President’s Corner

First let me wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all. 2012 was a very busy year and 2013 is looking to repeat that. I also trust those affected by Super Storm Sandy are back on their feet, in their homes and have sorted out their individual claims and the like.

2012 in hindsight – NAMSGlobal was extremely busy. We put together the CMWS-Certified Marine Warranty Surveyor designation (IAMWS-CMS) and, with Board approval, moved forward with the subsidiary organization – International Association of Marine Warranty Surveyors. We are in the process of qualifying individuals and writing appropriate tests and procedures. We are working with a dedicated core of well-qualified individuals globally to make this happen and expect up to 800 new members over the next 12 to 24 months.

The Fishing Vessel Program has been completed and we have several folks almost ready to take the exam. We expect a good flow here in 2013.

The Towing Vessel Certification went a long way toward development in 2012 as well. We held several significant meetings with regulators and others affiliated with the program and have gained initial success in sealing a part for NAMSGlobal in this endeavor. We will have additional updates from Ed Shearer in the near future.

Please review the information in this newsletter. They are always very informative and full of great articles. Greg Weeter, Editor, does a great job in keeping this going. Please pay particular attention to the update from the Qualifications and Certification Committee and the importance of Continuing Education, as this is an ongoing part of NAMSGlobal.

That brings us to our next member meeting in San Diego. Be sure to mark your calendars – March 3 to 5, 2013 at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego. The speaker’s list is looking excellent and the spousal plans look like fun. The great thing about a members meeting is the opportunity to see/meet many old and some new friends. This is also my opportunity to see everyone and answer questions about the busy year the Board of Directors and I have had growing this organization.

Keep your sails trimmed taut until then,
Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS

Qualifications & Certifications Committee

Modernization concerning current standards, new regulations, and safety standards throughout the entire Maritime Industry affects all disciplines of marine surveying. NAMSGlobal’s effort to stay up to date continues.

Recently we have completed the modernization of all our tests! No longer will applicants for upgrade to CMS be required to endure 8-10 hours of writer’s cramp while describing an answer to a question, which can be subjectively interpreted by the grader. Now, most of the questions in all our tests (Y&SC, Cargo, FV, H&M-Brown Water, and H&M –Blue Water) are multiple choice, similar to the type written for USCG tests. They are objective with definite correct answers.

If the applicant is familiar with the knowledge to be competent in the discipline he/she is testing in, then the test should take no more than two hours, maximum. These new tests were compiled from questions offered by numerous CMS’ from all disciplines, and much work went into their development by several CMS’. Also, they can now be graded by the NAMSGlobal office, and the results provided in a short time span. In a few months we hope they can be taken online in a secure program. Another group is now working on a new test for the planned new designation of Warranty Surveyor, which should be ready soon, when these new members are welcomed into NAMSGlobal.

On the other side of the coin, life goes on, with people constantly changing their lifestyles, priorities, and activities. What I am referring to are the required Continuing Education Units.

As you all know, in 2010 NAMSGlobal increased the number of CE’s required from six each year to twenty-four over a two year period. This allows a member more flexibility to obtain the required minimum, anytime within two years in case of heavy workload, sickness, accident, etc., during any portion of the two year period. Also it provides an opportunity for a member to attend a one-week training opportunity and acquire all twenty-four CE’s at one time. This is a win/win situation for everyone. Unfortunately, although expected, a small number of members decided it was time to retire, resign, or become “Inactive”, and try to make up the CE’s over the next six months. Some have not responded at all, after receiving several notices from NAMSGlobal Headquarters. As of yet, no CMS’ have requested the “Alternate Recertification” testing process, which must be completed by March 31, 2013.

Please let this serve as a reminder to read the NAMSGlobal Guidelines (download at, get familiar with available training, and other CE avenues available, which may be approved by the Q & S Committee, and train yourself to make time to stay current with your continuing education.

Hope to see you all in San Diego!!!
Dick Frenzel NAMS-CMS
Chair. Q&C Committee

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 in Status, and Committee Assignments

New Applicants
Name Status & Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
David Ballards IAMWS-CMS * W Gulf Steve Weiss
David Blalock, NAMS Associate NAMS-CMS C Atlantic Brian Donnaley
Michael Chan IAMWS-CMS W Gulf Steve Weiss
Joseph Darlak NAMS Apprentice S Pacific States George LeBaron
Briant Happ IAMWS-CMS W Gulf Doug Devoy
Jeffrey A. Johnson NAMS-CMS E Gulf James Johnson
Francis A. Lobo IAMWS-CMS W Gulf Doug Devoy
Sandra Pritle IAMWS-CMS W Gulf Richard Frenzel
Javed Siddiqi NAMS-CMS Int’l Zarir Irani
James C. Vavasour IAMWS-CMS W Gulf Doug Devoy

* IAMWS-CMS is the designation for the new category of marine surveyors in the International Association Of Marine Warranty Surveyors

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.


