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Hot Port News from GAC

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GAC-newYour daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:
* United States, Houston, Texas – Texas City Y incident update
* United States, Houston, Texas – Emergency safety zone established
* Australia, Port Kembla – Coal loader maintenance

DATE: March 24, 2014
COUNTRY: United States
PORT: Houston, Texas
Texas City Y incident update

A Port Coordination Team call was held today (24 March) to discuss industry
concerns and priorities and to share the Incident Command’s status with
regard to the Texas City Y Incident.

The Coast Guard has set up a command post at the Doyle Center and Port
Coordination Team has been activated to ensure that industry’s needs are
communicated to the Unified Command.

Currently, the Coast Guard has two overflights over the channel to look for
oil, and it is believed that a majority of the oil is out of the traffic
lanes, however this is not yet confirmed. Depending on the results of the
flights, the Unified Command may begin to direct Houston Vessel Traffic to
begin inbound/outbound traffic movement later today. The Captain of the
Port is hopeful that movements may begin today, including the ferries about
which initial reports show no sign of contamination.

The Port of Houston Authority, as well as the overwhelming majority of
private facilities on the channel are currently open, and operating as
though it were a fog day (“Vessels are lining up at anchorage, and it will
be pretty busy when we get moving again, but you can drop off empties, and
landside operations are running as normal”).

The Coast Guard was able to move three cruise ships in yesterday, all of
which will be decontaminated, and the Unified Command is setting up
decontamination stations for any ships affected by the spill.

Area conditions have pushed some of the oil out through the jetties, and
NOAA reports that beginning tomorrow (25 March), weather in the area may
become quite messy – winds to E/SE at 20-25 knots with 4-7 foot swells – so
any vessel in the safety zones, including those out at anchorage that may
have become contaminated are urged to self-report to Incident Command so
that they may be queued for cleaning priority.

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

DATE: March 24, 2014
COUNTRY: United States
PORT: Houston, Texas
Emergency safety zone established

On March 22, 2014, the M/V SUMMER WIND and Kirby Barge 27706 collided in
the Houston Ship Channel in the vicinity LT 26 near the “Texas City Y”.

The Coast Guard established an emergency safety zone to protect life and
property from the hazards associated with and resulting from this
collision, and subsequent salvage and oil spill response.

This temporary emergency safety zone is enforceable beginning at 1:00 pm on
03/22/2014 through 03/29/2014, or until the oil spill is cleared from the
waterway, whichever occurs first. This safety zone includes closures and/or
navigation restrictions and requirements that are vital to maintaining safe
navigation on the Houston Ship Channel, Texas City Channel and Gulf
Intracoastal Waterway during salvage and oil spill cleanup operations.

The safety zone encompasses the Houston Ship Channel from Galveston Bay
Entrance Channel Lighted Buoy 3 To Light 42, on The Texas City Channel from
Lighted Buoy 1 to Light 17, on The Galveston Channel from Lighted Buoy 1 to
Light 3, and on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Bolivar Light 14 to
Galveston Freeport Cut Off Channel B 20 until further notice.

Mariners are advised to monitor VHF Ch 16 for current broadcast notice to
mariners. Mariners should anticipate impacts to navigation throughout the
response evolution.

Mariners may contact Houston Vessel Traffic at 281-464-4837 for questions
or to request permission to enter the safety zone.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Houston-Galveston, Marine Safety
Information Bulletin No.06-14

DATE: March 24, 2014
COUNTRY: Australia
PORT: Port Kembla
Coal loader maintenance

Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT) has advised that ship loader No.1 will be
out of service for repairs (at the south end of wharf) from tomorrow (25
March) until about 15 April.

During this period, Cape vessels will require warping (shifting) alongside
berth 102 to be able to load Hatches 1 to 9.

Cape vessels will berth with the stern overhanging the northern end of
wharf (approximately 10m to 20m).

PKCT need to consider and provide safe gangway access for all personnel and
this may require a launch for access in the worst cases.

To minimise warping it may be necessary to have loading plans submitted,
indicating hatch 1 is loaded first in 1 pour then the vessel can be warped
south to complete the ship loading operations.

During this period, the following information will be required for Cape
– if the vessel has midship gangway
– distance bow to bridge
– distance bow to bottom of gangway when lowered
– distance bridge to forward end Hatch 1

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at

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global Shipping, Logistics and Marine industries.


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