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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hong Kong
Panama Canal, Panama
Marine site investigation at anchorages
Wednesday, June 22, 2016, Hong Kong
From 23 June and for approximately three weeks, marine site investigation works involving drilling of boreholes will be carried out [in the Western Dangerous Goods Anchorage & Western Quarantine and Immigration Anchorage] within the area bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS84 Datum) from (A) to (I):
(A) 22 deg. 19.171’N / 114 deg. 07.015’E
(B) 22 deg. 19.142’N / 114 deg. 07.073’E
(C) 22 deg. 19.075’N / 114 deg. 07.037’E
(D) 22 deg. 19.097’N / 114 deg. 06.991’E
(E) 22 deg. 19.095’N / 114 deg. 06.796’E
(F) 22 deg. 18.774’N / 114 deg. 06.206’E
(G) 22 deg. 18.817’N / 114 deg. 06.178’E
(H) 22 deg. 18.860’N / 114 deg. 06.199’E
(I) 22 deg. 19.168’N / 114 deg. 06.766’EThe works will be carried out by one barge. One tug will provide assistance. The number of vessels engaged in the works will change from time to time to suit operational requirements.

A working area of approximately 30 metres around the barge will be established. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights will be laid to mark the positions of the anchors extending from the barge.

The hours of works will be from 0700 to 1900 hours. No works will be carried out on Sundays and public holidays. Vessels employed for the works will not stay in the works area outside 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.

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

Modification of minimum visibility requirements
Wednesday, June 22, 2016, Panama Canal, Panama
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced the following modifications to minimum visibility requirements for vessels transiting the Canal or calling at port facilities in Canal waters, whether laden or ballast:

  • The view of the water surface from many conning position in the navigation bridge shall not be obscured by more than two ship lengths forward of the bow, or 500 metres, which is less, under conditions of draft and trim;
  • If visibility from any of the normal conning positions is obscured by cargo gear of other permanent obstructions forward of the beam, the total arc of obstructed visibility from Conning Position 1 shall not exceed 10 degrees;
  • The side hull plating at the vessel’s waterline, fore and aft, shall be visible from bridge wing conning positions;
  • Vessels of 150 feet LOA or less must have a forward visibility that allows navigation ranges and aids to navigation to be visible from all bridge conning positions.

ACP boarding officers will verify vessel compliance upon arrival in Canal waters. Vessels that do not comply due to cargo, cargo gear, structures or any other reason, shall correct the deficiency in order to transit. If not correctable, the vessel should inform the Canal Authority at least 48 hours prior to arrival through the ACP’s Maritime Service Portal or any other means acceptable to the ACP. The ACP will determine conditions under which non-compliant vessels may be allowed to transit or dock. Vessels that require additional resources due to their visibility condition, will be assessed for corresponding charges.

Notwithstanding visibility requirements, from 26 June, full contain vessels transiting laden condition with a blind distance that exceeds 1.0 ship length will be assessed the following fees based on vessel dimensions:

  • Vessels from 213.360 metres (700 feet) to 294.437 metres (966 feet) in length, and 30.480 metres (100 feet) and 32.613 metres (107 feet) in beam: $4, 000.00
  • Vessels with overall lengths greater than 294.437 metres (966 feet) in length, or with beams greater than 32.613 metres (107 feet) in beam: $8, 000.00

Upon arrival at Canal waters, the “Blind Distance Declaration” Form 1746 (OPTC-A), available atwww.pancanal.com/common/maritime/forms/16-746.pdf, shall be completed by the master and presented to the ACP Boarding Officer. The “Pre-Arrival Vessel Information” Form 1743 (OPT), and the detailed Visibility Declaration required in the Maritime Service Portal are no longer required.

For information about operations in the Panama Canal contact GAC-Wilford & McKay at gac-wilfordmckay.panama@gac.com

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