Captain Norman Franklin Wahl, NAMS-CMS WAHL, CAPTAIN NORMAN FRANKLIN, NAMS-CMS of Osterville, MA, died peacefully at Cape Cod Hospital on December 4, 2012 after a short illness. Graduated from New England Maritime College. A decorated veteran, Norman entered the  US Navy in 1950 serving in the  Korean War. Following service to his country, Norman embarked on an exceptional career in the Maritime Industry. A U.S.C.G. licensed Merchant Marine Officer, Unlimited Tonnage and First Class Pilot for over 40 years, Norm captained Steamship Authority vessels and piloted ships through Narragansett Bay, Cape Cod Canal and local waters. Norman also held leadership positions in many industry associations including the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and the New England Boating Commission. He was a U.S. Naval Institute “Gold Life Member,” Homeland Security, Port Security and Safety Member and US Propeller Club Life Member. Norman had a successful career as an east coast regional manager at American Universal Insurance Co. Norm was also employed at Friedline and Carter Adjustment firm in Hyannis and the admiralty law firm of Connors and Farrell in Chatham. Following his distinguished maritime career, he spent years as an experienced expert witness in admiralty cases and maritime losses. Norm owned and operated Maritime Adjustment LLC for ten years before his retirement.
Julian Hatch, NAMS-CMS, Charter Member & Retired Life Member Julian Hatch passed away at age 84 on October 25, 2012. Mr. Hatch joined NAMS in 1972 and retired 1996.  He attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in the  United States Coast Guard. Julian joined the Merchant Marine in 1943 which later became the United States Coast Guard from which he retired in 1958. Later he was employed by Gorton’s Seafood and retired from there as Vice President.  Julian was a member of the Retired Officers Association, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, the American Boat and Yacht Council, United States Naval Institute, Maine Maritime Museum, and the Down East Yacht Club.

Upcoming Educational Events

AIMU Online Education

There are new additions to AIMU’s online Web Lecture Center, which now offers fourteen webinars. The online Web Lecture Center can be accessed through the AIMU website under the ‘Education’ tab or directly at Additional recordings will be added continually and will particularly benefit those who prefer viewing the lectures at their convenience. The fee for each webinar is $50 (members) and $75 (non-members).

Students now have two options: Attend in the classroom or as a Distance Learning Student. AIMU now offers this option as a means to train the ocean marine industry. You can attend from anywhere in the U.S. We provide you with a link to videoconference into the classroom. Turn on your computer, dial your phone (or turn on your computer speakers) and attend. This includes video and audio capability using Microsoft Live Meeting! You will have the ability to see, hear, and ask questions of the instructor. For a list of classes go to:

Please note a course of instruction (Introduction To Ocean Marine Insurance) beginning 2.4.2013. This course provides up to 30 CE Credits to NAMS members as well as a varying number of credits to other organizations and / or states. For the latest information, please visit

SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College is offering the online courses listed below. All four courses are offered entirely online. Classes: Typical costs for online classes are $800.00 plus class book. Saving travel, lodging, meals and time away from your business practice. The typical 6-week course earns 18 credit hours for continuing education credits.

Upcoming class schedule:

  • Cargo: 03/01/13 to 04/11/13
  • Hull: 04/12/13 to 05/23/13
  • Yacht: 7/15/2013 to 8/26/2013
  • Cargo: 10/4/2013 to 11/15/2013
  • Hull: 11/18/2013 to 12/23/2013

Each of the classes will require at least 20 hours completing and some may take up to 30 depending on the extensiveness of the student. If Members require CEs. I am now able to provide the office with an attendance time on task for each student so that you know the minimum amount of time put in by each student.

