Marine Towing of Tampa, Tampa, Fla., has obtained the first Certificate of Inspection (COI) to be issued as part of the Subchapter M towing vessel regulations, Coast Guard officials announced Friday.

The Endeavor, an 86.7’x50’x10.8’, 4,200-hp shipdocking module (SDM) tractor tug is operated by Marine Towing as a ship assist and escort vessel working throughout the Tampa Bay area.

All towing vessels are required to comply with Subchapter M rules by July 20, 2018, and the COI provisions are being phased in. Towing companies have options under Subchapter M, such as using Coast Guard-approved third party inspections and an internal Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) to ensure their vessels are in compliance. Policy memoranda from the Coast Guard specify how the COI process is working in those circumstances, and the use of uninspected towing vessel (UTV) examination stickers as proof of earlier compliance.

The Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance is encouraging towing vessel owners to contact their local officer in charge of marine inspection (OCMI) to coordinate scheduling of inspections.

Friday’s announcement of the first COI in Tampa – issued April 19 by the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg – was accompanied by a list with contact information for all OCMI offices. Subchapter M resources, checklists, job aids and other information can also be found on the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise’s website.


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Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.