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Towing Safety

Towing Safety Advisory Committee to Meet in St. Louis

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee and its working groups will meet in St. Louis on Sept. 21-22, 2006, to discuss various issues relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. All meetings will be open to the public. Both the advisory committee and its working groups will meet in Salons A & B at the Hilton St. Louis Airport, located at 10330 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, Mo. The working groups will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the advisory committee will meet on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006, also from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

TSAC Meeting

The Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, will meet in Arlington, Virginia on June 22 and 23. Topics on the agenda include proposed equipment standards and possible adoption of existing standards. 70 Fed. Reg. 34144 (HK Law)

Barge Grounds in Lake Michigan

A tug towing two barges ran into rough seas, grounding one barge, while attempting to find a safe haven. The tug, Holly Ann, owned by Holly Marine in Chicago, was towing two empty barges from Muskegon, Mich., to Chicago when seas increased to 10-12 feet and the captain decided to head for safety. The tug lost propulsion and steering while it was making its way toward the Holland Channel. The tug and first barge drifted to the Lake Michigan contractors’ dock and tied up on the pier

ACBL Announces New Appointments

American Commercial Barge Line has appointed Captain Samuel S. Dickey to the position of marine superintendent. He previously facilitated the training of ACBL Captains and Watch Captains at Seamen’s Church Institute in Paducah, Ky. Dickey attended the University of North Alabama and has 34 years of experience in the industry. Mario Muñoz has accepted the position of manager of corporate safety and loss control with ACBL. Muñoz was previously risk analyst

AWO Hails New Deadlines for Towing Vessel Inspection Regs

The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, hails the enactment of provisions in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-281) that bring the industry one step closer to a historic towing vessel inspection regulation to improve safety in the towing industry.  Section 701 of the Act requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding inspection

Proposed Ruling Calls For Fixed Fire Safety

The U.S. Coast Guard's supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) on "Fire Suppression Systems and Voyage Planning for Towing Vessels" appears in today's Federal Register. The SNPRM proposes the installation of fixed fire-extinguishing systems in the engine rooms of towing vessels, and it states that owners or operators, and masters, ensure that voyage planning is conducted before vessels towing barges commence on trips or voyages of at least 12 hours

2015: An Action Year for Subchapter M

Jennifer Carpenter

For all of the predictions and prognostications that have been made over the last ten years, one thing is objectively true: the publication of Subchapter M – the U.S. Coast Guard’s long-awaited towing vessel inspection rule – is closer than it’s ever been. Yes, the road to Subchapter M has been long, but the end is in sight (really). As we approach our destination, both the Coast Guard and the tugboat, towboat

Coast Guard Seeks Comments on Guidelines

In the August 6, 2002, Federal Register, the Coast Guard seeks comments on proposed assessment criteria to be used by Designated Examiners when evaluating candidates for licenses as officers of towing vessels, specifically when evaluating mariners' execution of certain prescribed tasks. These standards appear on the Department of Transportation's website. To access them, (1) go to; (2) click on "Simple Search" on the bottom of the page; (3) type "12973" in the search box

Reducing Human Error & Near Miss Incidents

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We recently came across a very interesting report issued to Congress by the United States Coast Guard. The May 2012 study might seem dated, but that’s hardly the case. Actually, it’s a telling description of what can go wrong, why and perhaps, a blueprint for how to go forward and fix things.   That’s our take, in any event. The Report chronicles oil spills from all vessel types, including the towing industry, tank ships, the offshore industry, freighters

Coast Guard Tries to Fix Towboat Licensing Rule Problems

The USCG published Interim Rules concerning new licensing regulations for Towing Vessels on November 19, 1999. These rules were generated in order to improve the safety record of the towing industry. There was great controversy over the evolution of these rules. Licensed individuals and operating companies considered these rules to be unnecessary overkill and were extremely reluctant to actively support the process. The Coast Guard aggressively pursued their objective and probably became so

MacGregor Wins Deck Machinery Order in China

MacGregor has expanded its winch portfolio

  MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has signed contracts with Chinese shipyard Guangzhou Shunhai Shipyard Ltd to deliver anchor handling/towing winch packages for five 48m anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels, each with a 75-tonne bollard pull and one 40m AHTS vessel with a 70-tonne bollard

