President’s Message

First of all I want to thank the attendees and the organizers for a fantastic 50th anniversary East Coast Conference. A special thanks to Ric Corley, Dick & Barbara Learned, and Greg and Reggie Gant. We had over 100 participants for the meeting.

I also want to thank all of you for electing me to this role. I follow in some very large footprints. During the member’s breakfast on Tuesday morning, I presented my goals for my tenure as President. Briefly stated they are:

  1. Re-inviting/developing new talent
  2. Bring more/younger surveyors in the leadership of the organization
  3. Marketing
  4. Define ourselves
  5. Guidelines
  6. Additional paths to CMS

So, I promise you all a busy year two years – thanks to all of the committee members/chairs for agreeing/volunteering to be on or stay on a committee. The group benefits greatly from the work of these groups and there are plenty of opportunities for active membership in the organization and I look forward to more participation.

My line is open and I look forward to hearing from you all.

Steve Weiss, President

Current President Steve Weiss, Immediate Past President Richard Frenzel & Past President William Hansen at the 50th Anniversary National Marine Conference.

Editor’s Message

The news articles and current events you send in make the NAMSGlobal E-News interesting to readers in all disciplines of marine survey: send new material to [email protected].

Thanks, and best regards to all.
Greg Weeter, Editor

NAMS Applicants, New Members, & Changes

New Applicants
Name Status & Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
Jeffrey Cook NAMS-CMSCargo E. Gulf David Pereira
Chitti Morampudi NAMS-CMSCargo W. Gulf David Harmon
John Yskamp NAMS-CMSCargo N. York Richard Frenzel

New Members Elected 4 March 2012

Certified Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
Todd Bellone Cargo N. York Robert Bartek
D. Wesley Fowler Y&SM W. Gulf Richard Frenzel
Nicholas Renard Cargo W. Gulf Jeffrey Millard


Associate Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
David London Y&SC S. Pacific States William Engstrom, John Bradshaw, & Clark Barthol


Apprentice Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
Winslow Pillsbury Y&SC N. England Anthony Theriault

Changes In Status

Name Change
Member Name & Current Status Change To Region
Kara Satra, NAMS-CMS Kara Pinetti, NAMS-CMS C. Pacific States


NAMS-CMS Members
Name Requesting Change To Region
Alan Betton, NAMS-CMS Retired W. Canada
Daniel F. Blanchard, NAMS-CMS Retired E. Gulf
Pete Brown Retired S. Atlantic
L. Frank Hamlin, NAMS-CMS Retired S. Atlantic
Frederick Hecklinger, NAMS-CMS Retired C. Atlantic
Guy Matthews, NAMS-CMS Retired W. Gulf
F. Michael Simone, NAMS-CMS Retired C. Pacific States
David Sinclair, NAMS-CMS Retired N. England
Ted Wagner, NAMS-CMS Retired C. Atlantic

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.


Peter Minkwitz, NAMS-CMS, Oakland, CA Peter died on February 11, 2012 after a battle with cancer. Born September 7, 1944 in Australia. Peter was employed in the maritime industry for over 40 years. He met Doreen Hardy in 1986 and they married in 1987. Built both his home in Point Richmond and “China Rose”, a 38-footer described as “the most beautiful ferro cement boat you will ever see.” Peter and Doreen spent many happy years living aboard, sailing to the Delta and on coastal cruises. Peter was a genuine human being incapable of anything other than honesty, generosity and integrity at the highest level. He was a brilliant problem solver, a warm, thoughtful and loving soul. For donation and related information go to Courtesy San Francisco Chronicle.
David Robotham, NAMS-CMS, Wrightsville Beach, NC David died Feb 20, 2012. David was raised in Westport Ct. where he distinguished himself as a young Sea Scout and starting a successful scuba salvage company, SOS. He attended Roanoke College in Salem Va. and earned a BS in Biology. After returning to Westport, David started Sound Island Lobster Company, fishing for lobsters, selling them in his seafood stores and restaurant.In 1978, he gained some notoriety when a 24-pound lobster named Duke, which locals believed may have been 200 years old, ended up in his store. A customer decided the lobster would make a great clambake meal and offered to buy it for $76.56, according to the local newspaper Fairpress. Word got out and people began to wonder about the propriety of eating a lobster that evaded captivity since perhaps the Revolutionary War.Fairpress ran an editorial entitled “Don’t Eat Duke” and urged readers to help save the crustacean with donations. About 60 people sent a total of about $300 to Robotham’s lobster company to pay the cost of a lobster boat outing, according to local press accounts.


