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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

No Need to Change Tug Workers’ Hours -Study

File photo

The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, hailed a study conducted for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine which concludes that “[t]here is currently no scientific data to support […] a change in hours of service” for towing vessel crewmembers. The study’s authors reviewed several recent studies suggesting that when sleep is split into

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

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.

Towing Vessels Collide on Lower Mississippi

One of two towing vessels involved in a collision on the Lower Mississippi River has sunk near Memphis, Monday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are responding   Coast Guard watchstanders received a notification of a collision between the towing vessels Margaret Ann and the William Strait at mile marker 727 on the Lower Mississippi River. The William Straight sank in 20 feet of water.   A Coast Guard 25-foot small boat crew from the Sector Lower Mississippi River

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

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

Tug Allision Causes Diesel Spill in Texas

 U.S. Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi and the Texas General Land Office are responding to an oil spill at mile marker 667 on the Intracoastal Waterway near Port Isabel, Wednesday.   Watchstanders at Sector Corpus Christi received a report that the uninspected towing vessel Capt

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:

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

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

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: 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

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.  

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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