To obtain syllabus of the classes contact: Janet Peck, NAMS-CMS, 843.628.4340 or 843.291.2922 or email [email protected]. To enroll in any of these classes you should contact: Margaret Poppiti Administrative Assistant Department of Professional Education & Training SUNY Maritime College 6 Pennyfield Avenue Throggs Neck, NY 10465 (718) 409-7341 [email protected]

MPI Online Education

On-Line modular Marine Incident Investigation course, specifically designed for people who are: personnel responsible for accident prevention such as ship safety officers, company safety officers, designated persons ashore (DPA), Captains and senior ship officers, operational ship managers, engineering and/or marine superintendents. It also applies to safety professionals, incident investigators, marine surveyors, loss prevention managers, risk managers, P&I underwriters and claims managers, solicitors, accountants, flag and port state control inspectors and classification society surveyors. Contact Lou Blackaby at [email protected] or telephone +44 (0) 1252 732220

14 & 15 February 2013, Ft Lauderdale, FL

Knox Marine’s Annual Claims Conference

Knox Marine Consultants is proud to announce that their 20th Annual Yacht Claims Conference will be held at Roscioli Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cost is $490 for the two-day event. Discounts are available for groups of four or more. On line registration is now available at

According to Steve Knox, President of Knox Marine Consultants, this annual program was developed for marine surveyors, insurance adjusters, claims handlers and underwriters, attorneys, repairers, and others who deal in the investigation and adjustment of pleasure boat losses. This is the only national conference devoted exclusively to yacht claims, and is a long established networking event for marine surveyors and insurance professionals.

Visit Knox Marine’s web site for the latest in conference news – The session topics change each year. You may register at the web site. For more information, contact Steve Knox at 804.222.5627 or [email protected]. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) have traditionally awarded 12 CEU’s for the conference.

21 & 22 February, Portland, Oregon

SAMS Pacific Region Conference & Educational Seminar
Oxford Suites Portland – Jantzen Beach
More details at the SAMS Website

22 – 24 February 2013, Morehead City, North Carolina

Marine Cargo Consultants, Inc. will be presenting a draft survey course. Limited to 10 students, the thee-day school of instruction will take the mystery out of the science of accurately determining a vessel’s weight by water displacement. Designed for those who have little or no previous experience performing surveys of this type, the program will be presented by an instructor who is an extremely experienced and practicing draft surveyor in a fun, relaxed and easy to understand format. Adhering to standards established by the United Nations and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and using surveys and publications collected from actual vessels attended by the instructor, attention will be directed toward practical application rather than textbook theory. Throughout the entire course, the student can expect to be challenged with real-life scenarios while acquiring the fundamental skills necessary to properly perform a draft survey. NAMS & SAMS members will be awarded 18 CE credits for successful course completion. For more information, email [email protected] or call 1-800-567-6294 or + 1 202-239-2729 (Outside USA).

3 – 5 March 2013, San Diego, California

The NAMSGlobal 51st National Marine Conference will be held at the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA. 92109. For details go to click on the Events tab.

12-13 March 2013 Montreal, Canada

ACI announces 4th Annual Polar Shipping Summit, Examining Current and Future Needs of Effective Polar Operations. For further information or to register online, click here; or contact, Mohammad Ahsan at [email protected] or telephone at +44 (0) 207 981 2503

ProBoat E-Training

ProBoat E-Training has a variety of web-based courses. If you have suggestions for new offerings, please send us an email. Remember: As well as offering you online training opportunities, ProBoat E-Training also sponsors a weekly podcast and produces a blog full of tips about making better presentations with PowerPoint and other tools for trainers and educators.

Current ProBoat Course List:


Contract Employment Opportunity

Idwal Marine Services Ltd In Search of Surveyor

Dear Sirs, We are a marine survey company based in the UK, we are currently acting for a number of prestigious clients in Europe and Asia – these include financial institutions as well as some exclusive arrangements with a number of well-known and reputable flag-state entities. Due to recent expansion we are looking to recruit the services of an independent, self-employed candidate who will be able to provide inspection/survey and audit support to our organisation. We do not have an office in the USA but would very much like to begin a cooperation with someone on a mutually-beneficial sub-contracted arrangement as we expand our company.

This is not an approach for direct employment but rather an opportunity to open up discussions with regards to a potential cooperation which would see us appoint an individual in the USA (ideally East Coast or southern states) who would be called upon on a “per survey” basis to provide the following services:

  • general vessel inspection work of a technical/operational nature (condition assessments, pre-purchase inspections and so on…)
  • ISM, ISPS & MLC shipboard audits

Ideally someone with existing ISM, ISPS audit experience would be desirable. However for the right candidate we can provide and contribute towards all necessary training. Please also check out our company details.

Idwal Marine Services Ltd (a subsidiary of Graig Shipping PLC).

