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Hot Port News from GAC

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GAC 01072014Ports closed as fog persists in western US Gulf
March 03, 2015, United States, Houston, Texas

Wide-spread sea fog continues to persist throughout much of the western US Gulf, closing the ports of Beaumont, Galveston, Houston, Texas City, and Port Arthur.

There was a brief window of clearing yesterday afternoon (2 March), permitting the various pilot groups to move several priority ships, mostly out of the port.

The National Weather Service does not expect any wide-spread clearing of the fog until a cold front pushes through the area, currently expected for mid/late afternoon tomorrow (Wednesday 4 March). Although there is a possibility of a brief window of partial clearing again this afternoon, the likelihood has been decreased due to a shift in wind direction from the N/NE around to the S/SE, greatly increasing moisture content in the atmosphere. High winds, possibly reaching gale force, are expected on Wednesday as the front moves through.

The Houston Pilots do not expect any long-term opening of the ship channel until late on Wednesday, and daylight restricted vessels will only move on Thursday 5 March, at the earliest.

US Coast Guard port state control teams may facilitate offshore inspections inside the jetties should weather conditions permit.

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

Source: West Gulf Maritime Association update dated 3 March 2015

Ice Condition II: Removal of restrictions
March 03, 2015, United States, Delaware River

The Captain of the Port (COTP) Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that Ice Condition II has been modified to remove horsepower restrictions North of the Betsy Ross Bridge.

There have been reports of ice formation that may impact navigation throughout the COTP zone.

All masters, ship agents, owners, and operators of all vessels, marine facilities, and marinas should review and adhere to the following Ice Condition II procedures for the Delaware River and its tributaries, the Delaware Bay, and NJ and DE coasts:

* Only steel hull vessels may operate in the Delaware River and its tributaries, Delaware Bay, New Jersey coast south of Shark River and Delaware coast.

* Steel-hulled only vessels with a 1, 500 minimum shaft horsepower and with integral or recessed keel hull coolers or upper and lower cooling intakes may transit the C & D Canal.

* The Salem River remains closed due to a potential threat to navigation.

* Vessels should be able to maneuver unassisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.

* Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure the vessel is adequately moored.

* Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times when ice is present.

* Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup and precautions should be taken to ensure that the sea chests are kept clear.

* Vessels at anchor should ensure that proper bridge watches are stood at all times.

* Mariners are cautioned that buoys may become extinguished or dragged off station and minor lights and day beacons may become destroyed due to ice.

* The COTP Delaware Bay may establish additional requirements for specific geographic areas of the COTP Zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.

For additional information regarding ice operations within the Sector Delaware Bay zone go to http: www.uscg.mil/d5/sectDelawarebay. Updates to ice conditions can be heard by calling the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Ice Hotline at (215) 271-4995.

Mariners are also requested to keep the Coast Guard informed of any major ice developments, or discrepant Aids. If you have any questions regarding the contents of this bulletin or the expectations of the COTP, please contact the Waterways Management staff at (215) 271-4889 or the Situation Unit Controller at (215) 271-4807.

(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 #13-15 dated 2 March 2015

Marcus Hook Range dredging operations
March 03, 2015, United States, Delaware River

The U.S. Coast Guard has amended the safety zone found in 33 Code of Federal Regulations 165.555 for dredging operations in Marcus Hook Range in the Delaware River.

This amendment extends the safety zone through March 20, 2015.

During this time, the Dredge ESSEX will be operating within the downriver portion of Marcus Hook Range, near Claymont, DE. The safety zone includes all waters within a 150 yard radius of the Dredge ESSEX and all related dredging equipment.

Vessels requesting to transit Marcus Hook Range shall contact the Dredge ESSEX on VHF channel 13 or 16, 30 minutes prior to arrival. Vessels shall transit around the dredge project, through Marcus Hook Anchorage, operating at the minimum safe speed necessary to maintain steerage and reduce wake.

During this time period, the regulations in 33 Code of Federal Regulations 110.157 (b)(11)(i) will be in effect. Vessels desiring to anchor within Marcus Hook Anchorage must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port (COTP) at least 24 hours in advance, at (215) 271-4807.

The COTP will permit one vessel at a time in Marcus Hook Anchorage on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

Vessels will not be permitted to occupy the anchorage beyond 12 hours.

Vessels that require an examination by the Public Health Service, Customs, or Immigration authorities will be directed by the COTP to an anchorage for inspection.

Vessels are encouraged to use Mantua Creek Anchorage (Anchorage #9) and Deepwater Point Anchorage (Anchorage #6) as alternatives.

The operator of any vessel in the safety zone shall proceed as directed by the designated representative of the Captain of the Port. For passing information contact the Dredge ESSEX on VHF channel 13 or 16.

(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 #11-15

Towage tariffs to increase
March 03, 2015, Australia, Port Botany

Towage company has announced price increases forits services at Port Botany and Port Jackson, tom come into effect on 1 April 2015.

The tariff at Port Botany will increase by an average of 3.5%, and by an average of 5% at P

ort Jackson.

For further details and information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

GAC is a global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services dedicated to helping customers achieve their strategic goals at the highest levels of quality, safety and compliance.


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