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April 6th, 2017 at 10:59 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 6 April 2017


USCG – deck officer sought;

USCG – NVMC scheduled maintenance;

USCG – maritime security;

BOEM – impact of wind energy development;

BSEE – offshore safety forum;

House – bill introduced re heavy icebreaker procurement;

California – voyage arrival fee increased; and

Union Faith- Warren J. Doucet tow collision – 6 April 1969.

April 6, 2017

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USCG – deck officer sought

clip_image004 The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice announcing that it seeks a qualified individual for a permanent position to serve as the primary coordinator and subject matter expert for development and revision of merchant marine deck officer and rating examinations. (4/5/17) [].

USCG – NVMC scheduled maintenance

clip_image004[1] The USCG National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) will be unavailable between 0200 and 0700 Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, 11 April due to scheduled maintenance. (4/5/17) [].

USCG – maritime security

clip_image004[2] The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin summarizing the remarks of VADM Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, delivered at the recent Connecticut Maritime Association conference. Among other things, he discussed military, law enforcement, and marine safety missions of the Coast Guard. (4/5/17) [].

BOEM – impact of wind energy development

clip_image006 The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a notice announcing the availability of its two-volume report, Socio-Economic Impact of Outer Continental Shelf Wind Energy Development on Fisheries in the U.S. Atlantic. Recognizing the importance that commercial and recreational fisheries play in the U.S. economy and to food supply, BOEM worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service to better understand fishing activity as it relates to areas of potential offshore wind energy development. (4/4/17) [].

BSEE – offshore safety forum

clip_image008 The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a press release stating that it and the Ocean Energy Safety Institute will hold a public forum on 17 April in Houston to discuss initial evaluations of potential technology solutions to early kick detection during drilling operations and detection of methane gas on offshore helipads. (4/5/17) [].

House – bill introduced re heavy icebreaker procurement

clip_image010 Representative Young (R-AK) introduced the Icebreaker Act (H.R. 1816) to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to enter into a contract for the procurement of heavy icebreakers. (3/30/17) [].

California – voyage arrival fee increased

clip_image012 The California State Lands Commission (SLC) issued a notice reminding stakeholders that, effective 1 April 2017, the Marine Invasive Species Program fee paid by vessels with a qualifying voyage arrival in a California port was increased from $850 to $1,000. (4/4/17) [].

Union Faith-Warren J. Doucet tow collision – 6 April 1969

clip_image014 On 6 April 1969, the steamship Union Faith, operating with a local pilot, was upbound on the Mississippi River at New Orleans. The towboat Warren J. Doucet was downbound with three tank barges, each holding about 9,000 barrels of crude oil. A second towboat was made up to the port quarter of the face barge. In accordance with local custom, the tow was favoring the bends. Slightly upstream of the Greater New Orleans Bridge, in the Gouldsboro Bend, the Union Faith collided with the lead barge of the towboat. The barge broke loose and caught fire. A series of explosions followed almost immediately and the Union Faith was engulfed in flames. Crude oil burned on the river, threatening moored vessels and harbor facilities. Union Faith drifted downriver, burning from stem to stern and then sank. A total of 25 persons on Union Faith, including all persons on the bridge, died in the incident. Investigation revealed that the towboat was operating its radio on 2738 kHz, but was not monitoring 156.65 MHz (Channel 13). The pilot on Union Faith was using a portable transceiver operating on 156.65 MHz, but apparently not monitoring 2738 kHz. Both vessels were equipped with marine radar and the navigation lights on both vessels were apparently operating properly. As a direct result of this casualty, and in accordance with a primary recommendation of the USCG Marine Casualty Report, Congress adopted the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radio Telephone Act (Pub.L. 93-63, August 4, 1971), requiring vessels in the same waterway to monitor a common frequency.

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135



© Dennis L. Bryant – April 2017

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    logo11 Tugs and VRPs

    In the April 2018 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "Tugs and VRPs". The article discusses the transition of tugs and towboats from being uninspected vessels to inspected vessels of the United States and that transition's impact on vessel response plans (VRPs). VRP plan holders and preparers should carefully review their current plans to ensure that the tugs identified therein will actually be eligible to provide the services stated in the locations called for.