Tuesday, May 22, 2018

First West Coast Subchapter M Certificate Issued

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Thursday, Vancouver, Washington-operated Tidewater Barge Lines’ towing vessel Crown Point received an initial Certificate of Inspection (COI) from the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Portland. This is the first on the US West Coast to be issued a COI under the new inspected towing vessel rules, referred to as Subchapter M.

The 98-foot, 4,480-horsepower towing vessel that moves barges to and from Lewiston, Idaho and Vancouver, Wash., is one of 130 towing vessels in service on the Columbia-Snake River System.

“The Columbia and Snake River Systems move 24 billion dollars of cargo on an annual basis and the towing vessels that fall under the regulations listed under Subchapter M are an integral part of this economically valuable marine transportation system,” said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commanding officer MSU Portland. “The Subchapter M regulations will provide safer vessel movement, safer working conditions for crewmembers, reduce marine casualties, and will help avoid environmental and property damage,” he added.

Towing vessels must comply with the Subchapter M regulations by July 20. To coordinate and schedule Subchapter M inspections, towing vessel owners and operators may reach out to their local Coast Guard Inspection office. MSU Portland’s towing vessel inspectors are available at 503-240-9374 or by email at TOWPDX@uscg.mil.

Visit www.dco.uscg.mil/tvncoe for more details on Subchapter M regulations and compliance.