News Archives from 3-31-08 to 4-08-08

Coast Guard to host Industry Days . . . - 04/08/2008
The Coast Guard Sector Juneau and the Marine Exchange of Alaska are hosting industry days for operators of uninspected passenger vessels in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan in April. These industry days will afford the operators of uninspected passenger vessels the opportunity to learn about the latest Coast Guard regulations and policies which pertain to their operations. There is no charge for the seminars. Complete information is posted on the flyer at the link below and in the Marine Exchange newsletter for March. Interested uninspected vessel operators can register for the sessions by calling Brett Farrell at the Marine Exchange at (907) 463 4640 or sending an e mail to brettfarrell@mxak.org Or they can register online with links from the March Newsletter.

UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSEL INDUSTRY DAYS

Industry Day Notice

March Newsletter

New Z Drive Tug for Cook Inlet . . . - 04/07/2008
The M/V Vigilant, a 6,700 horsepower tractor tug built at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington and chartered by Crowley Maritime Corp., will be the first of its kind to be permanently stationed in the inlet. Crowley has a contract with Tesoro Alaska Company to provide tug services. The vessel arrived at Homer on March 25 where it is getting a few minor adjustments before heading north this month. It will soon be available to respond whenever needed for berthing and un-berthing operations at the Nikiski dock.The new tug has a twin "Z-Drive" propulsion system. The Vigilant will replace the 5,500-horsepower M/V Protector, a vessel brought into service in January 2007 when heavy ice conditions threatened tanker moorings. According to Crowley, the company took delivery of the Vigilant, chartered from the vessel's owner, BayDelta Maritime Inc., on Feb. 27. The vessel left Washington on March 17 and took nine days to reach Kachemak Bay. Profile and plan views of the tug are available at the link below.

NEW Z DRIVE TUG FOR COOK INLET OPERATIONS

Plan and profile viewsof the tug VIGILANT

Charter Vessel Guidance from USCG . . . - 04/04/2008
The Coast Guard issued an information letter to all operators of Uninspected Passenger Vessels with information for the upcoming charter season and information about the new Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC Card) which is required for all persons who have a Coast Guard issued license to operate charter vessels. The letter contains information about having the boats examined for the Five Star Program as well. The complete letter with all the information is posted below.

COAST GUARD LETTER REGARDING UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSEL OPERATIONS

Uninspected Passenger Vessel Information Letter

Pilotage Requirements Extended - 04/03/2008
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development issued a Public Notice stating that it proposes to amend the regulations relating to compulsory pilotage. The Proposed Amendment, if adopted, would further expand the waters more than three nautical miles off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea in which compulsory state pilotage would be required. Comments on the proposal must be submitted by April 14. Complete details on the proposal are in the attached public notice and proposed rule document.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING STATE OF ALASKA COMPULSORY PILOTAGE AREAS

Public Notice and Proposed Regulation

Fishing Vessel Regulations Considered . . . - 03/31/2008
On March 31, 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding changes it was considering to the regulations concerning the operation of commercial fishing industry vessels. The changes the Coast Guard is considering involve new stability requirements for vessels between 50 and 79 feet in length, new requirements for immersions suits, safety training, documentation of EPRB registration and other changes too numerous to mention. The ANPRM points out that fishing vessels are still being lost (nationwide) at a rate exceeding 100 vessels per year and vessel sinkings are still the number one cause of fatalities in the fleet. This ANPRM has been in the works with the new measures under consideration for several years, but its issue at this point in time with the casualty to the ALASKA RANGER the subject of an ongoing Marine Board of Investigation in Dutch Harbor is very timely. The Coast Guard is requesting comments on the changes under consideration and complete details are in the federal register notice linked below.

ADVANCED NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING RE FISHING INDUSTRY VESSELS

Federal Register Notice