Alaska Maritime Newsletter )
Making Maritime Connections Across Alaska October 2006
In this issue
  • NOAA Releases new Coast Pilot for Southeast Alaska
  • NOAA Releases new Chart for Semidi Islands and Vicinity
  • Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) Update
  • Coast Guard to stress Certificates of Adequacy
  • UAS Announces Maritime Courses
  • New Merchant Mariner Physical Exam Requirements
  • NTSB Releases Selendang Ayu Accident Report
  • Upcoming Events
  • The Marine Exchange of Alaska is a non-profit, maritime organization established to serve the Alaska Maritime Community by providing information, communications and services to ensure safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.

    NOAA Releases new Coast Pilot for Southeast Alaska
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released the 2006 Edition of Coast Pilot 8.
    Coast Pilot 8 covers the panhandle section of Alaska between the south boundary and Cape Spencer.
    Coast Pilot publications contain channel descriptions, anchorages, bridge and cable clearances, currents, tide and water levels, prominent features, pilotage, towage, weather, ice conditions, wharf descriptions, dangers, routes, traffic separation schemes, small-craft facilities, and Federal regulations applicable to navigation.


    All Coast Pilots, including this new Edition, can be dowloaded by following the link below. The marine Exchange of Alaska also sells printed versions of any Coast Pilot as a service to Alaska's maritime community.

    NOAA Releases new Chart for Semidi Islands and Vicinity

    On September 6, 2006 NOAA unveiled a new chart for Alaska that covers the Semidi Islands & vicinity in Alaska/Alaska Peninsula. Chart number 165871 has a 1 to 135,000 scale and is currently available through the Marine Exchange of Alaska's "print-on-demand" chart printing system.

    Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) Update

    President Bush signed the Safe Port Act this month, which among other things, sets strict deadlines for the implementation of TWIC.

    The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security issue final TWIC regulations no later than January 1, 2007. TWIC must be implemented in the 10 highest priority ports by July 1, 2007, the next 40 high priority ports by January 1, 2008, and all remaining ports by January 1, 2009. It is presently unknown where Alaska's ports fit into this timeline.

    The Marine Exchange of Alaska recently met with Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, Coast Guard Headquarters' Director of Inspections and Compliance, to discuss Alaska-specific concerns over TWIC. Topics addressed included allowing for alternative solutions to assist Alaska ports in complying with TWIC. We stressed the importance of ensuring the regulations allow Alaska's Captains of the Port the opportunity to partner with the maritime community to develop TWIC solutions that achieve the intent of the Safe Port Act, but make sense for Alaska.

    The Marine Exchange will continue to monitor and provide input during TWIC implementation and remains committed to working with the Coast Guard and Alaska's maritime community to help develop "common sense" solutions.

    Coast Guard to stress Certificates of Adequacy

    The Coast Guard has recently sent guidance to its field units to increase their oversight on facility compliance with the existing Certificate of Adequacy requirements outlined in 33 CFR Part 158.

    Operators of facilities that receive oceangoing vessels of 400 gross tons and larger are required to show that they are capable of receiving oily wastes and extra territorial garbage from vessels calling at these facilities. When a facility operator has demonstrated that the facility is capable of receiving these wastes the Coast Guard issues a Certificate of Adequacy to the facility. If a facility is required to comply with the program, but is unable or finds it impractical to comply it may be possible to receive a waiver from the Coast Guard.

    The Marine Exchange is ready to assist the industry in applying for the required Certificates of Adequacy or to seek waivers.

    UAS Announces Maritime Courses
    The University of Alaska Southeast has announced the schedule for a group of maritime courses to be given this fall in Juneau. Courses include 100 ton Master and Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels, an upgrade course for 200 ton Master and an Able Seaman course. After the course is completed the student has one year to fulfill other Coast Guard requirements such as sea time, drug test, physical and fingerprinting.


    New Merchant Mariner Physical Exam Requirements

    The Coast Guard issued two important notices in the Federal Register of September 28, 2006 regarding the physical examination requirements for merchant marine personnel.

    In the first notice the Coast Guard advised that it was seeking comment on a draft Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular which would give clarity to the guidelines the Coast Guard uses to evaluate medical and physical examinations for Merchant Mariner Credentials.

    The second notice advised that the Coast Guard is now going to require licensed pilots to submit their annual physical examinations to the Coast Guard for review. In the past the regulations allowed the Coast Guard to request an annual physical examination if it deemed this necessary, but submitting annual physical results to the Coast Guard was not the regular practice.

    The increased vigilance over annual physical examinations for marine pilots stems from a recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their report on the 2003 allision of the Staten Island Ferry ANDREW J. BARBERI with its pier in Staten Island which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

    NTSB Releases Selendang Ayu Accident Report

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its accident report on the M/V Selendang Ayu grounding on Unalaska Island.

    The report doesn't contain any information that hasn't been previously released, but does provide a good chronology of the events that led up to the grounding.


    Upcoming Events

    The following maritime-related events are scheduled in the upcoming months. Please contact the person listed for additional information regarding these events. If you know of a relevant event that should be highlighted in future newsletters, please contact the Marine Exchange of Alaska and we will be happy to post it.

    October 23-27, 2006
    The 27th annual conference of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators (AAHPA) is scheduled to take place in Ketchikan.
    POC: Christopher Brewton, 907-228-5632.

    November 16-18, 2006
    The 2006 Pacific Marine Expo will be held at Qwest Field Event Center in Seattle.

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    phone: 907-463-2607