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Hot Pot News from GAC

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Panama Canal, Panama
Port Hedland, Australia
Delaware River & Bay, United States
Reassignment of booking slots of Neopanamax vessels transiting before booked date
Monday, January 15, 2018, Panama Canal, Panama
Effective January 15, 2018, booking slots of booked Neopanamax vessels that transit prior to their reserved date may be reassigned to other interested Neopanamax vessels, provided that the booked vessel transits more than two days prior to its reserved transit date.

These slots will be announced as early as practical, generally on the day that the slot becomes available, and will be offered through a special competition in the same manner as when the slots become available due to cancellations or changes in booking dates.

This change is intended to increase the availability of slots for Neopanamax vessels.

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

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No.A-02-2018 dated 12 January 2018

Port reopened after cyclone passes
Monday, January 15, 2018, Port Hedland, Australia

Port Hedland has re-opened after the passing of Tropical Cyclone Joyce.

The cyclone crossed the coast on Saturday afternoon (13 January) and slowly moved inland, with winds finally dropping to a safe level around midday. The port officially re-opened at 1330 hours local time as the first ship entered port waters in preparation for port entry.

The official port closure times were as follows:
– Port closed: 1815/11 January
– Port re-opened: 1330/13 January
– Total closure: 43.25 hours

For information about operations at Australian ports contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

Seasonal Ice Procedure Status Update (Change 7)
Monday, January 15, 2018, Delaware River & Bay, United States
The Captain of the Port (COTP) Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that 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 Procedures for the Delaware River and its tributaries, the Delaware Bay, and NJ and DE coasts:

Vessels which do not meet the requirements for specific areas as listed below may request a waiver from the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay. Those vessels should submit a request via email to secdelbaycc@uscg.mil detailing their need for a waiver and their intentions for transit. Waiver requests will be granted on a case by case basis.

  • Deep draft vessels may only transit upriver of the Delair Railroad Bridge during daylight hours.
  • Only steel hull vessels may operate in the Delaware River upriver of the Betsy Ross Bridge.
  • Only steel hull vessels may operate within the Intracoastal Waterway of Delaware and New Jersey include the Back Bay areas within the Sector Delaware Bay Captain of the Port Zone. Inlets and coast remain unrestricted.
  • Only steel hull vessels may operate in the Schuylkill River.
  • Only steel hull vessels may operate in the Salem River.
  • Only steel hull vessels may operate in the Christina River.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has imposed a steel hull restriction on the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal.
  • Vessels should be able to maneuver unassisted 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.
  • Vessels at anchor should ensure that proper bridge watches are stood at all times.
  • Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup and precautions should be taken to ensure that the sea chests are kept clear.

Due to ice, a significant amount of buoys have been reported missing or off station in the Sector Delaware Bay Captain of the Port Zone. The Captain of the Port urges mariners to refrain from utilizing floating aids as a primary means of navigation.

The COTP may set ice conditions for any safety zone described in title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 165.550, or a portion thereof, requiring vessels to meet the restrictions. Vessels must have the proper hull type and an adequate propulsion system meeting the minimum horsepower requirements imposed.

Please refer to our internet website for current ice condition information by visit https://homeport.uscg.mil/ and choosing Delaware Bay from the Port Directory drop down. Ice condition updates will be located in the Safety Notifications section under Safety Alerts. Ice condition information can also be obtained by calling the Sector Delaware Bay Ice Line at (215) 271-4995.

Vessels, marine facilities, and marinas are required to keep the Coast Guard informed of any major ice developments. A Facility Information Sheet has been posted in Homeport for use by waterfront facilities, and is included as an attachment to this MSIB. Please send reports to secdelbaycc@uscg.mil and secdelbaymtsru@uscg.mil prior to 0900 daily.

(For information about operations in the United States contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source:  US Coast Guard Alert: MSIB 03-18 Seasonal Ice Procedure Update 7 dated 14 January 2018

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