Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/707823
17 Summer 2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Coast Guard Authority Following this incident, the NTSB recommended expanding the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard over vessel traffic in the ports. The contemporary Harbor Advisory Radar system was a voluntary system, and the Oregon Standard was not maintaining its connection at the time of the collision. More- over, the system had proved inadequate, as it prohibited U.S. Coast Guard operators from directing vessels. Subsequently, Congress enacted the Ports & Waterways Safety Act of 1972, which mandated that vessel traffic ser- vices (VTS) facilitate maritime transportation and guard the marine environment. San Francisco Bay was the site of the first VTS. Also in the early 1970s, the Bridge to Bridge Radiotelephone Act set up mandatory radio channels for communication between ships and for hailing and distress signals. The act applies to power-driven vessels of 20 meters or more, as well as vessels of 20 gross tons or more. After the 1978 grounding of the SS Argo Merchant southeast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the U.S. Coast Guard increased its supervision of vessel traffic. The Port & Tanker Safety Act of 1978 amended the 1972 law and gave the U.S. Coast Guard expanded authority over U.S. waterways. Legislation In March of 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, spilling approximately The U.S. Coast Guard and the Waterways A history of the vessel traffic service. by Mr. d a V e r osen Pacific Area Historian U.S. Coast Guard Overview In 1971, two fully laden tankers, the Arizona Standard and the Oregon Standard, collided in dense fog at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, totally shutting down the Port of San Francisco. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), those operating the vessels failed to correctly utilize their VHF radios and radarscopes. Further, both vessels were underway at immoderate speed for the foggy conditions, and both operators failed to keep each ship to its own side of the channel. Before the Arizona Standard made its pass under the bridge, its crew sighted a red navigation light on the starboard bow of the Oregon Standard, which was only about 200 yards away. The master ordered a hard-left rudder and to stop all engines — but it was too late. The bow of the Arizona Standard penetrated the port side of the Oregon Standard. As the two vessels became locked together and drifted under the bridge back into the bay, 800,000 gallons of fuel spilled into the water, fouling beaches up to 20 miles north at Kellam Bay and 25 miles south at Half Moon Bay. Hundreds of volunteers aided Standard Oil as well as federal, state, and local agencies in cleaning up the waterways. The Oregon Standard (top) and the Arizona Standard after the incident. U.S. Coast Guard photos.