The lobster was subsequently returned to the waters of Long Island Sound. Robotham was joined in releasing Duke by the customer who originally sought to buy the lobster.

Following a move to Wrightsville Beach, NC to be with his Mother Peggy he started Robotham Marine Surveyors and had a successful career appraising and surveying boats. Courtesy Star News and

John D. “Jack” Boltz, NAMS Retired Life Member

John died 28 February 2012 lost his long fought battle with Parkinson’s disease on February 27, 2012 at the age of 84. John joined NAMS in 1963, retired in 2004 and was elected to Life Member status. Jack was also a Korean War Veteran and a retired Colonel in the Army Reserves. A proud student at the Missouri Military Academy and The University of Illinois, Jack instilled a love of learning in all those he touched. Jack was a proud member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors, the Marine Historical Society, the Ozaukee County Historical Society, the Civil War Roundtable, American Legion Post in Cedar burg, as well as a member of the Retired Military Officer’s Association. He was the sole proprietor of Inland Surveyors, a Milwaukee and Chicago based Marine Surveying firm now operated by is son Daniel Boltz, NAMS-CMS. A memorial service was held at Mequon United Methodist Church, 11011 N. Oriole Lane, Mequon, Wisconsin on Saturday March 3 at 10 am.

Upcoming Educational Events

ABYC 2012 Course Calendar

For the latest information on ABYC’s 2012 educational programs, please click here. Be advised it opens a new window in your browser. Simply close it to return here.

ABYC conducts many educational programs including, but not limited to, Marine Electrical Systems, Corrosion Surveys, Diesel Engines & Support Systems, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, and ABYC Standards.

If you have questions regarding registration for the ABYC courses please contact Cris Gardner or Sandy Brown at 410.990.4460.

AIMU 2012 Educational Calendar

For the latest on AIMU educational programs, please click here. Be advised it opens a new window in your browser. Simply close it to return here.

12 April 2012 Webinar-On-Line – 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM – Introduction to Marine Cargo Surveying

“Cargo Loses & Cargo Survey reporting”. Last in a series of five topics

PRESENTERS: Tim Donney, Global Head Marine Risk Engineering, Allianz Risk Consultants and Kevin Meller, Marine Risk Control Consulting Director, CNA

DETAILS: 90-minute webinar in which Mr. Meller will address cargo damage survey procedures and reports and how they should be used throughout the Marine Insurance Industry. This information will be valuable to underwriters, adjusters in addition to marine surveyors. Further, Mr. Donney will discuss reporting issues and what you should expect from a Marine Surveyor, as well as AIMU’s Cargo Damage Survey guidelines. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session. All must register online at

19 – 20 April 2012 Sayreville, NJ – Fire Investigation Course

International Association of Marine Investigators, Northeast Regional Fire Investigation Course, Middlesex County Fire Academy

IAMI is offering a two day marine fire training seminar! Preburned boats will be used to simulate real life marine scenarios. Attendees will be teamed up with LE, Fire Investigators, Marine Surveyors and Insurance professionals and given a boat as their ‘assignment’. It will be the team’s job to determine the origin and cause of the fire and to prepare a report with their findings. Seating will be limited to the first 125-130 +/- that apply. More info at

19 – 22 April 2012 – Baltimore, MD – American Society of Appraisers, Course ME208: Marine Survey.

This course is designed for the non-marine professional who is interested in learning the basic knowledge of the industry and for the marine professional who is interested in learning more about the appraisal side.

