The meeting was held at Honolulu Community College Marine Training Center, and had 42 attendees.
Call To Order:
Robin Bond called the meeting to order. Due to some technical difficulties Capt. Terry Rice spoke on Ballast water regulations first.
Ballast Water Regulations
Final Rules will be out this month having a Ballast Water Plan. The main thrust of the initial requirements was focused on record keeping requirements that are now in place. The new rules requiring a ballast water plan with record keeping requirements included provides for penalties up to $27,500. a day for violations.
There are also new ballast water standards related to Invasive Species in the development stage. Also in the development stage is Senate Bill 2490 which is to address bilge water and gray water inside 12 miles. Be sure to watch this legislation and be ready to comply.
Lt. Tom Sullivan USCG
LTCMDR Commander Gary Messmer
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. It works within a VTS or Vessel Traffic Scheme port area. It was originally used to be for navigational purposes for ships over a certain size. With the new emphasis on Homeland Security we now find this implemented for security reasons. It is included in MTSA and is required for smaller vessels than before in port areas with a VTS receiver (Not Hawaii currently) AIS sends three types of data. Static Data includes the name and owner of the vessel. Dynamic Data sends information on current location, speed etc. Voyage Specific Data is manually entered and describes the voyage plan.
Who will it affect? Go to the USCG website for more information. This is an International Regulation under ISPS. Right now it is strictly an international regulation, however, with MTSA the rules are beginning to change. (Vessel Traffic Scheme) areas will also require an AIS system. Until the VTS is in place it is not a requirement.
Dale Hazelhurst asked whether the IMO has reconsidered this because this would be good information for terrorists. If the good guys can find out where all the ships are, so can the bad guys. The USCG personnel responded that they have not heard of any reconsideration initiatives to date but they have heard people express similar concerns and this may be an issue in the future.
AIS can be integrated with your GPS and Radar. Current prototypes appear to have ranges beyond line of sight. The future may include satellite coverage for greater (unlimited) range. We are also looking at encrypted signals in the future. This is just one tool in the toolbox and it definitely has its pros and cons.
Hector Venegas of Kems Kewalo mentioned that the current cost is about $5,700. This may go down as production to meet demand increases.
New Security Zones – Lt. Thomas
Security Zones have been in place for almost 3 years. There have been concerns raised as to the confusion these create for the average boater. The USCG has initiate new proposed rules to try and address these expressed concerns. Currently there is a Notice of Proposed Rule Making open for comment before the docket. This is a renewed opportunity to comment on these Security Zones and the USCG’s effort to revisit this issue. This is your opportunity to provide input to the Federal Register. The comment period ends on July 19th. The USCG has been trying to get the word out but as yet they have received no comments.
There are two Security Zone categories being proposed. Those Zones that are continually set up and those that will be activated at higher MARSEC levels. Honolulu Harbor is one that will be enforced all the time. Also an area around the reef runway is enforced at all times. The anchorages offshore Honolulu and areas in the Kalihi channel of Keehi Lagoon are no longer continually enforced. The anchorages at Barbers Point are not being changed and they are enforced all the time. The area of Security Zone around cruise ships has been reduced from 500 yards to 100 yards.
The new proposed rule will soon be published in the local Notice To Mariners.
For permission to transit in a Security Zone contact the USCG on Marine VHF Channel 16 or call the USCG Command Center at 808-541-2477.
Maritime Transportation Security Act – Linden Joesting
Robin introduced Linden Joesting with the Dept. of Transportations, Harbors Division by pointing out that the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulations are about to take effect on July 1st and this will have a number of impacts that will effect commercial harbor users across the State. Linden discussed two direct requirements that must be in place by July 1st if you need to enter into secured areas within the State of Hawaii commercial harbors. First, ID badges will be required to enter a Harbor Area. Second is that awareness training with specific curriculum must be conducted and the State is asking for a letter certifying who is trained be sent to the various State Harbor District Managers. They will maintain a list of who has the training. In addition, we will soon be seeing a green badge that must be signed for that indicates this training has been conducted.
Hurricane Season Update – Mr. Tom Diggs, Manager, State Civil Defense
Hurricane Season is from June 1st through November 30th. In May the National Weather Service publishes its Hurricane Season Forecast. This year they are projecting 4 to 5 tropical cyclones. Typically this would include one Hurricane, two Tropical Storms and one or two Tropical Depressions.
