President’s Corner

Well now time for a deep breath and relax into the fall. I am writing this immediately post the NAMSGlobal Board Meeting on Sunday, September 16, 2012. The board meeting was a great success and those that could stay for the Houston Marine Insurance Seminar saw a slightly different side of the industry. We had 12 members of the board present either telephonically or physically at my office. We also had two proxies. Thanks to those who were present. Additionally five members came in from as far as Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia.

The months leading up to the Board Meeting have been very busy. Thanks to all the support from the board and the group as a whole. We are as an organization moving forward rapidly bringing NAMSGlobal into a new era. We have many projects ongoing including the new CMS avenues, updating the testing procedures, marketing and recruitment. Here is a brief recap of the meeting:

  1. The national and regional officer reports were made, the minutes and budgets approved and each committee chair present presented their reports. One item to note is that many regions have ongoing training and meetings planned. Please get these to the national office so they can be published as soon as possible into the NAMSGlobal E-News. I have a personal goal to visit as many of the regions as possible during my tenure and would appreciate advance notice so I can make plans.
  2. The Strategic Plan was approved and is available from the Global office if you would like a copy to review. The Board meeting covered some of the hottest issues and has started us on the path of completion of the goals of the strategic plan. Please stay tuned as we progress.
  3. After careful review by the board and multiple discussions with a variety of surveyors at the conferences, the board has adopted revised standards for the numbers of surveys necessary for becoming a New Member. There is a summary of this in a following article in this publication.
  4. We have two new avenues for CMS.
    • The first is the Fishing Vessel option. We have a test ready to go and expect to have this in place in the next few months. This will allow a surveyor to test directly as a fishing vessel specialist. We look forward to our new members in this area. This is critical as the new USCG rules go into effect in October.
    • The second new certification is the Marine Warranty Surveyor certification. We are working with the major purveyors of MWS globally to certify them based on their pursuit of higher standards and the needs of the London Insurance market with whom they work extensively. Final details will be provided in the next several months.
  5. We have also had some very positive developments and marketing efforts focused on the upcoming subchapter “M” towing vessel certifications and expect to move positively on that certification in the upcoming months.
  6. On a very positive note, we had more new CMS members than retirees. This is our goal for my tenure, build the group and expand our scope and focus.

We look forward to seeing you all in San Diego in March for the NAMSGlobal National Conference. Have just left there, you are in for a treat. Keep your sails trimmed taut until then,

Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS

Sponsorship and Applicant Requirement Changes Summary

The Board of Directors has voted to drop the strict requirement for the number of surveys prior to qualification as a NAMSGlobal Surveyor. The Board agreed that the subjective number did not in any means show the quality or lack thereof of the surveyor. The feeling was that the ethical makeup, time in service and the background of the applicant were more important than a set number of surveys.

This now squarely places the responsibility for a thorough review and vetting where it should be, that is upon the sponsor and the regional screening committees. In the board’s discussion, we agreed that the review of the paper trail showing growth and continued interest in training was much more important than 350 or whatever of the same type survey. My own personal example is that 150 of my initial 350 surveys were a very simple barge draft survey taking less than 3 hours total and the report was 1 page of numbers. This is not a true representation of what I was as a surveyor, then or now.

The Sponsor and the Regional Screening Committee need to review at least 20 surveys over the past 5 years for quality and development of the Surveyor. Emphasis will be placed on the review of the record of the surveyor with all relevant and timely information. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Reports – the quality and the growth in quality over years in practice is key
  2. Surveyor Development (i.e., Continuing educational development)
  3. References – should be interviewed and reviewed for quality of the applicant reference
  4. Ethical/Business Standards
  5. Sponsor needs to vet the candidate to identify and work on weaknesses
  6. The related experience background of the surveyor applicant should be reviewed fairly and reviewed in depth with more credit for an inspection in the field type background than otherwise.
  7. The previously awarded 35 points for 350 surveys will be now based on the quality of the reports. The screening committees may also award a higher number of points for the surveyor’s background and experience.

