Headlines: USN – ten pirates captured, eight hostages released, one drowns; Somalia – hijacked tanker arrives off coast; Indian Ocean – pirates hijack bulker off Kenya; Eastern Pacific – unmanned aerial vehicle scores drug bust; USCG – report of Zim Mexico III-OSV Lee III collision; FEMA – draft PEA for evaluation of grant programs; DOT – program to expand use of Marine Highways; FWS – monies awarded to address impact of 57-year old sinking; FMC – Maritime Environmental Issues web page; St. Lawrence Seaway – study of impact of icebreaking activities; Oakland – long horned beetle found in wood packing material; USCG – Umpqua River waterways analysis; IMO – reports of piracy during January; IMO – reports of piracy during February; IMO – reports of stowaway incidents; and Great Barrier Reef – update re grounded bulker Shen Neng 1.
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USN – ten pirates captured, eights hostages released, one drowns
The US Department of Defense issued a news release stating that a US Navy destroyer and Omani warship intercepted a suspected dhow in waters off the coast of Oman. The nine hostages on board the dhow jumped into the water to escape the pirates. Eight were rescued by the Omani warship, but one hostage drowned. A team from the Navy destroyer boarded the dhow and captured the ten suspected pirates. The dhow had been hijacked earlier and was being used by the pirates as a mother ship from which to launch attacks on passing freighters. (4/7/10).
Somalia – hijacked tanker arrives off coast
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the hijacked South Korean-owned tanker Samho Dream has arrived off the coast of Somalia. Pirates hijacked the tanker on April 4 approximately 600 miles offshore. The 24 crewmembers are believed to be safe. A South Korean warship shadowed the tanker after it was hijacked but took no overt action out of regard for the crew. (4/7/10).
Indian Ocean – pirates hijack bulker off Kenya
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a bulk carrier headed to Mombasa has been hijacked by pirates. The ship was approximately 250 miles off the coast of Kenya when it was attacked. (4/7/10).
Eastern Pacific – unmanned aerial vehicle scores drug bust
The US Navy issued a news release stating that a Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) scored a first-ever drug bust. The UAV was embarked on a frigate on patrol in the Eastern Pacific and was engaged in a routine test flight when it acquired a suspected narcotics “go-fast” boat on radar. Once testing was complete, the UAV conducted surveillance of the boat for three hours undetected. When the “go-fast” boat met up with a fishing vessel for what appeared to be a refueling/logistics transfer, the frigate, with its embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) moved in. Approximately 60 kg of cocaine were seized. (4/7/10).
USCG – report of Zim Mexico III-OSV Lee III collision
The US Coast Guard released its report of investigation into the collision and five fatalities onboard the M/V Zim Mexico III and the OSV Lee III in the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River on February 21, 2004. The primary cause of the collision was that the mate of the Lee III lacked the qualifications required by regulation to act as pilot to navigate the vessel out of Southwest Pass. As a result, the Lee III transited on the wrong side of the channel and turned directly into the path of the Zim Mexico III. (4/2/10).
FEMA – draft PEA for evaluation of grant programs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on its draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) to address potential impacts to the human environment resulting from typical actions funded by FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) through a wide variety of homeland security and emergency preparedness grant programs that it administers. Comments on the draft PEA should be submitted by May 10. 75 Fed. Reg. 17940 (April 8, 2010). Note: This draft PEA covers all the grant programs, including the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). Thus, persons involved with the PSGP should pay heed.
DOT – program to expand use of Marine Highways
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that it has launched a new initiative to move more cargo off highways and on to America’s Marine Highways. The program is intended to identify rivers and coastal routes that could carry cargo efficiently. Regional transportation officials will be able to apply to have specific transportation corridors designated as marine highways. Once designated, these projects will receive preferential treatment for future federal assistance. (4/7/10).
FWS – monies awarded to address impact of 57-year old sinking
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a press release stating that federal and state trustees have been awarded $16.9 million for seven projects to address harm from oil leaks from the SS Jacob Luckenbach. The freighter sank in 1953 about seventeen miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge. Oil carried on board has been slowly leaking into nearby waters, killing more than 50,000 seabirds since 1990. The monies, provided by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) administered by the US Coast Guard, will be used to restore breeding grounds for the affected bird species. After the Jacob Luckenbach was identified in 2002 as the source of the intermittent oil spills, oil remaining in the vessel removed. (4/6/10).
FMC – Maritime Environmental Issues web page
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) launched its Maritime Environmental Issues web page. The site is intended to serve as a clearing house for information on maritime environmental issues, news, resources, laws/regulations, and best practices. (4/7/10).
St. Lawrence Seaway – study of impact of icebreaking activities
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that a three-year Joint Observational Study that assessed the impacts caused by icebreaking activities on the St. Lawrence Seaway concluded that no adverse impacts to the shoreline could be observed. The study was a cooperative effort of the US and Canadian governments and of the Native American tribes residing adjacent to the Seaway. (4/7/10).
Oakland – long horned beetle found in wood packing material
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that one of its inspectors in the Port of Oakland discovered larva of the long horned beetle in wood packing material associated with a shipment of travertine pavers. Interestingly, the wood crating had stamps certifying that it had been treated in a fashion that was supposed to have eliminated this type of pest. (4/7/10).
USCG – Umpqua River waterway analysis
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is conducted a Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study of the Umpqua River to validate the adequacy of the existing aids to navigation (ATON) system deployed in the waterway. Comments on the study should be submitted by April 16. (4/6/10).
IMO – reports of piracy during January
The IMO issued a circular summarizing reports received during January of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships. The IMO received 19 such reports during the month. MSC.4/Circ.148 (2/9/10).
IMO – reports of piracy during February
The IMO issued a circular summarizing reports received during January of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships. The IMO received 14 such reports during the month. MSC.4/Circ.149 (3/1/10).
IMO – reports of stowaway incidents
The IMO issued a circular summarizing reports received from September to December 2009 of stowaway incidents. The IMO received reports of 151 such incidents involving 452 individuals during this period. FAL.2/Circ.116 (12/22/09).
Great Barrier Reef – update re grounded bulker Shen Neng 1
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a news release concerning its efforts with regard to the bulker Shen Neng 1, which grounded on the Great Barrier Reef on April 3. Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) issued a media release stating that internal transfer of oil is continuing. Plans call for lightering of the oil off the bulker to commence within the next several days, when all the necessary equipment has been staged. (4/7/10).
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