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1/22/2018: Coast Guard remarks on autonomous vessels at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting –
Capt. Benjamin Hawkins, chief of the Office of Design and Engineering Standards, participated in the panel session “Autonomous Vessel Operations and Potential Implications for Safety” during the 97th Annual Transportation Safety Board meeting in Washington, DC, Jan. 7-11, 2018. This post offers a condensed version of his remarks, which focused on the regulatory perspective regarding autonomous vessels, for our readers who were unable to attend.
1/19/2018: Summary of Congressional testimony on the state of U.S. flag maritime industry
Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Adm. John Nadeau testified Jan. 17, 2018, before the House Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, during a hearing on the state of the U.S. flag maritime industry. Testifying alongside Nadeau was Maritime Administrator Rear Adm. Mark “Buz” Busby, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Nadeau’s verbal remarks focused on the Coast Guard’s responsibility to protect the 25,000 mile marine transportation system that supports 250,000 American jobs and $4.5 trillion of economic activity every year.
1/18/2018: Marine Safety Advisory 01-18 Expansion of Dept. of Transportation drug screening to include semi-synthetic opiates
This Marine Safety Advisory is to ensure mariners, marine employers, and sponsoring organizations are informed of recent changes to the Department of Transportation Drug Testing requirements. As the U.S. Coast Guard requires a DOT drug test, this MSA seeks to broadly communicate important changes effecting mariners, marine employers, and sponsoring organizations.
1/16/2018: IGF Code and Polar Code implementation updates
The IGF Code and Polar Code each outline training requirements found in STCW amendments. The National Maritime Center has been and will continue to evaluate courses and issue letters attesting to the conformance of the course content with the training guidance in policy letters CG-OES 01-15 and CG-OES-01-16. Regulations may be published in the future to implement the IGF and Polar Code training requirements. Until then, the policy letters will remain in force and provide the applicable guidance regarding compliance with the STCW amendments. At this time the NMC will not be issuing endorsements to mariners completing the requirements contained in the policy letters.