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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)

AWO Authorizes ClassNK to Perform RCP Audits

Pictured left to right: Ed McCain - Manager, Client Relations, ClassNK America; Toru Urushihara, Manager - ClassNK; Tom Allegretti - President & CEO, AWO; Jennifer Carpenter - Executive Vice President & COO, AWO; John Kim - General Manager, ClassNK (Photo: American Waterways Operators)

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and ClassNK have signed an agreement under which ClassNK will be authorized to conduct audits of AWO's Responsible Carrier Program, a safety management system for towing vessels with which all AWO members must comply as a condition of association membership. The agreement with ClassNK, an international classification society, expands the options for AWO member companies to obtain RCP audits following publication of the U.S

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

AWO to Hold Subchapter M Info Sessions

File photo: Eric Norcross

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) will hold Subchapter M information sessions open to both members and nonmembers at its summer regional meetings in Portland on August 10, in Pittsburgh on August 17 and in New York on August 24.   Subchapter M is one of the most important rulemakings ever to affect the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, and the AWO said it is committed to helping all members successfully navigate the transition to towing vessel inspection

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

Towing Industry Safety: AWO & USCG Joint Analysis … By the Numbers

Source: USCG

For 16 years, the National Quality Steering Committee has used three measures to track overall trends in safety and environmental protection. While not all-encompassing, the measures are considered to be useful indicators of towing industry trends. The measures are:

The Advent of Subchapter M

Ian McVicker

A primer: the new rule and guidance for operators as they search for the right mix of compliance options to meet their specific and unique needs.      For several years, the towing vessel industry has been waiting for final publication of the U.S

Subchapter M: Post Publication Highlights

Photo: AWO

An extra T in TSMS, nowhere left to hide from systems documentation, and an emphasis on continuous improvement.      Back in January of this year, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) predicted Subchapter M would be released in spring 2016

ICS Pilotage, Towing and Mooring Survey 2016 Now Underway

Photo:  International Chamber of Shipping

 The role of the pilot in mitigating the potential economic and environmental risk from today's large vessels is one of the most important in maritime safety.    In recognition of this, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has embarked upon its first comprehensive survey of

Lloyd’s Register, MarineCFO Partner to Provide Turnkey SubM Solutions

Left to Right: Chris Desmond (LR), Dean Shoultz (MCFO), Rafael Riva (LR), Michael Klein-Urena (LR) and David Hanowski (MCFO)

Industry Innovators Combine to lead US Towing Vessel Compliance.   Lloyd’s Register North America, Inc. has formally announced to the United States Coast Guard its intention to assume Subchapter M Third Party Organization duties effective immediately

MN100: Safety Management Systems, LLC

Bill Mahoney (Photo: Safety Management Systems, LLC)

The Company: A leading US maritime consultancy established in 1996, SMSLLC provides practical risk mitigation solutions for vessel operators and stakeholders. Clients include a broad range of operators including Genesis Marine, American River Transportation Company, Seabulk Towing

MN100: Baker, Lyman & Co., Inc.

Corinne Titus (Photo: Baker, Lyman & Co., Inc.)

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

MN100: ClassNK America

Photo: ClassNK

The Company: ClassNK is dedicated to ensuring the safety of life and property at sea, and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment. Bolstered by a workforce of more than 1800 engineers, surveyors and maritime professionals, ClassNK focuses on delivering the highest quality

USCG Aiding Preparation for Subchapter M

Marine Inspectors from MSU Portland conduct a field dry dock examination to educate and train the towing vessel community on new regulatory standards that will come into force in the summer of 2018. The information session held at MSU Portland was the second in a series of national outreach forums designed to educate towing vessel operators on the new Subchapter M regulations. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

U.S. Coast Guard, industry working together in preparation for the implementation of inspected towing vessel regulations   Marine Inspectors from Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Portland conducted a field dry dock examination, Wednesday, to educate and train the towing vessel community on new

Subchapter M: Slow Walking the Inspection of Towing Vessels

One important impact of the new regulations is that, once they enter into effect, the U.S. Coast Guard will be the principal federal agency overseeing towing vessels.  OSHA will immediately lose its authority over inspected towing vessels. (Photo: Pat Folan)

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard promulgated its long awaited or dreaded (depending on your perspective) final rule regarding inspection of towing vessels. The new regulations, which will enter into effect on July 20, derive from a 2004 legislative amendment which added towing vessels to the

Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

File photo: Thomas Rollins

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst. While it is unclear whether the season, which began June 1

Sunken Barge Impedes Waterway Traffic Near Galveston

A barge sank east of the Galveston Causeway railroad bridge Tuesday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a safety zone and temporarily restrict traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The restriction allows one-way and single-wide barges only, from mile marker 356 to mile marker 357

New Subchapter M Towing Vessel Regulations Take Effect

(File photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday new towing vessel regulations establishing new requirements for the design, construction, onboard equipment and operation of towing vessels.   These regulations, which were developed over time with input from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC)

Cargo Vessel Collides with Tanker at Guangzhou Port

Image: Guangzhou Port Channel

 Inbound general cargo vessel Yan Zhan 58 collided with outbound tanker Zhen Peng during the evening of May 9 in Peral river estuary near buoy 48, Guangzhou Port Channel, Guangdong province, China.    The freighter struck the tanker, loaded with 2,290 tons of gasoline

OMB - Subchapter M Cleared for Publication

File Image: an aerial view of a typical fleeting operation on Americas inland rivers (WCI)

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of the draft final rule entitled Inspection of Towing Vessels, also known as "Subchapter M." The document has been returned to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Coast Guard for final preparation prior to

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