Topics covered include:
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, both commercial and yacht;
Preparing a report;
Different types of Bluewater and Brownwater equipment Phone 800-272-87258 [email protected]

Hampton Inn and Suites – Reservations: (410) 539-7888 Group code: ASA
Baltimore Inner Harbor
131 E. Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

26 April 2012 – Alameda, CA Central Pacific Region Dinner Meeting

Time: 5:30 PM

GUEST SPEAKER: Ralph J. Bruni, B.S., M.S.M.M.
Lead Marine Casualty Investigator
Certified NAMS Surveyor (Cargo/Hull & Machinery)
TOPIC: Forensic Engineering and Marine Surveying – How the application of forensic engineering tools can enhance reports and status for the marine surveyor.

R.S.V.P. Capt. Joseph W. Rodgers NAMS-CMS RVP
(831) 475 4468 [email protected]

3 – 4 May 2012 – San Francisco, CA – Board of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco

19th Biennial Marine Seminar at Palace Hotel

Questions? Contact Karen Dunn at [email protected]

8 – 9 May 2012 Stamford, CN – Marine Log Tugs & Barges Conference and Expo

More info at

23 – 24 May 2012 – St. Petersburg, FL – Tampa Bay Mariners Club 2012 Marine Industry Seminar
“Rounding the Mark — All Hands on Deck!”

St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Florida

Held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm on May 24, 2012; with a reception the night before, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Our Annual Marine Seminar Golf Tournament will be held the day before the seminar, at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at Seminole Lake Country Club.
Details: or Van D. Kline, AMS, Gulf Coast Marine Survey, Inc. 727-588-0546 Office

27 – 28 June 2012 New York, NY – Optimising Your Salvage & Casualty Response

Presented by ACI. Delegates will be drawn from salvage, tug and towage companies, legal and insurance companies and ship-owners and ship-managers. Positions will include: Presidents, CEOs, VPs, Technical Directors, Fleet Managers, quality environment and safety managers and DPAs.

For Information & Registration contact: Dimitri Pavlyk on +44 (0)20 7981 2503 or click here

For Sponsorship & Commercial Opportunities contact: Jean-Jacques Hermans on +44 (0)20 7981 2505.

For speaking opportunities contact: Neal de Beer on +44 (0)20 7981 2501 or click here

16-18 Sept 2012 – Houston TX – Houston Marine Insurance Seminar

More information as it becomes available.

10 – 13 October 2012- Baltimore, MD – SAMS Annual Meeting & Conference

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Inc. will hold its 2012 Annual Conference and Educational Training Symposia at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor, 300 Light Street. For further information call the SAMS Office Manager, Rhea Shea, at 800-344-9077 or Email [email protected]

5 – 7 December 2012 – New Orleans, LA – The International Boat Show

For complete information, please click here.

March 2013 – San Diego, CA – NAMSGlobal National Marine Conference

Watch for additional information as it becomes available in future editions of the NAMS eNews.

Updates will also be posted on the events page of the NAMSGlobal website.


New NAMS Program – NAMSGlobal Speakers Bureau

A new program was announced at the recent board and general membership meetings.

In an effort to keep the NAMSGlobal brand prominent in the eyes of the boating public, the marine transportation and insurance industries, NAMSGlobal is setting up a Speakers Bureau. All NAMSGlobal members who are interested in presenting an informative program are encouraged to compile a presentation (photos are always help a presentation).

Groups desiring a speaker can select a member and agree on time and place. If you are a NAMS member and wish to be on the speakers bureau, contact the Chair of the Website & Communications Committee (WebCom), Mike Beijar, NAMS-CMS by email at [email protected] to list your topics of interest.
If you are looking for a speaker from NAMS, you may also contact Mike at [email protected] for a list of speakers in your area. In the future, we will have a list of speaker volunteers on our website.

Good For You

Capt. Ric Corley, NAMS-CMS has been selected as a finalist for the Gulf Coast State College Distinguished Alumni Award. The winner will be announced at the Awards and Presentation Dinner on April 12, 2012 at Capt. Anderson’s restaurant, 5551 N. Lagoon Drive, Panama City Beach, Florida.