Thanks in advance, I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards
Nick Owens | MICS
Director, Surveys
Idwal Marine Services Ltd
As Agents Only

1 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4DQ, UK
T: +44 (0)2920 446 644
M: +44 (0)7717 897070
E: [email protected]

Articles Of Interest

Perspectives On Utmost Good Faith

Most applicants for insurance believe they can satisfy their disclosure obligations to their insurer simply by truthfully and accurately answering the questions posed to them on insurance applications. When it comes to marine insurance, however, disclosure requirements are a bit more complex. The little-known doctrine of uberrimae fidei obligates an applicant for marine insurance to disclose all known facts material to the insurer’s calculation on the insured risk – even if such information is not requested on the application for coverage. Because a marine insurer can rely on this doctrine to contest coverage or attempt to void a policy after a loss, it is important for insureds to understand the doctrine and its impact on their disclosure requirements. Uberrimae fidei, which translates to “utmost good faith”, is a vestigial doctrine of insurance law created centuries ago. At the time, this strict doctrine was an economic necessity in insurance transactions because insurers often had no reasonable means of obtaining information about the risks they were insuring. Although the doctrine of uberrimae fidei has been displaced in most insurance contracts, it enjoys continuing vitality in the world of marine insurance. Today’s marine insurers are much better equipped than their predecessors to stay informed and obtain information regarding the risks they insure. Consequently, when applying for or renewing coverage on a marine risk, companies must keep the doctrine in mind and take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the doctrine’s disclosure requirements. Although a company might be concerned that disclosing too much information during the application process will result in increased premiums or a coverage refusal, failure to disclose material facts may give an insurer a basis to contest coverage in the event of a subsequent loss. Therefore, companies should strive to comply with the doctrine of uberrimae fidei and must act with utmost good faith and fair dealing when purchasing coverage for a marine risk. The insured should take several steps to protect its rights and improve its chances of defeating the marine insurer’s attempt to void coverage. Although many modern marine insurance policies cover marine and nonmarine risks, the history and purpose of the doctrine of uberrimae fidei make clear that it should only apply to the marine elements of an insurance policy. For this reason, a number of courts have refused to apply the doctrine’s disclosure requirements to facts bearing on nonmarine risks. However, even if uberrimae fidei does apply, it is important for insureds to provide truthful and thorough responses to questions posed on a policy application, the doctrine of uberrimae fidei only requires disclosure of material facts within the insured’s knowledge prior to the policy’s issuance. Although certain facts may seem material with the benefit of hindsight, an insurer attempting to void a policy bears the burden of establishing materiality as of the time of the insured’s disclosure obligation. Generally, after the insurer discovers a legitimate basis to void a policy, it must promptly notify its insured of its intent to void the policy. If an insurer fails to do so and continues to act as if the policy is still in force, it may have effectively ratified coverage and waived any right to rescind the policy. For this reason, several courts have found the right to rescind has been waived when an insurer accepts additional premiums after learning of a purported nondisclosure or takes other actions inconsistent with an alleged desire to treat the policy as void. By the same token, an insured must be careful not to take any actions that could be misconstrued as a tacit acknowledgement of the insurer’s right to rescind a policy. For instance, because an insurer must return premiums paid for the policy in order to formally void or rescind the policy, an insurer may offer a return of premiums. Insureds are under no obligation to accept an insurer’s offer to return premiums. Indeed, in some jurisdictions, accepting a return of policy premiums – even under protest –can significantly jeopardize an insured’s ability to pursue coverage. Some policies will include contractual limitations provisions that dictate the timeframe in which an insured must initiate litigation against its insurer. In other cases, this timeframe will be set by statute or regulation. (Excerpt from Michael S. Gehrt’s and Shaun H. Crosner’s of the law firm Dickstein Shapiro L.L.P. article in the Business Insurance dated 1/14/2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Marine Insurance Policy Found To Be Void

In the case of State National Insurance Company v. Anzhela Explorer, L.L.C., 2011 WL 3703223 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 23, 2011), the trial court found that based on an insured’s material non-disclosure concerning the Coast Guard’s assessed deficiencies in the water tight bulkhead systems of a 70′ catamaran, there was a breach of the duty of good faith or Uberrimae Fidei such that the policy was void ab initio.

On July 7th, 2006 Rosandich, on behalf of Dorsey, entered into a purchase agreement for a 70’, twin-hull catamaran to be used as a commercial passenger/dive vessel, primarily geared toward servicing the oil and gas industry in Louisiana. The vessel, now named Anzhela Explorer, was formerly certified for commercial use as a small passenger vessel, but its COI for such use expired in 2003, requiring it to obtain a new inspection to engage in its intended commercial use.

An August 22nd, 2006 Coast Guard initial inspection resulted in a “Critical Deficiency Report” listing 34 different deficiencies that had to been remedied before the Coast Guard would issue the COI. In February 2007, Rosandich (again acting for Dorsey) contacted an insurance brokerage, to procure insurance for the vessel. The original plan was to move the vessel from Ft. Lauderdale, up the intra-coastal waterway to Stuart, where the vessel would cross the Okeechobee east-west canal to the gulf coast, stopping at Ft. Myers, Florida for repairs to the propeller.

