Headlines: UAE – tanker damaged by terrorist attack; Gulf of Aden – pirates abandon hijacked vessel; NIC – update re Gulf of Mexico il spill; USCG – maintaining a proper lookout; USCG – loss of propulsion due to clogged sea strainers; OSHA – cranes and derricks in construction; Galveston Channel – RNA; Shipping Coordinating Committee – meetings; Senate – bill introduced to amend maritime law; Senate – bill introduced to improve offshore energy production safety; Indonesia – vessel approached by suspicious speedboat; and Singapore – extension of port dues concession.
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UAE – tanker damaged by terrorist attack
The Emirates News Agency (WAM), operated by the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a news release stating that the tanker M. Star was damaged by a terrorist attack while passing through international waters near the Strait of Hormuz at midnight on Wednesday, 28 July. Investigation revealed a dent on the starboard side of the hull above the waterline and remains of home-made explosives on the hull. It is probable that the damage resulted from a boat loaded with explosives. (8/6/10). Note: My thoughts on the broader topic may be found at Small Vessel Security Threat.
Gulf of Aden – pirates abandon hijacked vessel
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that pirates who hijacked the freighter Syrian Star abandoned the vessel of their own accord utilizing one of the ship’s rescue boats. No explanation has been posited for this unexpected action. An EU NAVFOR warship has placed a medical team on board the freighter to render aid to two mariners injured during the hijacking and one mariner injured in a work-related incident. (8/7/10).
NIC – update re Gulf of Mexico oil spill
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that efforts to drill relief wells continue. Meanwhile, recovery efforts are ramping up now that oil is no longer flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. (8/7/10).
USCG – maintaining a proper lookout
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin reminding masters of the obligation for maintaining a proper lookout. The lookout must be in the best position, based on vessel characteristics, and must have no other duties that could interfere with their task. (7/26/10).
USCG – loss of propulsion due to clogged sea strainers
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin reminding masters of the risk of loss of propulsion and maneuverability due to clogged sea strainers. Marine debris and small sea life (algae, small fish, etc.) can accumulate in sea strainers, blocking the flow of cooling water for engines. Sea strainers should be cleaned regularly and engine cooling water temperatures should be monitored. (7/27/10).
OSHA – cranes and derricks in construction
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a 273-page final rule updating regulations relating to cranes and derricks used in construction. It also addresses advances in the designs of cranes and derricks, related hazards, and the qualifications of employees needed to operate them safely. The rule comes into effect on November 8. 75 Fed. Reg. 47905 (August 9, 2010). Note: While the rule will apply to shipyards and other maritime-related shoreside facilities, various exemptions relate to cranes and derricks on ships and barges.
Galveston Channel – RNA
The US Coast Guard issued a final rule establishing a regulated navigation area (RNA) across the entire width of the Galveston Channel in the vicinity of the USCG Sector Field Office Galveston. Vessels are required to transit through the RNA at no-wake speeds. The rule comes into effect on September 8. 75 Fed. Reg. 47713 (August 9, 2010).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meetings
The Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will conduct two separate open meetings in Washington, DC. The meeting on September 2 is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Dangerous Good, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC). Topics on the agenda include: amendments to the IMDG Code; amendments to the IMSBC Code; and stowage of water-reactive materials. The meeting on September 10 is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC). Topics on the agenda include: ballast water; recycling of ships; and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships. 75 Fed. Reg. 47877 (August 9, 2010).
Senate – bill introduced to amend maritime law
Senate – bill introduced to improve offshore energy production safety
Senator Landrieu (D-LA) introduced a bill (S. 3763) to improve safety and preparedness surrounding offshore energy production and to respond to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, and resulting hydrocarbon releases into the environment, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (8/5/10).
Indonesia – vessel approached by suspicious speedboat
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that an anchor-handling vessel underway at night off Pulau Subi Besar, Indonesia was approached a suspicious speedboat. The vessel carried out evasive maneuvering and switched on its searchlights. After a while, the speedboat gave up the chase. (8/5/10).
Singapore – extension of port dues concession
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular stating that the port dues concession for ocean-going vessels and harbor craft has been extended through 31 March 2011. Port Marine Circular 11/2010 (8/6/10).
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 – August 2010