Headlines: DOJ – classification surveyor convicted in oil pollution conspiracy; National Commission – Day 2 of Meeting 3; National Commission – Meeting 4; DOE – application to export LNG; USCG – technical changes to shipping regulations; USCG – vacancies on Detroit Area Maritime Security Committee; NOAA – uses of asset Forfeiture Fund; USCG – Guide to Structural Fire Protection; USCG – post-piracy care for seafarers; FMC – updated meeting schedule; Tampa – maritime law enforcement training; House – bill introduced re Delaware River Port Authority; House – bill introduced re coastal mapping; ECHR – bail set for release of Prestige master was not excessive; EP – Environment Committee calls for deep sea drilling moratorium; Australia – investigation of fatality during unmooring; Kenya – agreement to prosecute suspected pirates; Somali Basin – chemical tanker evades pirates; and NATO – hijacked vessels being used as mother ships.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. If a single alligator can lay 5,000 in her lifetime, just think how many a married one could lay.
DOJ – classification surveyor convicted in oil pollution conspiracy
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a classification surveyor has been convicted, along with three individuals, in an oil pollution conspiracy. The classification surveyor, HP Maritime Consultants, Inc., and its manager Hugo Pena were convicted by a jury of failing to conduct a complete oil pollution prevention survey of a Panamanian-flag cargo vessel for which the company issued an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPPC). They were also convicted of making a false official statement. The master and the chief engineer were convicted conspiracy and multiple counts of failure to maintain an accurate oil record book (ORB). The vessel owner had previously pleaded guilty to failure to maintain an accurate ORB. (9/27/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Lars Forsberg of the Reed Smith law firm.
National Commission – Day 2 of Meeting 3
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling conducted Day 2 of Meeting 3 in Washington, DC. The agenda and various witness statements are linked on the site. (9/28/10).
National Commission – Meeting 4
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, sponsored by the Department of Energy, will conduct an open meeting in Washington, DC on October 13. 75 Fed. Reg. 59383 (September 29, 2010).
DOE – application to export LNG
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice stating that it received an application requesting authorization to export foreign-sourced liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Cameron LNG Terminal in Louisiana. Comments on the application should be submitted by October 29. 75 Fed. Reg. 60095 (September 29, 2010).
USCG – technical changes to shipping regulations
The US Coast Guard promulgated a final rule making various non-substantive technical changes to the shipping regulations. The amendments come into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 59997 (September 29, 2010).
USCG – vacancies on Detroit Area Maritime Security Committee
The US Coast Guard is seeking interested persons for membership on the Detroit Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC). Applications should be submitted by November 1. 75 Fed. Reg. 60133 (September 29, 2010).
NOAA – uses of Asset Forfeiture Fund
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice regarding its proposed policy on prohibited and authorized uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund. Comments on the proposed policy should be submitted by November 29. 75 Fed. Reg. 60085 (September 29, 2010).
USCG – Guide to Structural Fire Protection
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Inspection Notice stating that, when it developed Change 1 to its Guide to Structural Fire Protection, the plan was to provide the marine industry with six months advance notification before the changes would come into effect. Unfortunately, publication of Change 1 was delayed, but the effective date was not changed. In order to remedy the situation, the notice provides that the original Guidance, promulgated as NVIC 9-97, may continue to be applied as an alternative to the changed guidance, through April 1, 2011. (9/28/10).
USCG – post-piracy care for seafarers
The US Coast Guard posted the Post-Piracy Care for Seafarers Guidelines, promulgated by the Seamen’s Church Institute. The updated guidelines provide a general structure for caring for seafarers following a piracy incident, but recommend that ship owners and operators anticipate the possibility of piracy by maintaining accurate medical information and contact details of all crewmembers and providing anticipatory training on how to react to hijackers. (9/24/10).
FMC – updated meeting schedule
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release updating the Commission meeting schedule for the remainder of 2010. Commission meetings are now scheduled to be held on October 27 and December 8. (9/28/10).
Tampa – maritime law enforcement training
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other local law enforcement partners are conducting a maritime law enforcement training exercise in Tampa Bay on September 27 through October 1. (9/27/10).
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. (9/23/10).
House – bill introduced re coastal mapping
Representative Ruppersberger (-) introduced the Digital Coast Act of 2010 (H.R. 6215) to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to develop a coordinated and comprehensive Federal coastal mapping effort for the Nation’s coastal zone to include all coastal State and territorial waters of the United States, and for other purposes. (9/23/10).
ECHR – bail set for release of Prestige master was not excessive
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the €3 million bail set for the pretrial release of the master of the tanker Prestige was not excessive. When the Prestige sank in the North Atlantic in November 2002, it released approximately 70,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the environment. Some of that oil ended up in Spanish waters and on Spanish beaches. The master was held for 83 days and released by the court after posting of bail. The court took into consideration the risk that the master might abscond, his personal circumstances, the impact of the disaster on public opinion, and the master’s profession as a seafarer. The ECHR ruled that, under the circumstances, the bail set by the trial court was not in violation of Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Mangouras v. Spain, No. 12050/04 (ECHR, 28 September 2010). Note: Seven judges, in a strongly worded dissent, deplored the fixing of bail by reference to the strength of the public outcry over the damage caused by the acts or omissions imputed to the master.
EP – Environment Committee calls for deep sea drilling moratorium
The European Parliament issued a press release stating that the Environment Committee adopted a non-legislative resolution calling for a freeze on any new deep sea drilling around the EU pending a European Commission review into existing safety and liability rules. The resolution will be voted in plenary next week. (9/28/10).
Australia – investigation of fatality during unmooring
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into the fatality on board a floating storage and offloading tanker off Dampier, Western Australia on 24 December 2008. An integrated rating suffered fatal injuries when struck by a heavy hawser line while the vessel was disconnecting from its mooring buoy because of an approaching tropical cyclone. Investigation revealed a difference between written procedures for connecting and disconnecting from the mooring buoy and actual shipboard practice. MO-2008-013 (9/28/10).
Kenya – agreement to prosecute suspected pirates
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Kenyan authorities have agreed to prosecute the four suspected pirates detained by an EU warship off the coast of Somalia. The four individuals were holding the crew of a Kenyan dhow as hostages. (9/27/10).
Somali Basin – chemical tanker evades pirates
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that a chemical tanker en route from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam successfully evaded a pirate attack in the Somali Basin. The 18 crew members are safe. (9/28/10).
NATO – hijacked vessels being used as mother ships
The NATO Shipping Centre issued a notice stating that the previously hijacked VLCC Samho Dream and FV Tai Yuan 227 are underway in the Somali Basin and appear to being used by the pirates in mother ship operations. Other vessels in the vicinity should avoid these two ships. (9/28/10).
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