Capt. Peter SquicciariniCapt. Peter Squicciarini
Capt. Peter Squicciarini is a licensed master mariner and marine safety specialist at the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in Portsmouth, Va. He has worked on towing, passenger, and fishing vessels, and was a safety and compliance manager for an East Coast tug and barge company. He also served in the Navy as a surface ship officer and commanded several warships. He can be reached at pdsquicciarini@msn.com.

Blog Activity

When things go bad

If you’re in the business long enough, you are going to have a bad day. If you’re in the business long enough, you are going to have a bad day. Hopefully it’s just a towing “fender-bender,” where nobody gets hurt, there’s no pollution, and it isn’t too expensive. If the incident rises to a certain level, there may be an investigation by company management, the Coast Guard, or in severe cases, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The main value of an investigation is to learn...

Line snapback and lost limbs

Line snapback is the deadly “rubber band” effect — the snapback of a parted line can sweep the deck with you standing on it in less than a second and with almost supersonic speed. Snap, crackle, pop — and we’re not talking Rice Krispies here. We’re talking about the chance of losing a limb, or worse, in a line handling accident called a line snapback. OAS_url = 'http://oascentral.workboat.com'; OAS_pos = 'Middle1'; OAS_sitePage = 'wb/news'; var OAS_RN = new...

The ‘best’ makeshift rigging

I probably shouldn’t write about some of the more creative “jury rigs” I have seen, so don’t get any ideas.   I probably shouldn’t write about some of the more creative “jury rigs” I have seen, so don’t get any ideas. The first challenge was selecting just a few from the encyclopedia of onboard jury rigs I have seen, especially on towing vessels. I still have nightmares. So many jury rigs but so few words allowed in my blog. OAS_url = 'http://oascentral.workboat.com'; OAS_pos...

Sound off at TSAC

I am pleased to report that attendance at public meetings of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee is growing. I am pleased to report that attendance at public meetings of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee is growing. TSAC held one of its two annual public meetings in Louisville, Ky., in late March, and TSAC members as well as a cross-section of non-members with interests in the towing industry turned out. This is encouraging. The towing industry isn’t simply owners and operators, it...

Dead is dead

Every fatality can be prevented. If ever there was a time for zero tolerance, it would be when it comes to fatalities.  This blog updates a previous blog I wrote about whether jail time should be a consequence for mariners involved in a serious marine accident. Every fatality can be prevented. If ever there was a time for zero tolerance, it would be when it comes to fatalities.  OAS_url = 'http://oascentral.workboat.com'; OAS_pos = 'Middle1'; OAS_sitePage =...

Bad drugs

Even the most common prescriptions — including over-the-counter drugs that usually don't have harmful side effects — can sneak up on you and knock you out of commission.  We all know drugs can mess you up. People overdose all the time. Most certainly any use of illegal drugs will be a career killer and most likely will get your license not just suspended, but revoked. This isn't big news, except perhaps to the infinitely small number of mariners who think they can beat the...

Death from above

Your chances of getting hit and killed by a meteor are pretty slim, but you can get hit, killed or hurt by more earthly objects.Your chances of getting hit and killed by a meteor are pretty slim, but you can get hit, killed or hurt by more earthly objects. You’ve been told time and time again that situational awareness (SA) can save your life or prevent an accident. Loss of SA greatly increases the risk of an accident. Many accidents by experienced and licensed mariners in the wheelhouse...

It’s not too late

I don’t know if you have made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but if you haven’t, here are a few you might want to make.It’s not too late to make those New Year’s resolutions. Every year people think up great ideas for self-improvement and make a commitment in the form of a resolution to better themselves, help someone else, or improve a situation that has dogged them the previous year. I don’t know if you have made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but if you haven’t,...

Mariners, be thankful

U.S. mariners have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.It’s the holiday season again and some of you will be onboard standing the watch away from family and friends. I know it's a bummer. But I’d to reflect on the many things we should all be thankful for this Thanksgiving and everyday. Be thankful you are an American. Every day I read reports of desperate people packed into leaky boats and on rafts risking life and limb to get to the U.S. Nobody is trying to escape from the U.S....

Let there be light

Nav lights that tell the rest of us what your vessel is, how big it is and what it’s doing so we can maneuver accordingly.Genesis 1:3: “And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.” So it is with navigation lights that tell us what your vessel is, how big it is and what it’s doing so we can maneuver accordingly. I always hate the lights and shape sections on rules of the road tests. Sometimes the questions on lights and shapes are so bizarre that you can go an entire career...