We are currently updating the application for NAMSGlobal membership. This will be ready within the next thirty days. We will still have the apprentice and associate programs for those not yet ready for the CMS designation. These two will not be numbers-driven but carefully reviewed for quality of the applicant. The result of this will be an increase in qualified applicants who will bring a positive and proactive group of new members.

It is expected that the sponsor will take a great interest in the development of the applicants as this is the first line in the maintaining of the quality of the group. All screening committees will be reviewing the record and interviewing the candidate to be able then to personally recommend the applicant.

Now we realize that this is a change from current practice, but the Qualifications and Certification committee, the board and executive committee stand ready to advise on this. Additionally, we will provide all hands training in March.

Please call or email with questions and/or comments.

Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS, President

NAMS Booth at IBEX

From left: Mike Schiehl, NAMS-CMS, Orange Beach, AL; Derek Rhymes, NAMS-CMS, Annapolis, MD; & Greg Weeter, NAMS-CMS, Louisville, KY

NAMS Applicants & New Members

New Applicants
Name Status / Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
Trevor G. Salmon Associate / Y&SC W Canada Tim McGivney, Ian Hopkinson & Chris Small

New Members Elected 9.16.2012

Certified Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
Cory Hargis Cargo W Gulf Steve Hale
Sirish Kasarabada Cargo C Atlantic William Tye
Jeffery L. Lewis H&M W Rivers James Pritchard
William R. Potter Y&SC S Atlantic A. William Gross
Richard Singley, Upgrade from Associate H&M E Gulf Childs E. Dunbar


Certified Members
Name Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
Casey Herschler H&M W Rivers James Pritchard
Christopher LaBure H&M E Gulf Chris LaBure

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).

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.

Class schedule for 2012
Cargo: 11/01/12 to 12/12/12
Yacht: 1/18/13 to 02/28/13
Cargo: 03/01/13 to 04/11/13 HULL: 04/12/13 to 05/23/13

To obtain syllabus of the classes contact: Janet Peck [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]

10 – 13 October 2012, Baltimore, Maryland

SAMS 2012 Annual Conference and Educational Training Symposia.

Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor, 300 Light Street. For details, go to For further information call the SAMS Office Manager, Rhea Shea, at 800-344-9077 or Email [email protected].

17 October 2012, Bronx, New York

Towing Forum to be held at SUNY Maritime on the subject of the ‘TSMS Transition Program‘. Paul Gallagher (Germanischer Lloyd) and Pat Falon (TBS) will also be in attendance to assist with this presentation. The topics we will be discussing are as follows:

Sub-Chapter M Overview
Pre-TSMS Assessments
TSMS Plan Writing & Plan Modification
Sub-M Recordkeeping and CORSAIR TVR
Initial TSMS Office & Vessel Regulatory Certification
Post TSMS Regulatory Certification Company-wide Implementation
Ongoing TSMS Regulatory Audits & Surveys
TSMS Annual Internal Audits
Sub-Chapter M Management & Fleet Training

Courtesy Rocky Marchiano, Maritime Compliance
Baker, Lyman & Co., Inc.
5250 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006

25 – 26 October 2012 Lincoln, Rhode Island.

NAMSGlobal Northeast Region Meeting. For details go to click on the Events tab. Or call Neil C. Rosen NAMS CMS, NE RVP Email address [email protected]

5-6 November 2012, Dubai, UAI

Unique two-day course based on the bestselling book Report Writing for Marine Surveyors by Mike Wall. The course is aimed at all marine surveyors – new and fully-experienced alike – and provides the essential tools, tips and skills for them to prepare, write and present clear, precise, consistent and useful reports for their clients.

The course addresses every point in a logical and understandable manner and provides excellent examples on why certain types of reports work and others don’t. Even the most experienced, knowledgeable and well-trained marine surveyor needs to be able to express his findings in a well-structured, easily-read and properly presented report in order to maximize the impact of his work. This course provides the right tools to do just that.

