion denied; EU – Council conclusions on maritime security strategy; Hong Kong – typhoon season; and SS Sultana explosion and fire – April 27, 1865.
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Somalia – warship seizes suspected pirate vessel
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a Dutch warship patrolling off the coast of Somalia observed a whaler with five persons on board departing a known pirate stronghold. The whaler was examined and found to contain pirate equipment. It was seized and the individuals were returned to shore. (4/26/10).
Somali Basin – pirate mother ship and skiff destroyed
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a Spanish warship located a suspected pirate action group, consisting of a mother ship and two skiffs, in the Somali Basin northwest of the Seychelles. A search revealed pirate paraphernalia on board and no fishing gear. The mother ship and one skiff were destroyed. The individuals were put into the remaining skiff and sent back to Somalia. (4/26/10).
Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU sinking
The Joint Information Center issued a news release stating that response to the oil spill continues. Two drilling rigs have been mobilized to drill relief wells. More than 1,000 persons and 17 vessels are involved in the response effort. A map showing the location of the oil sheen was also released. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a situation report stating that it is providing oil spill trajectory analysis and other assistance in response to the sinking of the MODU in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent oil spill. (4/26/10).
Connecticut – maritime incident training exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it, the Transportation Security Administration, and other federal and state agencies will conduct a maritime incident training exercise in Niantic, Connecticut on April 27. (4/26/10).
USCG – members sought for NMSAC
The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee. Applications should be received by May 31. 75 Fed. Reg. 22151 (April 27, 2010).
Access Board – meeting
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) will meet in Washington, DC on May 11-12. At one of its closed meetings, it will receive a briefing on the Passenger Vessels Proposed Rule. 75 Fed. Reg. 22100 (April 27, 2010).
US Supreme Court – Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal motion denied
The Supreme Court of the United States issued its Order List. Among the dispositions included is the denial, without explanation, of a motion by the State of Michigan to reopen the three original cases relating to water use in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. Michigan, joined by other States bordering the Great Lakes, had sought an order requiring closure of the waterway as a means of reducing the risk that Asian carp would become established in the Great Lakes. (4/26/10). Note: This order prevents Michigan from going immediately to the Supreme Court with its dispute, but does not prevent it from initiating an action in an appropriate federal district court.
EU – Council conclusions on maritime security strategy
The Council of the European Union issued a press release stating that the European Union needs to actively contribute to a stable and secure global maritime domain by tackling the threats identified in the European Security Strategy. (4/26/10).
Hong Kong – typhoon season
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice reminding masters of the approach of typhoon season. Precautionary measures should be reviewed. Notice 58/2010 (4/26/10).
SS Sultana explosion and fire – April 27, 1865
145 years ago today, the United States experienced its most significant marine casualty in terms of lives lost. On that day the steamship Sultana exploded and caught fire. An estimated 1,800 of the approximately 2,400 passengers and crew died after one of the ship’s boilers exploded. The ship had just left Vicksburg en route St. Louis. It was carrying numerous Union Army veterans home, many recently released from Confederate prisons. Subsequently, inspection standards for steamships were strengthened.
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