Headlines: Strait of Hormuz – advisory re threat of terrorist attack; GAO – small boat security strategy and foreign port security; National Commission – staff working papers; Unified Command – eighth bill sent to responsible parties; DOJ – conviction for trafficking in sperm whale teeth and narwhale tusks; DOT – US Atlantic Coast seaports; MARAD – funding for ballast water treatment technology testing; FEMA – grant for St. Bernard Harbor repairs; IMO – preview of MSC session; Arabian Sea – response to pirate attack on Chinese ship; and UK – MAIB Safety Digest.
November 23, 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.
Strait of Hormuz – advisory re threat of terrorist attack
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an advisory providing guidance to vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz, the Southern Arabian Gulf, and the Western Gulf of Oman. It confirms that the claim of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB) that it attacked the tanker M Star is valid. The group remains active and can conduct further attacks on vessels in the area. All ships transiting these waters should exercise increased vigilance and caution, particularly during night transits with increased monitoring of small vessel/boat activity. Advisory 2010-10 (11/19/10).
GAO – small boat security strategy and foreign port security
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) posted its October 22 responses to various questions raised by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Topics addressed in the responses include small boat security, foreign port security, the port security grant program, the transportation worker identification credential (TWIC), and supply chain security. GAO-11-140R (11/22/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
National Commission – staff working papers
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling posted two new staff working papers. The first, Stopping the Spill, discusses efforts to contain and control the blowout of the Macondo well. It concludes that the oil and gas industry was unprepared to respond to a deepwater well blowout on April 20 and that the federal government was unprepared to provide meaningful supervision and oversight of the response to an oil spill of this nature and magnitude. The second, Response/Clean-Up Technology, discusses advances in oil spill response and clean-up technology and continuing research and development efforts in this regard. (11/22/10).
Unified Command – eighth bill sent to responsible parties
The Unified Command issued a news release stating that the Administration sent an eighth bill for $25.4 million to the responsible parties for response and recovery operations relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. To date, the responsible parties have reimbursed the Administration in the amount of $581 million. (11/19/10).
DOJ – conviction for trafficking in sperm whale teeth and narwhale tusks
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a Massachusetts man has been convicted of trafficking in illegally-imported sperm whale teeth and narwhale tusks. (11/19/10).
DOT – US Atlantic Coast seaports
The Department of Transportation posted a fact sheet highlighting the major Atlantic container ports of New York/New Jersey, Virginia, Charleston, and Savannah, but also discussing other US ports along the Atlantic coast. Emphasis was placed on preparations for the expansion of the Panama Canal. (11/12/10).
MARAD – funding for ballast water treatment technology testing
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that it is providing $4 million funding and technical expertise to help upgrade the Great Ships Initiative (GSI) ballast water treatment technology testing facility in Duluth-Superior Harbor. (11/22/10).
FEMA – grant for St. Bernard Harbor repairs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a news release stating that it has provided funding in the amount of $1.86 million for repairs at the St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District in Louisiana. The District’s office spaces were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. (11/22/10).
IMO – preview of MSC session
The IMO issued a news release previewing the upcoming session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), scheduled to be held in London on 24 November through 3 December. Topics on the agenda include mandatory fire test procedures; improvements to life boat hooks; piracy and armed robbery against ships; and implementation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system. (11/22/10).
Arabian Sea – response to pirate attack on Chinese ship
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the USS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) and the USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81) assisted in the response to a suspected pirate attack on the Chinese cargo ship Tai An Kou on November 20 in the North Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman. After the initial response by US Navy forces, the operation was transferred to the Chinese Navy frigate Xuzhou (FFG-530). (11/21/10).
UK – MAIB Safety Digest
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) posted the latest edition of its Safety Digest. The Chief Inspector voiced the need for improved formal and informal risk assessment before work commences. Safety Digest 2/2010 (11/22/10).
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 – November 2010