Back to Archive

 

 

 

February 19, 2004

 

Hawaii Ocean Safety Team

Membership Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES

 


Sign-In

 

The meeting was held at Honolulu Community College Marine Training Center, and had 39 attendees.

 

Call To Order:   Chairman Robin Bond was on a trip to attend the 6th annual harbor safety conference.    He asked Kim Beasley, Secretary, to facilitate the meeting.  Kim called the meeting to order and introduced Susan Harper who introduced Maxine Cavanaugh of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  

Presentation on the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

 

History

 

The beginning of the USCG Auxiliary came with the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790.   Their mission was to enforce customs and tariffs on maritime commerce.   They built 10 vessels to patrol the coastline.   Over time other maritime related agencies evolved until in 1915 these various services were combined to become the United State Coast Guard.

 

Early in 1939 the Coast Guard recognized the need for a reserve to help with the increasing amount of calls for assistance from recreational boaters.   In June of 1939 Congress authorized the creation of the Coast Guard Reserve with these stated aims:

 

          To assist the Coast Guard;

          To promote efficiency in the operation of motorboats and yachts;

          To foster a wider knowledge of and better compliance with the laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of motorboats.

          To promote safety and effect rescues on and over the high seas and navigable waters;

          To facilitate other operation of the coast guard.  (Primarily recreational boating safety)

 

With the advent of WWII, congress established what we now call the Coast Guard Reserve.  What was the Coast Guard Reserve became the Coast Guard Auxiliary as we know it today.

 

Today’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s primary mission is still Recreational Boating Safety.

 

The Four cornerstones of this mission are as follows.

 

Operations

The Auxiliary trains extensively to be prepared for their role is Search and Rescue operations.  The have vessels and aircraft available to support this effort.   Extensive training requirements are in place and operational exercises are conducted throughout the year to maintain the necessary skills.

 

Vessel Safety Checks

One of our ways to help boaters go out and come back safely is through the Vessel Safety Check Program.    Auxiliary Vessel Examiners conduct VSC’s on vessels that request this service.   In this manner boaters are made aware of the regulations and standard safe practices for boating.

 

Public Education

 

Auxiliarists teach a number of courses relating to boating safety.

 

Fellowship

 

Fellowship is an essential ingredient in making any volunteer organization successful.  The fellowship between Auxiliary members and other CG personnel makes the teamwork and binds the organization together.

 

In 2003 at the National Level the Auxiliary:

 

          Saved more than 350 lives;

          Assisted nearly 10,000 persons

          Performed more than 100,000 Vessel Safety Checks;

          Gave more than 1,200 Commercial Fishing Vessel Exams;

          Logged more than 11,000 air hours;

          Logged more than 170,000 hours in surface support; and

          Taught more than 58,000 hours in Public Education courses.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Hawaii

There are approximately 500 members in the 14th Coast Guard District, which includes Guam and Saipan.  In 2003 the Auxiliary:

          Saved 1 life;

          Performed 1,269 VSCs;

          Performed more the 1,817 hours on patrols and other surface missions.

          Have 42 coxswains, 51 crew and 5 Quality Examiners.

          Have more the 60 Auxiliary instructors and taught more than 600 hours of classes in Boating Safety.

          Logged more than 600 hours staffing public affairs activities like information booths.

 

If anyone is interested in joining the Auxiliary or attending a course please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

 

 

Paradise Cruises Ltd., Award

Kim Beasley introduced CMD. George Butler and Capt. Terry Rice (Ret) and asked them to facilitate the next portion of the meeting.   CMD. Butler introduced the 14th U.S. District Admiral Wurster who presented Captain Reggie White a Certificate of Merit for their participation and contribution to the recent NPREP exercise.   The draft plan that was generated out of this exercise will be used as a national template.

