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October 30th, 2017 at 11:09 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 30 October 2017


USCG – LGCNCOE newsletter;

House – bill introduced re port authorities;

GAO – USCG performance information;

Court – worker not Jones Act seaman;

Court – insurance defense strategy;

Gulf of Guinea – piracy/hijacking incidents; and

Virginius Affair – 30 October 1873.

October 30, 2017

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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. Don’t believe atoms – they make up everything.

USCG – LGCNCOE newsletter

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard posted the Fall 2017 edition of ‘The Gas Gauge’, newsletter of the Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGCNCOE). This edition discusses, among other things, the difference between cargo heaters and cargo vaporizers. (10/27/17) [].

House – bill introduced re port authorities

clip_image006 Representative Nadler (D-NY) introduced a bill (H.R. 4147) to amend title 49, United States Code, to provide certain port authorities, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (10/26/17).

GAO – USCG performance information

clip_image008 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report regarding actions needed by the US Coast Guard to enhance performance transparency and monitoring. Among other things, the report recommends that the Coast Guard develop new perform goals that better align with its missions and make its Annual Performance Reports publicly available on the Coast Guard’s website. GAO-18-13 (10/27/17) [].

Court – worker not a Jones Act seaman

clip_image010 The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court dismissal of a barge worker’s claims against the barge, agreeing that he did not qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act. The appellate court, though, reversed the dismissal of claims against the barge owner and the operator of the rock processing facility at which the injury was incurred. In the Matter of the Complaint of Buchanan Marine, LP, No. 16-1092-cv (2nd Cir., October 27, 2017) [].

Court – insurance defense strategy

clip_image011 In a brief unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court grant of summary judgment to a marine insurer in a claim of bad faith by plaintiff insured. Plaintiff vessel towing and salvage company and one of its franchisees were sued by an injured employee of the franchisee. Plaintiff and the franchisee agreed on a joint defense and global strategy to minimize the risk of cross claims. Defendant insurer opposed this strategy and obtained a settlement at no out-of-pocket cost to defendant. There were no cross claims. The court held that a difference in defense strategy does not constitute bad faith. Sea Tow Services International v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance, No. 16-3672 (2nd Cir., October 27, 2017) [].

Gulf of Guinea – piracy/hijacking incidents

clip_image013 The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an alert stating that two vessels have been subjects of piracy/hijacking in recent days in separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. Caution should be exercised when transiting this area. Alert 2017-007A (10/27/17) [].

Virginius Affair – 30 October 1873

clip_image015 On 30 October 1873, the US-flag side-wheel steamer Virginius, with a crew of 52, was captured by the Spanish Navy off the coast of Cuba while attempting to smuggle 103 native Cuban revolutionaries, four mercenaries, and various munitions into Cuba to support the ongoing insurrection against Spanish rule. The vessel, originally named Virgin, had been built in England as a Confederate blockade runner. All on board were quickly tried and convicted of piracy by a Spanish court in Santiago. On 4 November, the native Cubans and four mercenaries were executed by firing squad. On 7 November, thirty-seven crew members, including the master, were executed. On 8 November, a further twelve crew members were executed. Diplomatic protests ensued and the United States threatened war, even though its Navy at that time was substantially inferior to that of Spain. Calmer heads prevailed and Spain eventually turned over the vessel, the remaining crew, and the bodies of the deceased Americans, as well as paying reparations. Congress quickly funded a program to modernize the US Navy, making it ready to defeat the Spanish Navy during the Spanish-American War of 1898.

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135



© Dennis L. Bryant – October 2017

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    logo11 Liquefaction

    In the October 2018 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "Liquefaction". The article discusses the shocking number of bulk carriers that have suddenly and catastrophically been lost at sea in recent years. The known or suspected cause of these tragic losses has been liquefaction of cargo. Despite efforts of the IMO, insurers, and trade associations, these losses continue. Installing a longitudinal bulkhead in each cargo hold would reduce the risk of liquefaction and the consequent loss of ships, cargo, and crews.