Ludin Charters Simon Møkster PSV
Norwegian offshore vessel owner Simon Møkster Shipping AS said it has been awarded a contract with Lundin Norway AS for the platform supply vessel (PSV) Stril Mar. The 2016-built Stril Mar will be under firm contract until the summer of 2018, plus additional options.
EPA Provides $650K for Diesel Engine Refits
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) with $650,000 to reduce diesel emissions from engines on up to eight vessels operating in the Puget Sound region. The project will provide vessel owners with incentives to scrap and replace 12-19 old Tier 0 engines with newer, more-efficient and lower-emission Tier 3 engines on six to eight harbor vessels operating in Puget Sound, Lake Union and Lake Washington. Combined with the mandatory match of $891,000, the total project cost is $1,541,000.
The Townsend Decision: Should Vessel Owners Deny Maintenance and Cure?
Unfortunately, as a vessel owner or operator, you have probably been faced with a situation where one of your crew members have allegedly become sick or injured while in the service of the vessel. As you are aware, once this injury or illness is reported to the company, the duties of providing maintenance and cure under the Jones Act begin. Unfortunately, instances of fraud where the employee may not have suffered the injury or illness that he or she is complaining of seem to be common.
Maritime World Announces Reduced DMC, Jadaf Tariffs
Reduction in rates aimed to benefit small vessel owners. Maritime World has announced the reduction of tariff rates along all aspects of the business at Dubai Maritime City (DMC) and Jadaf from January 2013. This is in light of Drydocks World – Dubai’s 30th Anniversary celebrations in 2013. The reduction by from 2012 rates is aimed at facilitating the growth of the industry at the micro-level and increasing the repair and maintenance options available to small to medium size vessel-owners.
Resolve Salvage & Fire CG Approved for OPA90
Resolve Salvage & Fire (Americas), the emergency response division of international maritime emergency services contractor Resolve Marine Group, announced that the U.S. Coast Guard has approved Resolve to help oil tanker vessel owners comply with new OPA90 requirements by the February 22, 2011 deadline. The USCG has already begun issuing Interim Operating Authorizations (IOA) for tank vessels that cite Resolve in their OPA90 Vessel Response Plans. With an IOA in hand, Resolve client vessels will be permitted to continue carrying petroleum cargoes in U.S.
Norwegians to Finance Vessel Retrofits
Following the International Maritime Organization (IMO) ratifications of the ballast water and exhaust gas treaties, government-owned Export Credit Norway offers financing to international vessel owners who purchase retrofit equipment from Norwegian suppliers. The Norwegian export credit agency Export Credit Norway has assembled a specialized team and tailor-made financing solution to support vessel owners who need to retrofit equipment such as gas exhaust cleaning systems, ballast water treatment systems and new coating systems.
ABS Gains AWO RCP Auditor Status
ABS has been approved by the American Waterways Operators (AWO) to carry out audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP), a safety management system for tugboat, towboat and barge companies, requiring AWO member companies to undergo periodic management and vessel audits conducted by an independent third party. Towing vessel operators serving the inland waterways, coasts and harbors are looking closely at their fleets to determine the best way to meet the new U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations establishing vessel safety and inspection requirements.
Exculpatory Clause in Maritime Contract
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a clear and unequivocal exculpatory clause may exonerate a marina owner from liability to vessel owners for simple negligence. In the instant case, owners of vessels berthed at the marina signed slip agreements containing exoneration clauses. A marina employee negligently repaired a fuel pump on a vessel at the marina. The vessel caught fire and the fire spread to adjacent vessels. The vessel owners sued the marina. The court held that the language of the exoneration clause was clear and unequivocal and that such clauses in this type of maritime contract did not violate public policy. In this respect, the court sided with the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, as against the position taken by the First and Eleventh Circuits. Sander v.
MarTID: The Global Maritime Training Survey
In a coming edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, we explore modern training and “blended learning” techniques with Murray Goldberg, CEO of Marine Learning Systems, maker of MarineLMS. A researcher and developer of learning management systems, Goldberg’s software has been used by millions of people and companies worldwide. Here Goldberg explains the scope and important of a historic new annual survey, The Maritime Training and Insights Database (MarTID) (www.martid.org/survey).
