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Alaska Maritime Newsletter )
Making Maritime Connections Across Alaska November 2006
In this issue
  • FCC Proposes Changes to Marine Communications
  • USCG Announces Supplemental Guidance for Small Passenger Vessels
  • Polar Tankers Christens Fifth Endeavor Class Double-Hulled Tanker
  • USCG Announces the Decommissioning of Alaskan Cutters
  • Maritime Security Compliance Reminder
  • Ice Rules Go Into Effect for Cook Inlet
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) Tips
  • Upcoming Events
  • 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.

    FCC Proposes Changes to Marine Communications
    FCC Logo

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice proposing a variety of regulatory amendments relating to maritime communications. In an effort to ensure its rules governing the Maritime Radio Services continue to promote maritime safety, the FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This NPRM addresses the phasing out of INMARSAT-E Emergency Position indication radiobeacons (EPIRBs), and requests comment on GPS capability in VHF-DSC handheld radios, requiring carriage of at least one VHF handheld radio on small passenger vessels without a reserve power supply, and several additional issues.

    USCG Announces Supplemental Guidance for Small Passenger Vessels
    CG Stripe

    In the Federal Register dated Nov 2, 2006, the USCG announced supplemental guidance to the voluntary interim measures recommended in a previous Federal Register.

    This notice updates the existing voluntary measures for prudent operation and clarifies "reasonable operating conditions" for all small passenger vessels. This notice also announces that the USCG is in the process of formally addressing stability issues caused by increases in passenger/vessel weight for all domestic vessels. Comments on this draft guidance should be submitted by January 31, 2007.

    Polar Tankers Christens Fifth Endeavor Class Double-Hulled Tanker

    On October 25, 2006, Polar Tankers christened the POLAR ENTERPRISE (shown at left while alongside the Navantia Shipyard in Spain), its fifth Endeavour Class, double hulled tanker specifically designed to carry crude oil from Alaska to the West Coast and Hawaii.

    POLAR ENTERPRISE is expected to load her first cargo of Alaska North Slope crude oil in late January 2007.

    (Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips)

    USCG Announces the Decommissioning of Alaskan Cutters

    In the Federal Register dated October 26, 2006, the USCG announced the proposed decommissioning of the CGC STORIS (homeported in Kodiak), and the CGC ACUSHNET (homeported in Ketchikan). Both of these vessels have reached the end of their service lives after over 60 years of continuous service each.

    The picture at left shows STORIS during a recent, farewell visit to Juneau.

    Maritime Security Compliance Reminder

    All vessels and facilities subject to Maritime Transportation Security Regulations (33 CFR 104 and 105 respectively) are reminded your training, exercise, and drill programs are year-round requirements. Both of these regulations require specific security training for your personnel, annual exercises, and quarterly drills.

    The Marine Exchange will be sending drill packages out to our member companies and/or those companies that use us as their outside security plan auditor. These packages will help to keep your maritime security programs compliant through the winter season. As always, the Marine Exchange is here to answer your compliance-related questions and to help you with your regulatory compliance needs. Just call us!

    Ice Rules Go Into Effect for Cook Inlet
    Ice Floe

    In a Press Release dated November 15, 2006 the Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Western Alaska announced the implementation of Phase One of the ice rules for Cook Inlet. Phase One rules currently address maritime operations in upper Cook Inlet.

    Automatic Identification System (AIS) Tips

    As industry anxiously awaits the USCG to issue a NPRM addressing increased AIS carriage requirements, the Marine Exchange offers the following tips for those of you already using AIS on your vessels:

    • The purpose of AIS is to help identify vessels; assist in target tracking; simplify information exchange; and provide additional information to assist situation awareness.
    • Ships’ officers should ensure that data which is manually inputted into AIS is accurate. It is not uncommon to see vessels transmitting incorrect destination, draft, dimensions, etc.
    • AIS is an additional source of navigational information. It does not replace, but supports, navigational systems such as radar target-tracking, proper bridge-to-bridge communications, and a diligent lookout.

    Upcoming Events

    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.

    January 22-23, 2007
    2007 Pre-Season Cruise Ship Workshop
    The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) and the Northwest Cruise Ship Association are partnering with U.S. Coast Guard SECTORS Juneau and Anchorage to conduct this year's workshop. The workshop will be held in Anchorage. Click the link below for more information and to register online.
    POC: Rick Janelle, 17th CG District, 907-463- 2808.

    (Dates TBD), 2007
    The Marine Exchange of Alaska will be sponsoring one or more "USCG/Industry Days" within Alaska. These events will provide an excellent opportunity for Alaska's maritime industry to meet face-to-face with Alaska's CG leadership and their staffs, receive up to date information on various compliance issues, and to address any concerns. We are currently developing agendas and accepting feedback from both the CG, and any industry representatives interested in specific agenda items. Please contact us if you have any agenda items you would like addressed during these events.
    POC: Brett Farrell, Marine Exchange, 907-463- 4640

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