Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bryant’s Maritime Blog–30 March 2011

Headlines: Columbia River – cofferdam to be built around derelict barge; USCG – inflatable PFDs; EPA – proposal to protect aquatic ecosystems; Libya – US forces engage Libyan vessels; Suez Canal – toll circular issued; and Breakup and sinking of Texaco Oklahoma – March 27, 1971.

March 30, 2011

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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. Planck’s Constant isn’t.

Columbia River – cofferdam to be built around derelict barge

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Unified Command for removal of the derelict barge Davy Crockett from the Columbia River plans to build a cofferdam around the vessel so that it can be dismantled. (3/28/11).

USCG – inflatable PFDs

clip_image005 The US Coast Guard promulgated a direct final rule harmonizing structural and performance standards for inflatable recreational personal floatation devices (PFDs) with current voluntary industry consensus standards. The rule will come into effect on September 26 unless adverse comment is received by May 31. 76 Fed. Reg. 17561 (March 30, 2011).

EPA – proposal to protect aquatic ecosystems

clip_image007 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that it is proposing for public comment standards to protect fish and other aquatic organisms drawn into cooling water systems at large power plants and factories. Some facilities would be required to install impingement protection and closed-cycle cooling systems may be required on a case-by-case basis. (3/28/11).

Libya – US forces engage Libyan vessels

clip_image009 The US Navy issued a news release stating that a Navy P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and an Air Force A-10 attack aircraft engaged a Libyan Coast Guard vessel and two smaller craft that were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata. The Libyan Coast Guard vessel was rendered ineffective and was beached. One of the smaller craft was destroyed and the other was abandoned by its crew. The guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) provided situational awareness by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture. (3/29/11).

Suez Canal – toll circular issued

clip_image011 The Suez Canal Authority posted its Toll Circular for 2011. Tolls for 2011 are unchanged from those assessed in 2010. (3/28/11).

Breakup and sinking of Texaco Oklahoma – March 27, 1971


The SS Texaco Oklahoma broke in two after being hit by a freak wave in the North Atlantic on March 27, 1971. The forward section, including the navigation bridge, immediately lost all power. The forward section then collided with the after section, destroying one of the two lifeboats rigged on the stern section, and subsequently sank, resulting in the death of thirteen mariners. The mariners in the stern section attempted to jury-rig a radio to send a distress message, but were unfamiliar with the process of sending Morse Code messages. High seas carried away the other lifeboat. When the stern section began to sink, the remaining mariners attempted to abandon ship in liferafts. A passing vessel found the survivors the next day. Of the 44 crew members on board when the tanker left Port Arthur for Boston, only thirteen survived. The casualty led to enhanced inspections of cargo tanks and improved methods of calculating hull stress. A memorial service, officiated by Father Sinclair of the Port Arthur Seafarers Center, was held in Port Arthur on March 27, 2011.

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

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