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Port Neches TX, USA
Hong Kong
Khorfakkan, UAE
Scheduled channel closure for Port Neches Riverfest
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Port Neches TX, USA
Port Neches Riverfest, an annual event sponsored by the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to be held on Friday, April 29, through to Sunday, May 1, 2016. Some Riverfest events will take place on the Neches River in the vicinity of Port Neches Park, including boat races and a fireworks display.As a result, during the event, the Coast Guard will enforce Special Local regulations adjacent to Port Neches Park. Vessels MAY NOT enter or remain in the affected portion fo the Neches River, bound on the west by 30 deg. 00’00”N (near the Harrison Refinery Dock) and on the east by 93 deg. 56’00”W (near FINA upper anchorage), during the boat races. Additionally, the Coast Guard will enforce a 500-yard safety zone around the launch barge during the scheduled fireworks display on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

The Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies will enforce these regulations during the following times:
– April 29, 2016: 2:00pm until 6:00pm
– April 30, 2016: 8.30am until 6:00PM & 8.30pm until 9.30pm (Fireworks Display)
– May 1, 2016: 8.30am until 6:00pm

Breaks during race events have been scheduled to allow shall draft traffic to pass. Vessels desiring to transit through this area may contact Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Port Arthus on channel 65A or 13 VHF-FM or the on-scene Coast Guard vessel on channel 13 or 16 VHF-FM.

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

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Unit, Port Arthur TX, Marine Safety Information Bulletin 05-16

Safety practices reminder
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Marine Department has issued a reminder of proper safety practices, following the investigation into the grounding and sinking of a locally licensed wooden fishing vessel.In its Notice No.28 of 2016, the Department states that the vessel, with a coxswain and a crew on board, was proceeding to Ninepine Group from Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter for fishing when it lost propulsion power due to gear box failure when she was underway at the south of Tung Lung Chau. The fishing vessel drifted to the coast of the Tung Lung Chau, resulting in damage to the hull and flooding of the engine room. The coxswain and the crew abandoned the vessel and jumped into the sea and were rescued by a passing vessel and were sent to the hospital for treatment. The crew suffered from minor injury, but the coxswain was later certified dead.

At the time of the incident, the visibility was good with winds of force 4 on the Beaufort scale. The wave height was about 1.5 metres. The sea water temperature was about 22 oC.

Investigation into the accident revealed the following contributing factors:
(i) anchor was not dropped to stop the vessel drifting towards the coast after the loss of propulsion power that resulted in damage to the hull and flooding of the engine room;
(ii) the coxswain did not wear lifejacket when he jumped into the sea.

To avoid reoccurrence of the accident, it is important that
a) when a vessel experiences loss of propulsion power at sea, the coxswain or master should take appropriate measures to avoid consequential damage to the vessel, such as dropping anchor to avoid drifting of the vessel as far as practicable;
b) lifejackets should be available for use by all crew members upon abandonment of ship.

For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com

24/7 offshore marine services at anchorage
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Khorfakkan, UAE
Khorfakkan Port (managed by Sharjah Seaports Authority) has advised that offshore marine services are now being carried out on a 24/7 basis at Khorfakkan Port Anchorage since 26 April 2016.For information about operations at Khorfakkan contact GAC Sharjah at sharjah@gac.com

Ban on discharge of sewage from cruise ships into Baltic Sea
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Finland
The International Maritime Organization IMO decided on the entry into force of the regulations concerning the special area of the Baltic Sea. By these regulations the discharge of raw sewage from passenger ships and ferries directly into the sea is banned. All the Baltic Sea states are unanimous in support of the decision.New ships have to comply with the regulations as from 1 June 2019, while for existing cruise ships the time limit is 1 June 2021. Ships coming from outside the Baltic Sea special area and sailing directly to St. Petersburg have a further two-year transition period until 1 June 2023….

….The Baltic Sea was designated as a special area by an IMO decision in 2011, upon application by the HELCOM member states. A condition for the designation to enter into force was adequate reception facilities for sewage​​ at Baltic Sea ports visited by cruise ships.

The new regulations apply to all passenger ships with more than 12 passengers. In practice the regulations apply to foreign cruise ships because the passenger ferries operating in Finland on a regular basis have for a long time discharged their sewage into reception facilities at ports.

The ban on the discharge of sewage will reduce the nutrient loading of the Baltic Sea caused by maritime transport. The options available to the cruse ships are to discharge sewage into port reception facilities or to install on-board sewage treatment equipment by which the amounts of nutrients can be reduced as required by the regulations (70% for nitrogen and 80% for phosphorus) before discharging the wastewater into the sea….

(For information about operations in Finland contact GAC Finland at shipping.finland@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from Press Release of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications and Ministry of the Environment

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