Marine News Boat of the Month: March 2017
All American Marine (AAM) in February announced a deal for the construction of a new hybrid electric, 600 passenger aluminum monohull vessel to be delivered to the Red and White Fleet of San Francisco, Calif. AAM’s latest contract follows an earlier announcement made by the company regarding a construction agreement for a 500 passenger aluminum monohull tour boat for Argosy Cruises of Seattle, Wash. Both operators were originally pursuing construction contracts for steel monohulls…
ABB: Propelling the Polar Cruise Boom
Leveraging its experience in the distinct polar and cruise vessel segments, ABB and its Azipod are at the forefront of the booming polar passenger vessel market. As world travelers continually seek access to more exotic and exciting destinations, evolving cruise shipping trends have triggered an order boom for passenger vessels capable of plying some of the most treacherous Arctic and Antarctic routes. Required for this class of ships is a range of equipment and technologies that enable safe and comfortable sailing through polar waters.
Already Strong on the US West Coast, Scania Looks East
Go east, young man, go east: Scania’s market reach grows with a key workboat contract. The reasons why are easy enough to see. When Scania announced its recent deal with Potomac Riverboat Company, part of the Entertainment Cruises family, to deliver eight, EPA Tier 3, 500 HP DI 13-liter engines in 2017 to power its high-speed, low-wake water taxis in Washington, DC, it marked the beginning of what is so far a good year for the San Antonio-based engine manufacturer. The 88-foot vessels will carry 149 passengers and will be built by Louisiana-based Metal Shark…
Metal Shark Puts First Two Citywide Ferries on the Water
Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark said it has put the first two passenger vessels for New York's new Citywide Ferry Service on the water, having splashed the new builds at its Franklin, La. shipyard late last week. At 7:30 a.m. on February 24, operators from Berard Transportation began the process of moving the first of two 86' x 26' catamaran-hulled aluminum passenger vessels from Metal Shark's final assembly building to the waiting cranes from H. Brown Crane Service, which hoisted the vessel and placed it into the adjacent Charenton Canal.
Passenger Vessel Association Opposes Bill Allowing Foreign-Flagged Ships to Compete with U.S. Passenger Vessels
Alexandria, VA:The Board of Directors of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) yesterday unanimously voted to oppose enactment of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow foreign-flagged passenger vessels to directly compete with their American-flagged counterparts. The PVA Board action reaffirmed support of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) which reserves the commercial carriage of passengers between U.S. ports for vessels that are U.S.-flagged, U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, and U.S.-crewed. The legislation (H.R. 2460) was introduced by Congressman Blake Farenthold of Texas on July 7, 2011. The proposed Farenthold…
PVA Develops Security Standard for Passenger Vessels and Ferries
The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) this week officially submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard a comprehensive security standard for domestic passenger vessels and ferries. Entitled, “ the PVA Industry Standards for Security of Passenger Vessels and Small Passenger Vessels,” the document is the product of a PVA security task force composed of experts representing every type of passenger vessel operation nationwide. The task force developed standards specific to the passenger vessel industry in order to provide effective security measures, many of which are already in place. Using this document, a domestic passenger vessel operator will be able to assess vessel and shore side facility security needs and then develop and implement an effective security plan to protect passengers…
USCG Releases Interim Report on Alaska Small Passenger Vessel Safety
The Alaska Small Passenger Vessel Task Force (ASPV) has issued an interim report concerning safety issues for small passenger vessels operating in remote Alaskan areas. Seventeenth USCG District Commander, Rear Adm. Thomas J. Barrett, chartered the ASPV in July as a result of recent accidents involving small cruise vessels. Adm. Barrett also asked the ASPV to find ways to minimize the risk of future incidents and improve response to accidents. Annually, more than 200,000 passengers travel aboard small passenger vessels in Alaska. This summer, four of these vessels grounded or struck objects in remote Alaskan waterways. Two of the incidents required significant response from the USCG and the State of Alaska.
