News Archives from 12-16-05 to 1-31-06

Mt. St. Augustine Safety Zone - 01/31/2006

On January 31, 2006, due to continuing eruptions of Mt St Augustine, the Coast Guard established a temporary safety zone near Augustine Island located in Kamishak Bay in Cook Inlet Alaska.The safety zone was established in the area where moving avalanches of hot debris, pyroclastic flows and volcanic mudflows could pose unpredictable, immediate and inescapable hazards to navigation. Complete details are in the Federal Register below.

Augustine is part of the Aleutian volcanic arc and is made of several lava domes and steep, short lava flows. Debris avalanches form an apron around the volcano and indicate repeated collapse of the central domes. Many of the debris avalanches extend offshore. Debris avalanches that reach the inlet have the potential to generate tsunamis. A tsunami was generated during the 1883 eruption that had a height of 30 feet (9 m) at Port Graham. Historic eruptions were recorded in 1812, 1883, 1935, 1963-64, 1976, and 1986. Augustine's eruptions tend to be highly explosive and tend to spread ash across the Cook Inlet region. The eruptions commonly end with the less explosive extrusion of a lava dome. This photo was taken on March 27, 1986, during the initial highly explosive stage of the eruption. Photograph by M.E. Yount of the U.S. Geological Survey. Photo courtesy of NOAA'S National Geophysical Data Center.

Captain James Cook named the volcano on St. Augustine's day (May 26) in 1778.


Federal Register

Merchant Mariner Vital Information Validation ... - 01/13/2006

On January 13, 2006, the Coast Guard announced its intention of amending the maritime personnel licensing rules to include new security requirements when mariners apply for original, renewal, and raise of grade licenses and certificates of registry. This interim rule corrects omissions and ambiguities in the Coast Guard's preexisting maritime personnel licensing regulations. This interim rule will require all applicants for licenses and certificates of registry to have their identity checked and their fingerprints taken for a criminal record review by the Coast Guard. The new requirements are similar to those that apply to applicants for merchant mariner's documents. Complete details are in the Federal Register below.


Valdez Security Zones Final Rules ... - 01/13/2006

On January 13, 2006, the Coast Guard established permanent security zones encompassing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) Valdez Terminal Complex, Valdez, Alaska, and TAPS tank vessels and the Valdez Narrows, Port Valdez, Alaska. These security zones are necessary to protect the TAPS Terminal and vessels from damage or injury from sabotage, destruction or other subversive acts. Entry of vessels into these security zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Prince William Sound, Alaska. The rule is effective February 13, 2006, and continues an interim rule set in place in October. Complete details are in the Federal Register below.


Federal Register

Random Drug Test Rate for 2006 . . . - 12/28/2005

On December 28, 2005 the Coast Guard set the calendar year 2006 minimum random drug testing rate at 50% of covered crew members. Under 46 CFR 16.230 the Coast Guard requires marine employers to establish random drug testing programs for covered crew members on inspected and uninspected vessels. All marine employers are required to collect and maintain a record of drug testing program data for each calendar year and submit this data to the Coast Guard by March 15 each year. The form for reporting your annual drug testing results is included below for your convenience. Complete details are in the Federal Register below.



Marine Casualty Reporting Requirements . . . - 12/16/2005

The Coast Guard is amending its regulations governing marine casualty reporting requirements by adding "significant harm to the environment" as a reportable marine casualty, and by requiring certain foreign flag vessels, such as oil tankers, to report marine casualties that occur in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction, but beyond U.S. navigable waters, when those casualties involve material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel, or significant harm to the environment. Complete details are in the Federal Register below.


Federal Register