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Hot Port News from GAC

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GAC 01072014







  – 04-Feb-2016

NE Atlantic Ocean
Bayport, USA
Zika Virus Precautions
Thursday, February 4, 2016, USA
Recently, the World Health Organization designated the Zika virus as a global public health emergency. This has prompted questions from the maritime industry regarding reporting requirements for any vessel crewmembers or passengers who may be exhibiting symptoms of the Zika virus.Vessel and facility representatives are reminded of the following requirements to report hazardous conditions and illnesses:

  • Under 42 C.F.R. § 71.2, vessel representatives are reminded that they are required to report sick or deceased crew or passengers within the last 15 days to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Also, under 33 C.F.R. § 160.215, the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge of a vessel is required to immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector whenever there is a hazardous condition aboard the vessel. An ill person on board may constitute a hazardous condition that should be reported. The Captain of the Port should ensure that any parties making a report of this nature are informed of their obligation to notify the CDC.

Some key points to remember concerning Zika:

  • Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes; in rare cases, the virus may be spread via blood transfusions, sexual contact, and from mother to child in the womb. Most people who get Zika will not have any symptoms.
  • Those who do get symptoms will generally have a fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and, occasionally, muscle pain and/or a headache. It is uncommon for people infected with the Zika virus to require hospitalization, and deaths are rare.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine for Zika. Recommended supportive care is rest, hydration, and pain/fever management with acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol).
  • The CDC is investigating a possible link between birth defects and Zika infection during pregnancy. While this link has not yet been definitively established, the CDC recommends the following:
    – pregnant women consider postponing travel to any Zika-affected area;
    – women who are trying to become pregnant and are planning travel to a Zika-affected area talk to their healthcare provider about the risk of Zika infection; and
    – if a pregnant woman must travel to a Zika-affected area, she should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during her trip.
  • Take preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites including avoiding/limiting outdoor activities one hour before and after dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active; cover exposed skin; and use insect repellent. (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age). CDC information on insect repellent and recommendations for preventing mosquito bites can be found at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites.
  • Use authoritative information sources to obtain the latest news about the Zika virus such as those with .gov or .mil websites including http://www.cdc.gov/zika. Cyber criminals often use high interest events to target unsuspecting individuals. To avoid cyber phishing scams, do not respond to or click on links in unsolicited email regarding the Zika virus.

Questions regarding this MSIB should be forwarded to the Office of Port and Facility Compliance (CG-FAC) at (202) 372-1171/1107 or by email at CGFAC@uscg.mil.

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

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Office of Port and Facility Compliance Marine Safety Information Bulletin 01-16 issued 3 February 2016

Severe Weather Warning
Thursday, February 4, 2016, NE Atlantic Ocean
On 6 February, a low over Newfoundland will move NE-ward toward the British Isles while rapidly deepening. This low will be very intense and expected over the Northern British Isles from 8 February.A very large area with STORM to VIOLENT STORM and VERY HIGH sea (up to 16 m sign waves and maximum waves up to 22-24 m) is expected S of this low system on 7-8 February. The waters SW of the British Isles, outside the English Channel, in Biscay and Finisterre will be affected with STORM and VERY HIGH SEA up to 9-13 m sign in connection with this low on 8-9th.

There is also risk of strong gale and HIGH sea > 6 m outside the English Channel until 10 February/12Z.

Hence, be prepared for some delayed voyages in the North Atlantic.

We recommend that you keep yourself updated on the expected development on SMHI Fleetweb,  where the recommended/intended routes of vessels is shown. Ships provided with Route Advice by GAC SMHI Weather Solutions receive regular advice for their ships anywhere in the world, saving lives and saves time, prevents cargo damage and significantly reduces bunker consumption.

For more, contact GAC SMHI Weather Solutions at smhi@gac.com

Additional operational restrictions
Thursday, February 4, 2016, Bayport, USA
Effective immediately, all vessels transiting to/from Bayport (sailings, arrivals, & shifts) with a draft greater than 30’ freshwater are required to have 2 tugs, at pilot’s discretion.The tugs are to assist transiting vessels in safely making the turn into and out of the Bayport Ship Channel.  The daylight restriction previously imposed has been rescinded.

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

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