Headlines: USN – Somali pirates intercepted, mother skiff destroyed; Columbia River bar – ATB awaiting improved weather; PHMSA – transportation of combustible liquids; Great Barrier Reef – bulker grounds, leaking oil; UK – Marine Protected Areas; and UK – Chagos Islands Marine Protected Area.
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USN – Somali pirates intercepted, mother skiff destroyed
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the flagship of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, the USS Farragut (DDG 99), intercepted suspected pirates in the Somali Basin shortly after a tanker had come under attack. The tanker evaded the attack, despite the firing of small arms and rocket-propelled grenades by the pirates. The warship intercepted three skiffs in the area after the attack. The eleven suspects on board were observed to throw paraphernalia over the side as the boarding party approached. The mother skiff was destroyed and the two smaller skiffs, with the eleven individuals on board, were released. (4/2/10).
Columbia River bar – ATB awaiting improved weather
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that an articulated tug and barge are maintaining station in the North Pacific Ocean approximately 20 miles off the mouth of the Columbia River. The ATB was en route from Anacortes to Long Beach when it experienced mechanical difficulty. Due to heavy weather, though, it is unsafe to cross the Columbia River bar. The ATB will come into Astoria for repairs and inspection when the weather abates. (4/3/10).
PHMSA – transportation of combustible liquids
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is considering amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations as they apply to the transportation of combustible liquids. The agency is considering whether to harmonize domestic regulations with international transportation standards. In addition, it is examining ways to revise, clarify, or relax certain regulatory requirements to facilitate transportation of these materials while maintaining an adequate level of safety. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by July 6. 75 Fed. Reg. 17111 (April 5, 2010).
Great Barrier Reef – bulker grounds, leaking oil
The Office of the Premier of Queensland issued a media release stating that the state and federal governments are responding to the grounding of a bulk carrier in a restricted zone of the Great Barrier Reef. A small amount of fuel oil is leaking from the vessel, which was reportedly 13 nautical miles off course when it grounded. A salvage assessment is underway. (4/4/10).
UK – Marine Protected Areas
The UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) issued a news release stating that the Government’s strategy to deliver a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) across the United Kingdom has been published. (3/31/10).
UK – Chagos Islands Marine Protected Area
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued a news release stating that, based on a Consultation Report, the Chagos Islands in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) has been declared a Marine Protected Area. This designation, which covers over a quarter of a million square miles, will include a “no take” marine reserve where commercial fishing will be banned. (4/1/10). Note: The only part of the Chagos Islands that is currently inhabited is Diego Garcia, where a major military base is located.
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