Headlines: OMB – Budget of the US Government for FY 2012; MSC – Antarctic resupply mission; Hudson River – RNA established; USCG – bulk solid hazardous materials; USCG – Eastern Great Lakes Maritime Security Committee; USCG – safety alert re air receivers and relief valves; St. Lawrence Seaway – Service Incentive Program; Hawaii – wreck of whaling ship found; House – hearing on oil spill prevention and response; House – bill introduced to prevent drilling off West Coast; House – bill introduced to strengthen Buy America; Boston – Presidential recognition for victims of Texas Tower #4; IMO – responding to the scourge of piracy; Indian Ocean – NATO warship frees hijacked vessel; ReCAAP – tug boarded, crew robbed; Australia – precautions re use of synthetic fiber slings; Australia – ORB guidance; New Zealand – MNZ funding review; UK – public meetings re Coastguard modernization proposals; and Sea Empress grounding & salvage – 15-21 February 1996.
February 15, 2011
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. Remembering the future.
OMB – Budget of the US Government for FY 2012
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Budget of the US Government for Fiscal Year 2012. Among the items of particular interest to the maritime community are the following: (1) the Coast Guard budget would be increased from $8.59 billion to $8.68 billion; (2) the Customs and Border Protection budget would be increased from $10.12 billion to $10.38 billion; (3) the Corps of Engineers – Civil Works budget would be reduced from $5.5 billion to $4.6 billion; and the Maritime Administration budget would be reduced from $363 million to $304 million. (2/14/11). Note: The Budget is merely a proposal. What counts are appropriations, which are months away.
MSC – Antarctic resupply mission
The Military Sealift Command (MSC) issued a press release stating that the annual resupply of McMurdo Station in Antarctica has been completed. An MSC tanker and a chartered container ship delivered supplies to the facility and loaded items for return to the United States, including ice cores and trash. Because the new MSC tankers are not ice-strengthened, future resupply missions will include chartered tankers. (2/14/11). Note: This latter statement is another indication that the United States lacks appreciation of its status as a polar nation. It is surrendering its ability to operate in both the north and south polar regions.
Hudson River – RNA established
The US Coast Guard issued a final rule establishing a regulated navigation area (RNA) on the Hudson River south of the Troy Locks. The rule establishes restrictions on vessels operating on the river when ice is a threat to navigation. The rule comes into effect immediately. 76 Fed. Reg. 8654 (February 15, 2011).
USCG – bulk solid hazardous materials
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that the information collection requirements associated with its October 19, 2010 rule governing carriage of solid hazardous materials in bulk to allow use of the IMSBC Code as an equivalent form of compliance has been approved. 76 Fed. Reg. 8658 (February 15, 2011).
USCG – Eastern Great Lakes Maritime Security Committee
The US Coast Guard is seeking interested applicants for membership on the Eastern Great Lakes Maritime Security Committee and its five regional subcommittees. Applications for membership should be submitted by March 17. 76 Fed. Reg. 8765 (February 15, 2011).
USCG – safety alert re air receivers and relief valves
The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert reminding owners and operators of uninspected towing vessels (UTVs) of the importance of inspecting and maintaining air receivers and relief valves. (2/14/11).
St. Lawrence Seaway – Service Incentive Program
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a news release stating that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation of Canada (SLSMC) is launching the Service Incentive Program, directed at carriers calling in the Great Lakes Region and potential service providers looking to expand their scheduled liner and semi-liner services. (2/14/11).
Hawaii – wreck of whaling ship found
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that maritime heritage archaeologists working with NOAA have found the wreck of the Nantucket whaling ship Two Brothers on a reef off French Frigate Shoals in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The ship grounded and sank on February 11, 1823. It was captained by George Pollard, Jr. Previously, he had been captain of the whaleship Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in the South Pacific. That incident inspired Herman Melville to write the novel Moby Dick. (2/11/11).