 

Panel Discussion:  Security Zones around Cruise Ships

 

A panel made up of Mr. Troy Brown of Waldron Steamship Co., Ships Agents, Mr. Kim Beasley of the Clean Islands Council, and Brad Rimell of Sause Brothers Ocean Towing Service presented materials and discussion points on the combination of increased numbers of cruise ships, limited harbors facilities, and new security zones, and the resulting impact on the oil transportation system.

 

Troy Brown started off the panel and shared the new itinerary for future cruise ship port calls in Hawaii.   The cruise industry sets the cruises 1-2 years ahead.  Future bookings show four Hawaii based cruise ships on routine round the island cruises.   In addition several additional cruise ships will be spending the winter months here in Hawaii rather than Alaska.   Also there are round the world cruise ships such as the Queen Mary II that pass through Hawaii.   In all, current projected bookings appear to be in Harbors across the State three to four days out of every week in every commercial harbor on the major islands.    Couple this with limited berth space, and the needs of Matson and Young Brothers, our commercial Harbors are at capacity levels.  

 

Kim Beasley pointed out that there are three factors combining to create a problem that needs to be understood by everyone involved.   First, we have an increasing number of cruise ships in Hawaii’s harbors.   Cruise ships traveling throughout the islands generally want to be in port during the daytime so their guests have shopping and touring opportunities.    The ships generally come into port early in the morning and leave around sunset.   Secondly, we have limited harbor infrastructure.   Pier space is at a premium and bulk liquid oil product off loading points are even more limited.     Third, the current exclusionary approach to cruise ship security zones compounds the conflict between commercial activities vying for harbor access.    Increasingly, cruise ship activity is driving oil transportation and offloading operations to nighttime hours.   This has the following potential risks to operator safety and environmental health.

 

a.         Tow boats pulling oil barges may be forced to wait offshore for cruise vessels to depart and then negotiate coming into harbors, in sometimes less than ideal conditions, after dark.

 

b.         With the increasing demand for oil, barges are getting larger.  Offloading activities may not even be completed by daylight.   Current exclusionary practices may require that the oil barge leave before the next cruise ship enters, to wait offshore for the opportunity to return the next night to complete offloading operations.  This would not only increase the demurrage time in each port but double the number of risky harbor entrance and exit maneuvers per load.

 

c.         Transportation and offloading activities will occur after dark.     The potential for human error in what is inherently a risky operation is increased along with the possibility of human injury and environmental impacts due to oil spills.  The ability to effectively respond to a spill is reduced by poor visibility.

 

d.         Delays caused by a policy of complete Security Zone exclusion at the more popular cruise destinations such as Hilo and Kahului will extend to the entire oil transportation schedule and ultimately effect overall operations throughout the islands.

 

Brad Rimell of Sause Brothers pointed out that oil delivery schedules can’t be planned years in advance.   Current cruise ship pier bookings are 2 –3 years in advance.  Brad reinforced that it is not good to have fuel barges off loading at night.  Most of the injuries occur from 2:00 to 5:00 am.  It is unreasonable to expect barges not to come into the harbor during the day.  The immediate needs are assistance from MSO, and Harbors.   These must be stable schedules for fuel barges.  The capacity of the neighbor island harbors and terminals is limited.   Lacking stable fuel barge scheduling could result in fuel shortages.   Fuel barges currently are not allowed to book more than 1 year in advance, although even that would be difficult.  Linden Joesting of DOT said that the priority set up is in the Administrative Rules.   DOT may be able to review current policy see if something can be done.

 

Kim finished the panel discussion expressing hope that further dialogue on this issue will help to find new approaches to security and booking that will keep our harbors working for everyone.

 

New Business

 

Rich Shema discussed the November causalities on the yacht sailing to the mainland.  He suggested that there needs to be education and training on safe long passage in Deep Ocean.  This is an issue not just for local resident but also for transient boaters.   He suggested that HOST may be able to help address this issue.

 

Terry Rice passed out draft information that the Humpback Whale Sanctuary would like feed back from the different industry sectors.  Terry asked if HOST would send comments back to him.

 

With no further new business Kim Beasley adjourned the meeting.