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The NAMSGlobal eNews

The National Association of Marine Surveyors, Inc. (USA)

 

14 February 2011

 

Ahoy Visitor.

 

The personalized greeting was removed from this NAMS eNews prior to posting on the website.

 

 

NAMSGlobal eNews

Gregory B. Weeter, Editor

editor@namsglobal.org

 

Publisher

Webcom@namsglobal.org

 

NAMSGlobal National Office

Evie Hobbs

office@namsglobal.org

 

 

Richard L. Frenzel, President

Gregon Gant, Vice-President

Edward L. Shearer, Secretary

James A. Neville, Treasurer

 

 

In This Issue

 

 

Disclaimer, Copyright Statement & Submissions Policy

 

President's Message

 

NAMS Recertification Credits

 

NAMS Applicants

 

Crossed The Bar

 

Upcoming Educational Events

 

NAMSWorthy

 

USCG Drops Action of Expanded Hull ID Numbers

 

Intercargo Ore Fines Warning

 

MAIB Safety Bulletin

 

Piracy: How 2010 Went

 

Calls For Container Weight Checks

 

Think Houses Are A Slow Sell, Try A Yacht

 

Rescue Beacons

 

Use Of Warning Ammunition To Be Evaluated

 

Mississippi River - Silt Clogging Channel

 

Cargo Thefts Surge In Mexico

 

Ocean Carriers Capacity Swells

 

Final Report On Alaska Ranger Sinking

 

December 2010 Cargo Theft Report

 

Safety Alert On Fuel Oil Quick Closing Valves

 

Panel Faults Oil Firms in Gulf Spill

 

New Books & Helpful Links

 

 

President's Message

 

GREETINGS ALL,

 

And I trust everyone is now starting to thaw out!! I have spoken to several members who were in the most snow covered areas and they mentioned that they had actually remained fairly busy during the period. This obviously shows the great reputation of NAMS surveyors thru out the world.

 

Speaking of cold and snow, which this old southern boy is not used to, I was recently invited by the leadership of IIMS to attend a meeting with them in Baltimore MD. Fortunately it was scheduled just after a snow storm had ended and I was able to leave the next day just before the next white-out!! This meeting was to listen to their proposals concerning closer relations regarding international areas of interest. I listened to their proposals and advised them that we would discuss them at our next National Conference and would get back to them afterward.

 

Other good news is that our membership continues to grow. One slight hitch in that procedure is that in a couple of Regions our Screening Committees are not getting their reports back to the RVP within 30 days. This definitely needs improvement.

 

Other great news is that we have an excellent program scheduled for our National Conference in St. Louis, Mo. with two full days of training that should be of interest to all members.

 

One item of interest to all, that should hopefully increase attendance, is the discussion of having just one National Conference per year, in the spring, which would have much less competition with other conferences and trade shows that normally meet in the fall.

 

This venue would have numerous advantages which could include the ability to have a better chance of attracting top speakers from their various disciplines. This subject will be brought up in both the BOD and General Membership meeting so we hope for a record attendance at this centrally located conference.

 

Once again, I look forward to seeing ALL OF YOU in St. Louis in April 10-12, 2011.

 

Be sure and get your hotel and travel reservations in promptly!!!

 

SEE Y’ALL IN ST. LOUIS !!

 

Regards,

 

Dick Frenzel, NAMS-CMS

 

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NAMS Recertification Credits

 

Recertification / Continuing Education – As we announced in July, the Board of Directors revised the recertification credit/continuing education process during the Spring 2010 Board Meeting. Prior to this, recertification/continuing education was based upon obtaining and reporting 6 hours of credit earned during a 12 month period from November 1 through October 31 of each year. The board revised this requirement to 24 approved credit hours earned biennially beginning in January 2011. While this change allowed all members complete the required hours in the time allotted (12 months under the old system/24 months under the new) it inadvertently excluded the months of November and December 2010 from either period. Any recertification / continuing education hours meeting the criteria outlined for recertification / continuing education earned during November or December 2010 will be accepted.