U.S. Coast Guard Unveils Safe Ship Incentive Program
Reductions in Port State Control Examinations and streamlined inspection procedures are among the rewards that await the owners of non-U.S. registered commercial vessels that call on U.S. ports - if they measure up in a new quality incentive program established by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The program was announced today at a shipping conference in Athens, Greece, per Rear Admiral Robert North, assistant Coast Guard Commandant for Marine Safety and Environmental Protection. Dubbed Qualship 21, the incentive program, which is part of the USCG effort to eliminate substandard shipping and reward high-quality vessels, is also being considered for U.S. registered vessels.
Dynagas, GasLog, Golar LNG Team up to Operate LNG Carrier Pool
Dynagas Ltd., GasLog Ltd. and Golar LNG Ltd today jointly announced having entered into an LNG carrier pooling agreement to market their vessels, which are currently operating in the LNG shipping spot market. The LNG Carrier Pool allows the participating owners to optimise the operation of the pool vessels through improved scheduling ability, cost efficiencies and common marketing. The objective of the LNG Carrier Pool is to serve the transportation requirements of a rapidly growing LNG shipping market by providing customers with reliable…
USCG Responds to Sunken Vessel Near Sitka, Alaska
The Coast Guard is responding to the sinking of a fishing vessel in Kelp Bay near Sitka Friday. Coast Guard personnel from Sector Juneau, the Coast Guard Cutter Maple and Air Station Sitka examined the scene of the sunken 49-foot fishing vessel Sierra Allene and are working with the vessel's owner to mitigate the situation. Watchstanders from the Sector Juneau command center received a radio call from the crew of the fishing vessel Irish when they discovered a portion of the Sierra Allene jutting out of the water.
Legal Beat: Unseaworthiness: The Vessel Owner's Absolute Duty To It's Crew
James P. Nader & Joseph A. The hazards of maritime work and the perils of the sea in which seamen are forced to work are all too familiar. Admiralty courts have always served as protector of the seamen's welfare. In fact, no other employee in our society has such powerful weapons in their arsenal for relief in response to a work related accident. However, passengers, invitees, and guests aboard a ship are not entitled to the protection of the warranty of seaworthiness. The doctrine of seaworthines's incorporation into maritime law occurred in 1903 with the U.S. Supreme Court case, The Osceloa. The Supreme Court held that ship owners owe a duty to seamen to provide a seaworthy vessel.
Uberrimae Fidei is Alive and Well
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the validity of the principle of uberrimae fidei as applied to marine insurance contracts. Defendant fishing vessel owners insured their vessels with plaintiff marine insurers but failed to disclose that their policy with another company had been cancelled for non-payment of premiums and for failure to cooperate in the investigation of various marine casualties and oil spills that were the subject of claims. After the fishing vessel owners submitted various claims, plaintiff insurers commenced an investigation and learned that the owners had failed to disclose certain material facts when they applied for the policy. The insurers then brought this declaratory judgment action, seeking to have the policies declared void ab initio.
Italian Ship to Depart after 3-Month India Detention
Agreeing that Italian ship Enrica Lexie is not the “object of crime”, the Supreme Court has allowed the detained vessel to leave Indian waters and continue with its voyage nearly three months after two marines on board allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates, reports 'The Indian Express'. A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale passed the order freeing the ship after the vessel’s owners and Italian government assured the court that they would secure the presence of six crew members and four remaining marines as and when required by any Indian court or lawful authority for investigation or trial. The marines, of course, have the right to contest any such summons before a competent court in India, the court clarified.
USCG Establishes Regulated Navigation Area for Cape Cod Canal
The USCG has established a temporary regulated navigation area for U.S. and foreign flag vessels transiting the Cape Cod Canal during the peak Y2K risk period of February 27-29, 2000 (the regulations were also in effect from December 30, 1999 to January 1, 2000). U.S. vessels are required to notify the Captain of the Port (COTP), Marine Safety Office, Providence, R.I., 24 hours in advance of transiting the canal. Foreign flag vessel owners are also required to notify and report Y2K preparedness to the COTP 24 hours in advance of transiting the Cape Cod Canal. An interim rule published in July 1999 requiring all vessels to notify the USCG of arrival at ports did not include vessel transits of the Cape Cod Canal.