The event will take place at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE

26 November 2012, London, England

Cadwallader Symposium–From Titanic to Concordia: The Achilles Heel of Passenger Ships

Gerard Mathews writes: Passenger ship safety will be the focus for the London Shipping Law Centre’s Cadwallader Symposium/Dinner at London’s Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate on Monday, Dr. Stephen Payne OBE, Past President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, and Rear Admiral John Lang DL, former UK Chief Inspector at the Marine Accidents Investigation Board, will address the theme ‘From Titanic to Concordia: The Achilles Heel of Passenger Ships.’ They will cover lessons learned on the safety front, developments and problems which need to be tackled. Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, the Centre’s Vice President, will chair the session and invite questions from guests. It will be the twelfth Cadwallader and the first to combine drinks, dinner and discussion.

The proceedings will begin with a champagne reception in the Garden Room, followed by discussion and dinner in the Main Hall. Registration forms for individual and corporate tickets can be downloaded from our website. A range of sponsorship packages are available. For further information, reserving places and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Centre. Tel. +44 (0) 20 7063 9737 or email to [email protected]. Website

5 – 7 December 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana

The International WorkBoat Show. For details, go to The International Workboat Show.

30 January – 1 February 2013, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

International Marina & Boatyard Conference

IMBC is the only conference specifically geared toward marina and boatyard owners, operators, and managers as well as dock masters, harbormasters, boat builders and repairers, and industry consultants. It is where dedicated marine professionals gather to exchange information, talk about the future of the industry, explore new methods and techniques, receive updates on revised standards and established rules, and discover new products. The conference is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI). For details phone (401) 682-7334. Or email [email protected]

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.

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

NAMSGlobal 51st National Marine Conference

Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA. 92109. For details go to click on the Events tab.


Articles Of Interest

Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs Press Release

Miami Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Obstruction of Justice and False Statements for Certifying Ships Safe for Sea

WASHINGTON – A Miami-based ship surveyor was sentenced today for lying to the Coast Guard and for falsely certifying that inspections had been performed on two ships, which were designed to ensure that the ships were seaworthy and did not pose a threat to the crew or the marine environment, announced Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice, Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, 7th Coast Guard District Commander, and Jonathan Sall, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent in Charge.

Alejandro Gonzalez, 60, of Miami-Dade County, Fla., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to 21 months in prison.

On May 24, 2012, a federal jury found Gonzalez guilty of lying to a Coast Guard inspector and a federal agent about the drydocking of the M/V Cala Galdana, a 68-meter cargo vessel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in April 2009 and December 2009.

Coast Guard inspectors in San Juan discovered the vessel taking on water in August of 2008 and requested the last drydocking of the vessel. Gonzalez concocted a false story about the vessel being drydocked in Colombia in 2006 when he knew it was not. Gonzalez repeatedly claimed the vessel had been drydocked in Cartegena, Colombia, in March of 2006, while evidence at the trial proved conclusively that the vessel was never in Colombia during 2006.

Gonzalez was also convicted of falsifying documents for the M/V Cosette, a 92-meter cargo vessel. As the surveyor on behalf of Bolivia, Gonzalez certified the ship as safe for sea while the vessel was docked in Fort Pierce, Fla., in November 2009. When the vessel shortly thereafter arrived in New York City harbor, Coast Guard inspectors discovered exhaust and fuel pouring into the engine room, endangering the crew and the ship. For his action, Gonzalez was convicted of making a false statement and obstructing a Coast Guard Port State Control examination.

“Mr. Gonzalez is being held accountable today for making false statements and certifications to Coast Guard inspectors whose job it is to ensure the safety of ships at sea,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “Ship surveyors serve a crucial public safety role, and when they abdicate their responsibility they put mariners in danger and our nation’s waters at risk of contamination. Mr. Gonzalez’s prosecution should send a message that we will not tolerate this type of egregious behavior.”

