Marine Link
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Panama Canal Readies for Cruise Season

File photo: Island Princess transits the Panama Canal in 2011. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Cruise ship Coral Princess is slated to transit the Panama Canal on a voyage from Los Angeles, Calif., to the U.S. East Coast on October 4, 2016, officially kicking off the canal’s 2016-2017 cruise season, which according to the Panama Canal Authority will see more than 230 cruise ships pass through the Panama Canal. “We expect the major cruise lines will use the Panama Canal route during the cruise season, which lasts until April 2017,” said international trade specialist Albano Aguilar of the Vice Presidency for Planning and Business Development.

Hornblower Flagship Retrofits with Thordon's Shaft Seals

Inspiration Hornblower has converted to the maintenance-free TG100 mechanical tail-shaft seals (Photo: Thordon Bearings)

Thordon Bearings’ US West Coast Distributor, Pacific Marine Equipment has successfully completed the installation of a pair of TG100 mechanical propeller shaft seals to Hornblower Cruises & Events’ 1000-passenger capacity twin screw flagship, Inspiration Hornblower. Hornblower, one of the leading river cruise operators in the U.S., operates a fleet of 70 sightseeing and dinner cruise vessels in several cities across the Golden State, the United States and Canada. Todd Terry, President, Pacific Marine Equipment, Thordon Bearings’ U.S.

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.

Editor's Note

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

Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr.

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.

Congress Jumps on Rail Jumper Act

President Clinton signed the USCG Authorization Act (H.R. 2204) of 1998 last month, which includes the Rail Jumper Safety Amendment. This law makes it illegal for persons aboard passenger vessels to jump overboard, which interferes with the safe operation of a vessel. The issue of unruly passengers, which has been a problem for many operators of passenger vessels, has increased with the popularity of cruises, due to the blockbuster movie, Titanic. However, up until now, passenger vessel operators and law enforcement officials have been unable to prosecute rail jumpers that endanger life, limb or property by jumping off vessels. This House-sponsored legislation empowers the USCG to penalize jumpers up to $1,000 for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel.

Congress Jumps On Rail Jumper Act

President Clinton signed the USCG Authorization Act (H.R. 2204) of 1998 last month, which includes the Rail Jumper Safety Amendment. This law makes it illegal for persons aboard passenger vessels to jump overboard, which interferes with the safe operation of a vessel. The issue of unruly passengers, which has been a problem for many operators of passenger vessels, has increased with the popularity of cruises, due to the blockbuster movie, Titanic. However, up until now, passenger vessel operators and law enforcement officials have been unable to prosecute rail jumpers that endanger life, limb or property by jumping off vessels. This House-sponsored legislation empowers the USCG to penalize jumpers up to $1,000 for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel.

USCG Issue Notice on PVSA

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a notice stating that owners and operators of uninspected passenger vessels over 100 gross tons that carry 12 or fewer passengers for hire may now submit an application under the Passenger Vessel Safety Act (PVSA) for a special permit to participate in a Marine Event of National Significance. Specific manning, structural fire protection, operating, and equipment requirements for a limited fleet of PVSA-exempted vessels may also be developed. Source: HK Law

 

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2016 - Maritime & Ship Security

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