Headlines: Indian Ocean – pirates hijack ship on Christmas – Bah Humbug! – Malaysia – robbers board tug boat; USCG – draft PEA re use of high frequency sonar; NOAA – nominations to National System of Marine Protected Areas; Detroit – coal-carrying barge aground; ITLOS – provisional measures difficult to justify; Australia – reminder re hot work; Hong Kong – safe navigation in poor visibility; Panama Canal – new pricing structure effective January 1, 2011; and UK – shipboard fire extinguished.
December 27, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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Indian Ocean – pirates hijack ship on Christmas – Bah Humbug!
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that in the early hours of December 25, the general cargo ship Thor Nexus was hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean approximately 450 nautical miles northeast of the island of Socotra. There are 27 crew members on board. (12/25/10).
Malaysia – robbers board tug boat
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that eight robbers armed with pistol and parang boarded a tug boat from a speed boat approximately 5.6 nm southeast of Tanjung Piai, Malaysia. The tug boat was towing a barge laden with coal. The robbers escaped with the crew’s belongings, including cash, a laptop, and mobile phones. One crew member sustained minor injuries. (12/23/10).
USCG – draft PEA re use of high frequency sonar
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has prepared a draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for nationwide use of high frequency and ultra high frequency sonar technology. Comments on the draft PEA and its accompanying draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) should be submitted by January 31, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 81284 (December 27, 2010).
NOAA – nominations to National System of Marine Protected Areas
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking comment on various existing marine protected areas that have been nominated for inclusion in the National System of Marine Protected Areas. Comments should be submitted by February 10, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 81233 (December 27, 2010).
Detroit – coal-carrying barge aground
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a self-unloading barge has grounded in the Trenton Channel in Detroit. There have been no reports of injury or pollution. The barge is carrying coal. A salvage operation is under way. The incident is under investigation. A second news release states that, with the assistance of six tugs, the barge has been refloated. (12/26/10).
ITLOS – provisional measures difficult to justify
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) issued an order denying a request for provisional measures in an ongoing dispute. Spanish authorities arrested a vessel flying the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on 1 February 2006. The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines brought an action before the ITLOS against the Government of Spain alleging the arrest of the vessel was improper because the vessel was engaged on an authorized marine survey project at the time. While the action was pending, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines filed the instant request, asserting that there is a definite threat to the environment by leaving the vessel docked in the Spanish port for any significant additional time. Release of the vessel was sought while the underlying dispute went forward. The ITLOS held that, in view of the assurances given by Spain relative to the safety and security of the vessel, it would be premature to approve a request for provisional measures. M/V “Louisa” Case (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Spain), Case No. 18 (ITLOS, December 23, 2010).
Australia – reminder re hot work
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice reminding masters and operators of the need to have an effective hot work procedure in place. It is also vital to ensure that personnel comply with the prescribed procedure. Marine Notice 20/2010 (12/23/10).
Hong Kong – safe navigation in poor visibility
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice reminding mariners to strictly comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 when navigating within Hong Kong waters, particularly in poor visibility. Notice 195/2010 (12/22/10).
Panama Canal – new pricing structure effective January 1, 2011
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory reminding owners, operators, and masters that the new Panama Canal pricing structure will be implemented on January 1, 2011. Under this new structure, tolls for full container vessels will consist of a fixed portion based on the Total TEU Allowance (TTA) and a variable portion based on the Total Loaded TEU (TTL). Advisory 21/2010 (12/22/10).
UK – shipboard fire extinguished
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a Press Notice stating that a small fire broke out on board a foreign vessel. The fire was extinguished, but three crewmen suffered smoke inhalation and have been evacuated ashore. The vessel is anchored in the Dover Strait traffic separation scheme about 18 miles east-northeast of Dover. It has only emergency power and no propulsion. (12/24/10).
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