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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


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


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


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


Implementation Issues Key to Effectiveness of Licensing Rule, AWO Tells USCG

Ensuring the smooth and effective implementation of new licensing requirements for towing vessel officers will be the most critical USCG-industry challenge as the November 2000 effective date approaches, AWO told the USCG. In its comments, AWO reiterated its support for the new approach to towing vessel officer licensing contained in the agency's November 1999 interim rule. "We believe the interim rule, with its emphasis on practical demonstration of operational proficiency


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).


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


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


Eastern Delivers Tractor Tug to McAllister

Photo courtesy Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has delivered the Twin Z-drive Reverse Tractor Tug JEFFREY McALLISTER to McAllister Towing and Transportation Co., Inc. on January 13, 2017. McAllister is honoring Captain Jeffrey McAllister as the vessels namesake. Capt


New Tug for E.N. Bisso & Son

Photo: Robert Allan Ltd.

A new tug  built by Signet Shipbuilding and Repair was delivered to E.N. Bisso & Son Inc. in mid-December. The vessel, Gladys B, is Robert Allan Ltd.’s newest RApport 2400 class tugboat design.   “She is named for the wife of the founder of the company in 1946


Henriksen Unveils Safer Hook Range

A new range of hooks from Henriksen AS introduces a significant level of safety for crews engaged in towing small to medium-sized vessels and loads. The new towing hook has been designed for users at the lighter end of the towing spectrum and it is available in three versions for use with loads


Inland Waterways Conference Set for Cincinnati

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft conducts an all-hands meeting at Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 14, 2014. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The 2017 Inland Waterways Conference is set to be held in scenic Cincinnati, Ohio, from March 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. The event will feature full days of hot topics and VIP speakers to address emerging inland waterways topics and trends


ABS Gains AWO RCP Auditor Status

(File photo: Eric Norcross)

AWO qualifies ABS to perform towing safety management audits   ABS has been approved by the American Waterways Operators (AWO) to carry out audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP), a safety management system for tugboat, towboat and barge companies


INS Viraat on its last Journey

INS VIRAAT is being towed

The INS Viraat is on the last journey and the ship is being towed back by three tugs to Mumbai for the decommissioning. SCI Mukta, an Anchor Handling & Towing Vessel (AHTS) of the National Flagship Carrier i.e. The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd


US Coast Guard Hosts Subchapter M Forum

Steven Douglas from the Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise explains the inspections requirements for new and existing towing vessels outlined in Subchapter M, at Illinois Marine Towing Nov. 9, 2016. Douglas presented the information during a forum held to educate more than 80 industry representatives from across the Midwest. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Byron Rios)

Marine Safety Unit Chicago and the U.S. Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise hosted an informational outreach forum Wednesday with towing vessel operators to explain the implementation of the new regulations for the inspection of towing vessels, Subchapter M.


USCG Approves Subchapter M Internal Auditor Course

SafeMARINER, LLC and the ACTion group’s Marine Internal Lead Auditor (MILA) course has been audited by a third-party registrar and is now recognized as the first internal lead auditor course developed specifically for the inland industry and subchapter M


Eastern Launches Towboat for IWL River

Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has launched the Impala Mompox (Hull #245) on October 24, 2016. This is the third in a series of four Inland River Towboats for IWL River, Inc. This series of CT Marine designed 134 ft. ABS Classed Inland River Service towboats are Triple Screw with a Retractable


Helm to Launch Subchapter M Compliance Software

Software developer Helm Operations announced that it will launch its innovative Subchapter M compliance software, Helm CONNECT Compliance, at the International Workboat Show (IWS) in New Orleans from November 30 – December 2.   Helm has been selling its Compliance software since Sub M


AWO RCP Accepted as Existing SMS Under Subchapter M

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

The U.S. Coast Guard formally accepted the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) as an existing Safety Management System that complies with the requirements of Subchapter M.   In a letter conveying the acceptance, RADM Paul Thomas


Emergency Towing Vessel Contracted for Scotland

Photo: Marnavi / MCA

The U.K. Government’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has awarded a five-year contract for a new Scottish Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) to Ardent Maritime Netherlands BV, to begin on December 31, 2016.   The ship is the Ievoli Black, a 70-meter towing vessel of some 2


Eastern Launches Towboat for IWL River

Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has launched Impala Cantagallo, the final vessel in a series of four triple screw inland river towboats for IWL River, Inc.   Launched on December 14, 2016 Impala Cantagallo is part of a series of 134-foot inland river service towboats designed by CT Marine


Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau Acquires Marine Auditing Firm

Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB) has acquired Quality Auditing, LC, effective December 31, 2016.    According to TVIB, the purchase strengthens its three-fold mission to provide training and continuing education for marine auditors and surveyors, develop audit and survey tools


USCG Approves Global Maritime as TPO for Subchapter M Services

Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, a provider of offshore marine warranty, dynamic positioning and engineering services, has been approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to provide Subchapter M compliance services as a Third Party Organization (TPO).  






 
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