1/22/2018: Coast Guard remarks on autonomous vessels at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting –

Capt. Benjamin Hawkins, chief of the Office of Design and Engineering Standards, participated in the panel session “Autonomous Vessel Operations and Potential Implications for Safety” during the 97th Annual Transportation Safety Board meeting in Washington, DC, Jan. 7-11, 2018. This post offers a condensed version of his remarks, which focused on the regulatory perspective regarding autonomous vessels, for our readers who were unable to attend.


1/19/2018: Summary of Congressional testimony on the state of U.S. flag maritime industry

Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Adm. John Nadeau testified Jan. 17, 2018, before the House Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, during a hearing on the state of the U.S. flag maritime industry. Testifying alongside Nadeau was Maritime Administrator Rear Adm. Mark “Buz” Busby, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Nadeau’s verbal remarks focused on the Coast Guard’s responsibility to protect the 25,000 mile marine transportation system that supports 250,000 American jobs and $4.5 trillion of economic activity every year.


1/11/2018: Admiral Benkert award submission deadline extended

The Office of Port and Facility Compliance announced that the application deadline for the 2018 Biennial Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Environmental Protection Award is extended to January 26, 2018.


1/9/2018: Ship Structure Committee soliciting research ideas for 2018 Project Year

The SSC is seeking research ideas within four focus areas: 1) Structural Lifetime Extension; 2) Arctic Construction, Operations, Technologies, and Effects; 3) Composite Materials; and 4) SSC Follow-Up Report. All submissions much reach the SSC Executive Director by Feb. 28, 2018.


12/19/2017: Don’t miss the January 12 deadline to submit nominations for the Rear Adm. Benkert award for excellence in environmental protection

Started in 1995, the award recognizes corporations and businesses involved in marine facility or vessel operations which have demonstrated sustained excellence and outstanding achievement in protecting the marine environment. It also encourages innovations in operations, maintenance, cargo handling, refueling and training while providing a means to share best practices with others in the maritime community.


11/15/2017: Application period open for Rear Adm. William M. Benkert Award for excellence in environmental protection

Started in 1995, the award recognizes corporations and businesses involved in marine facility or vessel operations which have demonstrated sustained excellence and outstanding achievement in protecting the marine environment.


10/6/2017: Updated hyperlinks for frequently visited Coast Guard web sites

The Coast Guard recently completed the migration of all web content to a new, more secure server and web content managers have received many questions and comments from the maritime community about how to navigate the new sites. This post provides a list of updated web addresses for some of the industry-focused Coast Guard sites our readers visit the most.


10/1/2017: Coast Guard releases Report of Investigation into loss of 33 mariners and U.S. cargo ship, El Faro

The MBI concluded that the primary cause of the casualty was the decision to navigate El Faro too close to the path of Hurricane Joaquin. As the MBI expanded the investigation to explore other contributing factors, it uncovered evidence of an ineffective safety management system within the operating company, and failures by both the Coast Guard delegated representative and the Coast Guard itself to provide effective oversight of the vessel’s compliance with safety regulations.


9/19/2017: Nomination period open for Rear Adm. Richard E. Bennis award for excellence in maritime security

The Coast Guard has set Jan. 31, 2018 as the deadline to submit nominations for the Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis Award for Excellence in Maritime Security. This biennial award serves to highlight and recognize outstanding achievements and contributions of the maritime community with regards to implementation of Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA, requirements and other maritime security best practices in safeguarding our nation’s marine transportation system.


9/7/2017: Cancellation of next week’s MERPAC, MEDMAC meetings in Seattle, Washington

The Coast Guard is cancelling the MEDMAC and MERPAC meetings currently scheduled for September 12-15. Both meetings will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Future announcements of new dates will appear in the Federal Register and will be shared via Maritime Commons.


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