Headlines: Gulf of Aden – vigilance required to protect against pirates; Iraq – maritime security; Mauritius & USCG – counter-piracy cooperation; USCG – ballast water discharge standards; San Francisco Bay – mariner’s body recovered; Arctic Ocean – CCG & USCG engage in joint survey; OSHA – personal protective equipment; Pennsylvania Rule should be limited to collision cases; Dismissal of False Claims Act suit; Panama Canal – operations summary – August; UK – provisional port statistics; and Glenn Winuk – A Fallen American Hero.
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Gulf of Aden – vigilance required to protect against pirates
The US Navy issued a news release reminding ships operating in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia of the need for increased vigilance. The threat of piratical attack has risen with the end of the monsoon season. (9/10/09).
Iraq – maritime security
The US Department of Defense issued a news release highlighting efforts of Navy and Coast Guard personnel to maintain maritime security at the Al Basrah Oil Terminal off the coast of Iraq. (9/10/09).
Mauritius and USCG – counter-piracy cooperation
A joint new release was issued by the Mauritius Port Authority and the US Coast Guard discussing counter-piracy cooperation and the second meeting of the South Asia and Africa Regional Port Security Cooperative, held September 9-10 in Port Louis, Mauritius. (9/10/09).
USCG – ballast water discharge standards
The US Coast Guard has made available an advance copy of its notice regarding standards for living organisms in ship’s ballast water discharged in US waters. Public meetings on this issue will be held in Seattle (September 28); New Orleans (September 30); Washington, DC (October 8); Oakland (October 27); and New York (October 29). Written comments should be submitted by November 27. The agency has also made available a White Paper explaining the two-phase approach of its proposed ballast water discharge standard. (9/10/09).
San Francisco Bay – mariner’s body recovered
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the body of a crewmember who fell overboard from a container ship as it was arriving in San Francisco Bay has been recovered. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. (9/10/09).
Arctic Ocean – CCG & USCG engage in joint survey
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Canadian Coast Guard and the US Coast Guard are conducting a joint survey in the Arctic Ocean to help define the boundaries of the North American continental shelf. (9/9/09).
OHSA – personal protective equipment
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is revising the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards regarding requirements for eye- and face-protective devices, head protection, and foot protection. Among other things, it is updating its references to national consensus standards. The changes come into effect on October 9. 74 Fed. Reg. 46350 (September 9, 2009).
Pennsylvania Rule should be limited to collision cases
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that plaintiff diver failed to show that defendant vessel owner’s failure to have a dive manual on board the vessel was a causative factor in his injury. In the instant case, plaintiff was injured while conducting a free-dive (i.e., without scuba gear) from defendant’s vessel. Regulations promulgated by the US Coast Guard require that vessels from which commercial diving operations are staged have a dive manual meeting certain requirements. Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his action by the District Court, contending that because the defendant violated a safety regulation that court should have shifted the burden of proof in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rule. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal, noting that the USCG regulation applied to scuba diving, not free-dives. Potentially of greater significance though, the court went out of its way to opine that application of the Pennsylvania Rule should be limited to collision and other navigational accident cases. McDonald v. Kahikolu, Ltd, No. 08-15239 (9th Cir., September 10, 2009).
Dismissal of False Claims Act suit
In a brief, unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought under the False Claims Act asserting that defendant company had systematically overcharged the Navy for its marine coating products. Kessler v. Sigma Coatings USA BV, No. 08-30734 (5th Cir., September 10, 2009).
Panama Canal – operations summary – August
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing canal operations for August. It also includes the schedule of locks maintenance work for the next twelve months. Advisory 15-2009 (9/7/09).
UK – provisional port statistics
The UK Department for Transport issued its provisional port statistics through the second quarter of 2009. Total port traffic was down 13% compared with the same quarter in 2008. (9/10/09).
Glenn J. Winuk – A Fallen American Hero
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks in Manhattan, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Approximately 3,000 people died as a result of those attacks. Most were dedicated firefighters and police in New York City and many were innocent victims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. One, though, was a maritime lawyer who worked several blocks away from the World Trade Center. After the planes hit the Twin Towers and people started fleeing the area, Glenn J. Winuk, a volunteer firefighter in his hometown on Long Island, grabbed a response kit from a parked fire truck and went to the South Tower to render assistance to persons in need. His remains were identified months later through DNA analysis. He represents all that is good and true in Americans and deserves to be long-remembered. (9/11/09).
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 – September 2009