Articles Of Interest

Freighter Oversupply

Singapore seaport looks out on one of the world’s largest parking lots: mile after mile of empty cargo ships, as far as the eye can see. Similar fleets bob at anchor, with empty cargo holds, off the coasts of southeast Malaysia and Hong Kong. And dozens of newly built ships float empty near the giant shipyards of South Korea and China.

As recently as six weeks ago, large freighters that can carry bulk commodities like iron ore or grain were fetching charter rates of $15,000 a day. Now, brokers and owners say, the going rate is $6,000 a day – if customers can even be found. Although the fault lies partly with doldrums in the global economy, the bigger factor is a glut of new freighters. The oversupply is putting financial pressure on the shipowners that bought them and the already struggling European banks that financed many of the purchases.

Shipping industry leaders hold little hope of a quick recovery. For the shipping industry, the glut means not only lower charter fares but also steep declines in the value of their vessels. The bigger losers, though, could eventually be some big European banks, many of which are already struggling with big losses on their holdings of government bonds from Greece, Italy and other heavily indebted European nations. Shipowners, meantime, are nervously monitoring an industry benchmark, the Baltic Dry Index of bulk freighter charter rates, which has lost more than half its value since the start of the year. The index is at its lowest level since January 2009, during the depths of the economic downturn after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. (New York Times, 1/26/2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly

Container Seals

The consensus where most of us dwell says that container seals: are meant to ensure the integrity of the container contents and act as indicators that container integrity has been either maintained or breached. It is not so simple according to Randal Mullett, the Chairman of the Legislative Subcommittee of the International Cargo Security Council:

The recent container seal guidelines issued by US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) importers may have established new container seal standards, but they did little to end the debate. Seal manufacturers, customs brokers, security professionals, US importers, government regulators, and other members of the international trade community continue to argue about the ‘ideal’ container seal and related best practices and regulatory schemes.

The instructions for compliance with the new seal standards for cargo bound for the US can be found on US CBP’s website. I will not spend much time on the specifics, but the programme can be summed up with a short quote from their website; ‘Container integrity must be maintained to protect against the introduction of unauthorised material and/or persons. At point of stuffing, procedures must be in place to properly seal and maintain the integrity of the shipping containers. A high security seal must be affixed to all loaded containers bound for the US. All seals must meet or exceed the current PAS ISO 17712 standards for high security seals.’

The first line tells us US CBP’s goal; ‘to protect against the introduction of unauthorised material and/or persons.’ The fact that there is no reference to cargo theft is missed by most as it has always been assumed that the primary purpose of a container seal is to protect the cargo from theft or pilferage. This shift in perception about the purpose of a container seal is central to the debate about the appropriateness of the PAS ISO 17712 bolt seal and quite confusing to many security stakeholders.
Read the piece in full here:-

Courtesy 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: [email protected]

Intermodal Container Periodic Inspections

Bob Bartek, NAMS-CMS, spoke briefly at the Panama City Conference of a type of survey that qualified surveyors can provide for clients, in regards to intermodal shipping containers. If you have done damage surveys on containers or containerized cargo, you could develop the expertise to provide this additional service, thereby expand your marine survey practice.

These inspections are along the line of General Condition Surveys, but instead of the container surveyor referring to Recommended Standards (as is done in the Yacht & Small Craft discipline), the surveyor refers to the requirements of the U. S. Code of Federal Regulations, Part 49, Sections 451 and 452 as well as the Guides for Container Inspection, published by the International Institute of Container Lessors. (Website IICL also offers Container and Chassis Inspector Certifications by examinations offered once a year in more than 70 test centers worldwide. IICL Certification in not required for doing these inspections, but would provide valuable knowledge and a recognized credential.

Container Periodic Inspections are often requested by a party buying a used container from a steamship line. The original owner’s in-house program no longer applies once the unit is sold out of their fleet.

