Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau elects new leaders

The following is the text of a news release from the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB):

(ST. LOUIS) — Members of the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau, a professional trade organization of marine auditors, met on May 10 to elect a new slate of leaders for 2016-2017 during TVIB’s annual membership meeting and spring board of directors meeting.

Lee Nelson, president of Upper River Services, was elected president. Nelson succeeds outgoing President Ed Shearer, principal naval architect of The Shearer Group. Capt. David A. Foret Jr., president of the ACTion group companies, was elected vice president.

Chris Parsonage, executive director of TVIB, thanked Shearer for his continued dedication to TVIB and leadership during the past year.

During a strategic dialogue session at the meeting, the incoming leadership voted to expand TVIB’s current purpose from training and certifying auditors to include preparing to submit an application with the Coast Guard for acceptance as a third-party organization or TPO. As noted in the draft NPRM for 46 CFR Subchapter M, the Coast Guard has proposed procedures for auditors and surveyors to carry out compliance activities working through accepted third-party organizations on behalf of the Coast Guard. Upon acceptance as a TPO, TVIB intends to provide a vehicle for independent auditors and surveyors to provide Subchapter M audits and surveys to vessel operators that want an alternative to the recognized class organizations for their Subchapter M compliance.

“There is an overwhelming consensus from our membership that the industry needs multiple options for vessel operators to secure competitively priced audits and surveys from auditors that are located close to their vessels’ operating areas,” said Parsonage during the meetings.

Since 2013, TVIB has certified approximately 100 auditors to conduct American Waterways Operators Responsible Carrier Program audits. TVIB auditor members are located across the United States, from Alaska to Florida, Long Beach to Maine, and the Gulf Coast throughout the Inland River System. TVIB auditors are trained and certified to audit AWO carrier members’ compliance with the RCP, while using a uniform audit process and TVIB-developed audit checklists and guidance tools. TVIB auditors also perform internal audits and provide a variety of compliance services to the marine industry.

The Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau educates, develops audit tools and certifies marine auditors to perform consistent, objective and independent audits of marine operators. For more information about TVIB, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff