US Coast Guard Releases Top Ten List of Towing Vessel Inadequacies

The U.S. Coast Guard has made a handout describing the 10 most common problems with towing vessels it has found during investigations of uninspected vessels. The list was created as part of the Towing Vessel Bridging Program, a program designed to help owners and operators of these towing vessel correct issues and implement new safety rules. To come up with the list, the Coast Guard examined over 5,700 vessels from September 2009 to February 2013. The most commonly observed deficiencies are:

  • Improper location of remote fuel shutoff valves
  • Improper installation of general alarms
  • Improper navigation lights
  • Inadequate drug and alcohol testing and improper records of tests
  • Fire detection control panels that aren’t fully functioning
  • Improper logbook entries or failure to record needed information
  • Improper or nonfunctioning vessel compasses
  • Malfunctioning marine sanitation devices
  • Improper installation of fire extinguisher brackets
  • Improper official number markings on vessels

The Coast Guard is discussing expanding the top ten list to include other deficiencies that are not as common but have bigger safety issues.

It is important that from this list, tug boat owners review their procedures, operations and equipment to make sure that their tugs do not have any of the deficiencies.  Over the years, Latti & Anderson have represented many crew members who have been injured as a result of the deficiencies and many more not listed.

At Latti & Anderson LLP, we understand the catastrophic injuries that can occur when towing boats are not properly maintained or safety procedures are not followed. Workers can be put in dangerous situations when vessels are not kept up to date, and those injured may be entitled to compensation for their maritime injuries.

Contact our Boston maritime law attorneys today if you have been injured at sea on a towing vessel due to another party’s negligence or the unseaworthiness of a vessel. We offer a free initial consultation and have extensive experience in maritime worker injury law.

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