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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.


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


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

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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


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)


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.


Pacific Region Distributes Near-Miss Report Information

The USCG-AWO Pacific Region Quality Steering Committee (QSC) has distributed the first near-miss incident report of its quality action team on industry incident reporting. The AWO Pacific Region Summary of Towing Industry Incident Reports: Near-Miss and Lessons Learned Information, is based on six voluntary and anonymous towing vessel incident reports received since the Towing Vessel Incident Report program was initiated by the QSC in June 1998.


Hearing on Maritime Transportation Amendments of 2004

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will conduct a hearing on the Maritime Transportation Amendments of 2004 (H.R. 4251) on May 6, 2004. The bill, if enacted, would, among other things, provide for in rem liability for a vessel used in violation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act and provide for inspection of towing vessels. (HK Law).


Tug on the Rocks, Lake Pontchartrain, Three Rescued

Tugboat UTV Todd Michael: USCG photo

US Coast Guard 8th District says that it has rescued 3 crewmembers aboard the (uninspected) tugboat 'UTV Todd Michael' after it grounded on the rocks near the Lakefront Airport on Lake Pontchartrain. [The vessel towed appeared to be drifting nearby.]


Mobile Ship Channel Reopens Following Ship Grounding

The container ship MSC Kyoto heaves-to aground outside the Mobile Ship Channel, April 7, 2014. The MSC Kyoto reportedly experienced a steering failure. (USCG photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reopened the Mobile Ship Channel to all deep-draft commercial vessel traffic at approximately 5 p.m. Monday. The USCG restricted vessel traffic at about 3 a.m. Monday, after the container vessel MSC KYOTO grounded outside the channel.


Towboat Grounds in Ohio River

The U.S. Coast Guard USCG) said it is responding to a report of a grounded towing vessel near mile marker 65 on the Ohio River, Wednesday. A slight sheen has been reported in the vicinity of the vessel, which the USCG said has been contained by boom.


Tete Bridge Closed Following Vessel Collision

The U.S. Coast Guard issued temporary regulations for commercial marine traffic on the Lower Grande River affected by the Gross Tete bridge closure, Tuesday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 10:30 p.m., Feb. 28, that the towing vessel St


Boskalis Acquires Fairmount Companies

Photo courtesy Boskalis

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire Fairmount Marine B.V. and Fairmount Ocean Towage Company B.V. (Fairmount) from the French group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. The transaction values the company at an average multiple of approximately six


Coast Guard’s Proposed Maritime Preemption Assessment Framework

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In the May 2013 issue of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, Dennis Bryant published a provocative article titled Rebuilding the Presumption of Preemption. Pointing to recent examples of state overreach in the maritime field like California’s ocean-going vessel fuel standard that


The Coast Guard’s Proposed Maritime Preemption Assessment Framework

Craig H. Allen, Sr.

What it may foretell about the coming towing vessel rule. In the May 2013 issue of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, Dennis Bryant published a provocative article titled Rebuilding the Presumption of Preemption. Pointing to recent examples of state overreach in the maritime field like


VT Halter Launches Tug for Bouchard

Denise A. Bouchard (Photo: VT Halter Marine)

VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today launched the oceangoing 112-foot Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) Tug, Denise A. Bouchard. Measuring 112 feet by 35 feet by 17 feet, the 4,000hp tug is classed by ABS as A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode


Soles Joins Glosten Associates

Peter Soles

Peter Soles has joined The Glosten Associates as a Marine Consultant and will be supporting the firm’s ocean engineering and marine logistics projects.  “Peter brings a broad knowledge of marine transportation policy, oceangoing vessel management and operation


Glosten Associates Joined by Marine Consultant Peter Soles

Peter Soles: Photo credit The Glosten Associates

Peter Soles has joined The Glosten Associates as a Marine Consultant and will be supporting the firm’s ocean engineering and marine logistics projects. “Peter brings a broad knowledge of marine transportation policy, oceangoing vessel management and operation


Grounded Barge Refloated

U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Lt. Christian Barger

The 125-foot deck barge known as Weeks Barge 236 was refloated Thursday evening at approximately 6:15 p.m. after having been grounded and stuck on shore near Atlantic Beach, N.Y., the U.S. Coast Guard reported. The barge, which was being used to sand blast and paint the Robert Moses Causeway


Tug Sinks Off of New York

(Source: USCG)

Tug and barge separate, barge goes aground and tugboat sinks off New York’s South Shore   According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a 26-foot tugboat lost control of the barge it was towing off Atlantic Beach, N.Y., Monday evening. Coast Guard and state officials are responding to mitigate


VT Halter Lays Keel for Barge

Pascagoula, Miss.-based shipbuilder announces keel laying of ATB, Schedules Launch of Offshore Tug VT Halter Marine laid the keel for Barge B No. 270, which is, in part, one of two Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units being built for Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. (Bouchard)


Steamship Mutual: US Vessel Response Plans – Contingency Plans

Washington State – Alaska – Non tank final rule & Washington State – Contingency Plan requirements. We refer to our circular no. B.613. As stated in that circular, every tank vessel and every other vessel over 300 GT is required under State law to file a contingency plan


Bristol Harbor Group Designs Two NYPA Tugs

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Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was recently awarded a contract by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to engineer, design and perform construction supervision support services for two new tug vessels. The tugs will be used primarily for deployment


 
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