 

 

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NAMS Applicants, New Members, and Changes in Status

 

Applicants
Name & Current Member Status Status & Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
Neil Armstrong, Associate CMS / Y&SC E. Canada J. Theriault
Richard Singley, Associate CMS / H&M E. Gulf C. Dunbar
Donald “D.J.” Smith CMS / Cargo E. Gulf R. Frenzel
C. Stanley Johnson CMS / Cargo W. Rivers R. Frenzel
Lloyd Griffin, III Associate / Y&SC C. Atlantic F. Wright, G. Weeter, & R. Frenzel
William C. Young Associate / Y&SC S. Pacific L. Lester, G. LeBaron & M. Henderson

 

 

New Members Elected 1 January 2011
Certified Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
Kara Satra H&M C. Pacific States K. Moore
Robert Golod Cargo E. Gulf D. Pereira
Jack Van LieShout Cargo G. Lakes M. Sulkowski

 

 

Affiliate Members
Company Name Contact's Name Region
Hatch Dogs Unlimited Hans Rasch W. Gulf

 

 

Requesting Change in Status
Member Name & Current Status Requesting Change To Region
William Provis, CMS Inactive E. Canada

 

 

NAMS-CMS Retiring
Member Name Region
Hans Rasch W. Gulf
Harold Brennan C. Pacific
Philip Hallisy G. Lakes
Anthony Tillett S. Pacific States
Malcolm Munsey N. Pacific States
Frank Vinciguerra N. England

 

 

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Crossed The Bar

Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea,

 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.

 

Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark;

 

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.

 

Tennyson

John Griffiths, NAMS-CMS It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of John Griffiths, following a long battle with the effects of his exposure to asbestos while working in shipyards early in his career. John was a NAMS Life Member based in Earlyville, Maryland. He served the Central Atlantic Region for more than 20 years and was a former Regional Director. He was an outstanding yacht and small craft surveyor who was always willing to share his knowledge and experience with others. He was liked and respected by everyone who met him. In his nearly 80 years, John lived a fuller life than most would dream of. In addition to being a great sailor, who loved sailing in the northern latitudes and once circumnavigated Greenland, he was an accomplished bicycle racer and mountain climber. His skills as a woodworker, cabinetmaker and shipwright were unmatched. John was not only a colleague but also a good friend and he will be missed. He is survived by his wife Sandy, son Trevor and daughter-in-law Gwynne. Jack Hornor, NAMS-CMS. Central Atlantic Region Vice President

 

 

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Upcoming Educational Events

 

5 March 2011, Panama City, FL - NAMS S. Atlantic Region Seminar

Hampton Inn, 2909 Thomas Drive, Panama City, Florida

Hotel Reservations 850 236-8988

Block room rate $75.00 plus tax

Contact Dick Learned, Regional Vice President: 772-692-7740 rflearned@bellsouth.net

 

7 & 8 March, and 10 & 11 March 2011, Madison, WI

Small Power Water Craft Damage and Claim Evaluation 2011 Seminar Presentations

Cost: $600.00 per first-time attendee $100.00 per previous attendee

Includes Continental Breakfast, Morning/Afternoon Breaks, and Hot Lunch are included both days)

Registration: These classes are open to all interested participants. On-line @ www.shipsinc.com. Click on the Training tab

 

17 – 20 March 2011 New Orleans, LA - American Society Of Appraisers Marine Survey Course

ME208: Marine Survey: The American Society of Appraisers machinery & technical specialties section will offer a course in marine survey at the Hilton Garden Inn – New Orleans Airport. The course is designed for the non-marine professional who wants the basic knowledge of the industry and for the marine professional who wants to learn more about the appraisal side of the industry. 27 CPE credits are available.

 

This intermediate course addresses the topics of marine equipment and its special language, the marine industry and function of marine surveyors and appraisers, the three approaches to value as they apply to commercial and yacht appraisal, identification of marine equipment and systems, preparing a report, and the different types of Bluewater and Brownwater equipment.

 

Location Hilton Garden Inn – New Orleans Airport,  4535 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70065 USA  Phone: (504) 712-0504 Group Code: C-ASA

 

Because of the past success of having marine surveyors attend the American Society of Appraisers ME 208 class on Marine Survey and appraisal techniques, the ASA has agreed to offer the class to SAMS and NAMS members at the same cost as ASA members: $895.00. (This is a savings of $100.)

