USCG – CVSSA training standards and curricula;
DOJ – shipping firms fined and banned from the US;
BOEMRE & USCG – offshore renewable energy installations;
Senate – bill introduced to authorize DOT maritime programs;
Court – contract clauses posted on internet are enforceable;
Court – claim denied for cost of in vitro fertilization;
EMSA – Annual Report 2010;
India – draft Indian Ports Bill 2011;
Somalia – pirates release hijacked tanker; and
The “Black Tom Island” Incident – July 30, 1916.
July 29, 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. Searching for the elusive Higgs bison.
USCG – CVSSA training standards and curricula
The US Coast Guard published CG-543 Policy Letter 11-10, Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Standards and Curricula, as well as Model Course CVSSA 11-01, Crime Prevention, Detection, Evidence Preservation, and Reporting. The policy letter and its attachment provide guidance for compliance with the provisions of Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (CVSSA) whereby at least one crewmember on board certain large passenger ships embarking or disembarking passengers in the United States must be trained in crime scene preservation. The requirement came into effect on July 27, 2011. Each covered vessel should indicate in its advance notice of arrival (ANOA) that it is in compliance with the CVSSA training requirement. The Model Course is intended to serve as specific guidance upon which education and training providers can immediately base instruction in prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal activities in the international maritime environment. (7/28/11).
DOJ – shipping firms fined and banned from the US
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that following guilty pleas from the ship owners and operators to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and the Ports and Waterways Safety Act and to obstruction of justice, the federal court sentenced them to pay a one million dollar penalty and to be banned from doing business in the United States for the next five years. Defendants admitted to bypassing the ship’s oily water separator and dumping oily waste directly overboard; to failing to report a leak between a fuel tank and a ballast water tank that allowed oil to contaminate the ballast water; to falsifying the ship’s oil record book; and to intentionally failing to report to the Coast Guard that the ship’s electric generators were inoperative. One of the defendants was a repeat offender and was on probation from an earlier similar offense when these crimes were committed. That probation was revoked when the defendant entered a guilty plea to these offenses. (7/28/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Ron Signorino of the Blueoceana Company.
BOEMRE & USCG – offshore renewable energy installations
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a news release stating that it and the US Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to identify and clarify their respective roles and responsibilities with respect to offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs) on the outer continental shelf (OCS). (7/27/11).
Senate – bill introduced to authorize DOT maritime programs
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S. 1430) to authorize certain maritime programs of the Department of Transportation, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (7/27/11).
Court – contract clauses posted on website are enforceable
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a maritime contract is enforceable even though some of its terms are only found on the website of one of the parties, so long as the other party is clearly put on notice of the location of the posted clauses. In the instant case, a barge owner contracted with a ship repair facility for work to be performed on the barge. The written contract prepared by the barge owner included, in bold letters, the statement that it was issued in accordance with the purchase order terms and conditions found at the barge owner’s website – identified by its URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Among the terms and conditions included on the website was a provision requiring the contractor to defend and indemnify the barge owner from any claim brought against the barge owner arising out of any injury caused by any defect in the goods or services provided. The ship repair facility did not read the terms and conditions and did not obtain insurance naming the barge owner as an additional insured. A subcontractor’s employee was injured while working on the barge. The employee sued the ship repair facility and the barge owner. The ship repair facility contended, among other things, that the indemnification clause, found only on the internet site, failed to provide adequate notice. The court rejected this argument, holding that maritime contracts may validly incorporate terms from a website in the same manner that they may incorporate by reference terms from paper documents. One Beacon Insurance Co. v. Crowley Marine Services, No. 10-20417 (5th Cir., July 28, 2011). Welcome to the twenty-first century!
Court – claim denied for cost of in vitro fertilization
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld denial of a claim for the cost of in vitro fertilization. Plaintiff longshoreman was injured while loading defendant’s vessel. During surgery required as a result of his injuries, he suffered nerve damage rendering him unable to produce sperm. He had previously deposited sperm in a sperm bank. He and his wife sued for, among other things, the cost for his wife to undergo in vitro fertilization procedures in an attempt to conceive a child. The district court had found that the defendant suffered from fertility problems and that his wife suffered from a condition that causes decreased fertility. The appellate court ruled that the district court did not clearly err by finding that it was highly speculative that the plaintiffs would conceive a child through in vitro fertilization in these circumstances. McCuller v. Nautical Ventures, No. 09-31084 (5th Cir., July 28, 2011).
EMSA – Annual Report 2010
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) released its Annual Report 2010. The report addresses, among other things, maritime surveillance; visits and inspections; technical cooperation; and pollution preparedness, detection, and response. (7/27/11).
India – draft Indian Ports Bill 2011
The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that, based on a thorough review of current law and future requirements, a new draft Indian Ports Bill 2011 has been prepared. Comments on the draft should be submitted by August 21. (7/28/11).
Somalia – pirates release hijacked tanker
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the small tanker JUBBA XX, hijacked by Somali pirates on July 16, has been released following intervention by Puntland officials and tribal elders. The crew is reported to be safe. (7/28/11).
The “Black Tom Island” incident – July 30, 1916
The “Black Tom Island” incident occurred on Sunday, July 30, 1916. German saboteurs ignited a fire at the munitions-loading facility in Jersey City, across from Manhattan. The ensuing explosions destroyed the waterfront facility and largely obliterated the island, killing four persons and causing over $40 million in property damage. It was the first terrorist attack in US history and was the genesis of the Coast Guard’s port security program. The linked article provides further details.
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 – July 2011