Opinion Do the Right Thing! By George Wittich, President, American Salvage Association Jeppesen and C-Map have joined together to deliver the most comprehensive offering of navigational and operations management tools available to mariners. Jeppesen pioneered the publication "Do the Right Thing!" This is the message that was sent loud and clear by Admiral Craig Bone (Director of the Inspection & Compliance Directorate at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters) to the tank vessel industry during a late January meeting in Washington, D.C. with respect to effectively and responsibly managing the salvage and firefighting components of their respective Vessel Response Plans. Last summer, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, then-Chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, challenged the salvage and vessel owning communities to work collectively to arrive at a consensus position regarding the OPA 90 Salvage and Firefighting regulations. The American Salvage Association (ASA) exchanged frequent correspondence with coalitions of associations representing the brown water and blue water vessel owning industry that were opposed to the pending regulations. Simultaneously, ASA was able to arrange a meeting with representatives of the petroleum industry to gauge their level of opposition. After the meetings, ASA was cautiously optimistic that we were on the right track. After coordinating schedules and determining objectives, a meeting was scheduled for last September in Arlington, VA. ASA members were present for this critical meeting with the other organizations. The key issues were discussed in great detail and all parties found common ground on many relevant aspects of the regulations. While there were some points of disagreement, the attendees all agreed that the initial objective was, indeed, achievable. As the various association memberships conducted follow-up meetings, within six months of commencing the process, the collective organizations, working together, developed a compromise proposal that enjoys the support of both the salvage industry and the domestic tank vessel industry. On January 30, 2007, a meeting was convened at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., with Admiral Bone and his key personnel who have oversight and management for the final development and implementation of the long awaited, salvage and firefighting regulations. In addition to the American Salvage Association and the Coast Guard personnel, representatives from the other organizations were also in and delivery of navigational information for pilots and aircraft operators, and today is at the forefront of digital information solutions. C-Map is the world's leading provider of digital c a r t o g r a p h y a n d n a v i g a t i o n a l information for mariners around the globe. Together, and with the backing of attendance. The associations' jointly developed consensus position was formally presented to the Coast Guard for its timely action. As of this writing, barring any major incident that would dramatically refocus USCG resources, Admiral Bone has openly stated that final promulgation of the OPA 90 Salvage and Firefighting regulations will occur by January 2008. Admiral Bone concluded by challenging the vessel operating industry to "do the right thing" now and begin implementing the regulations immediately. Working together will ultimately prove beneficial all around -- to industry, the Coast Guard, the nation, and the environment. Jeppesen's parent, The Boeing Company, we're delivering essential information solutions you need to win the game. Browning Appointed CEO at Austal USA Bob Browning has been appointed CEO of Austal USA, effective mid-August this year. Browning has been a non-executive director of the company since September 2003. In his new executive position with the company, he will be based in Mobile, Ala. Browning will initially focus on Austal's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, the New Joint High Speed Vessel program which has a requirement for up to 12 vessels, and to explore opportunities for other U.S. Defense programs. Browning will move from Perth to Mobile once he finalizes his current commitments to his present employer, but no later than mid-July. rivers. As such, this is a living document, which will be regularly updated to incorporate personnel responsibility changes, the addition of other rivers and lessons learned following river incidents. Even as a draft, this plan has proven effective and efficient during periods of seasonal high and low water, has prevented loss of life and property and has furthered the flow of river traffic. This document may be found on the Eighth Coast Guard District website: http://www.uscg.mil/d8/westernrivers/default.asp The game has changed. Conrad Announces New Contracts Conrad Industries, Inc. signed contracts during the first quarter of 2007 for the construction of six vessels and the recent delivery of various vessels. Blessey Marine Services, Inc. of Harahan, La., has executed contracts for two 8,400 bbl. double skin stainless steel tank barges -- 217 x 42 x10 ft. barges. Arkhola Sand & Gravel, a Division of APAC-Arkansas of Fort Smith, Arkansas has signed a contract for the construction of one 200 x 60 x 10-ft. deck barge. In addition, Gulfstream Rental Tools, Inc. of Morgan City has signed contracts for three 120 x 30 x 7 shale barges. Waterways Action Plan has Been Finalized The Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard and towing industry announce the approval of the final version of the Waterways Action Plan. After nearly two years of research, development and collaboration, several individual river action plans have been consolidated into one comprehensive document, which incorporates the entire western rivers system. The purpose of this plan is to ensure safe and secure navigation along the western April, 2007 · MarineNews · 17
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