“Surveyors are responsible for the safety of the ships they inspect. When they fail to do their jobs properly, lives are put at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “Today’s sentence should remind those few surveyors who need reminding of the great responsibility that they carry and the consequences of their actions.”

The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Raich and Trial Attorney Kenneth Nelson, of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Incipient Impairment

Chris Hewer has sent in the following story: Accountant and shipping industry adviser Moore Stephens says it expects to see an increase in the sort of pressure recently exerted on shipping companies by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make disclosure when the market value of their vessels is less than their carrying value.

The pressure for this type of disclosure, often referred to as ‘incipient impairment’, has been reflected in the 2011 filings of many SEC registrants. Moore Stephens partner David Chopping says, “The SEC has seen impairment charges in the accounts of a number of shipping companies in the last few years. But it has apparently not seen quite as many as it might have been expecting. It is easy to understand why the SEC, and others, might consider disclosure of market value to be useful information and want to see it more widely disseminated. It is more objective than valuations based on management estimates, it is more comparable across companies, and it sets benchmarks against which companies’ own policies can be assessed. Indeed, for some parties, the information might seem far more important than valuations based on projected future income streams.

“At the same time, it is equally easy to visualise objections to such disclosure. Values are to be determined on an unfixed basis, so are arguably of only limited relevance where vessels are fixed for fairly long periods with high-quality charterers. Similarly, while values may look comparable, if the fixture position differs significantly, then such comparability might be considered spurious. And even if a vessel is operating in the spot market, or a fixture is going to be ending shortly, whilst other objections might be less compelling, there are still concerns about the volatility of market values. How relevant is a valuation at a point of time in a volatile market where an asset might have many years still to operate?

“Nonetheless, it seems very unlikely that the SEC will change its mind and decide that such disclosure is not useful. It is far more likely that other bodies, and indeed investors, will start expecting to see such information. This can happen without any need for changes in the rules, and indeed the SEC has not explicitly changed the disclosure requirements. It seems to have relied more on the ‘Al Capone’ approach of a kind word; everyone already knows it has a gun!”
[email protected]

Tall Ship Tale

Felix Pak writes: I was happy to read the article on Tall Ship Sailing by Peter Cardy in Bow Wave Issue 644. It brought back many memories of my involvement in a tall ship operation back in the 1980s.
It was an exciting moment when I brought in to Hong Kong the 175 ft “Osprey,” a handsome Barquentine built in Sweden in the 1930s. The ship went through a USD 2 million renovation in Miami and Yokosuka respectively before arriving in HK in early 1980.

She was an eye catching sight in Repulse Bay, her usual anchorage. During her two and a half years stay in HK I made every effort to keep the ship alive by spending hundreds of thousands of my own money and striving endlessly to recruit tall ship sailors to work onboard. The ship was very popular with the expats in HK who liked going out and sailing around the South China Sea.

To cut the story short, Typhoon Ellen, without mercy sank the ship with all hands on board except one. Later, I found myself the focus of a maritime court hearing which lasted over 20 days in the High Court. At the end of the day the findings were: The Captain was to blame for loss of the ship and the Marine Department was also responsible for the loss of life having ignored three EPIRB
signals reported by the pilots of Cathay Pacific minutes after the typhoon passed HK. I was free from blame but broke. The insurers, Pioneer in Manila refused to pay for the loss of the vessel. The crew insurance declined to pay. That is how I learned how marine insurers sometimes decline to
pay and how high were the fees charged by maritime lawyers. Despite all the hardships of the disaster I engaged China Salvage help me to find the wreck. The divers report said the ship was intact and sitting upright at the bottom on the sea bed, 70 miles south west of of HK which is now a good spot for diving and fishing. Although the tragedy took place 30 years ago I still dream of the 
ship, the people and all the fun we had onboard while she was afloat. [email protected].

