News Archives from 5-03-2011 to 5-19-2011

RADM Ostebo Relieves RADM Colvin as Commander Seventeenth Coast Guard District . . . 5-19-2011

Rear Admiral Ostebo and Rear Admiral Colvin shake hands after the change of command ceremony as Vice Admiral Brown looks on.

Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo relieved Rear Adm. Christopher C. Colvin as commander of the 17th Coast Guard District Thursday, May 19, 2011. Admiral Colvin will report to Coast Guard Pacific Area Command in Alameda, Calif. to assume duties as deputy commander for the Pacific area. Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown, Commander, Pacific Area and Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force West, presided at the ceremony. Ostebo previously served as the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. His previous tours of duty include Executive Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Coast Guard Operations, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Stations Cape Cod, Mass. and Traverse City, Mich. and Chief Aeronautical Engineering Officer at both Air Station Clearwater, Fla. and Air Station Sitka. A native of Kings Park, New York, Ostebo graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1981 with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science. In 1993, he earned a Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Business. He also completed a Senior Fellowship in National Security at Harvard University in 2002 and a Senior Fellowship at the Naval War College in 2005.

USCG Issues Guidance for Average Allowable Weight Per Person Compliance . . . 5-03-2011

As a result of the capsizing of the small passenger vessel LADY D in Baltimore Harbor in March 2004, it was determined that the average weight of passengers that the Coast Guard had been using for many years as a component of stability determinations for small passenger vessels was inadequate. The Coast Guard addressed this deficiency in a rulemaking on December 14, 2010 (See Federal register).  The Coast Guard has now come out with a Policy Letter which explains how operators of small passenger vessels can come into compliance with the requirements of the rulemaking from December. Basically, the Policy Letter states that the Coast Guard will be unable to modify all existing stability letters that exist for all small passenger vessels before the deadline for compliance which is December 1, 2011. The Coast Guard strongly suggests in this Policy Letter that operators of small passenger vessels review their stability information to determine if it was issued under the previous weight standards. The Coast Guard asks that vessel operators voluntarily recalculate the number of persons who can be allowed to be carried using the new weight standards. The Coast Guard asks that vessel operators write a letter informing their local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, that they have recalculated the persons to be allowed on their vessel and certify that they are complying with a new lower number of passengers. The Policy Letter gives sample ways of calculating the number of persons who can be carried onboard and gives an example of the letter that the vessel operator can write to the OCMI informing him of the actions they have taken in this regard. The Policy Letter states, “There is no regulation to specifically compel an owner/operator to submit certification of compliance; however failure to do so may void the vessel's stability letter or COI.”  Well, if you fail to pay attention to this Policy Letter and wind up voiding your vessel’s stability letter or Certificate of Inspection, you are really asking for trouble! The Marine Exchange advises all operators of small passenger vessels in the strongest possible terms to pay close attention to this Policy Letter and follow the direction contained inside. If you have any questions you should contact the Prevention Department of your nearest U.S. Coast Guard Sector Office or the Marine Exchange.

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