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August 30th, 2018 at 11:06 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 30 August 2018


Puget Sound – floating ordnance detonated;

FMC – closed meeting on 4 September;

Court – passenger slip and fall;

UK – shipwreck bell returning to South Africa; and

Sinking of SS Metis – 30 August 1872.

August 30, 2018

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Puget Sound – floating ordnance detonated

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a temporary safety zone has been established around unexploded ordnance drifting south in Puget Sound near Bremerton. The Coast Guard is working with a Navy explosive ordnance disposal unit and others to address the situation. (8/28/18) []. Note: Unofficial reports state that the floating ordnance has been safely detonated.

FMC – closed meeting on 4 September

clip_image006 The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the Commissioners will meet in closed session on 4 September in Washington, DC to consider Fact Finding No. 28: Conditions and Practices Relating to Detention, Demurrage, and Free Time in International Oceanborne Commerce. 83 Fed. Reg. 44271 (8/30/18) [].

Court – passenger slip and fall

clip_image008 In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the award of a directed verdict in favor of defendant cruise line in a passenger slip and fall case. The court held that plaintiff passenger failed to introduce probative evidence regarding causation and damages. Kellner v NCL (Bahamas) Ltd, No. 16-15837 (11th Cir., August 29, 2018) [].

UK – shipwreck bell returning to South Africa

clip_image010 The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a news release stating that the bell of SS Mendi is being returned to South Africa. The ship sank of the Isle of Wight on 21 February 1917 while carrying more than 800 men of the South African native labor corps to support the war effort on the Western Front. More than 600 men died in the sinking. (8/29/18) [].

Sinking of SS Metis – 30 August 1872

clip_image012 clip_image014 During a rainstorm, the passenger vessel SS Metis, with approximately 242 passengers and crew on board collided with the schooner Nettie Cushing at about 4 a.m. on 30 August 1872 in Long Island Sound near Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Metis, en route from New York to Providence, was holed below the waterline and flooded quickly. Passengers were assembled and many boarded lifeboats. The captain and the agent of the Providence and New York Steamship Line refused to board lifeboats and remained in the pilot house. They were among the forty persons still alive when the vessel’s upper works washed ashore. The Revenue Cutter Moccasin, Captain David Ritchie commanding, rushed to the scene, rescuing 45 persons and recovering 17 bodies. It is estimated that 130 persons died in the sinking. Captain Ritchie and the officers and men of Moccasin received the formal Thanks of Congress by means of a Resolution adopted on 24 January 1873. A US Life-Saving Station was built at Watch Hill in 1879, adjacent to the Lighthouse. There was no marine insurance on Metis. Suits were brought against the shipowner, including one by a passenger stating that he bought his $3 ticket and incurred injuries and expenses due to the sinking – he demanded $20,000 damages. The owners filed a petition in federal court seeking exoneration from and limitation of liability.

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
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© Dennis L. Bryant – August 2018

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    logo11 BWM reform

    In the January 2019 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "BWM reform". The article discusses the recent enactment of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018 (VIDA). The Act greatly reforms the process for regulation of ballast water discharges into waters of the United States. It not only brings the US ballast water management (BWM) regulatory scheme into closer alignment with the international standard, but it also largely eliminates the authority of states and tribal govenments to establish their own standards. Full implementation will take time, but there is light at the end of this particular tunnel.