Courtesy Bow Wave

Securing The Global Supply Chain

In January 2011, U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano publicly identified the security of the global chain as a focal point for the department. The resulting Secure Supply Chain Initiative is aimed at making transport systems and pathways – air, land, and sea – more secure, efficient, and resilient. The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act) added a number of provisions to the nation’s existing port security programs, some of which were focused on containerized cargo. The focus is understandable; according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), DHS’s lead agency for cargo security, about 90 percent of the world’s cargo is transported in containers, and almost half of value of incoming U.S. trade is comprised of the containers – nearly 7 million a year – that are offloaded at U.S. seaports. Because of the logistical impossibility of physically scanning, with imaging and radiation-detection equipment, every single U.S.-bound cargo container, Customs and Security Programs (CSP) has adopted a layered, risk-based approach in its Container Security Initiatives (CSI) that continues to mature as the agency works to comply with the SAFE Port Act’s mandate to eventually scan 100 percent of inbound containers. CSI officers work with their counterparts in hosting foreign governments to conduct reviews of shipping manifests and target high-risk cargo. Because it’s targeted program, CSI is in operation at 58 ports, covering about 80 percent of the maritime imports to the United States. (Coast Guard Outlook 2012, Summer Edition) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

USCG – Uninspected Towing Vessels Guidebook

The US Coast Guard posted the latest version of its 103-page Requirements for Uninspected Towing Vessels (better known as the UTV Guidebook). It has been developed to assist UTV owners and operators and Coast Guard marine inspectors, examiners, and boarding teams during dockside examinations and underway boardings, and to prepare for those examinations. (July 2012). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

USCG – UTV Examiner courses for FY 2013

The US Coast Guard has updated its list of Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) Examiner course dates and locations with information regarding courses for FY 2013. (9/7/12). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

U.S. Coast Guard Ships

It looks like the ships being used by the Coast Guard are a bit-well-prone to breakdown. Stephen L. Caldwell, the Director of Maritime Security and Coast Guard Issues for the Homeland Security and Justice Team of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) writes: – The GAO has released its report: Coast Guard: Legacy Vessels’ Declining Conditions Reinforce Need for More Realistic Operational Targets. GAO looked at the condition, costs, and performance of the Coast Guard’s legacy fleet – focusing on high endurance cutters, medium endurance cutters, and patrol boats For the present and many years into the future, these vessels are responsible for conducting a wide range of Coast Guard missions such as port security, migrant interdiction, search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement, environmental response, and defense operations. These missions occur around the United States and around the world, from the Alaskan Arctic and Bering Sea to the Caribbean Sea, and from the Western Pacific to the Coast of Somalia and Persian Gulf. Due to management problems with the Coast Guard’s “Deepwater” acquisition program, these replacement vessels’ costs have risen by billions of dollars and delivery schedules have slipped by several years, which will require the Coast Guard to operate its legacy vessels much longer than anticipated. Selected findings of the report include:

