Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee
The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and its working groups will meet to discuss various issues relating to the training and fitness of merchant marine personnel. MERPAC advises the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters relating to the training, qualifications, licensing, and certification of seamen serving in the U.S. merchant marine. All meetings will be open to the public.
Safety and Security Zones; Fifth Coast Guard District
The Coast Guard proposes to remove three established safety/ security zone regulations for Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Captain of the Port Hampton Roads and Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Delaware Bay, Delaware River and its tributaries. The Commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District recently issued a District-wide security zone regulation for escorted vessels that will make these three previously established safety/security zone regulations unnecessary. This proposed rule would eliminate any duplication between the three established safety/security zone regulations and the recently established District-wide security zone regulation for escorted vessels.
Security Zone; Fifth Coast Guard District
The Coast Guard is establishing permanent moving security zones around escorted vessels while they are in the navigable waters of the Fifth Coast Guard District. The security zones require all vessels in a 500-yard radius around escorted vessels, to operate at the minimum speed necessary to navigate safely and prohibits any vessels from entering within 100 yards of an escorted vessel. These security zones mitigate potential terrorist acts and enhance public and maritime safety and security.
Regulated Navigation Area; Humboldt Bay Bar Channel and Humboldt Bay Entrance Channel, Humboldt Bay, CA
The Coast Guard is designating the Humboldt Bay Bar Channel and the Humboldt Bay Entrance Channel as a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) for certain commercial vessels transporting oil or hazardous material as cargo. This action is necessary to reduce significant hazards to subject vessels, the port and the public that are present during periods of poor weather conditions. The RNA codifies existing Captain of the Port San Francisco Bay (COTP) policies for vessels transporting oil or certain dangerous cargoes in bulk within Humboldt Bay.
Regulated Navigation Area and Security Zones; High Capacity Passenger Vessels in Alaska
The Coast Guard proposes to establish moving and fixed security zones in the navigable waters of Coast Guard District 17 around and under all high capacity passenger (HCP) vessels. The zones would extend 100 yards from HCP vessels while they are underway and 25 yards from HCP vessels while they are moored or anchored. The Coast Guard also proposes to establish a regulated navigation area that would require other vessels operating within 250 yards of a HCP vessel be subject to speed restrictions. These security zones and regulated navigation area are needed to secure and safeguard HCP vessels and ports from sabotage, terrorist acts, and other incidents. Entry into these security zones would be prohibited, unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard District 17 Commander, cognizant Captain of the Port, or the on-scene official patrol.