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Towing Vessel

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) and the towing vessel industry, will be incorporated into Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations as the new Subchapter M.   The Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 reclassified towing vessels as vessels subject to inspection and authorized the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to establish requirements for a safety management system appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation and the unique nature of towing vessels. These requirements make up Subchapter M.   These regulations become effective July 20, 2016. As provided in these regulations, certain regulations are phased-in over time and existing towing vessels will have an additional two years before having to comply with most of the requirements. With certain exceptions, these regulations apply to U.S.-flag towing vessels 26 feet or more in length and those less than 26 feet moving barges carrying oil or hazardous material in bulk. The rule lays out new compliance options as well as new equipment, construction and operational requirements for towing vessels.  


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 list of ‘vessels subject to inspection’. That statute also authorized regulations to establish a safety management system for towing vessels and maximum hours of service and related


NTSB Releases Finding of I-40 Accident Investigation

The nation’s tugboat, towboat, and barge industry is committed to improving public safety and preventing accidents involving vessels and bridges, the American Waterways Operators (AWO) pledged as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation of the May 2002 I-40 bridge accident at Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. AWO President Thomas A. Allegretti called the NTSB findings “important information that will help our industry and make the traveling public


AWO Pledges Support in I-40 Investigation

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) pledged as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation of the May 2002 I-40 bridge accident at Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. AWO President Thomas A. Allegretti called the NTSB findings "important information that will help our industry and make the traveling public safer. AWO is a partner with the NTSB and the Coast Guard in improving marine transportation safety


Towing Safety Committee to Meet

TSAC – meeting Two working groups of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, will meet in Arlington, Virginia to discuss issues related to towing vessel safety. The Regulatory Review Working Group will meet on April 27 to discuss travel time for towing vessel officers. The Maritime Security Working Group will meet on April 28 to discuss implementation of security plan regulations and development of timely feedback to the Coast Guard. 69 Fed


Towing Vessel License Changes

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a reminder to U.S. mariners that the "grandfather" clause allowing persons who began service or training in the towing industry before May 21, 2001 to receive a license as master of towing vessels under the old requirements will expire on May 20, 2004. Since the license must actually be issued no later than that date, applications should be submitted well in advance. Persons potentially affected by this issue should contact their local USCG Regional Examination


By the Numbers: Subchapter M Statistics

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (Aug. 9, 2004), established new authorities for towing vessels. Out of that came a proposed regulatory scheme requiring towing vessels to become inspected vessels and obtain a Certificate of Inspection (COI). The proposed Subchapter M for title 46, U.S.C., covering Certification, Vessel Compliance, Towing Safety Management System (TSMS), Third-Party Organizations, Operations, Life-Saving, Fire Protection


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


Inspection of Towing Vessels Meeting– Changed

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice stating that its meeting on February 10 in New Orleans regarding inspection of U.S. towing vessels will be held in a different location in the city. All other details remain as before. 70 Fed. Reg. 5691 (HK LAW).


Licensing and Manning of Officers on U.S. Towing Vessels

The U.S. Coast Guard has made permanent, with a few minor changes, its previous interim rule regarding licensing requirements for officers on U.S. towing vessels and manning requirements for those vessels. The new provisions come into effect on September 15, 2003. 68 Fed. Reg. 3580 Source: HK Law


Louisiana Cat: A ‘Gold Level’ Cat Propulsion Dealer

Erika Hamrick, Cat Marine Regional Sales Manager Americas (left), officially recognizes Robert “Bobby” Webb, CEO at Louisiana Cat, as the first Cat Propulsion Dealer in the Americas (center). Also pictured is Mike Jennings, General Manager (right). (Photo: Louisiana Cat)

Erika Hamrick, Cat Marine Regional Sales Manager Americas officially recognizes Robert “Bobby” Webb, CEO at Louisiana Cat as the first Cat Propulsion Dealer in the Americas (left) Official document signing at the Reserve, La headquarters by Erika Hamrick and Bobby Webb


Ultra Large Tug Alp Striker Delivered

(Photo: Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair)

From Japan's Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair, Inc. (NSR), fully owned by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., comes the first in four of a series of ultra large, ultra powerful tugs. The first in line is dubbed Alp Striker,  delivered to Alp Striker BV (ship owning company of


ABS' New Subchapter M Guide

[Press Release] ABS announced the publication of the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Subchapter M Towing Vessels. The Guide is designed to aid domestic owners comply with new U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requirements governing towing vessels that operate in U.S. inland waterways.


Striking Bollard Pull Results for ALP Striker

ALP Striker performed an impressive and most satisfactorily bollard pull test

ALP Striker achieved an impressive and most satisfactory bollard pull results of 309.6 tonnes during her sea trials. The DP II Anchor Handling Salvage Tug was delivered on 12 September to ALP Maritime Services. The vessel is designed for towing very large floating objects while also offering


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


Harvey Gulf ATB Earns ABS, USCG Approvals

(Image: HGIM)

Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM) announced it has received both ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) class functional approval and USCG (United States Coast Guard) design bases approval on a 4,000 cubic meter LNG articulating tug barge (ATB) construction drawing package; the design accounts


Houston Ship Channel Re-opens to Some Vessel Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel re-opened to some vessel traffic on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said, after an early morning tanker fire prompted closure of the waterway.   The U.S. Coast Guard Houston Vessel Traffic Service said it would commence with tow vessel transit outbound from


Another Tug Launched for Suderman & Young

Poseidon (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. said it launched on August 15, 2016 the final vessel in a series of four Z-Tech Class Terminal & Escort Tugs being constructed for Suderman & Young Towing Company. The tug Poseidon is scheduled to be delivered later in 2016.  


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


Eastern Delivers Escort Tug to Suderman & Young

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

On July 29, 2016, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. delivered Oceanus (Hull# 240), the third in series of four identical Robert Allan, LTD. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400 Class Terminal & Escort Tugs built for Suderman & Young Towing Company at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility.  


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


Eastern Launches Towboat for IWL River

Impala Puerto Salgar (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has launched the second vessel in a series of four new inland river towboats for IWL River, Inc. The newly built vessel, Impala Puerto Salgar (Hull #244), was launched on August 2, 2016.   The series of CT Marine designed 134 ft


Update: Oil Rig Aground off Scotland

Photo: MCA

No further pollution has been detected in the area of the grounded oil rig Transocean Winner as the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) continues to monitor the scene.   The MCA counter pollution surveillance aircraft yesterday flew over the location and surrounding area to make


Oil Rig Rescue Highlights ETV Importance - Nautilus

Herakles Photo  Nautilus International

Responding to reports that the government’s Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) Herakles was deployed to assist a tug experiencing trouble off the coast of Scotland, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said, ‘The incident highlights the vital work that the Maritime & Coastguard






 
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