  • Conditions of the vessels are poor and declining. The physical condition of the legacy fleet—as measured by “operational percent of time free of major casualties”—has generally remained well below target levels during FY 2005-2011. This is especially true of high endurance cutters, which only achieved a level of about 44% as opposed to the target level of 72%. In addition, GAO’s review of vessel condition assessments, discussions with Coast Guard maintenance and operational personnel, and site visits, provided further evidence that the legacy fleet is in poor condition and continues to deteriorate. Maintenance managers for both high and medium endurance cutters noted that performance of these vessel’s critical systems has become increasingly unpredictable, and refurbishments of systems that have had a high rate of failure have brought limited returns on investments to improve them. The Coast Guard has had programs in place to extend the life of the medium endurance cutters (with limited upgrades) and the patrol boats (with major refurbishments), but both programs are coming to a close and the Coast Guard has not requested further funding to extend such programs.
  • Costs to maintain these vessels are increasing. Scheduled maintenance expenditures generally rose across all legacy vessels from FY 2007-2011. Some of these expenditures have been funded by supplemental appropriations, which may be coming to an end. In terms of unscheduled maintenance, the high endurance cutters have incurred the greatest share. Unscheduled maintenance consistently represents a greater portion of total maintenance expenditures than for the other legacy vessels. Expenditures have often exceeded the Coast Guard’s budgeted funds for depot-level maintenance—known as Standard Support Levels. Yet the Coast Guard has not updated the Standard Support Levels over the decades to reflect the rising costs to maintain the aging legacy fleet. For the medium endurance cutters and patrol boats, except for an inflation factor, the Standard Support Levels are still set where they were when the vessels first entered service, several decades ago. GAO found several ways that the Coast Guard could improve the way it estimates maintenance costs for legacy vessels. Costs are likely to continue rising as the legacy vessels continue to age, so it is important for the Coast Guard to develop reliable cost estimates for senior leadership and Congress to make informed budget decisions.
  • Performance is declining and will continue to deteriorate. While performance varied by class of legacy vessel, two key Coast Guard metrics—operational hours and lost cutter days—show that legacy vessels were unable to meet their operational targets and lost considerable planned mission time. In particular, the high endurance cutters did not meet operational hour targets in any year from FY 2005-2011. In addition, the number of lost cutter days for these vessels in the last 3 fiscal years has been nearly equivalent to three high endurance cutters being “out of service” (i.e., tied up at the dock) in each year. This declining operational capacity has been a prime contributor to Coast Guard’s declining ability to meet its mission needs and intercept threats beyond U.S. territorial waters. High endurance cutter hours spent on drug interdiction has declined 65 percent. Medium endurance cutter hours spent on migrant interdiction has declined 40 percent. In the longer term, the medium endurance cutter capacity gap will be the most severe, due to the long delays in the planned fielding of the replacement Offshore Patrol Cutter. Operational capacity gaps may be further exacerbated by the planned funding of only 6 (not 8) National Security Cutters to replace the original 12 high endurance cutters. Further, it is unclear if the Coast Guard will implement rotational crewing, needed to boost the operational hours of the 6 National Security Cutters to make them equivalent to the 12 legacy high endurance cutters.

GAO made two recommendations to the Coast Guard. First, that the Coast Guard improve its process to track and estimate vessel maintenance costs and budgets. Second, that the Coast Guard adjust its outdated and unrealistic operational hour targets, especially given the declining performance of the legacy vessels. In addition, the report contains detailed appendices which compare the capabilities of legacy vessels to the “Deepwater” replacement vessels, provide further details on the conditions and costs of the legacy vessels, an evaluation of the Coast Guard’s process for estimating maintenance costs, and related GAO reports.

To obtain a copy, visit GAO’s website: and next to the word “Highlights,” click on “View Report (pdf).” Courtesy Bow Wave

IIMS – Edexcel Approved Centre

The International Institute of Marine Surveying is pleased to announce the approval by Edexcel to deliver the first educational approved Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in marine surveying.

The qualifications delivered by distance learning will provide the industry with a proven worldwide acknowledged standard for the training of future marine surveyors.
The HNC delivered in one year will teach the basic skill requirements whilst the second year will be more specialised and will deliver an HND. The first programme will begin 1October 2012.

For more information or to view the application form, go to: or call +44(0)239 238 5223 or email to: [email protected]

The International Institute of Marine Surveying is an independent, non-political organisation. Based in the UK with a worldwide membership in excess of 1250 in 98 countries. see for more information.

Edexcel, a Pearson company, is the UK’s largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning in the UK and internationally. See www.edexcel.comfor more information.

