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Towing Vessels

New Rule Upgrade Shields Towing Vessels

The U.S. Coast Guard's final rule on "Fire Protection Measures for Towing Vessels" is posted on the Federal Register dated August 28. The ruling fine tunes the fire protection measures for towing vessels implemented by an interim rule published on October 19, 1999, which is the result of public comments received. The changes clarify the comments for fuel shut-off valves, fuel-tank vents, design of fire-detection systems for engine rooms and safety orientations. These adjustments should lower the number and severity of injuries to crews; prevent damage to vessels, structures and other property, as well as protecting the environment. While the rule comes into force on September 27, 2000, owners of towing vessels will have until October 8, 2001 to install the required equipment.

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).

Coast Guard's Schedule of subchapter "M" Public Meetings


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced a series of public meetings to receive comments on a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Inspection of Towing Vessels” that was published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2011.   As stated in that document, the regulations proposed in the NPRM would establish safety regulations governing the inspection, standards, and safety management systems of towing vessels

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

Coast Guard Reopens Lower Mississippi River

The Coast Guard reopened the Mississippi River at 8:35 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009, from mile markers 531 to 541. The Coast Guard closed the Mississippi River to all vessel traffic as the result of a towing vessel allision at approximately 5:20 a.m., this morning. The allision between the towing vessel C. B. Ford and the Old Greenville Bridge resulted in six rock barges breaking free. All barges have been recovered. The incident is under investigation

USCG Reopen Upper Mississippi River


  The Coast Guard has reopened the Upper Mississippi River to marine traffic at 11:45 a.m. today. A portion of the river was closed due to a sunken towing vessel located at mile marker 173, earlier today. The closure took place when the Charlie Boy, a previously missing 61-foot towing vessel, was located by the U.S. Army Corps of engineers outside of the navigable channel on the Upper Mississippi River at approximately 11:30 a.m., today. Salvage operations are pending.

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

99% of Towing Operators Are Properly Licensed

The Eighth Coast Guard District recently completed Operation Big Tow, a three-month long effort designed as a result of a collision between a cargo vessel and a loaded oil barge on the Mississippi River that spilled more than 282,000 gallons of #6 fuel oil to spill into the river.  Operation Big Tow was designed to ensure vessel operators were properly licensed for their respective vessel's size, type and route.

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)

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

OP/ED: e-logs & Saas to Transform Marine Recordkeeping

Dean Shoultz, CTO, MarineCFO

The USCG has poised e-logs and SaaS to transform U.S.-flagged shipboard recordkeeping. By Dean Shoultz, CTO, MarineCFO The United States Coast Guard frequently appears behind the times when it comes to rulemaking involving shipboard technological advances

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

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

Bouchard Christens ATB

Photo: Bouchard Transportation Co.

Oceangoing petroleum barge company Bouchard Transportation Co. celebrated the christening of two new vessels, M/V Kim M. Bouchard and B. No. 270, in New Orleans. The B. No. 270 was launched at VT Halter Shipyard Operations in Pascagoula, Miss., earlier this year, and the tug Kim M

USCG Reopens Neches River, Restrictions in Place

Response crews work from a spud barge to conduct salvage and recover operations for the towing vessel Louise on the Neches River near Port Arthur, Aug. 22, 2015.

  The Coast Guard has reopened the Neches River with restrictions to all vessel traffic, Saturday. Vessel traffic is restricted from meeting or overtaking one another 1,000 feet up bound and 1,000 feet down bound near the capsized towing vessel Louise at mile marker 284

Mariner Missing from Capsized Towboat

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to the report of a missing person and capsized vessel in the Upper Mississippi River, Monday.   Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received the report Sunday at approximately 7:30 p

Indian Navy, Coast Guard Save 14 From Sinking Vessel

Combination photo of rescue of 14 crew members of MV Coastal Guard by Indian Navy and Coast Guard. (Courtsey: Twitter handle of Sitanshu Kar, spokesperson of ministry of defence)

 In a swift response to an SOS from a distressed offshore coastal vessel, the Indian Navy and Indian coast guard rescued 14 people from the crew of the Indian flag cement carrier ship, MV Coastal Pride, that sunk 75 nautical miles off the coast of Daman, on Wednesday morning.   

Update: Runaway Barges Recovered

Towing vessel Joyce Hale recovers one of two barges that drifted into piers of the Starved Rock Dam in Utica, Ill. The vessel was pushing eight barges of dry cargo on the Illinois River Sunday when four barges broke free. (USCG photo)

Two barges that drifted against piers of the Starved Rock Dam in Utica, Illinois Sunday afternoon have been safely recovered, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported.   One of the barges, carrying corn, was recovered Sunday evening, while the second barge, carrying sand

Ultra-large Containership Towing Capabilities Tested

Photo: CMA CGM

The CMA CGM Group and German Havariekommando to test ultra-large container vessel towing capabilities on CMA CGM Jules Verne   Worldwide shipping group the CMA CGM Group and the German Authority Havariekommando tested Havariekommando´s capability to tow ultra-large container vessels

Pilot of Grounded Tug Sentenced for Negligence

The pilot of a tow vessel that ran aground in June 2014 was sentenced for negligence.   Gerold Holt Bosarge was sentenced June 12 in United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama to a violation of Title 46, United States Code, Section 2302(b)

Barges Break Free, Hit Starved Rock Dam

U.S. Coast Guard photo

The U.S. Coast Guard is working the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the owners of a tug and barges to quickly and safely move two barges that drifted into the protection walls of Starved Rock Lock and Dam in Utica, Illinois, Sunday afternoon.  

Poor Communication behind Houston Ship Collision

USCG photo

A lack of timely communication and a vessel separation policy in precautionary waterways led to Houston Ship Channel accident, NTSB says in report; reiterates recommendation for a vessel separation policy   The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the Miss Susan

Summer Wind, Miss Susan Tow Collision Report

Collision between Bulk Carrier Summer Wind and the Miss Susan Tow Houston Ship Channel, Lower Galveston Bay, Texas This is a synopsis from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the conclusions, probable cause

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