Exoneration from Liability versus Saving to Suitors
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a vessel owner filing a federal action for exoneration from or limitation of liability cannot prevent a state court action from going forward if the state claimant stipulates that: (1) federal jurisdiction controls limitation of liability; (2) he waives any claim of res judicata regarding a state court decision relating to limitation of liability; and (3) he would not seek any judgment or recovery in excess of the limitation fund. The vessel owner contended that, since the Limitation of Liability Act also addresses exoneration from liability, its action prevailed over any state court action regarding liability.
Sulfur-Laden Bulk Carrier Grounds off Port Arthur, TX
The U.S. Coast Guard is working with state and local partners in response to a bulk carrier loaded with sulfur that ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, while transiting outbound from Neches Industrial Park. At approximately 1:30 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Control Port Arthur received a call from the pilot aboard the 615-ft.Panamanian flagged vessel Jian Qiang, stating they ran hard aground approximately 1 mile from the westernmost jetty, outside buoys 33 and 34, in the Gulf of Mexico. There were no reports of significant damage, injury or pollution discharge. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.
Donjon-SMIT Receives TVRP and SMFF Approval
A Donjon-SMIT client has received the first Tank Vessel Response Plan (TVRP) Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) Update Approval issued by the U.S. Coast Guard under the new SMFF regulations. The SMFF regulations, effective as of February 22, 2011, required that plan-holders revise their TVRPs with numerous new salvage and marine firefighting response procedures to be supported by extensive additional contracted response resources. The rules also required documentary evidence of compliance, including an SMFF Contract and Funding Agreement and Vessel Pre-fire Plans. Throughout the TVRP update revision and review process, Donjon-SMIT worked in close cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that all documentation submitted on behalf of Donjon-SMIT clients would meet U.S.
Understanding Legal Liability in a Subchapter M Environment
There is more to SubM than just attention to safety. Protect yourself accordingly. In today’s environment, safety management systems for brown water marine operators are standard industry practice, whether they come in the form of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) or the Tanker Safety Management Assessment (TSMA) framework developed by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) for liquid carriers. However, with the full-fledged implementation of Subchapter M on the horizon…
Electronic Navigation and Causation
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that failure to train a master on how to properly use electronic navigation equipment does not make the vessel owner fully liable for an allision nor does it prevent the vessel owner from limiting its liability when there is insufficient evidence to prove that such failure to train was the cause of the allision. In the instant case, defendant’s fishing vessel allided with plaintiff’s offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The allision occurred at night, after the master (who was navigating the vessel) turned on the lights on the bridge to examine a defective engine part and conduct related administrative activities. The evidence showed that the lights on the offshore rig were not functioning properly.
Court Rules Punitive Damages Allowed in Unseaworthiness Claims
A recent ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for seaman to recover punitive damages in unseaworthiness claims, according to Jones Act attorney Matthew Shaffer. In the facts of the case, McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12 – 30714, a man was killed and three others injured while working on a barge supporting a truck-mounted drilling rig in south Louisiana. The original lawsuit claimed negligence under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness under general maritime law. Shaffer, a Jones Act attorney with the Houston maritime law firm Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, said the ruling is significant for injured workers.
Reminder Stresses Importance of Accurate Clearance Information
The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey, has issued a reminder about the importance of providing accurate clearance information, and warns that civil penalties may be pursued against any vessel owner, master or person in charge that provides inaccurate information that contributes to a bridge strike, GAC said in its daily Hot Port News alert. The Coast Guard Sector New York Marine Safety Information Bulletin 01-14 states, “The Bayonne Bridge is undergoing a two-year construction project to raise the roadway an average of 65 feet. The associated demolition activities and work platforms outside of the navigable channel present serious safety considerations for mariners. Despite previous Coast Guard advisories, the Bayonne Bridge has been struck twice within the past four months.