News Archives from 11-17-09 to 12-8-2009

Coast Guard Finalizes Definition of Ferries . . . Dec 8, 2009

The US Coast Guard issued a final rule incorporating into its regulations the statutory definition of “ferry” that was recently adopted by Congress. Ferry means a vessel that is used on a regular schedule: (1) to provide transportation only between placed that are not more than 300 miles apart; and (2) to transport only: (a) passengers; or (b) vehicles or rail cars that are being used or have been used in transporting passengers or goods. These regulatory amendments, which make no substantive changes, come into effect immediately. Complete details are in the federal register notice linked below.

Federal Register Notice

NOAA Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat in Cook Inlet...Dec 2, 2009

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposes a rule in the Federal Register under (50 CFR Part 226). NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) propose to designate critical habitat in Cook Inlet for the beluga whale distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act.  This designation could have serious implications for entities performing marine operations in Cook Inlet. Complete details are in the attached federal register notice.

Federal Register Notice

Physical Exam Forms Available...Dec 1, 2009

The purpose of this notice is to announce the availability of the final version of the Merchant Mariner Credential Medical Evaluation Report (CG–719 K) and the Merchant Mariner Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings (CG–719 K/E) forms. These forms will be used to facilitate obtaining objective medical information, which will assist the Coast Guard in making accurate and timely fit-for-duty determinations in order to reduce maritime safety risks. The forms became available for use November 15, 2009. Complete details are available at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center Web Site.

Link to National Maritime Center

Sector Anchorage Initiates Towing Vessel Bridging Program . . . Dec 1, 2009

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin November 30, 2009, announcing the implementation of the Towing Vessel Bridging Program for the Sector Anchorage Inspection Zone. See the Marine Exchange News article on the Towing Vessel Bridging Program dated October 28, 2009. The Sector Anchorage contact person for the Towing Vessel Bridging Program is MST1 Thomas Watts and he can be contacted at (907) 271 6725 in Anchorage. More information is provided at the link below.

Sector Anchorage Information Bulletin

Coast Guard Proposes Changes to Regulations for STCW Convention . . . Nov 17, 2009

The Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to fully incorporate the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention), as well as the Seafarer’s Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code) in the requirements for the credentialing of United States merchant mariners as found in 46 CFR Parts 10, 11, 12, and 15. The changes proposed incorporate lessons learned from implementation of the STCW Convention and STCW Code through the interim rule and attempt to clarify those regulations that have generated confusion in the past. Complete details are in the Federal Register Notice linked below.

Federal Register Notice

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