The vessel departed on March 24, 2007 on its intended voyage and course; however, upon reaching the eastern lock (St. Lucie), the Captain was informed that there was not sufficient water in the passage on the other side of the state for the vessel to proceed based on its draft. Despite Rosandich’s testifying that he ordered the vessel to return to Ft. Lauderdale the same way it had departed, the Captain ordered the vessel to proceed through Jupiter Inlet, known to be shallow and difficult to pass, and into the open Atlantic, where winds were in the 15-20 knot range and seas up to six feet. The crew denied any groundings occurring in the passage through Jupiter Inlet, although the court would later speculate that groundings likely did occur.

At approximately 4:30 am on March 25th, the engineer again woke the crew to alert them that the vessel was listing hard to starboard. Deciding it was too dangerous to try and pump out the vessel, the crew made the decision to abandon ship. The Captain called Rosandich and requested that he alert the Coast Guard.

Despite the many competing and concurrent causes which ultimately led the vessel to sink, the court came to the conclusion that the negligence of the crew in responding to the emergency situations on board was the proximate cause of the vessel’s sinking. This was based in part on the crew’s ability to initially de-water the starboard hull with the equipment on board in the first instance of trouble. This demonstrated to the court that the existence of penetrations in the watertight bulkhead system did not serve as the proximate cause of the vessel’s sinking. Had the crew remained vigilant and awake (the court suggested that the engineer likely fell asleep), the evidence indicated they could have continued to de-water the vessel. The trial court ultimately held that State National was entitled to reimbursement of costs in the amount of $613,421.50 advanced on behalf of Anzhela. (Excerpts from newsletter from the MLA Committee on Marine Insurance and General Average) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Sandy $650M Boat Bill ‘Worst on Record

Major US recreational boating consumer group the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has issued a $650mn estimate for total damage to pleasure boats due to Hurricane Sandy. The organization, which has over 500,000 members, estimated that over 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy. After the 2005 storm season damage from hurricanes Wilma and Katrina was estimated at over $700mn combined, but at $650mn BoatUS said that Sandy was the largest single industry loss since it began keeping records in 1966. BoatUS estimated that over 32,000 boats were damaged in New York, followed by New Jersey’s 25,000 and Connecticut’s 2,500, with a further 6,000 spread between various other states. The association estimated that the damage to pleasure craft in New York was $324mn, $242mn in New Jersey and $23mn in Connecticut. BoatUS reported that many boating facilities, especially those on New Jersey’s coast, Staten Island and western Long Island, sustained significant damage to infrastructure such as docks, workshops, clubhouses and equipment, which it said would likely have an impact on the 2013 boating season. (Insurance Insider, 11/22/12) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Sandy Aftermath

More than 65,000 recreational boats were destroyed or damaged in the storm, says BoatUS spokesman Scott Croft, with total losses in the area of $650 million. That figure eclipses the previous record of $500 million in boat losses from Hurricane Irene in 2011. Sandy caused more damage than Andrew, Katrina, Fran – “you name it,” Sea Tow founder and CEO Joe Frohnhoefer says. Twelve Sea Tow franchise areas that cover 560 miles of coastline were affected. “I have seen all the hurricanes going back to Hurricane Carol, which was in the ’50s,” he says. “It’s much wider spread, and a lot more boats have been damaged or destroyed. The wind damage was bad, but the water damage was 10 times worse.” Boaters did a good job of preparing for Sandy, but their efforts in many cases were to no avail. People took the precautions of having their boats hauled and put ashore on blocks, on cradles or jack stands. Unfortunately, their marina was not very high above sea level, and when the surge came in, the water just took those boats and deposited them in a big pile in the parking lot. Many marina owners were requesting that boat owners stay away from the marinas because of safety concerns, such as spilled fuel. Marina operators and salvagers have corralled and blocked hundreds of boats, but those that ended up in piles have challenged salvagers. It’s slow going for customers, compared to other storms, because the priorities are damaged homes and infrastructure, not boats, and that’s understandable. The salvage and surveying of boats could carry on well into December and the new year. (, January 2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Maritime Workers Applaud Congressional Passage, Presidential Signature of Coast Guard Bill

ARLINGTON, VA – On behalf of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and its 350 member companies, AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti thanked bipartisan leaders in Congress for passing and President Obama for signing the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act into law late last month.

The bill contained several AWO-supported provisions, including legislation that simplifies the process for mariners and other transportation workers to apply for and activate their Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). The TWIC language streamlines the current cumbersome, bureaucratic regulatory process under which workers must make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to pick up and then activate their TWIC card.