 

While some of what is offered in the class is basic for experienced surveyors it is very useful for those new to the industry. However, the portion covering the three approaches to value and report writing is very beneficial to all who attend. The past few classes have had a mixture of marine people, personal property and machinery appraisers, and lenders, making for great questions and answers, discussions, and net working.

 

The following link will take you to the details. For the discount, enter the seven letter code NAMSAMS in the on-line registration form. http://www.appraisers.org/Education/ViewClass.aspx?ClassID=2596

 

For more information call the American Society of Appraisers at (800) ASA-VALU or register online by selecting a course at http://www.appraisers.org/Education/ClassSchedule.aspx

 

18 March 2011, Portland, ME - NAMS NE Region Seminar

The NE Region will hold their Spring Seminar in conjuection with the Maine Boat Builders Show. The location is Portland Yacht Services on Fore Street. Please contact Neil Rosen at neil.marinesafety@gmail.com for additional information.

 

10 - 12 April 2011 St. Louis, Missouri

The NAMSGlobal 49th Annual National Marine Conference East will be held at the Crown Plaza – Downtown, 200 N. Fourth St. You may view or download a copy of the Conference Registration Form by clicking here.

Please make your hotel reservations direcvtly with the hotel by calling Hotel Reservations at 800.925.1395 or 314.621.8200

Block room rate $149.00 plus tax – Block room rate cut off date, 11 March 2011

For additional information, please contact Gregon Gant or Ed Shearer, Conference Co-Chairs.

 

11 - 13 September 2011 Vancouver, B.C. Canada

NAMSGlobal 43rd Annual National Marine Conference West

The Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox Street, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6G 1P6

Reservations: 604.688.7711  Room rate: $159.00 plus taxes

 

Spring 2012 Panama City, FL

NAMSGlobal 50th Annual National Marine Conference East

 

 

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NAMSWorthy

 

NMMA: Coast Guard Drops Expanded Hull ID Numbers

 

Posted on January 28, 2011: At a recent National Boating Safety Advisory Council meeting, the Coast Guard formally announced that it is withdrawing any action on its proposed expanded 17-digit hull identification number, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

 

The Coast Guard's proposal would have extended the existing HIN number to add additional digits on all recreational boats and created significant, unnecessary expense for boat manufacturers, dealers and lenders, according to the NMMA.

 

The NMMA had previously challenged the Coast Guard's proposal, filing comments outlining the detriment to the recreational boating industry because of costs involved in overhauling computer systems to adapt to the new HIN and the lack of overall benefits of an extended HIN.

 

The NMMA also worked closely with the Coast Guard and other groups to craft an alternative that would provide necessary information for field investigators. The result was a partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau to have boatbuilders begin providing information to the bureau, similar to what is done for autos, the association said. Courtesy Soundings Trade Only

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Intercargo Ore Fines Warning

 

David Jones writes: Hazardous cargoes - three ships sunk; 44 deaths in 39 days. The Unanswered Questions and why seafarers should not be considered expendable.

 

Three days after informing the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) about what it feels are the unacceptable hazards associated with Iron Ore fines loaded in wet weather conditions and Nickel Ore, Intercargo - the dry bulk shipowners association, has called on shippers / cargo interests to conduct an urgent review  into the testing and safety processes involved in shipping the cargo following a spate of accidents and fatalities.

 

These cargoes are used in the steel industry and are exported from a number of countries including India, Indonesia and  the Philippines.

 

At the same time, it has also called on shipowners to consider the risks associated with these cargoes - known officially as "cargoes which may liquefy", and for Governments and their Competent Authorities to re-check the safety processes at the port of loading before accepting the cargoes. "We know that all shipowners of quality care about the safety of their seafarers and what has occurred in the last 39 days is completely unacceptable" says Rob Lomas, Secretary General of Intercargo.

 

All three sinkings - the Jian Fu Star (October 27th - 13 fatalities); the Nasco Diamond (November 10th - 21 fatalities) and the Hong Wei (3 December - 10 fatalities) reportedly carried:

  • the same cargo - Nickel Ore

  • loaded in the same country - Indonesia,

  • in Chinese operated and manned ships,

  • under the Panamanian flag,

  • sank in broadly the same location,

  • and all were bound for the China for use in the Chinese steel industry,

Cargoes which may liquefy are loaded into bulk carriers but if not properly tested and certificated, may move as a slurry or a liquid if their moisture content is too great, causing stability problems, listing and eventual capsize.