There are no standard report formats. The surveyor should develop his or her own on letterhead. The inspection requires a new expiration sticker to be applied to the CSC plate on the container. The sticker is punched for 2 ½ years. The report is to be sent to the container owner, and a copy should be retained by the surveyor for at least that same period of time. Stickers can be purchased from Martek International, Elizabeth New Jersey. Phone 908-248-9001. Website

Atlantic Mutual’s Relics

Many thanks to Reader Alan Danvers in Miami for sending in this item in the Wall Street Journal:

For more than a century, Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. covered yachts, steamships laden with gold, and even a seemingly indestructible passenger liner called the RMS Titanic.

Then last year, the company itself sank – leaving behind a treasure trove of nautical memorabilia that is now up for sale.

Yet unlike the high-profile Titanic auction scheduled for April – it aims to unload 5,500 artifacts raised from the wreck, including teacups, passengers’ personal items and chunks of the hull, in one big lot – New York officials face the task of figuring out how to gin up interest for the low-profile Atlantic Mutual collection.

Currently stashed in the offices of an art gallery here, the relics include model ships, maritime paintings, barometers, telescopes, sextants, gold nuggets and even a copy of the insurance policy for the Titanic’s hull (Atlantic Mutual cut a $100,000 check to cover its share of claims.) But the most valuable bit of loot may be the 342 leather-bound volumes that represent possibly the most extensive record of U.S. maritime disasters.

Read the full article here:

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 [email protected]

USCG – Members Sought For CFSAC

The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee (CFSAC). Applications must be submitted by April 30. 77 Fed. Reg. 16046 (March 19, 2012). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 19 March 2012

Vinalines Queen – 22 More Deaths Owing to Cargo Liquefaction?

Industry Must Unite to Stop This Unnecessary Loss of Life

The recent tragic loss of the 2005-built supramax bulk carrier Vinalines Queen and 22 of its crew again underlines the urgent need for greater enforcement of regulations and testing of cargoes that may liquefy.

The ship, which was reportedly carrying a cargo of nickel ore from Morowali, Indonesia to China, was reported missing on 25 December, considered lost. Back in December 2010 following the loss of 3 bulk carriers and 44 crew in short succession, all owing to cargo liquefaction, Intercargo took the opportunity to remind the industry of the dangers associated with the carriage of hazardous cargoes – however the loss of the Vinalines Queen demonstrates that the message still isn’t getting through.

Speaking of the loss, Secretary General of Intercargo, Rob Lomas said “we’ve previously called on shippers and cargo interests to conduct an urgent review into the testing and safety processes involved in shipping of hazardous cargoes, following the spate of accidents and fatalities in 2010, but clearly more needs to be urgently done to stop this appalling unnecessary loss of life”.

“Sadly, it seems that some shipowners still do not have the relevant experience or knowledge in interpreting the IMSBC Code and are accepting 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, trusted by the shipowners. Competent Authorities are key to ensuring that seafarer’s lives are not put in danger”.

Intercargo continues to work through IMO to protect the safety of seafarers and their ships. At the 16th Session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) in September 2011, Intercargo worked with P&I, IUMI and other Round Table industry associations to help strengthen and clarify the requirements of the IMSBC Code, and in particular the need for accurate information relating to the carriage of cargoes that may liquefy, such as nickel ore. In addition, Intercargo will participate in the IMSBC Code Editorial and Technical Group in March 2012 where a prepared schedule for nickel ore is to be further reviewed and considered, before inclusion in the IMSBC Code at the forthcoming DSC 17 in September. Source: INTERCARGO Thanks to Ian Cairns, NAMS-CMS for sending this in.

Bulk Carrier Casualty Report – By INTERCARGO

INTERCARGO (International Association Of Dry Cargo Shipowners) recorded 13 bulk carrier losses in 2011 with 39 lives lost. The previously reported downward long-term trend in terms of vessels lost and commensurate loss of life sadly seems now to have reached a plateau with progress towards the goal of zero losses seeming more elusive than ever. Without speculating on possible causes, INTERCARGO remains particularly concerned that the loss of 22 seafarers’ lives on the Vinalines Queen may be a further example of a vessel lost though the liquefaction of its cargo – in this case, nickel ore.