Eastern Launches Tug for Suderman & Young

Triton (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. announced it has launched escort tug Triton for Suderman & Young Towing Company on September 11, 2015.   The launch ceremony was held at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility and hosted by Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern

Get Started! Benefits, Advice Abound for SMS Laggards

When industry players say “the handwriting is on the wall,” they aren’t just talking about the pending Subchapter M regulations, but also about the already existing demand for safety management systems (SMS) in general for the domestic towing industry. While the U.S

SubM Debut Now Set for February 2016

ABS and ABS Group are conducting seminars for industry stakeholders seeking to learn more about Subchapter M and compliance options. Pictured here are attendees and speakers at a recent event in Paducah, KY.

Outsourcing, E-Solutions Help Mariners “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, and Prove it.” The perennial “Year of Subchapter M” has been kicked forward again, this time to February 2016. That means that the clock is now ticking loudly for those towing operations that

Polarcus Gets West Africa Contract

 Polarcus Limited  has announced it has received a letter of intent for a 3D marine seismic project in West Africa.    The client was not disclosed by the Dubai-based seismic vessel operator, who will utilise its RightBAND technique for the broadband data acquisition. 

Kirby Selects ABS as Subchapter M Solutions Provider

James Watson, ABS Americas President & COO (image: courtesy ABS)

Proactive effort shows commitment to safety and environmental protection. ABS, a provider of maritime shipping and offshore classification services, has been selected by Kirby Corporation to provide classification and International Safety Management certification for 11 push boats

Historic Steamship Towed to Buffalo for Restoration

Photo: Great Lakes Towing Company

A 113-year-old “Boblo Boat” SS Columbia is being towed from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, N.Y., where the historic vessel will be docked for the next year for restoration.   A towing contract was awarded to The Great Lakes Towing Company from nonprofit organization The SS Columbia

The Maritime Person of the Year

Brian, Buckley and Eric McAllister - the Massachusetts Maritime Academys Persons of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team. Set for September 10, 2015, MMA’s Salute to the Maritime Person of the Year – benefiting the MMA

Great Lakes Shipyard to Build Guatemalan Harbor Tug

Photo: Great Lakes Shipyard

U.S. shipbuilding and repair yard Great Lakes Shipyard informs it has signed a contract to build another of its HandySize Class, 3,400 HP twin-screw tugboat for harbor towing operations in Puerto Quetzal, a commercial cargo, container and cruise port located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala in

Fishing Boat Catches Fire off Maine

U.S. Coast Guard photo

U.S. Coast Guard crews from Station South Portland, Maine, and Air Station Cape Cod responded to a report of a fishing boat fire Wednesday, about six miles from Jeffreys Ledge, a fishing area which stretches from the coast of Rockport to just southeast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  

MN 100: AEP River Operations

President: Keith Darling

AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier. Complementing its barge operations is a fleet of over 80 boats ranging in power from  1,550 to 11,000 hp. The Company: Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering service

What Have We Learned From Hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane Katrina (IMarEst)

To mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, specialist insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has released a report analyzing windstorm risks and losses and how to mitigate future losses, given increasing weather volatility.  

MN 100: Baker, Lyman & Co., Inc.

President/CEO: Corinne Titus

The Company: A wheelhouse favorite for generations, Baker, Lyman & Co. is the oldest NOAA & Admiralty Chart Agent in the United States. New Orleans-based Baker Lyman has been provisioning vessels with nautical charts, electronic charting systems, publications, safety/educational materials

AWO Working Hard for the Domestic Workboat Market

Higman Barges by Capt. Darren Istre

The year 2015 has been a busy year for The American Waterways Operators, the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, and for the industry AWO is privileged to represent. It’s a dynamic time for a vital industry that constitutes the largest segment of the U.S

MN 100: ABS

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The Company: Since its founding in 1862, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a New York registered not-for-profit corporation, has been committed to setting standards for safety and excellence as one of the world’s leading classification societies

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