Headlines: USCG – port security advisory re Libya; USCG – testimony re FY 2012 budget request; Gulfport – port expansion project; USCG – members sought for LMRWSAC; USCG – guidelines re Perko nav lights on uninspected vessels; House – bill introduced re disposal of dredged or fill material; Texas – The Responder newsletter; Somalia – ship released by pirates, apparently sinks; Denmark – anti-piracy patrol extended; Hong Kong – reduction in marine-related fees; UK – Coastguard Modernization Consultation; and Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy – executed March 14, 1757.
March 11, 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. Planck’s Constant isn’t.
USCG – port security advisory re Libya
The US Coast Guard announced that it has concerns regarding whether the port facility requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code are still being executed and maintained in Libya. It therefore recommends that vessels calling in ports of Libya take the following actions: (a) minimize ship-port interface activities such as crew changes, bunkering, and taking on stores; (b) take measures consistent with the Security Level 2 measures from its ship security plan while in a Libyan port; (c) ensure that each access point is guarded and that guards have total visibility of the exterior of the vessel while in a Libyan port; (d) attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in a Libyan port; (e) log all security actions; and (f) report actions taken to the pertinent USCG Captain of the Port [COTP] prior to arrival in the US. Port Security Advisory (1-11) (3/11/11).
USCG – testimony re FY 2012 budget request
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that Admiral Robert Papp, Commandant, USCG, testified before the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security Appropriations about the Coast Guard’s budget request for fiscal year 2012. (3/10/11).
Gulfport – port expansion project
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to assess potential environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of a port expansion project in the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi. A scoping meeting will be held in Long Beach, Mississippi on March 31. Written comments should be submitted by April 11. 76 Fed. Reg. 13363 (March 11, 2011).
USCG – members sought for LMRWSAC
The US Coast Guard is seeking applications for membership on the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee (LMRWSAC). Applications should be received by May 1. 76 Fed. Reg. 13422 (March 11, 2011).
USCG – guidelines re Perko nav lights on uninspected vessels
The US Coast Guard issued guidelines for acceptance of the installation of Perko navigation lights on uninspected commercial vessels of less than 20 meters in length operating on inland waters of the United States. Policy Letter 2011-02 (2/28/11).
House – bill introduced re disposal of dredged or fill material
Representative Rogers (R-KY) introduced the Mining Jobs Protection Act (H.R. 960) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the authority of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to disapprove specifications of disposal sites for the discharge of dredged or fill material, and to clarify the procedure under which a higher review of specifications may be requested. (3/8/11).
Texas – The Responder newsletter
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) issued the March 2011 edition of The Responder newsletter. The edition addresses, among other things, the 20th anniversary of the GLO Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) program and suspected oily wastewater discharges from oyster boats in Fulton Harbor. (3/10/11).
Somalia – ship released by pirates, apparently sinks
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that, shortly after Somali pirates released the general cargo ship Rak Afrikana, the master sent a distress message saying the vessel was sinking due to a hole in the hull. Two warships responded and one of them evacuated 25 crewmembers who had abandoned the vessel. It is not known whether the ship is still afloat. The ship was hijacked on April 11, 2010. (3/10/11).
Denmark – anti-piracy patrol extended
The Government of Denmark issued a news release stating that its largest warship, the HMS Esbern Snare, will continue its anti-piracy work off the coast of Somalia for another three months. (3/10/11).
Hong Kong – reductions in marine-related fees
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a press release stating that 24 marine-related fees will be reduced, effective March 12. (3/10/11).
UK – Coastguard Modernization Consultation
The close date for the HM Coastguard Modernization Consultation has been extended from March 24 to May 5. (3/10/11). Note: The proposal, which includes closure of a number of local Coastguard units, has proven to be highly controversial.
Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy – executed 14 March 1757
On 14 March 1757, Admiral John Byng, Royal Navy, was executed by firing squad while he was kneeling on the forecastle of the HMS Monarch in the Solent. Admiral Byng had been court-martialed for personal cowardice, disaffection, and for not having done his utmost to prevent Minorca from falling to the French following the Battle of Minorca on May 20, 1756. He was convicted only of “failing to do his utmost”. The British and French fleets were numerically equal (ten ships each), but the British had scrapped their group together hastily and its ships were in disrepair. The British fleet suffered significant, but not fatal, battle damage. When the French fleet departed at the end of the engagement, Admiral Byng did not order his fleet to follow. Rather he had the fleet sail to Gibraltar for repairs. It was this departure to Gibraltar that the court-martial interpreted as a failure by the Admiral to do his utmost against the French. The court-martial was highly controversial, with many contending that the Navy panel had found the Admiral guilty to hide their own failure to properly prepare the fleet for the mission. Regardless, the event is said to have instilled a tradition of aggressiveness in Royal Navy officers.
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 – March 2011