 

"Our association has had an opportunity to forewarn its members  about these cargoes and has been very surprised to learn from owners that the rudimentary loading conditions in some of the exporting countries may have contributed to accidents" says Lomas.

 

"We know that many companies refuse to accept these cargoes because they are either not loaded in accordance with the international standards contained in the IMO IMSBC - the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code or when Masters sense that the testing and certification processes aimed at determining the moisture content  of the cargo being offered for shipment lacks credibility. Masters have refused cargoes which appear to be highly suspect in terms of  their moisture content vis à vis their Shippers Declaration certificate or where Masters have been refused their right to use an independent third party cargo surveyor."

 

"Sadly, some shipowners may not have the relevant experience or  knowledge in interpreting the IMSBC Code and may accept cargoes, which are unsafe. But we need to receive the reassurances of the Competent Authorities in the exporting countries that their procedures and processes have integrity and transparency so that this message is  received and most importantly, believed by the shipowners. Competent Authorities are key to ensuring that seafarers lives are not put in peril.

 

"At the very least, any exporting country which cannot meet these requirements or which refuses to allow independent third-party surveyors is likely to find maritime transport for these cargoes more difficult  to source" says Lomas.   http://www.intercargo.org   Courtesy Bow Wave--the marine and transport e-zine. BOW WAVE is published each week to over 15 000 Readers in the transport, insurance, shipping and finance industries.  To subscribe contact Sam Ignarski sam@wavyline.com

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UK - MAIB Safety Bulletin

 

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a safety bulletin regarding catastrophic failure of a capacitor. On 23 September 2010, the cruise liner RMS Queen Mary 2 suffered a casualty when one of the capacitors in a harmonic filter suffered a catastrophic failure and explosion. While the exact cause of the failure is under investigation, the MAIB recommends that operators of vessels with electric propulsion which have large capacitors in harmonic filters should urgently inspect the capacitors and check for signs of deterioration or overheating. Safety Bulletin 4/2010 (12/6/10). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting dennis.l.bryant@gmail.com Website http://brymar-consulting.com © Dennis L. Bryant

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Piracy: How 2010 Went

 

Stephen Askins, writing in the January edition of Ince & Co's Shipping E-Brief describes well the struggle between the shipping industry and the pirates. It is a struggle the industry is not winning. As another full year in the pirate calendar ends, the depressing cycle seen in 2009 has been repeated. The small green shoots of hope seen in lower levels of activities in January and February 2010 quickly shriveled and the year ended with alarming levels of attacks, not only in greater numbers, but also with a more extensive geographical spread than previously seen. The number of hijacked vessels still in the hands of the pirates at the end of 2010 was 26, a figure that could have been much higher had it not been for the dozen or so vessels that were boarded by pirates but where protracted hijackings were avoided by the use of the citadel. Read the piece in full:- http://tinyurl.com/incepiracyupdateCourtesy Maritime Advocate Online a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to dispute resolution. To contact the editor Bevis Marks, send an e-mail to: editor@avoarchive.com

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Calls For Container Checks

 

Shipowners have called for compulsory weighing of all containers before loading onto a vessel.

 

The World Shipping Council (WSC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have announced plans to secure International Maritime Organization agreement on new rules to tackle the dangers of overweight boxes.

 

The two bodies, whose members own the vast majority of the world containership fleet, warned last month that an industry code of practice has failed to reduce the problem of shippers providing incorrect container weights or to ensure that ports verify the weight of loaded containers before loading.

 

‘The problem of overweight containers continues to present risks to workers, to industry operations, to ships, to properly declared cargoes, and to the environment,’ they added. ‘In the absence of a legal requirement that marine terminal operators perform a weighing function for all loaded containers before vessel loading, it seems likely that a substantial number of containers will continue to go unweighed and that overweight containers will continue to pose a risk to safe ship operations, to ships’ crew, and to other personnel in the transport chain,’ they said.

