INTERTANKO attends meeting of the Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC)

On 9 October 2003 INTERTANKO Chemicals Manager, Margaret Doyle, attended a meeting of the Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC), sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, held in LaPorte, Texas. Items on the agenda included port security, bridge allision prevention, and electronic navigation. The purpose of the Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC) is to provide advice and consultation to the Commandant on matters relating to the transit of vessels and products to and from the ports of Galveston, Houston and Texas City, and through GalvestonBay. The Committee reports to the Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, who is the sponsor of the Committee, and the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston, who is the Executive Director of the Committee.

At the October 9 Meeting the Committee endorsed the establishment of a working group to focus on "Deep Draft Entry Facilitation". The working group (which includes Margaret Doyle) was formed to examine the frequent and offshore boardings taking place (relative to port security) in the Houston-Galveston -Texas City area. The meetings of the Deep Draft Entry Facilitation Work Group will be held at the Houston International Seafarer's Center from 1030-1200 hrs on 28 October, 12 November and 2 December 2003.

One important task of the working group will be to create a trend analysis of vessels that have been boarded three or more times during the last year. The Commanding Officer of the USCG Vessel Traffic Service Houston / Galveston, Commander Tom Marian, has requested information on vessels (in the Houston COTP area) that have been boarded three or more times between 10/01/02 to 09/30/03. This information should include the vessel, date, location, and delays, if any, that prohibited the vessel from proceeding on arrival or upon completion of the security check (had to wait for daylight or one-way transit). Members are encouraged to submit this data to INTERTANKO or direct to the USCG at TMarian@vtshouston.uscg.mil.

In the course of these meetings the working group will be looking at the following:

  • Ensuring prioritisation of Wide Body vessels since they are daylight restricted; reviewing possibility of "twilight-to-twilight" boardings; ensuring coordination between Houston VTS, Galveston MSU and Houston Pilots.
  • Investigating the use of other platforms (or vessels) to board the vessels (realizing that USCG vessels were not designed for boarding like the pilot boats).
  • Creating a trend analysis of vessels that have been boarded three or more times during the last year.
  • Reviewing the targeting matrix, looking for more definitive information and taking advantage of pre-existing solutions.

For more information on the HOGANSAC meeting or the Deep Draft Entry Facilitation Working Group:

Contact: Margaret Doyle