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August 31st, 2018 at 10:58 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 31 August 2018


Texas – oil spill response;

USCG – BWMS type approval certificate;

NTSB – towing vessel sinking;

Beaufort Sea – Liberty DPP EIS completed;

Court – lack of appellate jurisdiction;

Singapore – reporting of incidents; and

Carrington Event – 1-2 September 1859.

August 31, 2018

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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. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Texas – oil spill response

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that more than 13,000 gallons of marine diesel fuel were spilled into waters near Port Arthur following an accident involving the towing vessel Savage Pathfinder and the motor vessel Endurance. Response efforts are underway. The incident is under investigation. There were no reported injuries. (8/30/18) [].

USCG – BWMS type approval certificate

clip_image005 The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin stating that a ballast water management system (BWMS) type approval certificate has been issued to Wartsila Water Systems Ltd. This is the tenth such certificate issued to date. (8/30/18) [].

NTSB – towing vessel sinking

clip_image007 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) posted the report of its investigation of the 23 August 2017 sinking of the towing vessel Gracie Claire, which was moored in Tiger Pass near mile marker 10 on the Lower Mississippi River in Venice, Louisiana. While taking on fuel and water, the towboat began to slowly list to starboard. After the wake of a passing crewboat washed onto the towing vessel’s stern, the list increased. In a short period of time, water entered an open door to the engine room and flooded the space. The towboat sank partially, its bow being held above the water by the lines connected to the dock. All three crewmembers escaped to the dock without injury. Approximately 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel were discharged into the waterway. Damage to the Gracie Claire was estimated at $565,000. The probable cause of the capsizing and sinking of the towing vessel was its decreased stability and freeboard due to undetected flooding through a hull leak in the rudder compartment, which made the vessel susceptible to the adverse effects of boarding water from the wake of a passing vessel. MAB 18-19 (8/30/18) [].

Beaufort Sea – Liberty DPP EIS completed

clip_image009 The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a notice stating that the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Liberty Development and Production Plan (DPP) in the Beaufort Sea Planning Area has been completed. 83 Fed. Reg. 44670 (9/4/18) [].

Court – lack of appellate jurisdiction

clip_image011 The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction plaintiffs’ appeal of the ruling of the district court that defendant vessel’s insurers may limit their liabilities to the same extent available to the vessel. The court held that the lower court ruling is an interlocutory matter that will remain available for review upon appeal of any final decision. SCF Waxler Marine v MV Aris T, No. 17-30805 (5th Cir., August 29, 2018) [].

Singapore – reporting of incidents

clip_image013 The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular providing updated information on the reporting of incidents involving Singapore-registered ships. Shipping Circular 11-2018 (8/29/18) [].

Carrington Event – 1-2 September 1859

clip_image015 The Carrington Event was a massive solar storm that occurred on 1-2 September 1859. The largest geomagnetic storm on record was the result of a solar coronal mass ejection colliding with the Earth’s magnetosphere. The associated white light flare on the surface of the sun was observed and recorded by the English astronomer Richard Carrington. A similar event occurring today would have major repercussions, disrupting satellite communication systems and satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing systems such as GPS. Solar coronal mass ejections are not rare. This one, though, was particularly strong and just happened to cross the orbit of the Earth exactly when and where the Earth was passing. Bloody bad timing.

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135



© 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.