 

The WSC and ICS want the IMO to establish international regulatory requirements for export cargo containers to be weighed by marine terminals upon receipt and before vessel loading, and that the actual container weights should be made available to the vessel operator and used for vessel stowage planning. They point out that the ports which have introduced container weighing requirements have demonstrated that the process does not disrupt the flow of trade. Concerns over the hazards posed by overweight or poorly stuffed containers have been highlighted in a series of accidents, including the MSC Napoli and Annabella incidents in 2007.

 

The WSC and ICS say there is evidence to show that incorrectly declared containers can account for anything between 3% and 10% of the total weight of cargo carried, leading to such problems as collapsed container stacks, containers lost overboard, stability and stress risks for ships, and the risk of personal injury or death to seafarers and dock workers.

 

The proposed new rules are set to be considered by the IMO’s maritime safety committee in May 2011. Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson commented: ‘This is a welcome move and it is long overdue. We are also actively pursuing the issues on a multi-modal basis through the International Transport Workers’ Federation. Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, a free monthly e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world.  It is circulated to anybody who wishes to receive a copy.  It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession taken from various publications together with contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles relating to our profession are welcomed for the newsletter. info@kiwimarine.net

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Think Houses are a Slow Sell? Try a Yacht

 

In boom times, yacht enthusiasts would order a new dream boat and keep their old one for the two or three years the builder needed to complete the new boat. But that equation changed with the financial crisis two years ago and took the superyacht market down with it. Maintaining a big yacht, after all, is expensive. “It was a fool’s paradise,” said Malcolm Maclean, editor at BoatInternational.com, a Web site that tracks the yacht industry. Now, he said of the owners who cannot get rid of their boats, “They have caught very bad colds.” By one estimate, 300 new boats were sold annually worldwide from the mid-1990s until the 2008 collapse, when sales dropped to about 100 boats. The industry has picked up a bit in recent months, although most buyers remain on the sidelines. Fear is part of the problem. The wealthy are holding on to their money, and even speculators who built yachts, confident that they could find willing buyers among the new rich, are largely on the sidelines. Nor has the drop-off been confined to the United States. Whether that suggests a permanent shift toward buyers in the fast-growing economies around the world is still unclear, but several boat brokers noted that among recent sales, one has been to a Mexican mogul and two to Malaysian businessmen. (The New York Times, 1/22/2011.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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Rescue Beacons

 

Buried deep within the Coast Guard 2011 authorization bill is a short paragraph enabling the agency to require emergency locator beacons on pleasure boats when they go offshore – a measure advocates say could save lives while also saving millions each year in search costs. The concept is not new. On Jan. 1, 2004, Hawaii began requiring all vessels except canoes, personal watercraft, surfboards and paddleboards to carry VHF radio, PLB or EPIRB when they go more than a mile offshore. The following year, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators authored a model act virtually identical to Hawaii’s that other states could adopt. None has, but the U.S. Global Maritime Distress Safety System Task Force, which works on international maritime safety protocols, has asked 29 maritime organizations around the world to promote a voluntary program urging all vessels to carry and EPIRB, PLB or VHF radio when they go more than a mile offshore.

 

Whether boaters should have to carry an EPIRB, PLB or VHF radio offshore or whether they should be urged to do so and allowed to decide for themselves is at issue, says BoatUS. vice president of government affairs Margaret Podlich. “BoatUS. believes in EPIRBs,” says Podlich. She questions whether it is warranted. “The Coast Guard could mandate that recreational boats that go more than three miles offshore carry a PLB, but I think that would be overkill,” she says. The ocean can be fierce, but most recreational boating deaths occur close to shore and inland, not offshore, she says, and many of those who do go offshore already carry the devices. The Coast Guard, in an April 2008 memo on the costs of operating its boats, cutters and aircrafts, says the direct cost of putting a 41-foot utility boat into a search for an hour is $873; a 110-foot cutter; $1,147; a 210-foot cutter; $1,914; an HU-25 jet; $5,731; a Jayhawk helicopter, $6,530 and a C-130 aircraft, $7,648. Whether the Coast Guard will require one on your boat remains to be seen. (Soundings, 2/2011.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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Boston - Use Of Warning Ammunition To Be Evaluated

 