House – hearing on improving oil spill prevention and response
On February 11, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on “Improving Oil Spill Prevention and Response”. Members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Dr. Donald Boesch and Mr. Terry Garcia testified concerning lessons learned as a result of the Commission’s investigation. Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (ret) testified that Congress should not take action to change the oil spill prevention and response system until the report of the joint BOEMRE-USCG investigation has been completed. (2/11/11).
House – bill introduced to prohibit drilling off West Coast
Representative Garamendi (D-CA) introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 612) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently prohibit the conduct of offshore drilling on the outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. (2/10/11).
House – bill introduced to strengthen Buy America
Representative Garamendi (D-CA) introduced the Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make it in America Act (H.R. 613) to strengthen Buy America requirements applicable to airports, highways, high-speed rail, trains, and transit, and for other purposes. (2/10/11).
Boston – Presidential recognition for victims of Texas Tower #4
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) issued a news release stating that he will deliver a letter signed by President Obama to the Texas Tower Association commemorating the 28 military and civilian workers killed when Texas Tower #4 collapsed and sank into the North Atlantic during a storm on January 15, 1961. The tower was one of a series constructed off the East Coast to provide early warning of a bomber attack by the Soviet Union. Subsequent investigation revealed that the tower had been inadequately designed and built. The other towers were later removed. (2/11/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by Jeff Yapalater.
IMO – responding to the scourge of piracy
The IMO issued a news release stating that stronger action is needed to respond to the significantly increased risk of successful pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean. Circular Letter No. 3164, addressed to all IMO Members and the United Nations, calls for, among other things, increased participation by naval and aviation assets in deployment off the coast of Somalia, wider use of best management practices, and providing LRIT information to security forces in the western Indian Ocean. (2/14/11).
Indian Ocean – NATO warship frees hijacked vessel
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) issued a news release stating that one of its warships freed a fishing vessel that had been hijacked by Somali pirates and was being used as a mothership to launch further attacks in the Indian Ocean. The warship fired warning shots at a suspicious vessel that had two skiffs on its deck. Sixteen suspected pirates surrendered. Two Yemeni nationals, being held as hostages, were released. The fishing vessel was hijacked about a year ago. (2/11/11).
ReCAAP – tug boarded, crew robbed
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that a tug, towing a barge in waters between Singapore and Indonesia, was boarded by eight to ten robbers. They took personal belongings from the crew and escaped in a motorized sampan. The crew was not injured. (2/14/11).
Australia – precautions re use of synthetic fiber slings
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice advising of certain risks in utilization of synthetic fiber slings. It recommends various precautionary actions when using synthetic fiber slings, including assessment of the load to be lifted and thorough inspection of the sling. Marine Notice 2/2011 (1/20/11).
Australia – ORB guidance
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice advising that the IMO has developed a new guidance document (MEPC.1/Circ.736) for recording of operations in the Oil Record Book Part 1 – machinery space operations (all ships). The new guidelines are to be applied in conjunction with the amendments to MARPOL Annex I that entered into force on 1 January 2011. Marine Notice 3/2011 (2/14/11).
New Zealand – MNZ funding review
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) issued a media release stating that it and the Ministry of Transport have started a review of the basis on which MNZ is funded. A reference group of sector representatives will be involved in developing options for a discussion document, which is due to be completed by October 2011. (2/14/11).
UK – public meetings re Coastguard modernization proposals
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice announcing a series of public meetings throughout the United Kingdom to provide local communities an opportunity to hear more about the proposals and to express their views concerning the Coastguard modernization proposals. (2/11/11).
Sea Empress grounding & salvage – 15-21 February 1996
On 15 February 1996, the tanker Sea Empress grounded while entering the port of Milford Haven, spilling approximately 2,500 tons of its cargo of crude oil. The vessel was quickly refloated and anchored in deep water in preparation for lightening some of the remaining cargo. Gale force winds drove the tanker aground again, spilling an additional 69,300 tons of crude oil. The tanker was finally refloated again on 21 February and salvage was completed. Investigation revealed that the initial grounding was due to pilot error. The subsequent grounding was the result, in part, of insufficient tugs of appropriate power and maneuverability, together with a lack of full understanding of local tidal currents.
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 – February 2011