Headlines: USCG – updated guidance for US vessels re ITAR compliance; DOJ – tug company manager sentenced; NIC – all operational hard boom removed from MS, AL, and FL; USCG – GPS system software integration assessment; Guam – tourist submarine grounds temporarily; White House – infrastructure investment plan omits ports; Gulf of Mexico – oil rig secure after fire; EPA – best management practices for unused pharmaceuticals; USGS – nonindigenous aquatic species sighting report; Court – no jurisdiction over EFT; WTO – trade up 25%; EMSA – September newsletter; Canada – contract awarded for construction of mid-shore patrol vessels; India & South Korea – defense cooperation agreement; Kenya – Somalis convicted of piracy, sentenced to five years; Disaster at Honda Point – September 8, 1923; and Fire on the SS Morro Castle – September 8, 1934.
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USCG – updated guidance for US vessels re ITAR compliance
The US Coast Guard issued Port Security Advisory 4-09 (Rev 4). This document provides owners, operators, and masters of US-flag vessels with updated guidance relating to compliance with US requirements, particularly the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), when placing firearms on board their vessels to defend against or deter pirate attacks in high-risk waters. The new material in this revision concerns vessels likely to transit the Suez Canal. It recommends that applications for a temporary export license list both Port Said Shipping and Navigation Company and the Egyptian Customs Authority as “Temporary Foreign Intermediate Consignees”. Companies with previously approved applications should submit an amendment to their existing license to add these two parties. (9/3/10).
DOJ – tug company manager sentenced
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that the former manager of a tug and barge company was sentenced to 21 months confinement after being convicted in a jury trial of violating the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) and conspiring to violate the FWPCA. He was found to have personally dumped contaminated dredge spoil in unauthorized locations in the San Francisco Bay and directing others to similarly dump dredge spoil. The company for which he worked previously pled guilty and was sentenced to pay a fine of $1.5 million and to institute an environmental compliance program. (8/27/10).
NIC – all operational hard boom removed from MS, AL, and FL
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that all operational hard boom has been removed from the shorelines of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. Responders remain vigilant and are ready to deploy boom as needed. At the height of the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, there were 1.6 million feet of hard boom deployed in waters of those states. (9/7/10).
USCG – GPS system software integration assessment
The US Coast Guard Navigation Center issued a Special Notice stating that during the next several weeks, the US Air Force will conduct an integration assessment of the current GPS Software Baseline. There are no planned GPS Satellite outages for this activity and the broadcast navigation signal will remain IS-GPS-200 compliant. Mariners who experience GPS anomalies should contact the USCG Navigation Center as soon as possible. (9/3/10).
Guam – tourist submarine grounds temporarily
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it responded to the grounding of a tourist submarine in the Western Shoals of Apra Harbor, Guam. There were no passengers onboard at the time. There were no reports of damage or pollution. The submarine was refloated later in the day. The incident is under investigation. (9/5/10).
White House – infrastructure investment plan omits ports
The White House issued a news release stating that President Obama will seek Congressional funding for infrastructure investment, focusing on roads, rails, and airports. (9/6/10). Note: Investment to upgrade the nation’s ports and waterways is conspicuous by its absence.
Gulf of Mexico – oil rig secure after fire
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a press release stating that its inspectors have examined the Mariner Energy rig in the Gulf of Mexico subsequent to the recent fire. The safety shut-in valves for the associated wells and incoming and outgoing pipelines are all closed. The platform’s tanks and pumps are secure. There is no indication of pollution coming from the facility. (9/4/10).
EPA – best management practices for unused pharmaceuticals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comments on its draft guidance document “Best Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities”. Comments should be submitted by November 8. 75 Fed. Reg. 54627 (September 8, 2010). Note: While the guidance is targeted at hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices, it may be of value to ships that carry medicines and pharmaceuticals.
USGS – nonindigenous aquatic species sighting report
The US Geological Survey (USGS) issued a notice stating that it is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget for its Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Sighting Reporting Form. Comments on use of this voluntary reporting form should be submitted by October 8. 75 Fed. Reg. 54648 (September 8, 2010).
Court – no jurisdiction over EFT
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld a District Court’s ruling vacating a process of maritime attachment and garnishment attaching defendant’s assets to secure a putative foreign arbitral award. The appellate court held that the District Court lacked jurisdiction over defendant’s bank account in Paris, the suspense account created by the bank in New York in response to the attachment order, and any other intangible property arising from the electronic funds transfer (EFT). Allied Maritime v. Descatrade SA, No. 09-5329-cv (2nd Cir., September 3, 2010).
WTO – trade up 25%
The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a press release stating that international trade increased by 25% during the first half of 2010 over trade during the same period in 2009. (9/1/10).
EMSA – September newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) posted its September newsletter. This issue focuses on the January 1, 2011 implementation date for the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) new Port State Control (PSC) system. (9/7/10).
Canada – contract awarded for construction of mid-shore patrol vessels
Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a news release stating that the contract has been awarded for construction of nine mid-shore patrol vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard. The vessels will be approximately 43 meters in length, with a cruising range of 2,000 nautical miles. Plans call for five of the vessels to be used in conservation and protection programs in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Pacific Regions and for four to be used to enhance maritime security along the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. (9/2/10).
India & South Korea – defense cooperation agreement
The Indian Ministry of Defence issued a press release stating that it signed two memoranda of understanding with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea. The first agreement provides for increased cooperation regarding maritime security, particularly in relation to activities in the Gulf of Aden. (9/3/10).
Kenya – Somalis convicted of piracy, sentenced to five years
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that seven Somalis detained earlier by an EU NAVFOR warship after attacking another warship in the Indian Ocean have been sentenced to five years imprisonment. (9/7/10).
Disaster at Honda Point – September 8, 1923
The Honda Point Disaster occurred just off the spit of land at the north end of the Santa Barbara Channel on the evening of September 8, 1923 when seven US Navy destroyers, traveling at full speed, grounded in the fog on charted rocks. Due to poor visibility, the ships, transiting as a squadron from San Francisco to San Diego, were utilizing dead reckoning. A radio signal from a new radio direction finder (RDF) station had been received but misinterpreted. Twenty-three sailors died in the grounding. Two other destroyers grounded briefly, but refloated themselves. Five destroyers from the rear of the formation were able to avoid grounding. The squadron commander and the squadron navigators, as well as the commanding officers of the seven destroyers that were lost, were all court-martialed. This incident is the first in which electronic navigation played a role.
Fire on the SS Morro Castle – September 8, 1934
The passenger/cargo ship SS Morro Castle caught fire and burned on September 8, 1934, while on a voyage from Havana, Cuba to New York. The origin of the fire was never conclusively determined. The master had died in his sleep the previous night of an apparent heart attack. The fire was detected in the First Class Writing Room at about 3 a.m. It spread rapidly through the extensive wood used in construction of the passenger spaces. The Acting Captain maneuvered the ship toward the New Jersey shore, but the ship soon lost power and steering. It eventually grounded on the beach at Asbury Park. A total of 137 passengers and crew died in the casualty. Major changes were later made to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to address use of fire retardant materials, automatic fire doors, fire alarms, and life boat drills, reducing the risk of future casualties.
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