The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it will be evaluating use of less-than-lethal (warning) ammunition when conducting vessel escorts in Boston Harbor. The 12-gauge shotgun warning ammunition can be fired into the path of a vessel that has failed to respond to radio calls or other signals. Once fired, the plastic and aluminum projectile will ignite after approximately 100 meters to create a bright flash of light and a loud sound. (12/9/10). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting dennis.l.bryant@gmail.com Website http://brymar-consulting.com © Dennis L. Bryant

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Mississippi River

 

In recent weeks, vessel owners and pilots have grown concerned about the amount of silt clogging the channel, particularly in the Southwest Pass between New Orleans and the mouth of the Mississippi. Some vessels reportedly are touching bottom. To continue to call at ports on the Lower Mississippi, vessels will have to lighten their loads. According to a Greek shipowners’ group, one foot less draft costs a ship $3 million in revenue. The port’s solution is to build a coalition from groups across the Midwest to address policy specialists and lawmakers in Washington with a single voice. The river and tributaries comprise some 14,500 miles of waterway, and 33 states and three Canadian provinces depend on the river to move their products to market. The coalition’s immediate goal will be to restore the corps’ maintenance dredging budget. The corps usually spends some $104 million to dredge channels on the Lower Mississippi River. “The Lower Mississippi River system is the largest port area in the world. It’s bigger than Shanghai, Singapore, Rotterdam. How can you argue that it’s not worth maintaining its project depth at 45 feet?” said Gary LaGrange, president of The Port of New Orleans. (The Journal of Commerce, 12/13/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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Cargo Thefts Surge In Mexico

 

Warring drug cartels in Mexico and the associated violence and thefts have pressured supply chains between Mexico and the United States as cargo thefts have soared, often with insider help, experts say. The National Multimodal Transport Alliance estimated that cargo thefts in Mexico cost businesses between $650 million and $750 million in 2009, a 40% increase over the average during the previous three years. “We know that between 80% to 85%.of hijackings or thefts that occur are linked to inside information,” said Peter Scrobe, New York-based vp of Starr Marine Agency Inc.'s loss control services unit. Mr. Scrobe was part of a team of insurers and underwriters that put together an October white paper on cargo loss in Mexico for the American Institute of Marine Underwriters. The paper was put together to help understand and mitigate exposures to cargo theft and provide underwriters with a snapshot of current trends in Mexico. The white paper concluded that cargo theft in Mexico is a problem and that if companies take steps to minimize the threat, they can avoid becoming a target. (Business Insurance, 1/3/2011.) Go to www.aimu.org, Papers & Reports tab, #3 Marine Insurance Day Seminar for a copy of the presentation. Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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Top Ocean Carriers’ Capacity Swelled

 

The top 20 container lines increased their operated capacity 14 percent over the last 12 months, as the strong recovery in freight volume led carriers to take on new tonnage over 2010, Alphaliner reported. The total capacity of the fleet operated by the top 20 carriers reached 12.3 million TEUs compared to 10.8 million TEUs a year ago (The Journal of Commerce, 1/4/2011.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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Coast Guard Releases Final Report on Alaska Ranger Sinking

 

Failure of the vessel's Kort nozzle struts may have led to the March 23, 2008, sinking of the fish-processing vessel Alaska Ranger and the subsequent loss of five of the 47 people aboard the ship. The Coast Guard today released its final report of the investigation into the loss of the vessel. The Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation determined that the cause of the sinking was flooding that likely started in the rudder room, but rapidly progressed to the engine room and other spaces due to a lack of watertight integrity. While the exact source of the uncontrolled flooding remains unknown, a thorough analysis of the facts indicates the most likely source was related to the vessel's poor material condition and may have been related to the Kort nozzle struts. The struts support the nozzles shrouding the propellers at the stern of the vessel and are believed to have experienced excessive stresses where they were attached to the vessel's hull. The Board concluded that the Fishing Company of Alaska failed to properly maintain the structural condition of the Alaska Ranger. Evidence of extensive and repeated fracturing of the nozzle struts and structural failures in the aft ballast tanks and potable water tanks went unaddressed. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, from 1994 to 2004, 641 commercial fishermen died while fishing in the United States. Vessel sinkings resulted in more than half of all fatalities. While work-related fatalities for commercial fishermen in Alaska are still very high, they have decreased by 42 percent since the early 1990s. This success is due in part to the Coast Guard implementing new safety requirements in the early 1990s. (Marine Log, 1/12/2011.)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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December 2010 Cargo Theft Report