Three vessels and 44 lives were lost in 2010 in similar circumstances. Key Findings: Thirteen bulk carriers (>10,000 dwt) were lost during 2011 – Although this must be set against the ever expanding dry bulk fleet, estimated to have grown to more than 8,000 ships by the end 2011, last year was a rather depressing year in terms of losses. A total of 39 lives were lost on three vessels, out of the total 13 vessels lost in the whole year. One vessel, loaded with nickel ore, was lost on 25 December, resulting in the loss of 22 lives. The average age of bulk carriers lost in 2011 was 24.3 years against a worldwide trading average age of 11.3 years.

Discussion: The previously reported downward long-term trend in terms of vessels lost and commensurate loss of life sadly seems now to have reached a plateau, with the number of ship losses almost doubling when compared with 2010. However, the ten year rolling average associated loss of life still shows considerable improvement between the 1993-2002 figures and the most recent 2002-2011 figures, but clearly more now needs to be done. However, the loss of three smaller vessels engaged again on intra-Asian trades continues to add to the concern, as reported in previous year’s reports that a trend is emerging for operations in this region. While great improvements have been made in bulk carrier safety, there appears to be a persistent element that is now coming to the fore relating to smaller, older, vessels operating on intra-Asian trades.

Three such losses were reported in 2011, all of which accounted for the 39 lives lost. Intercargo will examine these cases as far as practicable and continue to monitor this worrying aspect of last year’s casualties. However, determining the cause of incidents remains challenging and we urge flag States to further investigate such losses and make reports publicly available. In addition to the losses detailed in this report, during 2011, Intercargo noted a large number of bulk carrier casualties, with damage that was deemed to be beyond economic repair, that were subsequently sent straight for scrap.

Cause of Accident 2011 2012
Cargo 1 7
Collision 2 11
Fire / Explosion 0 2
Flooding 0 11
Grounding 7 25
Machinery Failure 0 1
Structural 1 5
Unknown 2 6

Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

Wind Farms

Offshore wind farms have run into stiff head winds in a Coast Guard study of the effect they could have on navigational safety in Atlantic waters from Maine to Florida. The wind farms “will confuse airborne radars and also will confuse seaborne radars and create a wall of clutter,” says sailor Benjamin C. Riggs of Newport, R.I.

Powerboaters, on the other hand, could motor through, and anglers especially might well want to because the structures draw fish, says Capt. Lindsay Fuller, a charter fishing captain from Beach Heaven, N.J. The Defense and Homeland Security departments have studied the interaction of radar and wind farms and, like sailor Riggs, they have serious concerns. He says he also worries that if the Coast Guard recommends preferred vessel routing into and out of major ports along the East Coast to avoid wind farms, as it says it might, pleasure boaters could find themselves funneled into traffic schemes with more and commercial traffic – container ships, tugs and barges, and tankers. “We could see a lot more accidents,” he says.

Boaters could face a dilemma: “Go through the wind farm to avoid commercial traffic or go with the commercial traffic to avoid the wind farm,” he says. Commercial shippers have been even more attuned than boaters to the Coast Guard study, which is still in its information-gathering stage. They are concerned that the rush to develop wind farms is outpacing efforts to protect navigation, says Christopher Koch, chief executive of the New York-based World Shipping Council. (, March, 2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Crew Union Praises Costa Post-Concordia Tragedy

Michelle Otero Valdés, the aegis of the Maritime Miami Group on FOB writes:

Tradewinds reports in their February 3rd edition that the local transport union Federazione Italiana Transport (“FIT”) has praised Costa Cruises for their handling of the crew’s welfare following the COSTA CONCORDIA tragedy. It has been described as “exemplary.” FIT reports that Costa has a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) in place, which provides for compensation payments to deceased crew’s family with a further EUR 60,000 (US $79,000) compensation payment to be made to families of the deceased from the union’s welfare fund.

