Headlines: Gulf of Aden – increased pirate activity; NIC 0 drilling of relief well begins final stage; USCG – Port Access Route Study – LA/LB; EU – “name and shame” substandard shipping companies; Hong Kong – dispute regarding public cargo working areas; Panama Canal – summary of August operations; UK – three injured in rescue boat drill; and UK – shipping company fined for employing master with expired certificate.
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Gulf of Aden – increased pirate activity
The EU NAVFO issued a press release stating that, with the end of monsoon season, pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden is increasing. Mariners are cautioned to be particularly vigilant and to utilize the Best Management Practices (BMP) as a minimum standard. (9/13/10).
NIC – drilling of relief well begins final stage
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that final steps toward completion of the relief well that will intercept the Macondo 252 well have begun. A lock-down device was installed over the weekend. Once the relief well is completed, the bottom kill procedure will commence. (9/13/10).
USCG – Port Access Route Study – LA/LB
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will host meetings in Port Hueneme (October 13) and San Pedro (October 14) to receive public comment on the Port Access Route Study: In the Approaches to Los Angeles-Long Beach and in the Santa Barbara Channel. The Coast Guard has observed increased vessel traffic bypassing the Santa Barbara Channel Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and opting for routes south of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz Islands approaching the San Pedro Channel. This study will assess whether creation of a vessel routing system is necessary to increase the predictability of vessel movements in these waters, will meet in Washington, DC on April 1-4. 75 Fed. Reg. 55709 (September 14, 2010).
EU – “name and shame” substandard shipping companies
The European Union (EU) issued a press release stating that it adopted new rules, effective 1 January 2011, introducing an online register to “name and shame” shipping companies which are performing poorly on vital safety inspections, while those with strong safety records will be given good public visibility. (9/13/10).
Hong Kong – dispute regarding public cargo working areas
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a press release regarding the September 10 waste paper recyclers’ vehicular procession. There are presently eight public cargo working areas (PCWAs) in the Port of Hong Kong, in which there are 168 berths of different lengths. To make way for new development, one of the PCWAs will close in 2011. Operators in different trades affected by the planned closure have been relocating over the past year. A request has been received from 12 waste paper recyclers to relocate en bloc to a specific PCWA. There is not enough vacant space at the PCWA to accommodate the 12 recyclers. For all of them to go to that specific facility, current operators there would be displaced. The Government is exploring various options. Meanwhile, the Marine Department has allowed the vehicular procession between two PCWAs to go forward so as to allow the recyclers to express their views. (9/10/10).
Panama Canal – summary of August operations
The Panama Canal Authority issued an Advisory summarizing its operations for August 2010. It also states that the Authority has agreed to increase the time allowed to submit updated BAPLIE files for full container vessels docking at ports located at the terminal ends of the Canal. (9/9/10).
UK – three injured in rescue boat drill
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that three crewmembers of a tanker were injured while carrying out a drill with their rescue boat. A line snapped, causing the rescue boat to capsize and depositing six crewmembers in the water. The incident is under investigation. (9/13/10).
UK – shipping company fined for employing master with expired certificate
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that a shipping company pleaded guilty to employing a master without a valid certificate of competence. The master’s certificate had expired in 2005 and he forgot to renew it, continuing to sail as master without a certificate until 2009. The company failed to notice that its employee’s certificate had expired. The company was fined £3,000 and assessed £4,000 in costs. (9/13/10).
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 – September 2010