This policy letter provides guidance regarding the enforcement posture for towing vessels’ COI phase-in requirements within 46 CFR §136.202.
Recently, an investigation of a towing vessel loss of propulsion revealed gaps in the implementation of the vessel’s TSMS that were causal to the incident and a result of poor TSMS-to-TSMS transition.
The Coast Guard issues findings of concern to disseminate information related to unsafe conditions identified as causal factors in a marine casualty and that may cause a similar casualty on other vessels. Findings of concern are intended to educate the public, state, or local agencies about the conditions discovered so they may address the findings with an appropriate voluntary action or highlight existing applicable company policies or state/local regulations.
The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted a notice on its website that the Third-Party Organization webpage has been updated to reflect current auditor/assessor courses recognized by the Coast Guard as of April 10, 2019.
The Coast Guard-American Waterways Operators Safety Partnership held its National Quality Steering Committee meeting July 31, 2018, with an agenda focusing on the concerns of the partnership and industry. This meeting marked the first NQSC meeting since Subchapter M towing vessel regulations went into effect July 20, 2018.
A Final Rule published June 20, 2016, set July 20, 2018, as the compliance date for all towing vessels subject to Subchapter M even if the vessel does not have a Certificate of Inspection. Towing vessels have a strong record of safe operations, so while July 20, 2018 represents a beginning of a new regulatory regime, these vessels will continue to operate safely and provide a valuable service to the nation’s economy.
07/17/2018: TugSafe Lite is now TugSafe Central with two new sections and more links to useful information
TugSafe Lite has been expanded and retitled TugSafe Central and is an important online source for Subchapter M compliance requirements and guidance. It has two new sections and new links to regulatory cites, USCG guidance documents and a link to a downloadable electronic version that is also printer-friendly.
The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise recently published the latest additions and updates to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding Subchapter M, inspected towing vessels. As a convenience for our readers, in this post Maritime Commons is providing a compilation of those changes, made as of May 29, 2018.
The Coast Guard issued a safety alert reminding owners and operators of businesses and vessels associated with the towing of large drilling rigs, such as semi-submersibles, conical or other types of non-standard tows, of the importance of planning for such significant towing operations.