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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.  


Towing Vessel Runs Aground in Louisiana

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles

An uninspected towing vessel taking on water has run aground in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Ship Channel, early Monday morning.   At 3:45 a.m., the three-man crew aboard the 60-foot towing vessel Mr. Landon intentionally ran the vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern. No injuries were reported.   Approximately 10 gallons of oil was spilled as a result of the incident. Clean up efforts were coordinated by U.S


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


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


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


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


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


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


Licensing and Manning of Officers on U.S. Towing Vessels

The U.S. Coast Guard has made permanent, with a few minor changes, its previous interim rule regarding licensing requirements for officers on U.S. towing vessels and manning requirements for those vessels. The new provisions come into effect on September 15, 2003. 68 Fed. Reg. 3580 Source: HK Law


TVIB Issues Its First TSMS Certificate to Crounse

 On June 23, 2017, Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB) issued its first Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) certificate to Crounse Corporation, who successfully completed a full Subchapter M TSMS audit including a review of its operations for compliance with Subchapter M.  


Eastern Delivers Fourth Towboat to IWL River

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. said it has delivered the last of four newly built inland river towboats to IWL River, Inc., one of the builder’s newest clients.   The four new towboats – Impala Soledad, Impala Salgar, Impala Mompox and Impala Cantagallo – will service


Foss Enlists ABS for Sub M Compliance Service

(Photo: Foss Maritime)

Seattle based Foss Maritime, owner and operator of a fleet of tugs offering maritime transportation and logistics services, has awarded a contract to classification society ABS to support compliance with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M requirements.  


Glosten Debuts New Harbor Tug Design

Image: Glosten

Seattle-based marine consultancy Glosten has unveiled the HT-67: a new 67' ASD (Z-Drive) harbor tug designed for versatility of service on inland and near coastal waters. Outfitted with a tow winch and pin box/stern roller assembly, this tug can tow astern as efficiently as a conventionally


Subchapter M Survey Reports

© Adam Parent / Adobe Stock

The advent of the subchapter M towboat rules – even though the bulk of the rules don’t come into effect until July of 2018 – requires a close look at your equipment. How you go about that important task will make all the difference.  


AWO Approves LR as Third-Party RCP Auditor

© Jim Pintar / Adobe Stock

Lloyd's Register has received approval from the American Waterways Operators (AWO) as a third-party organization authorized to conduct audits of AWO member operations as part of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP).   The RCP is a safety management system that provides a framework for the U


ABS Wins Great Lakes Towing SubM Contract

Photo: Great Lakes Towing Company

ABS said it has been awarded a Third Party Organization (TPO) contract by The Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT) to support compliance with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M regulations.    “Every organization operating towing vessels in U.S


Pat Folan Weighs in on All Things 'Tugboat'

Photo: Pat Folan

Pat Folan is a partner in Daphne, Ala.-based Tug & Barge Solutions, a safety and compliance company that focuses on Subchapter M compliance for towing companies. The company also performs surveys of towing vessels and barges, manages safety management systems for towing companies and trains


Understanding Legal Liability in a Subchapter M Environment

© Ed Metz / Adobe Stock

There is more to SubM than just attention to safety. Protect yourself accordingly.   In today’s environment, safety management systems for brown water marine operators are standard industry practice, whether they come in the form of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible


Towboat Capsizes in Kentucky

 A towing vessel has reportedly capsized and sank at 11:35 p.m., Wednesday, at a pier near Wickliffe, Ky., mile marker 951 on the Lower Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard is responding.   The UTV Tom Rogers had about 3,500 gallons of diesel on board at the time of the incident.


Global Maritime Promotes Thomassen

Espen Thomassen (Photo: Global Maritime)

Marine, offshore and engineering consultancy Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering has appointed Espen Thomassen as Regional Manager for the Americas. Thomassen has been tasked with growing Global Maritime’s business throughout the region, which, in addition to Houston


Submerged Tug Lifted on the Mississippi

The stricken towing vessel Sonny J has been raised and dewatered Sunday after it was partially submerged on the Lower Mississippi River near Vidalia, La.   On February 26 local U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received a report that the Sonny J was partially submerged near Vidalia, La


ABS Delivers Subchapter M Support to Blessey Marine

Photo: Blessey Marine Services

 ABS said it has been awarded a Third Party Organization contract by Blessey Marine Services, Inc., owner and operator of a fleet of inland towing vessels and tank barges, to support compliance with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M requirements.   


Lamor Demos New Oil Recovery System

Photo: Lamor Corporation

 In mid-February, Lamor Corporation demonstrated a new way to recover oil by deploying the Lamor Marine Oil Spill Sweeper LMOS 15 Speed Skimming system in Halifax, Canada in cooperation with their local representative, Griffin Engineered Systems


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






 
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