Wind Turbine Paper

The report, prepared by the AIMU Technical Services Committee, notes that when considering whether to provide cargo coverage for wind turbine projects, underwriters should first determine the insured’s needs, particularly whether or not Delay in Start-up (DSU) coverage may be needed. The report points out that both land and ocean transport information is an integral part of a complete risk assessment to determine the appropriate terms and conditions of coverage, as well as values and exposures. Typically, survey warranties would be placed in the policy, requiring a marine surveyor to approve the load, stow and securing at each transit leg or hand-off point for the shipment of wind turbines or the critical components of any project cargo. The full report is available on the AIMU website under the Paper and Reports tab, included in the AIMU Technical services Committee Reports. WWW.AIMU.ORG

Container Lines Want IMO To Require Weighing Of Containers

Container line, labor and terminal operator groups, along with the Danish, Dutch and U.S. governments, want the International Maritime Organization to require laden containers to be weighed before they are loaded onto ships, rather than just taking exporters’ word on the shipments’ weight. The IMO’s Subcommittee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers is expected at its next meeting in September to consider the proposal aimed at making transport safer on ships, docks and roadways. “For years, the United States has required all its export containers to be weighed. This has not impaired supply chain efficiency, and it has improved safety. The technology exists to weigh containers accurately and efficiently, and it should be a universal, required practice,” said Dr. Geraldine Knatz, president of IAPH and executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. Under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, shippers are required to declare the weight of the container, but the cargo interests often fail to do so, largely because there is no oversight. Through the proposal, port facilities and ships would require weight verifications gained through the weighing of the container to back up a shipper’s declaration. (Journal of Commerce, 6/18/2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

Cargo Theft Theft Costing Nation Billions

It is the costliest crime in America, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Organized crime drives it, money fuels it, and it has gone international. It happens nearly three times a day somewhere in America, and in California it happens twice as often as anywhere else in the nation. “It really is huge,” said CHP officer Xavier Spencer. Spencer is part of the CHP’s Cargo Theft Interdiction Program or CTIP, and is one of ten people on the force assigned to fight cargo theft full time in the state. Last year California led all states with 304 occurrences of cargo theft in 2011. That’s more than $390 million in theft in the state in just the last two years alone. Texas was second on the list with 173 instances of cargo theft, followed by Florida with 146 occurrences. Those three states plus New Jersey, Illinois and Georgia accounted for 75 percent of all cargo stolen off of American highways last year. Victims of cargo theft frequently take big hits to their businesses. Right now cargo theft is a low-risk, high reward proposition because the crime carries minor criminal penalties. Steal a half-million dollars-worth of cargo and a criminal might get six months in jail, according to various law enforcement agencies. Compare that to ten years in prison if a thief gets caught with a half million dollars-worth of cocaine. “It’s very difficult to prove that everything you recovered was stolen,” Spencer said. “So, sometimes District Attorneys are not willing to take a case that’s going to take a little bit of work.” (www.usnews,, 8/6/2012) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

OSHA Issues New Directive On Marine Cargo Handling

OSHA has issued a revised “Tool Shed” directive providing enforcement guidance for inspections of longshoring operations and at marine terminals, also known as the marine cargo handling industry. The directive is aimed at eliminating workplace hazards in the industry by addressing updated requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) and the safe operation of Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTLs). Click here for the Directive. Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

Africa’s Pirates Have Demands For Insurors – And A Letterhead Too

Welcome to the Pirate Action Group. Pirate commander Jamal wishes to congratulate you on being hijacked. Kindly, speak to his negotiator about your ransom, bearing in mind that his demands are similar for every vessel he seizes. This is not an absurd joke; it’s how the pirates of the African coast do business, and it’s a serious matter for the companies that have to pay out. In 2011, Somali piracy cost the world economy $7 billion and earned the pirates some $160 million in ransom, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau. Piracy is receding of late, but it is still a threat. The maritime bureau reported 69 hijacking incidents by Somali pirates between Jan 1 and July 12, down 32 percent from last year. Rogues though they may be, these pirates in many cases are surprisingly well-organized, down to having their own packets of paperwork – on letterhead – for their victims. (Insurance Journal, 8/15/12) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

U.S. State Legislation

Hawaii – Relating to grounded vessels. 2011 Hawaii Senate Bill No. 2850 Hawaii Twenty-Sixth Legislature – Regular Session of 2012

