Headlines: Kenya – Somali pirates convicted and sentenced; NATO – risk of piracy is increased; Somali Basin – warship frees pirated dhow; Somali Basin – freighter hijacked by pirates, then abandoned; Seattle – ferry allision causes injuries; USCG – recognition of foreign STCW certificates; Bass Harbor, Maine – temporary safety zone; DOT – technical amendment to drug and alcohol testing program; Half Moon Cove, Maine – application for tidal energy project; CBP – quarterly interest rates; NIC – update on GOM spill response; CBP – C-TPAT reaches 10,000 members; House – bill introduced to largely eliminate liner antitrust immunity; House – bill introduce re Delaware River Port Authority; IMO – 61st session of MEPC; UK – ship managers plead guilty to multiple charges; and Sinking of SS Arctic – September 27, 1854.
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Kenya – Somali pirates convicted and sentenced
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that seven Somali men were convicted by a court in Mombasa, Kenya of acts of piracy against a merchant vessel and sentenced to five years imprisonment each. This is the second conviction of Somali pirates who had been apprehended by EU NAVFOR warships. Prosecutions of seven more groups of suspected pirates apprehended by EU NAVFOR warships are being prosecuted in Kenya. (9/24/10).
NATO – risk of piracy is increased
The NATO Shipping Centre issued a notice advising that, with improving weather, the risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin has increased. Pirate action groups have been observed in the area. The groups are likely to exploit pirated dhows and fishing vessels as mother ships to extend their range. (9/24/10).
Somali Basin – warship frees pirated dhow
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships boarded a Kenyan dhow in the Somali Basin. The dhow was towing two skiffs. On board were nine regular crewmembers, a Somali translator, and four suspected pirates. The 14 individuals were transferred to the warship for further investigation. (9/24/10).
Somali Basin – freighter hijacked by pirates, then abandoned
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that a freighter with a crew of twelve carrying a cargo of steel bars and wires bound for Mauritius has been hijacked by pirates in the Somali Basin approximately 900 miles east of Eyl, Somalia. A second press release states that the pirates have abandoned the freighter and that the crew is now back in control. The crew is reported to be safe. No further details are provided. (9/25/10).
Seattle – ferry allision causes injuries
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a passenger ferry allided with a pier in Seattle Harbor. One person fell into the water but was rescued immediately. Five persons were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The incident is under investigation. (9/26/10).
USCG – recognition of foreign STCW certificates
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it developing a policy to recognize STCW certificates issued by or under the authority of another party to the Convention. It seeks comments from stakeholders and is particularly interested in identifying which US flag vessels employ foreign citizens, the nationality of these mariners, and the countries that issue their STCW certificates. Comments should be submitted by October 27. 75 Fed. Reg. 59281 (September 27, 2010).
Bass Harbor, Maine – temporary safety zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing, from October 1 through November 15, a temporary safety zone on waters of Bass Harbor, Maine to minimize risk to mariners during a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ledge removal project. 75 Fed. Reg. 59078 (September 27, 2010).
DOT – technical amendment to drug and alcohol testing program
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an interim final rule making technical amendments to its drug and alcohol testing program. The amendment incorporates use of a new Drug Testing Custody and Control Form developed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The amendments come into effect on October 1. Comments on the amendments should be submitted by October 27. 75 Fed. Reg. 59105 (September 27, 2010).
Half Moon Cove, Maine – application for tidal energy project
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it received an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of a tidal energy project to be constructed in Half Moon Cove and Cobscook Bay, Maine. Comments on the application should be submitted within 60 days. 75 Fed. Reg. 59256 (September 27, 2010).
CBP – quarterly interest rates
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that the interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning October 1 for overpayment of customs duties will be 3% for corporations and 4% for non-corporations and for underpayment of customs duties will be 4% for all parties. 75 Fed. Reg. 59279 (September 27, 2010).
NIC – update on GOM spill response
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release updating information regarding the ongoing response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Approximately 22,632 personnel are involved in the response, along with 1,381 vessels. (9/24/10).
CBP – C-TPAT reaches 10,000 members
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) has enrolled its 10,000th member, a furniture company in Virginia with 34 employees. Approximately half of the C-TPAT members are small or mid-size companies, having less than 50 employees. C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and US border security. (9/23/10).
House – bill introduced to largely eliminate liner antitrust immunity
Representative Oberstar (D-MN) introduced the Shipping Act of 2010 (H.R. 6167) to amend title 46, United States Code, to require the Federal Maritime Commission to maintain an Office of Dispute Resolution and Customer Advocate, and for other purposes. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure posted a news release explaining that the most significant provision of the bill would be to largely eliminate the antitrust immunity accorded to the liner trade since 1916. (9/22/10). Note: One should expect a Committee hearing on this bill to be scheduled in short order.
House – bill introduced re Delaware River Port Authority
Representative Brady (D-PA) introduced a bill (H.R. 6202) to withdraw the consent of Congress to the interstate compact between the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania concerning the Delaware River Port Authority, and for other purposes. An official copy of the bill is not yet available. (9/23/10).
IMO – 61st session of MEPC
The IMO issued a news release providing the agenda 61st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which meets in London on 27 September through October 1. The major item to be taken up is the control and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. (9/24/10).
UK – ship managers plead guilty to multiple charges
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the former managers of a foreign vessel pleaded guilty to multiple charges impacting vessel safety. The vessel was found to be transiting the Sunk Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) against the regular traffic flow. Examination revealed that the managers had not provided the vessel with up-to-date charts. The charts on board did not show the TSS. The managers also pleaded guilty to failing to keep proper records of rest periods of the crew. The company was fined £6,000 and assessed costs in the amount of £2,500. (9/24/10).
Sinking of the SS Arctic – September 27, 1854
The SS Arctic was the pride of the American merchant marine when launched in 1852. It was a 3,000 ton wooden-hull paddle-wheel steamer capable of carrying 280 passengers. It also carried a modest amount of cargo. Owned and operated by the Collins Line on New York, it had a lucrative US Government contract to carry US mail to and from Britain. The Arctic held the record for the fastest eastbound crossing of the Atlantic. It departed Liverpool on September 20, bound for New York. Among its passengers were members of the Collins family and the family of James Brown, one of the principal financiers of the Collins Line, as well as the son of the master, James Luce. As the Arctic approached the Grand Banks on September 27, it entered a thick fog. Lookouts spotted the steamship Vesta on a collision course. Alarm was sounded, but it was too late. The collision did significant damage to both ships, which quickly lost sight of each other in the fog. While the Vesta was smaller (only 250 tons), it had an iron hull. The Vesta survived. The Arctic started sinking soon after the collision. While the Arctic carried a number of lifeboats, the crew panicked during attempts to launch them. Despite efforts of the master, many crewmembers abandoned the passengers in their hurry to flee the sinking ship. The master stayed with the ship, but when it sank, he ended up on a piece of wreckage and survived. Most of the crew survived, picked up the next day by a passing vessel. Most of the passengers, including all of the women and children died. A dark day in maritime history.
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