|Alaska Maritime Newsletter|
The Marine Exchange of Alaska is a non-profit, maritime organization established to serve the Alaska Maritime Community by providing information, communications and services to ensure safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.
All Coast Pilots, including this new Edition, can be dowloaded by following the link below. The marine Exchange of Alaska also sells printed versions of any Coast Pilot as a service to Alaska's maritime community.
On September 6, 2006 NOAA unveiled a new chart for Alaska that covers the Semidi Islands & vicinity in Alaska/Alaska Peninsula. Chart number 165871 has a 1 to 135,000 scale and is currently available through the Marine Exchange of Alaska's "print-on-demand" chart printing system.
President Bush signed the Safe Port Act this month, which among other things, sets strict deadlines for the implementation of TWIC.
The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security issue final TWIC regulations no later than January 1, 2007. TWIC must be implemented in the 10 highest priority ports by July 1, 2007, the next 40 high priority ports by January 1, 2008, and all remaining ports by January 1, 2009. It is presently unknown where Alaska's ports fit into this timeline.
The Marine Exchange of Alaska recently met with Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, Coast Guard Headquarters' Director of Inspections and Compliance, to discuss Alaska-specific concerns over TWIC. Topics addressed included allowing for alternative solutions to assist Alaska ports in complying with TWIC. We stressed the importance of ensuring the regulations allow Alaska's Captains of the Port the opportunity to partner with the maritime community to develop TWIC solutions that achieve the intent of the Safe Port Act, but make sense for Alaska.
The Marine Exchange will continue to monitor and provide input during TWIC implementation and remains committed to working with the Coast Guard and Alaska's maritime community to help develop "common sense" solutions.
The Marine Exchange is ready to assist the industry in applying for the required Certificates of Adequacy or to seek waivers.
The Coast Guard issued two important notices in the Federal Register of September 28, 2006 regarding the physical examination requirements for merchant marine personnel.
In the first notice the Coast Guard advised that it was seeking comment on a draft Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular which would give clarity to the guidelines the Coast Guard uses to evaluate medical and physical examinations for Merchant Mariner Credentials.
The second notice advised that the Coast Guard is now going to require licensed pilots to submit their annual physical examinations to the Coast Guard for review. In the past the regulations allowed the Coast Guard to request an annual physical examination if it deemed this necessary, but submitting annual physical results to the Coast Guard was not the regular practice.
The increased vigilance over annual physical examinations for marine pilots stems from a recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their report on the 2003 allision of the Staten Island Ferry ANDREW J. BARBERI with its pier in Staten Island which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.
The following maritime-related events are scheduled in the upcoming months. Please contact the person listed for additional information regarding these events. If you know of a relevant event that should be highlighted in future newsletters, please contact the Marine Exchange of Alaska and we will be happy to post it.
October 23-27, 2006