Monday, December 20, 2010

Bryant’s Maritime Blog–20 December 2010

Headlines: Unified Command – federal oil spill response transitions to regional structure; USCG – PFD safety alert; Arctic Research Commission – meeting; DHS – semiannual regulatory agenda; OECD – Shipbuilding Agreement negotiations terminated; Somalia – sick crewmember lifted off hijacked vessel; EC – maritime spatial planning; Australia – report on engine room fire; New Zealand – amendments to customs and excise regulations; Total lunar eclipse – 21 December 2010; and Winter/Summer Solstice – 2338 UTC, 21 December 2010.

December 20, 2010

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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. When all else fails, SHOUT.

Unified Command – federal oil spill response transitions to regional structure

clip_image004 The Unified Command issued a news release stating that the federal government’s response framework for the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is transitioning for long-term response operations to be overseen by regional US Coast Guard units rather than surge forces. The Unified Command also released a scientific report by the Operational Science Advisory Team (OSAT) identifying the location and distribution of subsurface oil. (12/17/10).

USCG – PFD safety alert

clip_image004[1] The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert stating that recent inspections of Type I Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), in both adult and child size, revealed a potential hazard that could prevent proper donning in the event of an emergency. The chest strap on certain PFDs was threaded through the fixed “D” ring that the strap was intended to clip to when worn. Instead of the strap falling away, allowing the wearer to wrap it around himself or herself, the clip end of the strap could snag in the “D” ring. The PFDs known to be affected are: Kent Adult Model 8830 (USCG Approval Number 160.055/184/0) in Lot 53W manufactured in October 2006 and Kent Child Model 8820 (USCG Approval Number 160.055/150/0) in Lot 012T manufactured in March 2008. Vessel owners and operators should examine their PFDs to determine whether any of them present this hazard. If so, the manufacturer should be contacted. Alert 09-10 (12/15/10).

Arctic Research Commission – meeting

clip_image006 The US Arctic Research Commission will meet in Anchorage on January 21, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 79334 (December 20, 2010).

DHS – semiannual regulatory agenda

clip_image008 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the semiannual regulatory agenda for itself and the various agencies within the Department. This is a rough prognostication of regulatory activity for the next six months and is only of interest to policy wonks. 75 Fed. Reg. 79787 (December 20, 2010).

OECD – Shipbuilding Agreement negotiations terminated

clip_image010 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued a news release stating that it has terminated negotiations on a Shipbuilding Agreement. Negotiations had begun in 2002 and were paused in 2005. Despite intense efforts to restart negotiations, the differences of view amongst some parties on the treatment of pricing had proven impossible to bridge. (12/17/10).

Somalia – sick crewmember lifted off hijacked vessel

clip_image012 The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that on December 17, warships from the Combined Maritime Force (CMF) and EU NAVFOR joined forces to medically evacuate a crewmember with suspected appendicitis from a hijacked chemical tanker. The MV Hannibal II had been hijacked by pirates on 11 November and was being held at anchor off Garacad, Somalia. The master of the freighter contacted authorities on 16 December reporting the crewmember’s condition and that he had reached an agreement with the pirates for the medical evacuation. The CMF Thai warship TNS Pattani used its rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to transfer the crewmember from the freighter. The crewmember was then transferred by helicopter to the FGS Hamburg, which had more suitable medical facilities. (12/17/10).

EC – maritime spatial planning

clip_image014 The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that sea-related activities in different sectors should be brought together within a common planning framework. To that end, the EC published a communication entitled Maritime Spatial Planning in the EU – Achievements and Future Development. (12/17/10).

Australia – report on engine room fire

clip_image016 The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into an engine room fire on a container ship in Moreton Bay, Queensland. The ship was entering the Port of Brisbane when its number four diesel generator suffered a catastrophic failure, disabling the generator and starting a fire. The engine room was evacuated and the fire was extinguished remotely. Investigation indicated that one or more of the connecting rod palm nuts or counterweight nuts had not been sufficiently tightened during recent overhauls leading to failure of one of the retaining studs. MO-2009-011 (12/17/10).

New Zealand – amendments to customs and excise regulations

clip_image018 The New Zealand Customs Service issued a media release stating that some minor amendments to the Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 will come into force on 13 January 2011. Of particular interest are changes to Sea crew declarations Forms 6 and 7 alerting ships’ crews to their obligations to declare cash totaling $10,000 or more. (12/17/10).

Total Lunar Eclipse – 21 December 2010

clip_image020 On 21 December 2010, there will be a total lunar eclipse. Although not as dramatic as a solar eclipse, it is still impressive. The event will be best seen by observers in North America, northwestern South America, and many of the Pacific Islands. The penumbral eclipse begins at 0529 UTC. The total lunar eclipse begins at 0740 and ends at 0853 UTC. The penumbral eclipse ends at 1140 UTC. One is reminded that Christopher Columbus got out of some difficulty with Native Americans when, knowing that a lunar eclipse was coming, threatened to take the moon away.

Winter/Summer Solstice – 2338 UTC, 21 December 2010

clip_image022 The solstice occurs at 2338 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) on December 21, 2010. In the past, we might have used Greenwich Mean Time or GMT, but that is so 20th Century. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, this will be the longest night of the year – sleep well. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this will be the longest day of the year – pace yourselves. For those in an alternate universe, rest easily.

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

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