Headlines: National Commission – staff working papers; Joint Investigation – Day 3 of Session 5; Houston – Ship Channel reopened to navigation; NTSB – marine deaths increased in 2009; IMO – summary of MEPC session; Australia – whale 1, fishing trawler 0; India – government to reduce equity in SCI; and Hijacking of the Achille Lauro – 7 October 1985.
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National Commission – staff working papers
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling posted four new staff working papers. The working papers are in draft form, subject to change, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission. Decision-Making within the Unified Command raises questions about the scale and structure of the response; the role of the responsible party; and interaction with state and local officials. The Use of Surface and Subsea Dispersants examines how the government handled dispersant issues and how procedures might be improved in the future. The Amount and Fate of Oil describes the problems experienced in calculating the amount of oil discharged from the Macondo well and its fate and the impact of the miscalculations. The Challenges of Oil Spill Response in the Arctic describes some of the difficulties of spill response in the Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi Sea. (10/6/10).
Joint Investigation – Day 3 of Session 5
The US Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) completed Day 3 of Session 5 of their Joint Investigation into circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon. Mr. Nick Wilson of BP provided information on centralizers and scheduled Schlumberger flights and Mr. Michael Beime of BP provided information on the BP agreement with Anadarko and MOEX. (10/6/10). Note: Again, the hearing was not available on the internet.
Houston – Ship Channel reopened to navigation
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Houston Ship Channel was reopened to navigation after all 14 power lines from the damaged tower were disconnected. A large crane will be used to remove the structure. (10/6/10).
NTSB – marine deaths increased in 2009
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that, during 2009, transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2% from 2008. Maritime deaths, though, increased from 783 in 2008 to 817 in 2009. Of these 2009 fatalities, 736 occurred in recreational boating. (10/6/10).
IMO – summary of MEPC session
The IMO issued a news release summarizing the results of the recent session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). The session adopted the revised MARPOL Annex III, preventing pollution from packaged goods, which is expected to come into force on 1 January 2014. It also approved, with a view to adoption at the next MEPC session, amendments to MARPOL Annex V, preventing pollution from garbage. It granted Final Approval to six ballast water management systems that make use of active substances and Basic Approval to three more such systems. (10/6/10).
Australia – whale 1, fishing trawler 0
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that a 12-meter fishing trawler sank in waters off North West Cape, Western Australia after striking a whale. The three men on the trawler were rescued by an offshore supply vessel that diverted to the scene. (10/6/10). Note: This reminds one of the sinking of the whaleship Essex in the South Pacific in 1820 after it was rammed by a whale.
India – Government to reduce equity in SCI
The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that the Government will reduce its equity in the Shipping Company of India (SCI). This reduction will be accomplished through a combination of the issue if fresh equity and the sale by the Government of 10% of its existing equity. As a result, Government ownership of SCI will be reduced from 80.12% to 63.75%. (10/5/10).
Hijacking of the Achille Lauro – 7 October 1985
On 7 October 1985, four members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro when it was in the Mediterranean Sea en route from Alexandria, Egypt to Port Said. After the Israeli Government refused their demand for release of 50 imprisoned Palestinians, they killed disabled American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw him and his wheelchair overboard. The terrorists surrendered to Egyptian officials and boarded a flight to Tunisia. The flight was intercepted by US Navy fighter aircraft and was forced to land in Italy. The four hijackers were arrested by the Italian Government but their alleged leader, Abu Abbas, was allowed to depart. This incident awakened governments around the world and the IMO to the security threats faced by passenger vessels.
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 – October 2010