Headlines: USCG – improvements to mariner medical evaluations processing; USCG – compliance verification of alternative security programs; Tybee Island – oil spill response exercise; Northern California – expansion of security zones; Washington State – protection of killer whales; NTSB – course offerings; House – oversight hearing on biometric credentials; House – bill introduced re Salem Maritime National Historic Site; Senate – bill introduced re harbor deepening projects; Ireland - Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Japan – strategic maintenance for port structures; Singapore – port technology R&D; Singapore – CHEMSPILL 2011; Somalia – pirates release hijacked cargo ship; and RMS Titanic strikes iceberg – April 14, 1912.
April 14, 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. “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” (Steve Landesburg).
USCG – improvements to mariner medical evaluations processing
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a Medical Update Bulletin providing information on recent actions within the Mariner Medical Evaluations Division to improve customer service. The NMC has assigned a full-time, on-call government medical evaluator to receive calls from mariners and their physicians regarding their submitted applications. The number of permanent government medical screeners, evaluators, and reviewers has been increased. A new medical services contract has been awarded. Adjustments have been made to medical screening procedures. (4/12/11).
USCG – compliance verification of alternative security programs
The US Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing guidance to marine and facility inspectors for the conduct of Alternative Security Program (ASP) compliance inspections. CG-543 Policy Letter 11-04 (4/13/11).
Tybee Island – oil spill response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and an oil spill removal organization will conduct an oil spill response exercise on waters near Tybee Island, Georgia on April 14. (4/13/11).
Northern California – expansion of security zones
The US Coast Guard is expanding from 100 yards to 500 yards the radius of the security zones around tankers, cruise ships, and high value assets (HVAs) while underway on the navigable waters of San Francisco Bay, Delta Ports, Monterey Bay, and Humboldt Bay in northern California. The changes come into effect on May 16. 76 Fed. Reg. 20843 (April 14, 2011).
Washington State – protection of killer whales
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promulgated regulations to prohibit vessels from approaching within 200 yards of killer whales and from positioning vessels in the path of killer whales in inland waters of Washington State. The regulations come into effect on May 16. 76 Fed. Reg. 20870 (April 14, 2011).
NTSB – course offerings
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that it is offering various courses at its training center just outside Washington, DC. The Photodocumentation Series (May 10-12) covers the principles of digital imaging, accident site documentation, and protocols for processing images. The Advanced Skills in Disaster Family Assistance (June 7-9) will explore the unique set of leadership skills required to successfully manage the family assistance process within the chaotic post-disaster environment. (4/13/11).
House – oversight hearing on biometric credentials
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure issued a news release stating that, on April 14, it will conduct an oversight hearing regarding biometric transportation credential development. The Committee is concerned that aircraft pilot licenses still do not have resistance to tampering, alteration, and counterfeiting, as well as a photograph of the pilot and a biometric identifier required by law and that there are no approved readers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) for maritime workers. (4/13/11).
House – bill introduced re Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Representative Tierney (D-MA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1500) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a boundary study of the lands and waters in the greater Salem Sound and the city of Salem to determine the suitability and feasibility for inclusion within the boundary of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted, but Representative Tierney issued a news release explaining the purpose. (4/12/11).
Senate – bill introduced re harbor deepening projects
Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill (S. 793) to allow the Corps of Engineers to use certain amounts to carry out harbor deepening projects. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (4/12/11).
Ireland – Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
The Government of Ireland issued a notice stating that, due to a reorganization with effect from April 2, the Department of Transport was renamed as the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Marine Notice 20-2011 (4/13/11).
Japan – strategic maintenance for port structures
The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) issued a press release stating that it, the Ports and Airports Research Institute (PARI), and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF), in cooperation with ASEAN countries, developed new Guidelines on Strategic Maintenance for Port Structures, focusing on ASEAN countries. The guidelines address such issues as life-cycle maintenance, inspection, evaluation, and recordkeeping. (4/6/11).
Singapore – port technology R&D
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that it and the PSA Corporation will collaborate to conduct research and test bed new technologies for future container terminals. The effort will focus on three board areas: automated container port systems; advanced container port optimization techniques and technologies; and green port technologies. (4/13/11).
Singapore – CHEMSPILL 2011
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that stakeholders conducted CHEMSPILL 2011 in the Sinki Fairway off Jurong Island to test and validate the Chemical Contingency Plan (Marine) for combating a major chemical incident in Singapore waters. The scenario involved a chemical tanker suffering a steering failure and being hit by another tanker. (4/13/11).
Somalia – pirates release hijacked cargo ship
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Somali pirates have released the general cargo ship Thor Nexus. The ship was hijacked in the northern Indian Ocean on Christmas Day, December 25, 2010. The 27 crew members are believed to be safe and in good health. (4/13/11).
RMS Titanic strikes iceberg – April 14, 1912
On this date, 99 years ago, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. Some two hours later, early on the morning of April 15, the passenger vessel sank. There have been numerous theories as to why the ship sank; the current favorite is that substandard rivets were utilized in construction. The root cause, though, was complacency. In an attempt to make a rapid trans-Atlantic crossing on the maiden voyage, the ship was operated at high speed at night through an area known to contain icebergs.
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 – April 2011