 

FreightWatch recorded 64 incidents in December, a slight decrease in the average theft rate per month at the end of a very busy fourth quarter. The most targeted type of products during the holiday season were food/drinks and electronics followed by clothing/shoes. By location, California, Florida and Texas accounted the highest number of incidents in December, with 17, 13, and seven thefts respectively. This month, an average loss value of $383,350 resulted from the 25 incidents with reported loss values. Violence in cargo theft remained low in 2010, however, three incidents occurred in December in which weapons were used in the acquisition of cargo, including two hijackings in Southern California and an armed robbery in Memphis. (FreightWatch, www.freightwatchintl.com). Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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USCG - Safety Alert Re: Fuel Oil Quick-closing Valves

 

The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert recommending that fuel oil quick-closing valves (QCVs) be inspected. Recent inspections by USCG boarding officers have revealed QCVs that have been intentionally blocked, modified, and/or poorly maintained. QCVs serve to isolate fuel tanks in the event of fire and are operated from a remote location. Engineers and other stakeholders should examine the QCVs to ensure that they are operational. Safety Alert 01-11 (1/31/11).

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Panel Faults Oil Firms, Calls for Better Oversight

 

A federal commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill said "identifiable mistakes" by BP PLC, Halliburton Co. and Transocean Ltd. led to last year's disaster, in findings that also conveyed broad concerns about oil-drilling safety. In a widely anticipated report released, the seven-member panel said government oversight of the industry would require "fundamental reform," including additional funding for drilling regulators, and that oil companies will need to "dramatically" step up safety practices. (The Wall Street Journal, 1/12/2011.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

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New Books and Helpful Links

 

British Columbia: Motion to Ban Tanker Traffic on West Coast

Click here: Houston Today - Motion to ban tanker traffic on west coast narrowly passes

 

'Report Writing for Marine Surveyors' by Mike Wall. NAMS-CMS.

 

Published by Petrospot Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9548097-7-5. Cost £75. Contact: www.petrospot.com or telephone +44 1295 814455.

 

The book has been described as a comprehensive guide to report writing for marine surveyors. It covers many of the different types of report which the surveyor may be requested to complete. It outlines the basis of reports, including specific sections on discovery, evidence, protocols, terms and conditions of service, PI insurance, limiting liability and copyright issues.

 

In preparing for a report the surveyor learns about interviewing skills together with when to report facts and when to offer opinions. A large section of the book is dedicated to the process of report writing with some useful guidelines on how to write actively, succinctly and accurately. This section also covers those aspects of writing often used such as brackets, lists, numerals/words, date/time formats, diagrams, photographs and touch typing.

 

Twelve full specimen reports are included in the appendices, which survey companies will find of use. Marine surveyors/reviewers have described this as a 'must have' book on their shelves, ideal to help a new surveyor learn his craft.

 

'The Mariner's Role in Collecting Evidence Handbook'.

 

New P&I handbook

 

A new handbook from the North P&I Club could help seafarers protect themselves against criminalization. Published last month, The Mariner’s Role in Collecting Evidence Handbook provides comprehensive guidance on the best way to gather and store evidence after an incident, with advice on how this evidence should be presented to the authorities.

 

North P&I Club joint managing director Paul Jennings commented: ‘Shipping is one of the safest and most sustainable forms of global transport but we face increasingly punitive legislation and liabilities. We thus need to do everything we can to demonstrate to politicians, regulators and the media that seafarers are responsible professionals, which includes responding correctly to and learning from any mistakes.’

 

The handbook , which features advice on dealing with short-lived electronic data , forms a companion to an existing guide, The Mariner’s Role in Collecting Evidence in Light of ISM. Nautical Institute president Captain James Robinson said that, used together, the two publications would ‘build confidence when gathering evidence to put before those unfamiliar with shipboard operations , such as doctors, insurers, lawyers and judges, as well as help to eliminate any weaknesses in ship and company organization.’

 

The handbook and guide package is available from The Nautical Institute, price £45. North P&I Club is publishing its own version

 

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