“We are very grateful that Congress took this positive, bipartisan action and that the President acted quickly to sign this legislation into law,” said Tom Allegretti, AWO’s President & CEO. “This is a very important measure that removes a significant roadblock in the TWIC application and renewal process. It will help reduce the unnecessary red tape nearly two million Americans face in obtaining TWIC cards, saving workers both time and money.”

Mr. Allegretti noted that the Coast Guard Maritime and Transportation Act contained other AWO-supported provisions which were also signed into law, including:

  • A provision that adds transparency to the Jones Act waiver process;
  • Language that gives the U.S. Coast Guard authority to extend the duration of mariner medical certificates; and
  • An extension of the NPDES moratorium for fishing vessels and vessels under 79 feet until December 2014.

The bill also provides for studies on the use of container-on-barge transportation in the short sea trade and training needs of the maritime workforce as well as an evaluation of the Coast Guard’s merchant mariner medical evaluation program.

“Even though 2012 was marked by a high level of partisan gridlock, Congress and the Administration worked together to pass meaningful reforms to the TWIC process and enact this critical bill,” Allegretti continued. “As we move ahead in 2013, we look forward to working with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure effective implementation of the TWIC provision.”

Press Contact Ann McCulloch, (703) 373-2252 [email protected]

AWO Press Release: Presidential Signature of Coast Guard Bill
By Tava Foret on Jan 04, 2013 08:32 am
AWO-Press Release – January 4, 2012

Courtesy The ACTion Group Companies

USCG – Seagoing Barges

The US Coast Guard proposes to revise several vessel inspection and certification regulations to align them with the statutory definition of “seagoing barge” and with an exemption from inspection and certification requirements for certain seagoing barges. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 11 March. 78 Fed. Reg. 2147 (January 9, 2013).Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Court – Floating House May Not Be A Vessel

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, in this instance, a floating house is not a vessel for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction. Petitioner had moored his floating home at a marina owned by the City of Riviera Beach, Florida. After various disputes between the home owner and the city, the city brought an in rem action in federal court seeking a lien on the “vessel”. The district court and the appellate court agreed that the floating home was a vessel because it was potentially capable of movement and transportation over the water (having been towed in the past to various locations). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the definition of “transportation” must be applied in a practical way. A structure does not fall within the scope of the statutory phrase unless a reasonable observer, looking at the house’s physical characteristics and activities, would consider it designed to a practical degree for carrying people or things over water. Two justices dissented, arguing that the case should be remanded in order to more fully develop the record regarding the reasonable intent of the owner. Lozman v Riviera Beach, No. 11-626 (U.S., January 15, 2013). Note: This decision will, at least for a time, open the floodgates to litigation involving jurisdiction over specialized floating structures. Perhaps the lower courts here should have been afforded an opportunity to provide more detail regarding significant factors rather than leaving future litigants and courts to envisage tea leaves. Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

New Flag

The Pacific island nation of Palau has launched the world’s newest ship registry. At a ceremony in Singapore last month the Palau International Ship Registry accepted its first two vessels, the Singapore-owned cruise/passenger vessels Amusement World (12,764gt) and Leisure World (15,653gt). Based in the US city of Houston, the flag claims to be ‘an open registry that is fully committed to quality and the principle of protecting life at sea’, with Palau being one of the first 30 countries to have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession from various publications and contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles are welcomed. Contact [email protected]

IMO – Lifeboat On-Load Release Mechanisms

The IMO issued a news release stating that a new paragraph 5 to SOLAS regulation III/1 entered into force on 1 January 2013. This provision requires lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements to be replaced no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019. (1/2/13). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

USCG and NTSB Join Costa Concordia Investigation

The U.S. Coast Guard, joined by the National Transportation Safety Board, will be part of the Italian-led marine casualty investigation into the January 2012 grounding and partial sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. (Marine Log, 11/16/12). Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Final Appeal on Tour Boat Capsizing in 2005 in New York

For those interested, the below link is to an article discussing the outcome of the appeals in the Ethan Allen capsizing in 2005 (a 40 foot tour boat).

Courtesy boatpokers and Capt. David Rifkin (USN, Ret.)

