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France wants UN Security Council blessing for international naval patrols empowered to hunt down pirates, even in territorial waters. What do you think?

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Marine Log

May 21, 2008

Commandant unveils USCG Marine Safety Performance Plan

With the Coast Guard's maritime safety role coming under continuing criticism, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Thad Allen, will unveil the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Performance Plan during a speech to members of Baltimore's maritime industry scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, National Maritime Day, at The Vane Brothers Company, 2100 Frankfurst Ave., Baltimore.

The Coast Guard says it is making its five-year plan available for public comment via its "Homeport" Internet site following Thursday's event for a period of 60 days and welcomes input from the maritime industry, stakeholders, communities and others interested in the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Program.

The Coast Guard's marine safety role has been the subject of a series of hearings by the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, the most recent of them focusing on its handling of marine casualty investigations (an area where the NTSB is seeking the right to declare itself the lead agency in a limited number of cases).

One outcome of the continued congressional scrutiny has been language in the Coast Guard Authorization Act, H.R. 2830, that the Administration sees as serving to "unreasonably intrude upon the Commandant's authority and discretion to command and control the Coast Guard."

Against this background, the Coast Guard has been working hard to fix its own problems.

The Coast Guard says the action plan to be unveiled by the Commandant is designed to improve upon the service's marine safety program with the ultimate goal of a program that will be considerate and responsive to mariners and the maritime community with six areas of focus that include adding more than 230 marine inspectors and investigators, creating six "Centers of Expertise" to train marine safety officers and programmatic improvements designed to make the Coast Guard's marine safety program the model of effectiveness and efficiency that other maritime nations will seek to emulate.

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