33 CFR § 165.756 - Regulated Navigation Area; Savannah River, Georgia.

§ 165.756 Regulated Navigation Area; Savannah River, Georgia.

(a) Regulated Navigation Area (RNA). The Savannah River between Fort Jackson (32°04.93′ N, 081°02.19′ W) and the Savannah River Channel Entrance Sea Buoy is a regulated navigation area when an LNG tankship in excess of heel is transiting the area or moored at the LNG facility. All coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

Bare steerage way means the minimum speed necessary for a ship to maintain control over its heading.

Bollard pull means an industry standard used for rating tug capabilities and is the pulling force imparted by the tug to the towline. It means the power that an escort tug can apply to its working line(s) when operating in a direct mode.

Direct mode means a towing technique defined as a method of operation by which a towing vessel generates towline forces by thrust alone at an angle equal to or nearly equal to the towline, or thrust forces applied directly to the escorted vessel's hull.

Heel means the minimum quantity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) retained in an LNG tankship after unloading at the LNG facility to maintain temperature, pressure, and/or prudent operations. A quantity of LNG less than five percent (5 %) of the LNG tankship's carrying capacity shall be presumed to be heel.

Indirect mode means a towing technique defined as a method of operation by which an escorting towing vessel generates towline forces by a combination of thrust and hydrodynamic forces resulting from a presentation of the underwater body of the towing vessel at an oblique angle to the towline. This method increases the resultant bollard pull, thereby arresting and controlling the motion of an escorted vessel.

LNG tankship means a vessel as described in 46 CFR 154.

Operator means the person who owns, operates, or is responsible for the operation of a facility or vessel.

Savannah River Channel Entrance Sea Buoy means the aid to navigation labeled R W “T” Mo (A) WHIS on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Nautical Chart 11512.

Standby means readily available at the facility and equipped to provide a ready means of assistance to maintain a safe zone around LNG tankships, provide emergency firefighting assistance, and aid the LNG tankship in the event of an emergency departure.

Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, not made fast to the shore, or not aground.

(c) Applicability. This section applies to all vessels operating within the RNA, including naval and other public vessels, except vessels that are engaged in the following operations:

(1) Law enforcement, security, or search and rescue;

(2) Servicing aids to navigation;

(3) Surveying, maintenance, or improvement of waters in the RNA; or

(4) Actively engaged in escort, maneuvering, or support duties for an LNG tankship.

(d) Regulations -

(1) Requirements for vessel operations while a LNG tankship, carrying LNG in excess of heel, is underway within the RNA.

(i) Except for a vessel that is moored at a marina, wharf, or pier, and remains moored, no vessel 1,600 gross tons or greater may come within two nautical miles of a LNG tankship, carrying LNG in excess of heel, which is underway within the Savannah River shipping channel without the permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP).

(ii) All vessels less than 1,600 gross tons shall keep clear of transiting LNG tankships.

(iii) The owner, master, or operator of a vessel carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) shall:

(A) Comply with the notice requirements of 33 CFR part 160. The COTP may delay the vessel's entry into the RNA to accommodate other commercial traffic.

(B) Obtain permission from the COTP before commencing the transit into the RNA.

(C) Not enter or get underway within the RNA if visibility during the transit is not sufficient to safely navigate the channel, and/or wind speed is, or is expected to be, greater than 25 knots.

(D) While transiting the RNA, LNG Tankships of cargo capacity over 120,000 m 3, carrying LNG in excess of heel, shall have a minimum of two escort towing vessels with a minimum of 100,000 pounds of bollard pull, 4,000 horsepower, and capable of safely operating in the indirect mode. At least one of the towing vessels shall be FiFi Class 1 equipped.

(2) Requirements while LNG tankships are moored inside the LNG facility slip.

(i) An LNG Tankship of cargo capacity over 120,000 m 3, moored inside the LNG facility slip shall have two standby towing vessels with a minimum capacity of 100,000 pounds of bollard pull, 4,000 horsepower, and the ability to operate safely in the indirect mode. At least one of the towing vessels shall be FiFi Class 1 equipped. The standby towing vessels shall take appropriate action in an emergency.

(ii) If two LNG tankships of cargo capacity over 120,000 m 3 are moored inside the LNG facility slip, each vessel shall provide a standby towing vessel that is FiFi Class 1 equipped with a minimum capacity of 100,000 pounds of bollard pull and 4,000 horsepower that is available to assist.

(3) Requirements for other vessels while within the RNA.

(i) Vessels 1,600 gross tons or greater shall at a minimum, transit at bare steerageway when within an area 1,000 yards on either side of the LNG facility slip to minimize potential wake or surge damage to the LNG facility and vessel(s) within the slip.

(ii) Vessels 1,600 gross tons or greater shall make a broadcast on channel 13 at the following points on the Savannah River:

(A) Buoy “33” in the vicinity of Fields Cut for inbound vessels;

(B) Buoy “53” in the vicinity of Fort Jackson for outbound vessels.

(iii) Vessels 1,600 gross tons or greater shall not meet nor overtake within the area adjacent to either side of the LNG facility slip when an LNG tankship is present within the slip.

(iv) Except for vessels involved in those operations noted in paragraph (c) of this section entitled Applicability, no vessel shall enter the LNG facility slip at any time without the permission of the Captain of the Port. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners on channel 16 upon enforcement of this RNA.

(e) Waivers.

(1) The COTP may waive any requirement in this section, if the COTP finds that it is in the best interest of safety or in the interest of national security. Such waivers may be verbal or in writing.

(2) An application for a waiver of these requirements must state the compelling need for the waiver and describe the proposed operation and methods by which adequate levels of safety are to be obtained.

[CGD07-05-138, 72 FR 2453, Jan. 19, 2007, as amended by USCG-2018-0533, 85 FR 8173, Feb. 13, 2020; USCG-2018-0648, 85 FR 20598, Apr. 14, 2020]

The following state regulations pages link to this page.