Promoting safety on the high seas






NAVSAC held a meeting on the above matter on Wednesday/Thursday, April 10-11, 2013. Submissions were invited to be addressed to:


Federal eRulemaking Portal:
Fax: 202-493-2251.
Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.



Mr. Mike Sollosi, the NAVSAC Alternate Designated Federal Officer (ADFO)

Tel: 202-372-1545

Email at   or


Mr. Burt Lahn, NAVSAC meeting coordinator 

Tel: 202-372-1526 

Email:          or


Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

The meeting was held at the Navy League Building, Coast Guard Recruiting Command, 5th floor conference room, 2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 20598. 




NAVSAC met to review, discuss and formulate recommendations on the following topics:

(1) Update on all past Resolutions to the Council. The Council will receive an update on the status of all outstanding resolutions and open action items.

(2) Risk assessment updates. The Coast Guard is currently conducting formal risk assessments for several U.S. 
ports/waterways. The Council will receive a briefing on why the risk assessments were initiated, how they are being conducted, what the risk assessments will produce, and how the Coast Guard will act on the results.

(3) E-Navigation Strategy. Under the auspices of the Committee on the Marine Transportation System, the Coast Guard and other agencies have developed a National e-Navigation Strategy that will establish a framework for data exchange between and among ships and shore facilities. The Council will receive an update on how the use of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Physical Oceanographic Real Time System support the E-Navigation Strategy.

(4) Atlantic Coast Ports Access Route Study (ACPARS). The Council will receive an update on the ACPARS undertaken to accommodate offshore wind energy development. The update will include a presentation on how AIS track data is being included as a Geospatial Information System component of the study.

(5) In response to a statement made by a member of the public during the April 2012 meeting, the Council will receive an update on requirements for encoding information into shipboard AIS devices.

Following the above presentations, the Council will form working groups to discuss and provide recommendations on the following tasks as appropriate:


(1) NAVSAC Task 05-05—Lights for Public Safety and Law Enforcement Vessels. At the November 2012 NAVSAC meeting, the Council briefly discussed the task and its ongoing work, and in response to task statement 05-05, provided Resolution 12-07, concerning lights on vessels engaged in defined public safety activities. The Council 
will be asked to continue discussions on this task and provide an update to Resolution 12-07 that includes recommendations for lights on law enforcement vessels engaged in law enforcement activities.

(2) NAVSAC Task 12-03—Unmanned vehicles/vessels (UV). The Council was asked to review current UV standards of operation, consider whether the latest generation of these vessels should employ AIS, and propose additional rules/standards of operation for both unmanned underwater vehicles, and unmanned surface vessels. NAVSAC 
was asked to provide a Resolution to this task at the spring 2013 meeting. At the November 2012 NAVSAC meeting, the Council briefly discussed the task and its ongoing work, and in response to task statement 12-03, provided Resolution 12-08 on recommendations for unmanned underwater vehicles. The Council will be asked to  continue discussions on this task and provide an update to Resolution 12-08 that includes recommendations for rules/standards of operation for unmanned surface vessels.

(3) NAVSAC Task 13-01—Special Distinctive Lights for Small Passenger Vessels. Various port and government authorities, in conjunction with operators of small passenger vessels, have designed and installed distinctive lights for their vessels. The Council will be briefed on some of these lighting schemes and asked to consider whether a change to the navigation rules is needed to standardize these lighting schemes nationwide. Public comments or questions will be taken during the meeting after the Council discusses each issue and prior to the Council 
formulating recommendations on each issue. 

P.F. Cook is the Acting Director, Marine Transportation Systems, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard.




Mr. Bill Cairns (US Coast Guard) briefed the Council on the status of the E-Navigation strategy developed in coordination with the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS). His presentation included an overview and finding of the recent CMTS National Online Dialog on e-Navigation, held from 14 January to 15 March, 2013. The presentation included a description and background on the top 5 most selected ideas, from the 31 ideas submitted via the on-line dialog session.



• Broadband Connectivity at Sea
• Navigation as a Free Web Service
• Single Window Reporting
• Open Source Reference System Architecture for e-Navigation
• NOAA P.O.R.T.S. Data via AIS





• Broadband data connectivity out to 30 miles offshore 
• High speed Internet service for data and navigation information products and services
• Real-time navigation information: wind, wave, real-time water depth, vessel traffic, etc.; 
• Single window reporting by vessels;
• Navigation web service for recreational boaters;
• Alternative communications to VHF radio.





• Navigation as a free web service, i.e. an “ECDIS on-line.” 
• Only Internet browser and GPS needed
• Distribute real-time information: tides, currents, vessel traffic and chart updates
• Reduce end-user cost and eliminate data encryption, secret keys and the complex fee structures experienced with ENCs.





