Headlines: USCG – advance notice of arrival on the OCS; USCG – codification of TSSs; FMC – petition of Hainan P O Shipping; Joint Investigation – sixth session of hearings concludes; GAO – Defense Transportation; Court – offset prohibited by Jones Act; Court – LHWCA “last employer” rule; Washington – oil spill leads to $35,000 in fines and billings; Indian Ocean – pirates hijack bulk carrier; Somalia – pirates release freighter; Mozambique Channel – pirates hijack container ship; Australia – extension of mandatory ship reporting system; Australia – meeting of ATON SOWG; Singapore – 20% port dues rebate for vessels handling transshipment vehicles; and Singapore – bridge navigational watch alarm system.
December 13, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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USCG – advance notice of arrival on the OCS
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a notice stating that it has approved the US Coast Guard draft final rule relating to notice of arrival on the US outer continental shelf (OCS). Unless things have changed drastically, the rule will require vessels planning to work on the OCS to submit a notice of arrival at least 96 hours in advance of arrival. The rule should be published shortly in the Federal Register. (12/9/10).
USCG – codification of TSSs
The US Coast Guard promulgated an interim rule codifying various existing traffic separation schemes (TSSs) along the Atlantic coast. The TSSs were established some years back and have been incorporated into the IMO Ships Routing publication. The affected TSSs are: In the Approaches to Portland Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts; Chesapeake Bay, Virginia; and Cape Fear River, North Carolina. The interim rule comes into effect on January 12, 2011. Comments on this interim rule should be submitted by December 28, 2010. 75 Fed. Reg. 77529 (December 13, 2010).
FMC – petition of Hainan P O Shipping
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an order granting the petition of Hainan P O Shipping Co., Ltd. for an exemption from provision in the Shipping Act of 1984 that would prevent a controlled carrier from making changes to a service contract, rate, charge, classification, rule, or regulation to be effective in less than 30 days after publication. Petition No. P1-10 (12/9/10).
Joint Investigation – sixth session of hearings concludes
The Joint US Coast Guard/Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement Investigation into the Deepwater Horizon casualty issued a news release stating that the sixth session of its public hearings has concluded. (12/9/10).
GAO – Defense Transportation
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report to Congress on defense transportation. Its major finding is that additional information is needed for the Department of Defense (DOD) Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 (MCRS-16) to fully address all of its study objectives. Closer examination confirms how dependent DOD is on the maritime sector for performance of its numerous vital worldwide missions. GAO-11-82R (12/8/10).
Court – offset prohibited by Jones Act
The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Jones Act prohibits a defendant maritime employer from asserting an offset against a plaintiff seaman in a personal injury claim. In the instant case, plaintiff seaman sued for injuries sustained on board defendant’s vessel. Defendant filed a counterclaim, asserting that the injury was caused in part by plaintiff’s negligence, which resulted in the sinking of the vessel. Deering v. National Maintenance & Repair, No. 10-1716 (7th Cir., December 2, 2010). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Larry Brennan of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP.
Court – LHWCA “last employer” rule
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the last responsible maritime employer is generally liable for payment of benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, petitioner’s decedent died of mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his work for three shipyard employers. The issue was which of the various employers should be responsible for payment of death benefits to the widow. The court held that the analysis with respect to each employer is to be conducted sequentially, beginning with the last (most recent) employer, and need not be conducted for earlier employers once a responsible employer is found. Albina Engine & Machine v. OWCP, No. 09-70592 (9th Cir., December 10, 2010).
Washington – oil spill leads to $35,000 in fines and billings
The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a news release stating that it has assessed a $15,500 civil penalty against a 24-passenger cruise ship for a 456-gallon diesel fuel spill in Sinclair Inlet on March 8, 2010. The spill occurred when a senior engineer attempted to transfer fuel between two internal tanks. He undertook this operation alone, despite company policy that a minimum of two persons be involved. The company has also been billed $4,755.51 to recover state costs in responding to the spill and $15,788.47 for natural resource damages. (12/10/10).
Indian Ocean – pirates hijack bulk carrier
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that pirates have hijacked the bulk carrier Renuar in the Indian Ocean approximately 1050 nautical miles east of Eyl, Somalia and 550 nautical miles west of India. The attack was launched by two skiffs, supported by a mother ship, with pirates firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades. The 24-man crew attempted to evade the pirates for some time causing the pirates to make several determined attacks before finally boarding the vessel. There are presently no communications with the vessel and the condition of the crew is not known. (12/12/10).
Somalia – pirates release freighter
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Somali pirates have released the M/V Eleni P with its 23 crewmembers. The ship was hijacked on 12 May approximately 250 nautical miles off the Omani coast. (12/11/10).
Mozambique Channel – pirates hijack container ship
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that pirates, firing a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), hijacked the container ship Panama approximately 80 nautical miles east of the Tanzania-Mozambique border. The ship has 23 crewmembers. (12/10/10).
Australia – extension of mandatory ship reporting system
The Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport issued a media release stating that the IMO has approved an extension of the mandatory Ship Reporting System for the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. From 1 July 2011, all large ships will be required to report to authorities on their location and route when transiting the Park. (12/8/10).
Australia – meeting of ATON SOWG
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that the fifth meeting of the national Strategy and Operations Working Group (SOWG) on Aids to Navigation (ATON) was held in Wollongong, New South Wales on 30 November. The SOWG consists of representatives of the AMSA and various state marine safety agencies and port authorities. It has developed a national ATON information management and data exchange standard. The standard is being vetted with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) before being included as an official ‘product’ within their new S-100 standard for geospatial information. (12/10/10).
Singapore – 20% port dues rebate for vessels handling transshipment vehicles
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular announcing that it is extending, through 31 December 2013, the 20% port dues rebate for vessels handling transshipment vehicles in the Port of Singapore. Port Marine Circular 14/2010 (12/10/10).
Singapore – bridge navigational watch alarm system
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular advising owners and operators of Singapore ships that the IMO has adopted a resolution which will require various ships engaged on international voyages to be fitted with a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS). The resolution comes into force on 1 January 2011 and the requirement will be phased in over the next several years. Shipping Circular 21/2010 (12/8/10).
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 – December 2010