Coast Guard: Texas, La. inspections find 4 deficient towing vessels

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PORT ARTHUR, Texas) — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur and Lake Charles participated in Operation Big Tow the week of January 12-15, 2009.

The operation, which consisted of examinations conducted by Coast Guard marine inspectors, is part of a larger effort by the Coast Guard to ensure that Uninspected Towing Vessels are safely operated. In order to minimize industry disruptions, the exams were conducted while the UTV’s were either dockside or underway.

This operation consisted of conducting examinations of UTVs within Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur’s Area of Responsibility which covers from High Island, Texas, to 47 miles east of the Calcasieu Locks.

Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur and Lake Charles results were as follows:

Number of UTVs examined dockside or on the water: 86
Number company audits: 3
Number of vessels found with deficiencies: 4
Total number of vessels reviewed in audits: 90

The Coast Guard is committed to improving towing vessel safety throughout the entire maritime transportation system. Our proactive communications efforts are designed to increase awareness of the Coast Guard’s regulatory authorities and to encourage owners and operators of UTVs to self-correct any issues with license compliance and safety issues.

By Professional Mariner Staff