Headlines: USCG – evaluation of warning ammunition expands; Dutch Harbor – MV Golden Seas departs; House – bill introduced to correct Coast Guard Authorization Act; Court – jurisdiction over a stateless vessel; North Carolina – Port of Wilmington upgrades to be studied; Gulf of Aden – Indian Naval Ship disables pirate dhow; Australia – STCW workshop; Australia – IMSBC Code; and Loss of the Argo Merchant – December 15, 1976.
December 15, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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USCG – evaluation of warning ammunition expands
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that evaluation of warning ammunition is expanding to Kings Bay, Georgia and Port Canaveral, Florida. (12/14/10).
Dutch Harbor – MV Golden Seas departs
The UD Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the MV Golden Seas departed Dutch Harbor en route the United Arab Emirates following successful completion of engine tests. The ship’s turbo-charger failed on December 3 while it was in heavy weather in the Bering Sea. The ship was towed to Dutch Harbor for repairs, which have now been completed. (12/13/10).
House – bill introduced to correct Coast Guard Authorization Act
Representative Oberstar (D-MN) introduced a bill (H.R. 6516) to make technical corrections to provisions of law enacted by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. (12/13/10).
Court – jurisdiction over a stateless vessel
Over a vigorous dissent, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the conviction of three citizens of the Dominican Republic for violation of US Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. The primary issue in the case is whether the small boat (yola) involved in the matter was a stateless vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Six US Coast Guard personnel were stationed on the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ocean to assist with law enforcement in the Caribbean Sea. While on the high seas south of the Dominican Republic, the yola was observed retrieving packages that had been dropped from an unmarked aircraft. The yola was stopped. The packages were found to contain cocaine. The three defendants declined to assert any nationality for the yola. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to prove that the vessel was stateless. United States v. Carrasco-Carrasco, No. 08-2289 (1st Cir., December 1, 2010). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Cartner of Cartner & Fiske LLC.
North Carolina – Port of Wilmington upgrades to be studied
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a press release stating that it will partner with the US Army Corps of Engineers in a study of possible upgrades to the Port of Wilmington to allow for larger vessels and increased maritime traffic. (12/10/10).
Gulf of Aden – Indian Naval Ship disables pirate dhow
The Indian Ministry of Defence issued a press release stating that the Indian Naval Ship Investigator intercepted and disabled a suspected pirate dhow in the Gulf of Aden. The Investigator was responding to a distress call from a merchant vessel reporting that a dhow was attempting to close the vessel. Investigation revealed that the dhow was associated with six skiffs equipped with outboard engines. Weapons and a large quantity of fuel were also found. The equipment was rendered unavailable and the dhow was disabled from launching possible piracy missions. (12/10/10).
Australia – STCW workshop
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that it recently conducted a Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) workshop to provide stakeholders with details regarding recent amendments to the STCW Code and to seek industry input for the next IMO meeting. (12/14/10).
Australia – IMSBC Code
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice reminding stakeholders that the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code comes into effect on 1 January 2011. Before loading, the shipper must provide the master with current valid information on the physical and chemical properties of the cargo. It may be necessary for the shipper to test the bulk cargoes to determine their properties. Where a cargo is not listed in the IMSBC Code or presents properties that are not addressed by the available schedules, the shipper must provide AMSA with the characteristics and properties of the cargo to enable AMSA to assess the acceptability of the cargo for safe shipment, handling, and carriage. Life gets more complicated if the cargo is assessed as hazardous. Notice 19/2010 (12/14/10).
Loss of the Argo Merchant – December 15, 1976
On December 15, 1976, the oil tanker Argo Merchant grounded on Middle Rip Shoal in international waters approximately 25 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The tanker was en route from Venezuela to Boston carrying 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil. The US Government refused to grant permission for the jettisoning of cargo in an attempt to lighten the ship. On December 21, the Argo Merchant broke into two pieces, spilling all of its cargo and bunkers. The Coast Guard sank the bow of the ship with gunfire. The prevailing wind and current carried the oil offshore and away from rich fishing grounds nearby. The spill was the largest in US history to that date. Publicity surrounding the casualty resulted in Congress adopting the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978, giving the Coast Guard increased authority to inspect and regulate tank vessels, foreign and domestic, operating in US waters.
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