PVA Calls for TWIC Re-Evaluation
Passenger Vessel Association Marks 10th Anniversary of Maritime Security Law; Calls for Reevaluation of TWIC. On the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the landmark Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) (Public Law 107-295), the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) takes note of the far-reaching security enhancements adopted by the U.S. flagged passenger vessel industry but also calls on Congress to re-evaluate the expensive and unsuccessful Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.
USCG Seeks Comment on Rules For Uninspected Passenger Vessels
The USCG seeks comment from the public on proposed regulations to implement the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (PVSA). The PVSA, among other provisions, established a new class of uninspected passenger vessels that are at least 100 gross tons and carry no more than 12 passengers for hire. In an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), the USCG asked for comments on what type of operational and equipment requirements should be proposed for these uninspected vessels. The notice seeks information on the type of safety equipment this new class of uninspected passenger vessel carries, the construction standards it currently meets, and licensing and experience requirements for vessel owners, operators and charter brokers, among other issues.
Alaska USCG Announces Five-Star Safety Rating
The Alaska USCG, in conjunction with local harbormasters and the uninspected passenger vessel industry, is promoting a new Five-Star Safety Rating Program for the industry. This initiative is voluntary and is designed to upgrade the safety of the smallest size class of passenger vessels. The safest vessels will earn a Five-Star Safety Rating. Small, uninspected passenger vessel operations have expanded dramatically in Alaska, with thousands of Alaskans and tourists embarking on them every year. There are more than 2,000 of these vessels in Alaska that can carry six or less passengers for hire and are not inspected by the USCG. In the wake of the sinking of two of these small passenger vessels in Alaska this past summer…
China Shipwreck – Death Toll Rises to 20
The death toll from a recent shipwreck in south China has risen to 20 as six missing people were confirmed dead, local authorities said. The passenger ship sank in the Xunjiang River after colliding with a cargo ship in the city of Guiping in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Initially a total of 14 passengers were found dead and six were missing. Further search efforts discovered the bodies of all those six people, the Guiping city government said in a statement. Thirty people, including two crew members, survived the shipwreck. According to a preliminary investigation, the cargo ship was blamed for the accident. It was traveling outside of the river's designated shipping lane when it collided with the passenger vessel.
Amended PVSA To Go into Effect in June
The U.S. Coast Guard has promulgated its final rule implementing safety measures for uninspected passenger vessels under the Passenger Vessel Safety Act (PVSA) of 1993. This Act authorizes the Coast Guard to amend operating and equipment guidelines for uninspected passenger vessels over 100 gross tons, carrying 12 or fewer passengers for hire. These regulations will implement this new class of uninspected passenger vessel, provide for issuance of special permits for vessels participating in a Marine Event of National Significance, and develop specific manning and other requirements for a limited fleet of PVSA-exempted vessels. The rule comes into effect on June 12. Source: HK Law
Meeting Regarding ADA for Passenger Vessels
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) will hold two informational meetings to assist the board in developing accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for passenger vessels. The meeting will focus on providing accessible embarkation and disembarkation for persons with disabilities on and off certain U.S. and foreign passenger vessels. The meetings will be held in New Orleans on August 20 and in Seattle on September 9, 2003. (Source: Haight Gardner Holland & Knight)
Passenger Vessel Access to Meet in D.C.
The Passenger Vessels Ad Hoc Committee of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (otherwise known as the Access Board) will meet in closed session in Washington, DC on March 11, 2003. The Committee is considering access standards for commercial passenger vessels. Source: HK Law
CG Final Report, Lady D Accident
On August 24, the U.S. Coast Guard released the final report of investigation into the March 2004 capsizing of the passenger vessel Lady D in the northwest harbor of the Patapsco River, Baltimore. Five passengers aboard the Lady D died in the accident. The report states the accident was initiated by the master's unsafe decision to depart the dock at Fort McHenry in the face of an approaching visible squall line. The report also states that the Lady D, a small pontoon water taxi, capsized when the cumulative effect of many factors created an overturning motion from which the vessel could not recover. • Conducting an assessment of the stability of the pontoon passenger vessel fleet to identify vessels that may have an elevated risk of capsizing due to improperly conducted stability tests.
