4/1/2019: Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final Rule published

Under this rule, each owner or operator of a maritime facility regulated by the Coast Guard is required to implement a system providing seafarers, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate, in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals.
Source: Federal Register Notices
Link: 4/1/2019: Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final Rule published

3/29/2019: Imposition of conditions of entry on certain vessels arriving to the United States from the Republic of Seychelles

The Coast Guard announced in a Federal Register Notice that it will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving from ports in the Republic of Seychelles. Conditions of entry are intended to protect the United States from vessels arriving from countries that have been found to have deficient anti-terrorism port measures in place.
Source: Federal Register Notices
Link: 3/29/2019: Imposition of conditions of entry on certain vessels arriving to the United States from the Republic of Seychelles

3/19/2019: Commandant to deliver State of the Coast Guard Address

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz will deliver the 2019 State of the Coast Guard Address, at 10 a.m., PST, Thursday, March 21, from Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Long Beach. This is Schultz’s first State of the Coast Guard Address since his tenure as commandant began in 2018. Schultz will provide a current overview of the service and outline priorities for the year ahead.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 3/19/2019: Commandant to deliver State of the Coast Guard Address

3/18/2019: Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study: Port approaches and international entry and departure transit areas

The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it is beginning a new study of routes used by ships to access ports on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The Ports and Waterways Safety Act requires the Coast Guard to study potential traffic density and assess the need for safe access routes for vessels. The Coast Guard coordinates with Federal and State agencies, and considers the views of the maritime community, environmental groups, and other interested stakeholders in order to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses in the study area.
Source: Federal Register Notices
Link: 3/18/2019: Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study: Port approaches and international entry and departure transit areas

3/14/2019: Owners of two vessels criminally charged, convicted for operating illegal passenger charters

This posted highlights two recent back-to-back law enforcement cases in Florida that demonstrate the aggressive posture the Coast Guard is taking to eliminate illegal passenger charter activities. Because Smartphone-based applications have made it easier in recent years for passengers to locate and hire charter vessels, the Coast Guard is more vigilant than ever in detecting illegal charter activities and seek maximum enforcement actions against the vessel owners and operators.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 3/14/2019: Owners of two vessels criminally charged, convicted for operating illegal passenger charters

3/7/2019: Investigation leads to mariner conviction and prompts Coast Guard data quality improvements

Although attempts by mariners to operate vessels using invalid MMCs are a rare occurrence, it does happen, and the Coast Guard and the maritime industry have an online MMC verification tool to alert them to the few cases that surface each year. Upon entry of mariner identification details by a marine employer or other party, the MMC verification tool provides immediate information regarding whether the subject mariner has a valid MMC and medical certificate. This post provides a summary of a 2017 case that led to data quality improvements in the MMC verification tool and how current and prospective employers can report credential discrepancies.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 3/7/2019: Investigation leads to mariner conviction and prompts Coast Guard data quality improvements

3/5/2019: Findings of Concern released – “Impacts of Modifications, Alterations, and Weight Creep on Stability”

The Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis issued Findings of Concern 006-19, “Impacts of Modifications, Alterations, and Weight Creep on Stability,” after the fishing vessel Destination marine board of investigation concluded that unsafe stability conditions, combined with an open deck hatch and a fatigued crew, were the primary factors leading to the tragedy.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 3/5/2019: Findings of Concern released – “Impacts of Modifications, Alterations, and Weight Creep on Stability”

2/28/2019: A century and a half of marine safety and prevention – The Congressional Act of Feb. 28, 1871

In this post, Rear Adm. John Nadeau offers a few thoughts on The Congressional Act of 1871, which provided the nation with the basis of a functioning marine safety code. The Act of 1871 was an important change that combined all the practical features of previous legislation with a number of new requirements to form a coherent and unified body of law for the regulation of steamboats and to prevent marine casualties and loss of life.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 2/28/2019: A century and a half of marine safety and prevention – The Congressional Act of Feb. 28, 1871

2/25/2019: Coast Guard seeks additional information in Oregon marine casualty investigation

The Coast Guard announced in a news release last week that investigators continue to seek information regarding the fishing vessel Mary B II, which capsized off Newport, Oregon, Jan. 9, 2019, and resulted in the loss of the three crew members and the vessel. Anyone with information is encouraged to provide it to the investigation team at AccidentInfo@uscg.mil, using the subject line “F/V MARY B II.” Questions may be sent to the same address.
Source: Investigations & Casualty Analysis
Link: 2/25/2019: Coast Guard seeks additional information in Oregon marine casualty investigation