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Hot Port news from GAC

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HOT PORT NEWS from GAC for 15th of December 2011 which was …lost in the www….. Your daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:
* Worldwide – Madagascar commissioning enhances African SAR coverage
* United States, Delaware River – Safety Zone established for Marcus Hook Range   dive operations
* United States, Houston, Texas – Fog affecting port operations
* Hong Kong, Hong Kong – Submarine Outfall Inspection off Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal
* Australia, Geelong – Southern Anchorage temporary waterside restricted zone
* Turkey, Turkish Straits – Traffic suspended due to windlass malfunction

DATE: December 15, 2011- COUNTRY: Worldwide – Madagascar commissioning enhances African SAR coverage

A further key link in the plan to provide effective search and rescue (SAR) coverage off the coast of Africa has been established, with the commissioning of a search and rescue sub-centre that will operate in conjunction with the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in
Cape Town, South Africa.
The sub-centre, at Antananarivo, Madagascar, was commissioned on 11 December 2011 by IMO Secretary-General Adm. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, together with Madagascar’s Minister for Transports, Benjamina Ramarcel Ramantsoa, and Mr. Jerome Sambalis, Director General of the Agence Portuaire, Maritime et Fluviale (APMF).
The inauguration of the new facility, which will operate as a joint maritime and aeronautical centre, marks an important step in a process that began at a conference on Search and Rescue and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, convened by IMO in Florence, Italy, in October 2000.
African Governments represented at the Conference agreed on a regional approach to the provision of SAR services in western, southern and eastern parts of the continent as well as in island States around Africa. To that effect, they adopted a resolution inviting the African countries bordering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the nearby Atlantic and Indian
Ocean Island States, to establish five regional centres and 25 sub-centres to cover their entire coastline for SAR coordination purposes….

….The commissioning of the Antananarivo facility brings the number of sub-centres now in operation to 15. In March 2011, the fifth and final African MRCC was established in Rabat, Morocco, joining those previously commissioned in Mombasa, Kenya (2006); Cape Town, South Africa (2007); Lagos, Nigeria (2008); and Monrovia, Liberia (2009).

With the completion of the five regional MRCCs, IMO is now using the experience gained in the successful establishment and operation of these centres in Africa as an example for other regions to follow.  The Organization is currently embarking on a similar project for seven
countries in Central America, involving the creation of two regional MRCCs, covering areas of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea respectively, together with five associated sub centres.

(For information about operations around the world contact the respective GAC office. For details go to the Contact section of www.gac.com)

Source: Extract from International Maritime Organisation (www.imo.org)
Briefing: 64, dated 14 December 2011

DATE: December 15, 2011- COUNTRY: United States- PORT: Delaware River
Safety Zone established for Marcus Hook Range dive operations

The U.S. Coast Guard has established a safety zone within Marcus Hook Range on December 15 and 16 2011 from 9am to 4pm, in the vicinity of the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery.

A dive boat and survey vessel will be on site to conduct salvage operations on two obstructions. One is located in Marcus Hook Anchorage, approximate position 39-28.51N 075-14.50W, and the other one is in the Federal Channel, approximate position 39-48.72N 075-24.26W.

The lower portion of the Marcus Hook anchorage will be closed to anchoragesand traffic during the salvage operations. Vessels requesting to transit the area shall contact the dive boat on channel 13 or 16 VHF, 30 minutes prior to arrival. Vessels shall maintain a distance of at least 200 feet from dive operations and proceed at the minimum safe speed necessary to maintain steerage and reduce wake.

The operator of any vessel in the safety zone shall proceed as directed by the designated representative of the Captain of the Port and shall contact the dive boat on channel 13 and 16 VHF for passing information.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Marine Safety Information
Bulletin No.34-11 dated 14 December 2011

DATE: December 15, 2011- COUNTRY: United States- PORT: Houston, Texas
Fog affecting port operations

