News Archives from 12-07-2015 to 2-09-2016

New Pre-Approved Dispersant Zones for Alaska February 9, 2016

The Coast Guard and the Alaska Regional Response Team have agreed on a new area where the use of dispersants has been pre-approved in the event of a crude oil spill. See illustration at left. Contingency Plan holders who transport crude oil through this area will be required to update their plans.Additional Information is linked below.


Link to Federal Register Notice

Link to New Dispersant Use Guidelines from Alaska Regional Response Team

Alaska Sea Life Center Awards . . . January 27, 2016

The Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward announced its Alaska Ocean Leadership Award Recipients for 2016. The Marine Exchange of Alaska's Executive Director Captain Ed Page has been honored with the Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award. Complete details are in the attached public notice.

Alaska Sea Life Center Awards Notice

Out of Water Survival Craft Required . . . December 28, 2015

As of February 26, 2016, life floats and buoyant apparatus that do not keep a person out of the water will no longer be approved for use by the Coast Guard on any commercial vessel. The only approved survival craft that will be allowed will be those that keep a person completely out of the water. More complete information is provided at the links below.

MSIB Out of Water Survival Craft

Policy Guidance Out of Water Survival Craft

Frequently Asked Questions

VHF-DSC Radio Installations Required . . . December 17, 2015

On January 20, 2015, the Coast Guard notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it had published a Federal Register notice declaring Sea Area A1 to be within twenty nautical miles seaward of the territorial baseline along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the United States, excluding Alaska, but including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. This determination was made because the Coast Guard now has service, in Sea Area A1, under its Rescue 21 Distress System coverage. Consequently, and in accordance with the requirements of Title 47 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 80.905(a)(1), inspected passenger vessels that carry more than six passengers, with at least one for hire, and commercial fishing vessels of 300 gross tons and upward, operating in those waters, must upgrade to VHF-DSC radio equipment not later than January 20, 2016. Note: This requirement does not apply in Alaska, but if your vessel operates in Washington State or any of the other areas mentioned, a VHF-DSC radio installation will be required.

Behm Canal Restricted Area . . . December 7, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule which takes effect on January 6, 2016, concerning the restricted area in Behm Canal near Ketchikan. Navigation in this area is restricted during times when the U.S. Navy is conducting tests in the area. To ensure safe and timely passage through the restricted area vessel operators are required to notify the Facility Control Officer of their expected time of arrival, speed and intentions. For vessels not equipped with radio equipment, the Navy shall signal with flashing beacon lights whether passage is prohibited and when it is safe to pass through the area. A flashing amber beacon means that the area is closed to all vessels and to await a clear signal. The flashing amber beacon not lighted is the clear signal and indicates that vessels may proceed through the area. Each closure of the area by the Navy will normally not exceed 20 minutes.

Complete details are in the Federal register Notice linked here.