UK – Yacht Skipper Fined

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the skipper of a racing yacht was fined £9,381, plus costs of £4,125 for intentionally travelling the wrong way in traffic separation schemes (TSSs) off the UK coast. When called on the radio about his actions, he stated that he was trying to break the record for sailing around the UK and Ireland and would not alter course. (12/6/12). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Court – Vessel Liable In rem For Cargo Damage

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a vessel is liable in rem under maritime common law for damage to cargo. Through a series of time charters, voyage charters, and sub-charters, the vessel was contracted to transport plaintiff’s cargo from China to the United States. The cargo was damaged en route due to improper stowage. MAN Ferrostaal v. M/V Akili, No. 11-0486-cv(L) (2nd Cir., December 6, 2012). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Crews Arrested After Collision

Concerns have been raised after six crew members were arrested following a collision between two ferries in Hong Kong waters in which 38 people died. Officials said the seafarers, who came from both of the vessels involved in the incident, were being questioned in connection with endangering people’s lives at sea. Hong Kong’s Marine Department launched an inquiry into the collision, which took place off Lamma Island, but blamed the accident on human error, stating that it had occurred in relatively low traffic density and in good weather and visibility conditions.

International Transport Workers’ Federation seafarers’ section secretary John Whitlow expressed concern over the arrests. ‘It is deeply regrettable that crew members from both vessels have been arrested,’ he added. ‘The priority should be to quickly discover what has gone wrong and stop it happening again, not to risk terrifying crews into silence.’

Captain TT Chung, general secretary of the Merchant Navy Officers’ Guild of Hong Kong, commented: ‘This accident has been a dreadful reminder of all that we strive to prevent. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. We hope that the lessons to be learned will be learned in a reasoned way, and will not be clouded by any reflexive search for someone to blame.’ Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession from various publications and contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles are welcomed. Contact [email protected]

Flags Accused Over Container Safety

Seafarers’ representatives have slammed Panama and Cyprus for seeking to hold up safety proposals to require the weighing of containers before loading.

In response to a series of accidents involving container losses and stack collapses, the International Maritime Organisation last month considered plans for the mandatory weighing of loaded containers.

But Panama and Cyprus both called for the proposals to be deferred to allow further consideration to take place, arguing that more work was needed to examine ways in which weights would be verified and for regulations to be developed in line with guidance, and that masters should be given the authority to refuse to load any containers of suspect weight.

The two flag states were criticised by the International Transport Workers’ Federation for attempting to delay progress on the proposals. ITF president Paddy Crumlin said their actions had reinforced the view that ‘neither Panama nor Cyprus are operating at a quality level’.

Speaking at the IMO meeting on behalf of the International Federation of Ship Masters’ Associations, Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson said the arguments being put forward by the flag states beggared belief. ‘The master has no idea of the contents and/or the weight of the containers,’ he pointed out. ‘The manifest is a work of art, not a statement of fact.’

A working group has been established by the IMO, the International Labour Organisation and the UN Economic Commission for Europe which developed the proposed safety code for shipping, road and rail transport of containers. here appear to be five key issues of concern:

  • accuracy of information about weight,
  • accuracy of information on dangerous goods,
  • the quality of stowing,
  • stuffing and packing, securing onboard,
  • and fumigation.

The meeting of the IMO subcommittee on dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers agreed on a proposal to amend SOLAS with a view to introducing mandatory weighing of all loaded containers, with their weight being established either by weighing the entire loaded container or by weighing the individual units loaded into the container, any securing gear, etc, and subsequently adding the net weight of the container. Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession from various publications and contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles are welcomed. Contact [email protected]

Alternative Path For Container Weight Measures

The European Shippers Council is calling for an “alternative path” to deal with concerns of overweight containers. European shippers insist that a mandatory deadline for the delivery of the final shipping instructions by the shipper to the carrier’s office will largely solve the issue of ‘misdeclared container weight’. The present lack of a clear deadline for shippers to share their shipping instructions leads to unexpected container roll-overs and unreliable stowing and loading plans for container ships. In particular the latter problem can cause difficulties for a ship’s master when determining whether or not the safety limits of the ship have been exceeded. (American Shipper, 12/29/12) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

‘Exceptional’ Elizabeth Is UK Cadet Of The Year

A girl who was told by a teacher that she was wasting her time thinking about a career at sea has won this year’s UK Trainee Officer of the Year award. Elizabeth Dykes decided when she was just 10 years old that she wanted to become a ship’s officer and her dedication and commitment was rewarded last month when she was presented with the award by Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) chief executive Sir Alan Massey.

‘I went on a cruise with my parents when I was 10 and talked to one of the officers. This convinced me that I wanted a job at sea,’ she said. after completing her studies at Fleetwood Nautical Campus, Elizabeth is now serving as a third officer with James Fisher & Sons, working onboard the 12,984dwt chemical/products tanker Clyde Fisher.