FIT also reports that Costa is applying the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 and have signed the Social Accountability standard 8000. This means that Costa is reportedly managing the situation in line with its obligations under the CBA and international crew welfare conventions. After the accident, the rescued crew were reportedly placed in hotels with pocket money provided by the company. A consolidated salary, paying crew up to the end of their employment contract, was also paid. Crew will also be paid up to another $3,570 for their personal losses and have been offered post-trauma stress counseling at the cruise line’s expense. The cruise line has also paid for family of the injured crew to visit them in the hospital.

All but approximately 20 of the rescued crew have been repatriated back home. Three crew were found dead, while two more remain missing.

There has been some discussion in the local bar about the potential for crew involved in this tragedy bringing claims against Costa in the United States. Discussion of jurisdiction, choice of law and forum non conveniens defenses aside, reports such as this one should assist Costa in repelling some of the substantive arguments within individual claims of crew which may find themselves choosing to sue here in the United States. [email protected]

Courtesy 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: [email protected]

Dangers Of Pressing Up Ballast Tanks

The UK P&I Club has issued a loss prevention bulletin on the dangers of pressing up ballast tanks. In a recent case, says the bulletin, an entered vessel pressed up its ballast tanks in order to optimize trim and to satisfy mandatory stability criteria. The operation resulted in the unexpected flooding of a cargo hold causing extensive damage to cargo. After the incident it was noted that the high level bilge alarms in the hold were not functioning. (Marine Log, 3/16/2012)Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

100 Per Cent Scanning of Containers in the United States

Stephen L. Caldwell, who is the Director for Maritime Security and Coast Guard Issues in the Homeland Security and Justice Team for the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has sent in a note regarding the GAO’s recent contribution to the issue of Supply Chain Security. Caldwell’s office for some reason has the tendency to produce transport and shipping policy prose which sounds sensible, logical and persuasive. It seems to have found some sort of antidote to the chronic policy dribble syndrome which often afflicts governmental efforts in these fields. Perhaps it is the sobering effect of carefully observing what all these efforts cost the taxpayer.

On 7th February, 2012, GAO testified at a congressional hearing on supply chain security and released its statement… Supply Chain Security: Container Security Programs Have Matured, but Uncertainty Persists over the Future of 100 Percent Scanning –GAO-12-422T, available at the link below.

The hearing was held by the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. 

In its written and oral statements, GAO updated earlier work on efforts to improve information on container shipments, develop technologies to monitor containers and scan their contents, and implement or find alternatives to the 100% scanning requirement for inbound containers. GAO noted that little had changed in the three years since its 2009 report, other than DHS dismantling the 100% scanning pilots in 5 f the 6 original test ports. In the earlier report, GAO recommended that, among other things, DHS (1) complete a cost-benefit analysis, to include non-federal and external costs, (2) conduct a formal feasibility analysis as required in the SAFE Port Act, and (3) based on all of these, provide alternatives to Congress. While DHS partially concurred with these recommendations when they were made, they have not implemented them.

Over the last couple of years, one of the department’s rationale for not implementing the GAO recommendations is that the issue would be resolved with the issuance of the new National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. However, the new 6-page strategy and its accompanying report to Congress does not discuss the 100% scanning requirement, nor provide alternatives. The last of the GAO recommendations, that DHS provide Congress with alternatives, was highlighted in the course of the congressional hearing. Several committee members asked why DHS had not submitted a any formal alternatives or legislative proposals. If DHS had implemented the GAO recommendations earlier, they would be in a stronger position to come up with alternatives and DHS and Congress might be further along in coming to some legislative compromise. Instead, there is still at an impasse as the 100% deadline approaches with DHS intending to provide a blanket extension to all ports. The law requires DHS to report to Congress 60 days before any extension takes effect on the container traffic affected by the extension, the evidence supporting the extension, and measures DHS is taking to ensure that scanning can be implemented as early as possible at the ports covered by the extension. As a result, DHS will need to notify Congress by May 2, 2012, of any extensions it plans to grant.

