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November 9th, 2018 at 11:23 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 9 November 2018


DOJ – duck boat captain indicted;

USCG – lessons learned from SS Princess Sophia sinking;

Louisiana – formal investigation re bridge allision;

NTSB – Safer Seas Digest 2017;

California – USCG activities within NMSs;

NOAA – $8.3 million for coral reef conservation;

GAO – inland waterways budget;

Canada – $25 million for Prince Rupert;

Great Lakes storm of 1913;

SS Edmund Fitzgerald – 10 November 1975;

USMC – 243rd birthday; and

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day/Armistice Day.

November 9, 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. Why make the same mistake twice when there are so many possibilities?

DOJ – duck boat captain indicted

clip_image004 The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the captain of the duck boat that sank last summer on Table Rock Lake in Missouri resulting in the deaths of 17 passengers has been indicted by a federal grand jury for misconduct and negligence resulting in death. (11/8/17) []. Note: The charges are based in part on what is known as the 1838 seaman’s manslaughter statute.

USCG – lessons learned from SS Princess Sophia sinking

clip_image006 The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin discussing lessons learned from the tragic sinking of the passenger vessel Princess Sophia in 1918 in Alaska waters with the loss of all 353 persons on board. (11/8/18) [].

Louisiana – formal investigation re bridge allision

clip_image007 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is convening a formal investigation into an incident that resulted in damage to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish, Louisiana on 12 October. On that date, a crane barge allided with the bridge, smashing a major load-bearing beam on the steel cantilever-truss bridge and resulting in the closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic. (11/8/18) [].

NTSB – Safer Seas Digest 2017

clip_image009 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) posted its Safer Seas Digest 2017 summarizing lessons learned from marine accident investigations in the past year. (11/8/18) [].

California – USCG activities within NMSs

clip_image011 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promulgated a final rule allowing the US Coast Guard to carry out certain otherwise prohibited activities within waters of the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries (NMSs) beyond approximately three nautical miles from the shores thereof. The rule enters into effect on 10 December. 83 Fed. Reg. 55956 (11/9/18) [].

NOAA – $8.3 million for coral reef conservation

clip_image011[1] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a media release announcing that it has awarded $8.3 million for coral reef conservation and management. (11/8/18) [].

GAO – inland waterways budget

clip_image013 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the inland waterways. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintains the nation’s inland waterways, including locks and dams. Its inland waterways construction projects have often seen delays and cost overruns. The USACE reports and academic studies say that the agency faces higher costs and delays because it receives funding for only a part of a project each year, so it must contract for projects in pieces. USACE officials estimate that this inefficient approach will add $229 million to the cost of one project alone. The report recommends that the USACE seek ways to use construction funds more efficiently. GAO-19-20 (11/7/18) [].

Canada – $25 million for Prince Rupert

clip_image015 Transport Canada issued a news release announcing the investment of $25 million in improved transportation infrastructure in the Port of Prince Rupert. (11/7/18) [].

Great Lakes storm of 1913

clip_image017 In early November, 1913, a blizzard struck the US Midwest and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Great Lakes storm of 1913 reached its highest intensity on November 9. A total of 19 ships were sunk and another 19 were stranded on Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie. Cargo losses were in excess of 68,300 tons and were valued at over a million dollars. More than 280 mariners lost their lives in the most destructive natural disaster to ever strike the Great Lakes.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald – 10 November 1975

clip_image019 On 10 November 1975, the laker Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with a loss of all 29 hands. It was one of the largest ships on the Great Lakes, carrying over 26,000 tons of taconite ore between Duluth/Superior and the steel mills to the south. The “Fitz” had departed on 9 November in tandem with another laker, but sailed directly into an early winter storm. It sank suddenly, without making a distress call, at about 7:30 p.m., in heavy snow with winds gusting to hurricane force and seas exceeding 30 feet in height. Gordon Lightfoot memorialized the casualty in his hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

USMC – 243rd birthday

clip_image021 The United States Marine Corps (USMC) began when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775 as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting both at sea and on shore. It has been a component of the US Navy since June 30, 1834. The Marine Corps are now responsible for expeditionary and amphibious operations with the other military services. Oorah!

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day/Armistice Day

clip_image023 Sunday, November 11, will be marked as the centennial anniversary of the signing of the armistice ending World War I – the war to end all wars, as it was proclaimed at the time. The day is commemorated as Veterans Day in the United States; as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth nations; and as Armistice Day in France and Belgium. On this day, we also should remember the sacrifices of our military personnel, as well as those of the merchant marine who deliver vital supplies across dangerous seas in time of war.

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135



© Dennis L. Bryant – November 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.