Presenting the award, Sir Alan paid tribute to Elizabeth’s ‘exceptional dedication, positive outlook and outstanding attitude’ during training. He described her as ‘a one-off individual with an incredible personality’ and had been voted as student of the year out of more than 21,000 students at Blackpool & The Fylde college. ‘She is a natural leader who brings groups of people together to work collaboratively and as a team to achieve their objectives,’ he added.
Besides speaking at the Union’s General Meeting in Rotterdam last year, Elizabeth has also been active in various forums for women and young members.

Elizabeth said she had no regrets in rejecting her teacher’s advice to go to university rather than to sea, and she is now planning to go on to obtain her mate’s and master’s certificates.

‘I like the way you do a couple of months of solid work and then get some clear time at home, and I like the way you get to see different places and meet different people,’ she added.

Elizabeth said she was surprised to learn she had won the award, which includes a framed certificate and a cheque for £1,500. ‘I got a phone call from the college asking me to come in and I thought I was in trouble!’ she recalled. ‘They showed me the nomination form and then said they were glad I thought it was OK, as I had won the award.’ Courtesy FLASHLIGHT

P&I Club Calls For Action To Reduce Risks Of ‘Out Of Control’ Ships In Ports And Confined Waters

Marine insurers have voiced alarm at a spate of shipping accidents involving the sudden loss of power.

They fear there is evidence to show the problem may be linked to new ‘green’ regulations requiring ships to switch to low-sulphur fuel before entering emission control areas.

An analysis published by the UK P&I Club last month reveals that main engine failures or electrical blackouts now amount to 7% of its third party property damage claims.

‘Many were enormously expensive and in some cases amounted to millions of dollars,’ it states. ‘Ships effectively out of control as a result of these problems have caused extensive damage to berths, locks, bridges, navigational marks, loading arms, cranes and gantries as well as moored ships. Costly collision and grounding claims can similarly be caused by these failures.’

The club’s new Risk Focus bulletin points out that main engine failures and blackouts tend to occur most regularly at the stage in a voyage where the ship is at its most vulnerable.

‘In confined waters or entering and leaving port, the stable loads, which will generally prevail with the ship on passage, are disturbed,’ it notes. ‘There is additionally some evidence that compliance with the low sulphur fuel regulations and changing from one grade of fuel to another may have exacerbated these problems.’

Reports from pilots operating in emission control areas where fuel grade changes have been implemented indicate that these problems have become quite widespread, the club adds. The US Coast Guard has also highlighted propulsion problems linked to the use of marine distillate fuels. The club also suggests that the rise in property claims may be a by-product of the increased ‘selfsufficiency’ of modern vessels, with ‘lateral thrusters tending to persuade operators to minimise their dependence upon tug assistance in port waters’.

As part of the analysis, UK Club surveyors questioned almost 250 seafarers about their experiences of blackouts, main engine failures and fuel switching problems. In response to the findings, it is calling for better communication between deck and engineer officers, pointing out that many chief engineers were concerned about the effect of starting bow thrusters and deck machinery which can sometimes cause circuit breakers to trip and lead to blackouts.

Engineers also need to warn the bridge of depleted air bottles, the club adds, as excessive numbers of engine starts/stops during maneuvering will deplete pressure in the main engine start tanks which can result in loss of control of the vessel at critical times.

A shortage of fuel supply to the generating engines accounted for 16% of reported blackouts, with a high proportion of these attributed to blocked fuel filters. ‘Engineers need to be more thorough when cleaning filters and be aware that if a vessel changes over from higher sulphur fuel (HFO), when marine gas oil is introduced into the system it may act like a solvent, releasing any asphaltenes which then collect in the fuel filters/ strainers and clog them,’ the bulletin adds. Courtesy FLASHLIGHT

Useful Links

Professional Mariner Magazine reported in their November 8 regarding possible delay in issuance of Subchapter M as the US Coast Guard looks deeper into fires aboard towing vessels.

New Blog(s)

Towboatlaw focuses on admiralty & maritime law as it is applied by judges and lawyers on the rivers and other inland waterways of the United States. The bloggers, noted attorneys at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, endeavor to highlight legal and other issues that may interest the men and women, and their families, who work in one of the most important, yet dangerous, occupations in this country. Recent articles touch on subjects such as “unseaworthy” condition aboard a vessel and state’s inspectors certifying safe passenger capacity on a passenger vessel.

Some Humor

When the Jones family moved into their new house, a visiting relative asked five-year-old Sammy how he liked the new place. “It’s terrific,” he said. “I have my own room, Mike has his own room, and Jamie has her own room. But poor mom is still in with dad.”

[Source: Paul Dixon]:


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