2/1/2018: Summary of Congressional testimony regarding El Faro reports

Rear Admiral John Nadeau, assistant commandant for prevention policy, testified Jan. 30, 2018, before the House Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, during a hearing titled, “Examination of Reports on the El Faro Marine Casualty.” Testifying alongside Nadeau were the Hon. Earl Weener, board member, National Transportation Safety Board, and Mr. Brian Curtis, with NTSB’s Office of Marine Safety.


1/22/2018: Announcements of approved Third Party Organizations to be shared on Maritime Commons

To keep our readers informed as the towing vessel industry continues to move toward full compliance with Subchapter M requirements, the Coast Guard will begin sharing Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise’s TPO approval announcements on Maritime Commons.


11/27/2017: Illegal passenger vessel operations – A risk to safety, credentialed mariners, and legitimate operators

Illegal operations and the potential dangers they present have existed since the inception of passenger vessel regulations. In recent years, however, the introduction of certain smart phone apps to the hospitality and transportation industries has exacerbated the issue by making it easier for property owners to enter into agreements to temporarily lease, charter, or rent their homes or vehicles to interested parties for compensation. As expected, emerging business ventures are now dedicated to boat rentals and water taxis using similar business plans and smart phone apps. In this post, the Coast Guard discusses some of the risks associated with illegal passenger operations and what the boating public and legitimate operators can do to protect themselves.


11/22/2017: Notice of public meeting: International standards pertaining to maintenance, repair and training of servicing technicians for lifeboats, rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear

The U.S. Coast Guard will hold a public town hall meeting December 11, 2017, to disseminate information related to the 2020 entry into force of international standards affecting the testing and maintenance of lifeboats, rescue boats and launching appliances, and authorization of service providers. This meeting pertains to new requirements the IMO adopted in 2016 related to maintenance of lifesaving equipment on vessels subject to SOLAS.


10/1/2017: Coast Guard releases Report of Investigation into loss of 33 mariners and U.S. cargo ship, El Faro

The MBI concluded that the primary cause of the casualty was the decision to navigate El Faro too close to the path of Hurricane Joaquin. As the MBI expanded the investigation to explore other contributing factors, it uncovered evidence of an ineffective safety management system within the operating company, and failures by both the Coast Guard delegated representative and the Coast Guard itself to provide effective oversight of the vessel’s compliance with safety regulations.


9/5/2017: Updates on port conditions in Corpus Christi and Houston-Galveston

The captains of the ports in Houston-Galveston and Corpus Christi announced updates to port conditions that took effect Sept. 2, 2017.


9/1/2017: Update on port conditions in Port of Corpus Christi

As of 2:15 p.m., Thursday the Coast Guard opened ports and waterways, with some restrictions, in the Corpus Christi captain of the port zone.


8/31/2017: Partial re-opening of the Houston-Galveston captain of the port zone following Hurricane Harvey

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the captain of the port for Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston opened the ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston, and Freeport with restrictions.


8/23/2017: Coast Guard-American Waterways Operators National Quality Steering Committee meeting

The Coast Guard-American Waterways Operators Safety Partnership held its National Quality Steering Committee meeting Aug. 2, 2017 to discuss safety issues and other topics affecting the towing industry. Maritime Commons attended the meeting and is providing a summary of the discussions and key takeaways.


8/1/2017: Coast Guard and National Cargo Bureau sign Memorandum of Agreement

This new agreement signed July 20, 2017, outlines specific operating standards for organizations such as NCB including record keeping, quality management systems, training and qualification of personnel, liability, and governmental oversight of activities.


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