Jal Marg Vikas Project Takes Off in India
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The Project envisages preparation of Disaster Management Plan (DMP) and Emergency Management Plan (EMP) to take care of activities like navigation, terminal and jetty operation, oil spill, disaster contingency, etc. after the commissioning of the project and while operating cargo and passenger vessels on NW-1. The Project entails development…
While many facets of the maritime market remain stuck in the doldrums, the passenger vessel end of the market is one which should continue to expand robustly through the coming year and far beyond. The cruise ship market continues its stampede forward, with 13 new ships and more than 16,000 berths coming on line in 1999 and 14 ships and more than 18,600 new berths scheduled to be delivered in 2000. On the smaller passenger vessel side, a significant development occurred last month when Australia’s Austal Ships announced its new partnership with Bender Shipbuilding to construct a new facility in the Mobile area and vigorously pursue both passenger vessel and government contracts.
PVA Comments on Proposed Maritime Communications Rule
On June 7, the Passenger Vessel Association filed written comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on a proposed rule on maritime communications. FCC had sought comments on whether to require all small passenger vessels to have a reserve power source for their radios (currently, such a requirement applies only to passenger vessels of 100 or more gross tons). PVA recommended that the FCC not require all small passenger vessels to have a reserve power source. Instead, said PVA, the requirement should apply only to a subset of small passenger vessels, those that fall within Subchapter K of Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations…
Alaska Proposes Passenger Vessel Discharge Legislation
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance Program is proposing to issue a 2014 Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater Discharge General Permit (Permit number: 2013DB0004). This general permit will satisfy the regulatory provisions of Alaska Statute (AS) 46.03.460 through AS 46.03.490 as amended in 2013 by House Bill 80. This general permit will apply to the discharge of wastewater such as treated sewage, treated graywater and other treated wastewater discharges from large commercial passenger vessels operating in marine waters of the state (AS 46.03.462). Large commercial vessels include passenger vessels for hire that provide overnight accommodations for 250 or more passengers…
Safety: It's All About Culture
We in the passenger vessel industry strongly believe in safety. We want our operations to be safe to ensure the well-being of our crew and passengers and the protection of our assets. We work hard to establish appropriate safety policies and programs and we train and drill crew to ensure that we are all aware of the need to be safe and to appropriately respond when an accident does occur. But as we do these things, do we go far enough? Have we taken the steps necessary to develop an actual culture of safety within our organizations? We in the passenger vessel industry have vigorously embraced safety for many decades. We believe in the value of safety and we work to establish a culture of safety throughout our organizations.
PVA: TWIC Readers Not Needed in Many Cases
Security on the majority of domestic U.S.-flagged passenger vessels can be ensured without a requirement for electronic readers of crew members’ Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs), according to the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). PVA made this observation in comments filed on May 26 to the Coast Guard’s regulatory docket soliciting advance comments on the possibility of a rule to require TWIC readers on certain vessels and marine facilities. Under the preliminary proposal, a TWIC reader would interact with the biometric data stored in TWICs issued to specified maritime workers to confirm the validity of the card and to verify the identity of the person using it.
Canada Makes Improvements for Safety
Transport Minister David Collenette announced that Transport Canada has given the Transportation Safety Board its third update on action taken to further improve the safety of small passenger vessels since the sinking of the True North II on June 16, 2000, in Tobermory, Ontario. “Transport Canada has made considerable changes to its regulations, inspection and certification of small passenger vessels following the sinking of the True North II,” said Collenette. Since its first and second updates in February and August 2002, Transport Canada has drafted proposed amendments to small passenger vessel regulations to require the stowage of lifesaving equipment in a readily accessible manner…
FMC Grants PVO Reimbursement Decrease
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) granted a passenger vessel operator a decrease in the amount of financial responsibility it is required to maintain to reimburse passengers when an operator fails to perform cruises as contracted. The Federal Maritime Commission has granted the request of a passenger vessel operator (PVO) for partial relief from its financial responsibility requirements used to reimburse passengers when a PVO fails to perform cruises as contracted. This is the first request granted to a PVO since the Commission updated its regulations in 2013.