Fog is still widespread in the Houston region – up to 50 miles offshore in some areas – and is impacting vessel movements from Freeport to the Sabine (the Port of Freeport is currently working). Vessel shifting requests made to pilots/tugs to meet needs within terminals. This is taking place as needed.
The fog is expected to erode and improve conditions in the coming hours. However, a cold front may increase chance of return fog this evening and through tomorrow morning.
Oil and Chemical Terminals are closely watching inventories.
The Port of Houston has reported container vessel priorities. Cruise vessels in Galveston and widebody-daylight restricted vessels for refineries will have priorities.
Currently, Houston Pilots report 50 inbound vessels waiting and 14 outbound. GALTEX Pilots have 10 inbound vessels with 5 outbound waiting.
Freeport vessels are moving.
The Marine Forecast from Weather Underground is as follows:
Synopsis For High Island To Matagorda Ship Channel Out 60 Nm Patchy dense sea fog will linger over Galveston Bay and the nearshore waters east of Freeport through tonight. A cold front will push slowly through the coastal waters on Friday morning. Moderate northeast winds will develop in the wake of the front. An onshore flow will return late in the weekend as high pressure shifts toward the southeastern states and low pressure develops across the plains.

Today
Southeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay waters smooth. Areas of dense fog with visibility 1 nm or less in the morning. A slight chance of showers.

Tonight
Southeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay waters smooth. A chance of showers in the evening…then showers likely after midnight.

Friday
East winds around 5 knots becoming northeast in the afternoon. Bay waters smooth. A chance of rain.

Friday Night
Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay waters slightly choppy. A chance of rain.

For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com

DATE: December 15, 2011- COUNTRY: Hong Kong – PORT: Hong Kong
Submarine Outfall Inspection off Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal

From 19 December 2011 and for approximately six days, submarine outfall inspection works will be carried out off Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal, Urmston Road, in the following areas:

AREA 1:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates
(WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (D):
(A) 22 deg. 20.897’N / 113 deg. 55.973’E
(B) 22 deg. 21.308’N / 113 deg. 56.184’E
(C) 22 deg. 21.285’N / 113 deg. 56.237’E
(D) 22 deg. 20.874’N / 113 deg. 56.026’E
AREA 2:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates
(WGS 84 Datum) from (E) to (H):
(E) 22 deg. 21.554’N / 113 deg. 56.310’E
(F) 22 deg. 21.627’N / 113 deg. 56.348’E
(G) 22 deg. 21.603’N / 113 deg. 56.401’E
(H) 22 deg. 21.530’N / 113 deg. 56.363’E
One work boat will carry out the works. One guard boat will provide assistance.
A working area of approximately 15 metres around the work boat will be established. The hours of works will be from 0800 to 1700 hours. The vessels employed for the works will not stay in the works areas outside the hours of works.
Diving operations will be carried out from time to time during the hours of works.
Vessels engaged in the works will display signals as prescribed in international and local regulations.
Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution and keep clear at slow speed, bearing in mind there are divers working in the areas.
(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at
shipping.hongkong@gac.com)
Source: Government of Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.148 of 2011
dated 15 December 2011

DATE: December 15, 2011- COUNTRY: Australia – PORT: Geelong
Southern Anchorage temporary waterside restricted zone

The Port of Geelong has security plans in place in accordance with the requirements of the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act, 2003 for the overall Port and its individual facilities which are put in place and supervised by the Port Security Officer.
Mariners are advised that as of 0730 hrs on December 20, 2011 a temporary waterside exclusion/restricted zone will be placed around the passenger vessel “Spirit of Adventure” which is due to anchor and remain at Geelong’s Corio Bay Southern Anchorage between 0800-1400 hrs on that day.
The vessel will be disembarking/alighting her passengers via ship’s tenders through the Royal Geelong Yacht Club premises during her visit. This waterside exclusion/restricted zone will include a water area within 50 metres of the anchored vessel.
Mariners are advised that no recreational or unauthorised craft of any size, shape or form will be permitted to enter this exclusion/restricted water area. There will be a water patrol of the declared restricted area by maritime security personnel in a marked “Port Security” vessel.
Geelong Port Control (Phone 5247 0300 or VHF Channel 12)) is the central 24-hour contact for all security matters within the Port of Geelong.
Unauthorised entry into the waterside restricted zone is an offence under the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Regulations 2003.
(For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at
shipping.australia@gac.com)

Source: Victorian Notice to Mariners No.152(T) – 2011 dated 15 December
2011

DATE: December 15, 2011 – COUNTRY: Turkey- PORT: Turkish Straits
Traffic suspended due to windlass malfunction

Traffic in the straits of Bosphorus was suspended between 07:58 and 11:15 hours local time today (15 December) after the anchor of a transiting vessel got loose and 12 shackles went into the sea due to a windlass malfunction.

For information about operations in the Turkish Straits contact GAC
Istanbul at turkey@gac.com

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