Headlines: Atchafalaya River – reopened; Parris Island – proposed changes to danger zones; USAF – enhancement of GPS constellation; House – hearing on global maritime piracy; House – bill introduced re offshore wind energy development; Senate – bill introduced re Chicago Area Water System; Senate – bill introduced re capital construction funds; EC – Sweden asked to improve port security; Australia – changes to REEFVTS; Canada – Great Lakes Ballast Water Treatment Program proven effective; New Zealand – investigation of Coastguard NZ rescue vessel incidents; and Somalia – fire on hijacked freighter.
June 17, 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. The Ship of Theseus sails forever.
Atchafalaya River – reopened
Yesterday’s newsletter included the US Coast Guard rulemaking temporarily closing the Atchafalaya River between Mile Marker 117 (Morgan City Railroad Bridge) and Mile Marker 0 (Simmesport, Louisiana) to navigation, through July 31, due to high water. Subsequently, USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) Morgan City reopened the waterway, subject to various restrictions, because the water level has dropped. This is a dynamic situation – one might say fluid. Vessels operating in this vicinity should monitor developments closely. (6/16/11). Note: This item was initially brought to my attention by my good friend Jason Smythe of Chevron Shipping.
Parris Island – proposed changes to danger zones
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposes to amend the regulations for two existing danger zones adjacent to the rifle range and pistol range at the US Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by July 18. 76 Fed. Reg. 35379 (June 17, 2011).
USAF – enhancement of GPS constellation
The US Air Force issued a media release stating that enhancement of the Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation has been completed. The enhancement project, known as “Expandable 24”, consisted of two phases. In the first phase, three of the 24 GPS satellites were maneuvered to more optimal orbits. In the second phase, another three satellites were also maneuvered to new orbits. The project has increased the robustness of satellite availability and overall signal in space performance, resulting in a higher probability of signal acquisition. (6/15/11).
House – hearing on global maritime piracy
The Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs conducted an oversight hearing on “Global Maritime Piracy: Fueling Terrorism, Harming Trade”. Subcommittee Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) made an opening statement. Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro, Department of State, testified about the multilateral, multidimensional approach being taken to counter Somali piracy. Deputy Assistant Secretary William Wechsler, Department of Defense, testified concerning the threat posed by motherships and the failure of many merchant vessels to take basic self-defense measures. (6/15/11).
House – bill introduced re offshore wind energy development
Representative Wittman (R-VA) introduced the Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act (H.R. 2173) to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources. (6/14/11).
Senate – bill introduced re Chicago Area Water System
Senator Coats (R-IN) introduced a bill (S. 1197) to provide for a feasibility study before carrying out any Federal action relating to the Chicago Area Water System. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted, but Senator Coats issued a press release explaining its purpose. (6/15/11).
Senate – bill introduced re capital construction funds
Senator Wyden (R-OR) introduced a bill (S. 1208) to provide an election to terminate certain capital construction funds without penalties. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted, but Senator Wyden issued a press release explaining its purpose. (6/15/11).
EC – Sweden asked to improve port security
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has sent Sweden a formal request asking it to apply correctly the EU Directive on improving port security, and in particular to initiate assessments and develop port security plans. (6/16/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Australia – changes to REEFVTS
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that, effective July 1, a number of important changes are being made to the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS). The mandatory ship reporting system is being extended to southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. In conjunction with this change, new ship reporting points are being added and the VTS Guide has been revised, as have the VHF communication frequencies. (6/16/11).
Canada – Great Lakes Ballast Water Treatment Program proven effective
Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted the report of a study it conducted in cooperation with Transport Canada and the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network to analyze the current Great Lakes Ballast Water Treatment Program. The program is a joint project of Canada and the United States. It verifies that all ocean-going vessels exchange their ballast water or flush their ballast tanks with mid-oceanic saltwater prior to entering the Great Lakes. Between 1959 and 2006, an estimated 56 aquatic nonindigenous species were reported in the Great Lakes, of which 55-to-70% were attributed to transoceanic shipping. Since 2006, when the program was implemented, no new invasive species attributed to ballast water have been recorded. (6/16/11).
New Zealand – investigation of Coastguard NZ rescue vessel incidents
The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) issued the report of its investigation of four recent occurrences involving Coastguard NZ rescue vessels. It found that in each instance, there was inadequate crew resource management and that the sense of urgency can adversely affect decision-making processes. It recommends, among other things, a higher standard of training for Coastguard NZ crews, particularly around night navigation, the use of electronic navigation equipment, and crew resource management. (6/16/11).
Somalia – fire on hijacked freighter
The Voice of America issued a press release stating that a fire broke out on the bulk carrier Orna, being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The extent of the fire is unknown at this time. The 19 crewmembers have reportedly been evacuated safely. (6/16/11). Note: The Orna was hijacked on December 20, 2010 in the Indian Ocean approximately 400 nm northeast of the Seychelles.
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 – June 2011