• Report vessel data, cargo and voyage information to a common “portal”
• Government and industry avoid duplicate data submission
• Share information with other agencies and modes





• Automated ship/shore information exchanges (in S-100 format)
• Interoperability between computing environments onboard and ashore
• Health & accuracy metadata for all information sources
• Redundancy with automatic fail-over for all critical resources
• Use existing infrastructure/technology
• Mix & match applications with sensors and other information sources
• Deploy an application on any computing platform without customization





• Transmit NOAA Physical Oceanographic Real Time Systems (PORTS) data
• Real time weather and tidal current data over AIS. 
• Demonstrated in Tampa and Sault Ste Marie.










The Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) was established by the United States Congress as a deliberative body to advise the Secretary of Transportation, via the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, on matters relating to the prevention of collisions, rammings and groundings, including, but not limited to: Inland Rules of the Road, International Rules of the Road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety, and aids to navigation systems. When the Coast Guard was incorporated into the newly established Department of Homeland Security, responsibility for NAVSAC was transfered to the Secretary of Homeland Security. 

The law specifies that the Council shall consist of not more than 21 members considered to have particular expertise, knowledge and experience in the Navigation Rules of the Road (International and Inland), aids to navigation, navigational safety equipment, vessel traffic service, and traffic separation schemes and vessel routing. Members are appointed to three-year terms and serve without compensation other than reimbursement of necessary travel expenses. 

For more information about NAVSAC, write to:

Executive Director
Navigation Safety Advisory Council
USCG Headquarters (G-MWN)
2100 Second St., S.W.
Washington, DC 20593-0001






Title 33  Chapter 34  Subchapter II  ง 2073
33 USC ง 2073 - Navigation Safety Advisory Council


(a) Establishment of Council

(1) In general

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall establish a Navigation Safety Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Council”), consisting of not more than 21 members. All members shall have expertise in Inland and International vessel navigation Rules of the Road, aids to maritime navigation, maritime law, vessel safety, port safety, or commercial diving safety. Upon appointment, all non-Federal members shall be designated as representative members to represent the viewpoints and interests of one of the following groups or organizations:

(A) Commercial vessel owners or operators.
(B) Professional mariners.
(C) Recreational boaters.
(D) The recreational boating industry.
(E) State agencies responsible for vessel or port safety.
(F) The Maritime Law Association.

(2) Panels

Additional persons may be appointed to panels of the Council to assist the Council in performance of its functions.

(3) Nominations

The Secretary, through the Coast Guard Commandant, shall not less often than once a year publish a notice in the Federal Register soliciting nominations for membership on the Council.

(b) Functions

The Council shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary, through the Coast Guard Commandant, on matters relating to maritime collisions, rammings, groundings, Inland Rules of the Road, International Rules of the Road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety, and aids to navigation systems. Any advice and recommendations made by the Council to the Secretary shall reflect the independent judgment of the Council on the matter concerned. The Council shall meet at the call of the Coast Guard Commandant, but in any event not less than twice during each calendar year. All proceedings of the Council shall be public, and a record of the proceedings shall be made available for public inspection.

(c) Executive secretary; staff; travel expenses and status of members

The Secretary shall furnish to the Council an executive secretary and such secretarial, clerical, and other services as are deemed necessary for the conduct of its business. Members of the Council, while away from their home or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5. Payments under this section shall not render members of the Council officers or employees of the United States for any purpose.

(d) Termination of Council

Unless extended by subsequent Act of Congress, the Council shall terminate on September 30, 2020.





Member Name

Committee Name Occupation Or Affiliation Appointment Term

Cynthia L. Robson

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Associate Professor, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 3 years

Jo Ann Cantu

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Chief Mate, U.S. Merchant Marine 3 years

John Crawford

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Director, Crawford Nautical School 3 years

Daniel Fitzgerald

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Admiralty Lawyer 3 years

Craig H. Allen

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Professor, UW School of Law 2 years

Heather J. Fortner

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Professional Mariner 1 year

Jeffrey W. Monroe

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Director/DOT & Port Director, City of Portland, ME 3 years

Antonio J. Rodriguez

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Maritime Attorney, Rice, Fowler, Rodriguez, Kingsmill 3 years

Danny W. Phillips

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Captain, Inland Rivers 2 years

Thomas L. Bushy

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Associate Dean for Commercial Maritime Training, Massachusetts Maritime Academy 3 years

Lynn D. Korwatch

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Executive Director, Marine Exchange of San Francisco 3 years

Michael A Morris

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Pilot 3 years

Alan S Richard

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Law Enforcement Officer 3 years

John T Pascoe

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Township Trustee 3 years

Clark J Sheehan

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Marine Consultant 3 years

Jessica H Dennis

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Regulatory Compliance Officer 3 years

James Haley

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Pilot 3 years

Jerome A Eker

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Director of Maritime Operations Maersk 3 years

Robert V Sheen

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Vice President of Operations - Ocean Shipholdings 3 years

Debra Marks

Navigation Safety Advisory Council Nautical Services International 3 years



U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center - NAVCEN MS 7310, 7323 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 20598 - 7310 | (703) 313-5900



There are similar advisory bodies in the aviation world, moving toward autonomy and space-based navigation:



European aviation advisory board











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