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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).


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'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


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


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


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


USCG Reopen Upper Mississippi River

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  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.


Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

File photo: Thomas Rollins

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst. While it is unclear whether the season, which began June 1


Bay-Houston's New Escort Tug Launched

Laura B (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has launched Laura B, the final vessel in a series of four Robert Allan, LTD. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400 Class terminal and escort tugs built for Bay-Houston Towing Co. The Laura B is scheduled to deliver in 2016.  


Eastern Delivers for Bay-Houston Towing

David B (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has delivered the escort tug David B for Bay-Houston Towing Co. on June 15, 2016.   David B (ESG Hull #239) is the third in a series of four Robert Allan, LTD. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400 Class terminal and escort tugs currently under construction at


Diesel Spill Forces Closure on the Mississippi

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed Lock and Dam 25 due to diesel in the water on the upper Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, Wednesday.   An estimated 2,074 gallons of diesel was reportedly released by the towing vessel Jerry Jarrett while transiting the lock and dam


Demand for Helm CONNECT Software Soars ahead of Subchapter M

Subchapter M can impacts your business Courtesy Helm CONNECT.

Helm Operations  signed on more than 50 commercial maritime companies to its  maritime software, Helm CONNECT, many of whom are trying to prepare for the publication of Subchapter M.   Helm CONNECT’s customers come from a variety of commercial maritime industries


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)


New ATB Brings High Maneuverability to Jones Act Fleet

Photo: BAE Systems

The Dutch company Van der Velden Marine Systems (VDVMS) in conjunction with the U.S. representative Ships Machinery International, Inc. (SMI) has announced the launching of a new Jones Act Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) with BARKE high-lift flap rudders for coastwise service in the U.S


Eastern Delivers Escort Tug to Bay-Houston Towing

ZYANA K (Photo: ESG)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. announced the delivery of the Escort Tug ZYANA K for Bay-Houston Towing Co. on May 5, 2016. This series of Robert Allan, LTD. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400 Class Terminal & Escort Tugs is currently under construction at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility


Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau Elects New Leaders

File photo: WCI

Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau Holds Annual Membership Meeting; Elects New Leadership and Votes to Proceed with a Third Party Organization Application to the Coast Guard   Members of the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB), the recognized professional trade organization of marine


Tug Launched for Suderman & Young at Eastern

Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. launched the Escort Tug OCEANUS for Suderman & Young Towing Company on April 26, 2016. This series of Robert Allan, LTD. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400 Class Terminal & Escort Tugs is currently under construction at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility


OMB - Subchapter M Cleared for Publication

File Image: an aerial view of a typical fleeting operation on Americas inland rivers (WCI)

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of the draft final rule entitled Inspection of Towing Vessels, also known as "Subchapter M." The document has been returned to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Coast Guard for final preparation prior to


Eastern Cranking Out Escort Tugs

Neptune (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc.)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. delivers the escort tug Neptune to Suderman & Young Towing Company and launches the Escort Tug David B to Bay-Houston Towing Co.   Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has delivered the escort tug Neptune (Hull# 237) on March 28, 2016


Quote of the Day: Subchapter M

 Jennifer A. Carpenter, Executive Vice President & COO,  American Waterways Operators (Photo: AWO)

 As the American Waterways Operators (AWO) convenes itsSpring Convention & Annual Membership Meeting today through Thursday in Washington, D.C., at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, today's "Quote of the Day" comes from AWO's Jennifer Carpenter


Response to Barge Breakaway on the Mississippi Ongoing

The U.S. Coast Guard siad it is continuing its response to an allision resulting in a barge breakaway on the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., Wednesday.   An Incident Command Post has been established at Marine Safety Unit Paducah. Lt. Cmdr. Heather Stratton is the Incident Commander.


Barge Breakaway on the Mississippi River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to an allision and barge breakaway on the Mississippi River at mile marker 43.7 near Thebes, Ill., Wednesday.   Tow vessel Michael G. Morris allided with the Thebes Railroad Bridge at mile marker 43






 
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