Summary: Authorizes the Department of Land and Natural Resources to assume control of and remove a vessel grounded on a coral reef or in imminent danger of breaking up if the vessel cannot be removed by the owner within twenty-four hours of the grounding. [changes existing law from time period of 72 hours to 24 hours]

Louisiana – Liability Insurance. Requires liability insurance for charter boat fishing guides and charter vessels. 2012 Louisiana Senate Bill No. 670, Louisiana Thirty-Eighth Regular Session

Summary: An Act to amend and reenact R.S. 56:302.9(A) and 302.9.1(A), relative to charter boat and charter boat fishing guides; to provide for licensing requirements; to provide for proof of liability insurance; and to provide for related matters. Effective Date 8/1/12.

Rhode Island – An Act Relating To Waters and Navigation – Obstructions To Navigation. 2011 Rhode Island Senate Bill No. 2610, House Bill No. 7801, Rhode Island 2012 Legislative Session

Summary: This act would allow the authorized public entity to use or dispose of derelict or abandoned vessels or other obstructions without further notice to any owners. Preference is to a use which would derive some monetary benefit from the vessel. This act would take effect upon passage; provided, however, that section 46-6-10.4 would apply to all boat registrations, including renewals, effective March 1, 2013.

Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin

Vanishing World

The editor of Spitalfields Life, the best London blog we know, has been writing about the rivermen again: – At the bottom of Anchor & Hope Lane, you will find the last lighterage company on the upper reaches of the Thames. Begun in 1896 as William Cory & Sons, delivering coal to London and filling the empty barges with rubbish for the return journey, today Cory Environmental is a vast corporate endeavour, compacting the capital’s waste, transporting it downriver by barge and incinerating it at Belvedere in Kent.

These “rough goods,” as the lightermen term them, are now the only commercial cargo transported on the Thames, once the primary thoroughfare of our city. Yet in spite of all the changes on the river, the task of the lighterman has remained essentially unchanged for centuries. Originally, each barge or “lighter” was rowed or punted by one lighterman with a boy to assist, lightening the cargo of merchant ships delivering to the Port of London. In the nineteenth century, the introduction of steam powered tug boats allowed the lighters to be towed in multiples, but the equation of one-lighterman-one-lighter persisted.
Read the article in full here: Courtesy Bow Wave

Interesting Links


Coincidentally, in the last few weeks we have come to know and prize this very impressive site from western Canada which appears under the aegis of John M. MacFarlane and which is devoted to Canada’s Pacific Maritime history and heritage and other topics of general maritime interest. For some reason, the maritime community in Canada seems to enjoy a close affinity with Internet publishing. This site deserves greater fame. See the section for example devoted to the Arctic and Northern Maritime Heritage: Courtesy Maritime Advocate online

New Magazine

Brand new magazine from The Nautical Institute published in association with the Royal Institute of Navigation. It is firmly based on the proposition that navigators are not mere technology monitors but professionals skilled in one of the key knowledge areas of human civilisation. We wish the publishers and editors well. You can view a copy of the first edition of The Navigator at: Courtesy Bow Wave

Transit The Panama Canal in A Few Minutes

Courtesy of the GCaptain zine we learned about this excellent 2 minute time lapsed transit of the Panama Canal created by Cal Maritime Cadet Ancil Hoffman, a class of 2013 mechanical engineering student. Cal Maritime is a campus of The California State University.! Courtesy Bow Wave

A Poem

Thanks to Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS


It seems to me
The ships I know are great, obedient beasts
That wander to and fro, scarce knowing
As they rub their dripping sides, the passing whimsy
Of a man who rides, a mahout on a forehead broad
About their heaving flanks the winds of far adventure blow-
And coral banks and snow-topped ranges half unseen,
Fence in their many-fathomed pastures green
They dream with patient eyes of storms and far-flung island ports,
While small men tug upon their chains and lead them into courts

By James A. Quinby The Street And The Sea


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