Courtesy 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: [email protected]

Highway Robbery

Cargo thieves struck five times at rest stops around Memphis in November and December, stealing truckloads of computer game consoles on their way to stores in the run-up to Christmas. “They were theft gangs operating out of Miami and New Jersey, all targeting the same area at separate times over a three-week period,” said Dan Burges, director of intelligence for Freightwatch International, a logistics security service firm. “That implies the thieves had some kind of knowledge of the cargo being shipped and of the security being used. Shipments of high-value cargo such as the game consoles are a tempting target of cargo thieves, because they have a ready market willing to take the goods and because the thieves rarely get caught in the act. “When they do get caught, the penalty is minimal, Burges said. “Probation is very common, or they are often sentenced to time served.” Those sentences are light because cargo theft is perceived as a victimless crime, with no violence. “The more money they make, the less reason there is for them to stop,” Burges said. Although the overall number of cargo thefts increased last year, the average value per theft in the U.S. declined, according to Freightwatch’s “2011 U.S. Cargo Theft Report,” released in January. Cargo thieves focus on targets of opportunity in the regions around the major U.S. gateway ports and around inland rail terminals where imports are shipped via landbridge. The top six states in terms of 2011 cargo theft were California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia and Illinois. Thefts in these states accounted for 75 percent of all recorded incidents. Weekends and holidays are thieves’ favorite time for their nefarious activities. (Journal of Commerce, 2/6/2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Teams Up With Cargonet

The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced a new strategic alliance with CargoNet, a leading source of information on cargo thefts, to combat stolen goods in transit in Tennessee and surrounding states. State troopers will use the CargoNet system to disrupt cargo crime networks, increase recovery rates, and apprehend criminals associated with cargo thefts. “This newly established relationship will strengthen our increased criminal interdiction efforts throughout Tennessee,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “With the information-sharing capabilities of CargoNet, State Troopers can conduct timely investigations, link recovered goods to owners, and remove criminals from interstates.” State Troopers will now have access to investigative support through the 24-hour CargoNet operations center and will receive theft alerts to patrol units. The CargoNet database will also allow Highway Patrol personnel to analyze shifting crime patterns; retrieve real-time theft trends; and access theft reports based on day, time, location, commodity, and many other factors. Members of the THP and other law enforcement agencies will participate in a three-day training program to further enhance their cargo theft interdiction skills. (, 1/30/2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Fishy Narrative

Courtesy of the Browser, Maritime Advocate ran across The Gumbo Chronicles, written by Rowan Jacobsen in Outside Magazine and dated 12th March, 2012. The author’s conceit is to examine the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill by examining the state of the fishing trades around Bayou Lafourche and also the current nature of the catches for shrimp, oyster and crab. As journalism it makes very interesting reading and sheds light on the losses suffered and the compensation paid so far. Contains bad language.

Courtesy Maritime Advocate Online

New Poem Feature, Thanks to Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS

Ted reports he attended a west coast claims association seminar in San Francisco in 1972, where the luncheon speaker was an admiralty attorney, Mr. James A. Quinby, of the law firm Derby, Cook Quinby & Tweedt. Mr. Quinby wrote a collection of maritime poetry called “The Street And The Sea” with 47 poems in it that was published privately.

NAMS News will include a poem per issue, until we run out.


By a primary rule of the modernist school
Terms must be simple and short,
So a helmsman by night steers to left or to right
Instead of to starboard or port.
ur cargo we’ll stack-or should I say “pack”?
In a room at the front of the ship,
And we’ll wash down our floors and fasten the doors
Whenever we start on a trip.

The cracks in the roof must be made waterproof
With a mixture of asphalt and twine,
Are the walls free of holes? Run the rags up the poles,
She is ready to swim in the brine.
Now she rolls and she rears and I ramble upstairs
To my platform on top of the boat,
Where I lean on the fence and give way to a sense
Of well-being-but e’er I can gloat,
She shivers and quakes and a tailspin shakes
Her chassis from nose to propeller
Avast! What the hell? Our floating hotel
Has sprung a leak in the cellar.

By James A. Quinby
The Street And The Sea


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