Headlines: UN Security Council – possibility of international tribunals to prosecute pirates; ReCAAP – Quarterly Report; DHS & DOI – investigation of MODU incident in Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU incident; Port of New York – proposal to amend anchorage regulations; Shipping Coordinating Committee meeting; USCG – safety alert re portable generators; FMC – notice of hearing; Juneau – removal of oil from 1952 wreck commences; Court – class arbitration may not be imposed on parties who have not agreed thereto; Court – liability as apparent manufacturer of defective product; Alaska – Large Cruise Ship General Permit issued; IMO – Protocol to HNS Convention; EC – open access to Galileo service signal; and Australia – report re pipeline rupture following anchor dragging.
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UN Security Council – possibility of international tribunals to prosecute pirates
The United Nations (UN) issued a news release stating that the Security Council adopted a resolution appealing to all nations to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and favorably consider the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia. The resolution also put forward the possibility of establishing international tribunals to try pirates. (4/27/10).
ReCAAP – Quarterly Report
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued its Quarterly Report for the period January to March 2010. There was an increase in the number of reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships, but a decrease in the number involving the use of guns or knives. (4/27/10).
DHS & DOI – investigation of MODU incident in Gulf of Mexico
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release stating that it and the Department of the Interior (DOI) will jointly investigate the circumstances surrounding the explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon, the apparent loss of life, and the subsequent oil spill. The investigation will be conducted by the US Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service (MMS). The goal is to determine what can be done to prevent this type of incident in the future. (4/27/10).
Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU incident
The Unified Command issued a news release stating that comprehensive oil well intervention and spill response continues. To date, the team has recovered 43,384 gallons of an oil-water mix. Over 29,000 gallons of dispersant has been deployed. More than 29,000 feet of boom has been assigned to contain the spill. A NOAA chart showing the location of the sheen was also released, as well as an overflight map. (4/27/10).
Port of New York – proposal to amend anchorage regulations
The US Coast Guard issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking related to Anchorage Ground No. 19 located east of the Edgewater-Weehawken Federal Channel on the Hudson River. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by May 28. 75 Fed. Reg. 22323 (April 28, 2010).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on May 5 to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee. Topics on the agenda include ship design and equipment; safety of navigation; dangerous goods, solid cargoes, and containers; and training and watchstanding. 75 Fed. Reg. 22240 (April 28, 2010).
USCG – safety alert re portable generators
The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert advising of the recent death of three persons on a recreational houseboat who were overcome by carbon monoxide from a portable generator. The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to ensure proper ventilation to prevent the accumulation of combustion gases from any equipment and also urges the use of carbon monoxide detectors for internal enclosed areas of boats, particularly sleeping quarters. Alert 03-10 (4/27/10).
FMC – notice of hearing
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a Notice stating that, on May 11-13, a fact-finding hearing concerning vessel capacity and equipment availability will be held in New York City. (4/27/10).
Juneau – removal of oil from 1952 wreck commences
The US Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) issued a joint news release stating that the operation to remove the remaining oil from the wreck of the vessel Princess Kathleen off Point Lena near Juneau has commenced. The vessel sank in 1952 and has periodically leaked small quantities of unrecoverable oil since then. (4/27/10).
Court – class arbitration may not be imposed on parties who have not agreed thereto
The United States Supreme Court ruled that imposing arbitration on parties who have not agreed to authorize class arbitration is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In the instant case, respondent chemical manufacturers filed claims against petitioner operators of parcel tankers, alleging price fixing. The various charter parties involved called for arbitration of disputes, but contained no mention of class arbitration. Respondents sought arbitration on behalf of a class of purchasers of parcel tanker transportation services. The question of whether their arbitration agreement allowed for class arbitration was submitted to a panel of arbitrators, who determined that class arbitration was allowed. The federal district court vacated the award, ruling that the award was made in manifest disregard of the law. The appellate court reversed and petitioners appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the appellate decision, holding that the arbitration panel exceeded its powers by imposing its own policy choice instead of identifying and applying a rule of decision derived from the FAA or from maritime or state law. The court stated that it is an arbitrator’s task to interpret and enforce a contract, not to make public policy. Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animalfeeds International, No. 08-1198 (April 27, 2010).
Court – liability as apparent manufacturer of a defective product
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a company that ships a defective product that is labeled as its own can be held liable as the apparent manufacturer. In the instant case, plaintiff owner of an offshore production facility contracted for construction of a riser system. Defendant provided parts for the riser system, including numerous carriage bolts. A specific grade of carriage bolt was purchased. Defendant shipped a lower grade of carriage bolt, manufactured by a third party. The bolts arrived in shipping boxes bearing defendant’s mark. The bolts failed in routine use and plaintiff brought suit to recover the cost of repair. The court held that a party that provides parts labeled as its own is liable as the manufacturer if those parts are later found to be defective. Chevron USA v. Aker Maritime, No. 07-31117 (5th Cir., April 27, 2010).
Alaska – Large Cruise Ship General Permit issued
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) issued a press release stating that it has issued its Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater Discharge General Permit for the 2010-2012 cruise ship seasons. The permit regulates the discharge of treated wastewater from cruise ships in Alaska waters. (4/22/10).
IMO – Protocol to HNS Convention
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Diplomatic Conference to consider, for adoption, a draft Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (HNS Convention) has opened in London. (4/26/10).
EC – open access to Galileo service signal
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it is granting free access to the technical information on the future Galileo open service signal. (4/27/10).
Australia – report re pipeline rupture following anchor dragging
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into the rupture of a submarine gas pipeline by a container ship in Port Phillip, Victoria on 13 December 2008. The vessel was brought into the Melbourne anchorage under pilotage. The anchor was let go with the vessel approximately 0.6 miles upwind of the location of the submerged pipeline. The wind was from the south-southwest at 35 knots, with gusts up to 48 knots. The pilot departed. Within 20 minutes, the master observed that the anchor was dragging the vessel toward the pipeline. He called Melbourne harbor control seeking permission to move the ship. Harbor control directed him to wait until a pilot arrived. After another 20 minutes, harbor control authorized the master to get the vessel underway while the pilot was still en route. The master began the process of weighing anchor. The anchor snagged the pipeline and the windlass motor failed. When the pilot boarded the vessel, the master advised that the anchor would have to be released. The pilot and harbor control decided that a better course of action would be to move the vessel south, dragging the anchor away from the pipeline. When that evolution was commenced, the pipeline burst. MO-2008-012 (27 April 2010).
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