Headlines: National Academy – report on Gulf of Mexico oil spill; USACE – Savannah Harbor Expansion Study; St. Lawrence Seaway – closing of 2010 navigation season; Lake Michigan – limited service load lines for river barges; FBI – cargo theft a growing problem; CRS – countering terrorism in East Africa; Australia – Permanent Representative to IMO appointed; Australia – report on injuries from scaffold collapse; Ireland – cargo lost in heavy weather; New Zealand – report re whaling protest collision; and Suez Canal opened to shipping – November 17, 1869.
November 18, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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. He who is lost, hesitates.
National Academy – report on Gulf of Mexico oil spill
The National Academy of Engineering issued an interim report on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It states that a variety of failures indicate the lack of a suitable approach for anticipating and managing the inherent risks, uncertainties, and dangers associated with deepwater drilling operations and a failure to learn from previous near misses. It found that the current practice of on-the-job training supplemented with limited short courses is not consistent with other safety-critical industries such as nuclear power and chemical manufacturing. (11/16/10). Note: While I have not finished reading this 28-page report, it is clearly one of the most thoughtful analyses to date on this tragic event.
USACE – Savannah Harbor Expansion Study
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a news release stating that it posted a Draft General Re-evaluation Report (GRR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposal to deepen the Savannah Harbor from its current depth of 42 feet up to a maximum depth of 48 feet. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by January 10, 2011. (11/16/10).
St. Lawrence Seaway – closing of 2010 navigation season
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a notice stating that all outgoing vessels must be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway by 23:59 hours on December 29, 2010. (11/16/10). Otherwise, you get to be first in line when the Seaway reopens in the spring.
Lake Michigan – limited service load lines for river barges
The US Coast Guard promulgated a final rule establishing a special load line regime for certain unmanned dry-cargo river barges to be exempted from the normal Great Lakes load line assignment while operating on Lake Michigan. Depending on the route, eligible barges may obtain a limited domestic service load line assignment or be conditionally exempted from any load line assignment. The new rule comes into effect on December 20. 75 Fed. Reg. 70595 (November 18, 2010).
FBI – cargo theft a growing problem
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a news release stating that cargo theft in the United States is a growing, multi-billion dollar problem. Groups involved in this activity has become better organized and more violent. Cargo theft has only recently been designated as a separate reportable category in the Uniform Crime Report. Industry experts estimate that annual losses from cargo thefts are as much as $30 billion. (11/12/10). Why does this make me think of a prostate medicine commercial?
CRS – countering terrorism in East Africa
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on Countering Terrorism in East Africa. The report includes discussion of the activities of the Al Shabaab group in Somalia and mention of the piracy problem. R41473 (11/3/10).
Australia – Permanent Representative to IMO appointed
The Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport issued a media release stating that Australia has appointed its first Permanent Representative to the IMO. Around 80 other IMO Member States maintain a Permanent Representative to the specialized agency of the United Nations. (11/17/10).
Australia – report on injuries from scaffold collapse
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into serious injuries incurred on board a bulk carrier off Port Kembla, New South Wales on 7 July 2009, when scaffolding in a cargo hold on which two crewmembers were working toppled over. Investigation found that the scaffolding had not been properly assembled or secured. An appropriate risk assessment had not been conducted and relevant ship’s procedures were not followed. MO-2009-005 (11/17/10).
Ireland – cargo lost in heavy weather
The Irish Department of Transport issued a press release stating that the Irish Coast Guard is investigating the loss of logs from a cargo vessel off the southeastern coast. The incident occurred in heavy weather early on November 17. Some of the logs have already come ashore. (11/17/10).
New Zealand – report re whaling protest collision
Maritime New Zealand posted the report of its investigation into the collision between the New Zealand vessel Ady Gil and the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 in the Southern Ocean on 6 January 2010. It found no evidence the either master deliberately caused the collision – but that both were responsible for contributing to, and failing to respond appropriately to, the “close quarters” situation that led to the collision. The report will be brought to the attention of the IMO and to countries with responsibility for whaling and protest vessels. (11/18/10).
Suez Canal opened to shipping – November 17, 1869
The Suez Canal opened to shipping on November 17, 1869. Excavation of the Canal had taken ten years, using forced labor and rudimentary mechanical equipment. Construction had been opposed by British interests, who feared competition in trade with India. Once the Canal opened and proved successful, British interests acquired a majority ownership. The Canal was closed to shipping during the Suez Crises of 1956-57 and during the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1967 and 1973. In 2008, over 21,000 ships transited the Canal, earning the Government of Egypt over $5 billion in tolls. Note: This item has been repeated from yesterday, after one of my long-suffering readers gently pointed out that the web link was wrong. Mea culpa.
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 – November 2010