Historically, these storms have traveled to the south of Hawaii . It should be pointed out that they are completely unpredictable. See the map on page 4.
The National Weather Service, Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) will issue a Hurricane Watch when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 36 hours. Preliminary precautions should be taken. A Hurricane Warning will be issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24 hours. Civil Defense will sound the public warning sirens as appropriate prior to the arrival of gale force winds (40 miles per hour). The Hurricane Warning will be announced over local radio and television stations. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately.
As a vessel owner there are activities you can do prior to a storm, during a storm and after a storm. Mooring plans are very important. If you are off-island who will take care of your preparedness activities? Civil Defense has prepared a Hawaii Boaters Hurricane Safety Manual that is available to the public. It includes a complete hurricane preparedness plan. This can be obtained by calling State Civil Defense at 733-4300 or by dropping by the office at 3949 Diamond Head Road , Honolulu , Hawaii 96816 They are open from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. They will mail you out a copy. For groups wishing to distribute it bulks orders can be requested.
National Weather Service – New Services Update – Nezette Rydell
There are some things that will be changing in the near future on the national and local levels.
Current they broadcast information forecasts for 8 zones in Hawaii . Soon these zones will be increased from 8 to 28. In the marine community they are going from 2 to 15 zones.
Part of the reason for these changes is to facilitate the new graphic forecast format. Instead of telling the forecast in words (which will continue) forecasts will be represented graphically. Other vendors such as the Weather Channel will be subscribers to this service and be able to use them within their own presentation formats. These graphic displays will be available over the web.
Greater resolution of the zones will enable more detailed forecasts with greater relevance to specific areas. In August Marine Forecast Matrices will be produced in a grid presentation format presenting wind and weather buoy information.
Coastal Waters Forecast
This will be produced in written form and going from 2 to 15 zones will greatly lengthen this written product but it also provides greater resolution. One of the things the Weather Service is looking for in the way of feed back from end users is the usefulness of the longer format.
Small Craft Advisory
Currently the criterion being used is very complex. The Weather Service is looking for feedback on whether the current Small Craft Advisory system seems consistent in its application or is there confusion or a need for change in the criteria? Some mariners have asked, “Why is there a Small Craft Warning when the weather in Kona is perfectly fine?”. Some of the confusion will be resolved with greater resolution in the forecasts. Fishermen and sailboats rely heavily on the Small Craft Advisory for go – no go decisions. After July 15 when the changes are to begin, please watch to see if these are working for you and if you have any feedback or concerns please contact the Weather Service.
NOAA Weather Radio
Currently 6 Transmitters broadcast the same program. Beginning July 15 the coverage on the big island (2 transmitters) will receive an independent transmission from the NWS office. It is a small step but this will provide more big island specific forecast product for the big island.
There are some plans for more independent programs. We may be able to produce a specific program for Kauai . The NWS would love to see a Marine only program product. But we are not there yet.
NOAA Weather Radio is about to become an all hazards communication system by virtue of a new Memorandum of Agreement with the Dept. of Homeland Security. This may be good news because money may be available.
Contact the National Weather Service Honolulu if you have questions or comments:
Safety at Sea Education Program Update – Susan Harper
Susan has agreed to chair a HOST Committee to look at what can be done to help mariners properly and safely prepare for long distances cruises. This committee has had two meetings so far. They are currently doing research on the current programs that are available. It does appear that there is not as great a training effort for long distance cruises when compared to small boat activities. It has been almost 10 years since the last Safety At Sea Seminar and this may be something that can be done. Chris Woolaway of UH Sea Grant is looking for possible funding for this undertaking.
If anyone is interested in helping the next meeting will be held on July 28th, at 5:30 pm at the Kaneohe Yacht Club. Please feel free to attend.
Robin asked whether anyone had any announcements or questions. He reminded everyone that many of the topics that we discussed today came from comments from the HOST constituencies. Please feel free to send in e-mails or give Robin a call.
Robin announced that the Executive Board has re-elected the same Officers for another term. They are Robin Bond, Chairman, Brad Rimell, Vice-Chairman, Chris Woolaway, Treasurer, and Kim Beasley, Secretary.
Executive Board Meeting – July 8th, 3:00 pm at the Hawaii Yacht Club
Executive Board Meeting – August 12th, 3:00 pm at the Hawaii Yacht Club
General Membership Meeting – August 26th, 2:00 pm at the Honolulu
Community College Marine Training Center
Hearing no further announcements Robin adjourned the meeting.