Page 12: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (January 2017)

The Ship Repair & Conversion Edition

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GOVERNMENT UPDATE: MARINE SALVAGE the Coast Guard or an aggrieved third the contracts are effectively letters of Government Initiated Unannounced Ex- vage and marine ? re? ghting companies party takes action against it for an inad- intent with broad contingency clauses. ercise (GIUE) program. This would in- are able to fully meet the timeframes equate SMFF response, it is in a position In its preamble to the SMFF regulations, volve notifying an incoming vessel that provided for in the regulations. If short- to hold the response contractor liable. the Coast Guard noted that the rulemak- it is to activate (as a drill) its tank vessel comings are identi? ed, adjustments will

The rulemaking adopts a varying inci- ing requires a contract, an enforceable or non-tank vessel response plan for a be instituted as necessary. dent response timeframe, depending on written agreement that expressly pro- given scenario that concerns elements of The salvage and marine ? re? ghting the particular salvage or marine ? re? ght- vides that a resource provider is capable salvage and/or marine ? re? ghting. Dur- regulations are a vital part of the U.S. ing service involved. The majority of the of and committed to meeting the VRP ing this drill, no equipment or personnel commitment to minimizing the impact services must be capable of responding requirements. The Coast Guard recog- need be actually deployed, but the equip- of oil spills into the waters of the United within 18 or 24 hours, but some response nizes that the response resources created ment and personnel that would have States. There can be no argument to the times vary from one (1) hour for remote by the VRP requirements may be put to been utilized if this were a real situation statement that the best way to protect the salvage assessment and consultation to other uses when not utilized in a SMFF must be identi? ed and their capability environment is to ensure that the pol- 84 hours for subsurface product removal response. However, the owner of those to deploy must be fully documented. A lutant never escapes in the ? rst place. operations in offshore areas. The time- resources must be under a contractual ar- full report on the simulated response ef- Further, in the event of a casualty that frame for on-site salvage assessment is rangement to ensure these services and fort must then be submitted to the Coast impacts a navigable waterway of the six hours in continental US waters, as it that equipment are available to respond Guard for evaluation. A gradual roll- United States, it is a proven fact that time is for on-site ? re assessment. in the required timeframes. out of the veri? cation program seems to saved in the response equates to dollars

A signi? cant term in the statutory and The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process have been delayed until January 2017. saved in damages. With a strong U.S. regulatory VRP requirements is that the of developing a veri? cation program to Plans call for the eventual testing of all salvage and marine ? re? ghting pres- availability of response resources, in- test the SMFF response system. The four identi? ed SMFF response resource ence, the United States will be in a posi- cluding SMFF resources, be ‘ensured veri? cation concept was ? rst ? oated in providers in all 41 USCG Captain of the tion to properly protect the maritime en- by contract or other approved means’. March 2016. In November, the Coast Port (COTP) zones. vironment. A program to verify that the

Questions have been raised as to wheth- Guard announced that the program would Hopefully, this veri? cation program salvage and marine ? re? ghting industry er the availability of salvage and marine start in December. While some details will constitute a robust audit of all es- can meet its obligations will be a major ? ghting companies and their subcontrac- remain in ? ux, it appears that the Coast sential elements, including capabilities step in the right direction.

tors meet that requirement, as many of Guard will utilize a variant of its current and resources and will ? nd that the sal-

Fire? ghting onboard any ship is one of the most serious situations fac- ing onboard personnel and responders.

The containership CCNI Arauco caught ? re in the aft container hold on Septem- ber 1. After four intense weeks, Ardent safely returned the vessel to the owners.

Ardent discharged the damaged contain- ers out of the vessels cargo hold. These containers were declared as dangerous waste and required special treatment. (Photo: Feuerwehr Hamburg) 12 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JANUARY 2017

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.