The Coast Guard has released their new Marine Safety Performance Plan FY 2009-2014 and it makes for some interesting reading, especially pages 17 and 27, which specifically relate to the towing industry and the upcoming rulemaking process for the towing vessl inspection program. I’ll leave it to our readers to decide what they think of it all. But I will point out something that was readily apparent to me from just a quick once-over: despite the promise to “increase outreach and strengthen partnership efforts” there is no indication whatsoever that the Coast Guard either desires or intends to include mariners as partners. They’re very proud, however, of their “close working relationships” and “long-standing partnerships” with “organizations for improved safety” such as the American Waterways Operators (AWO). You remember them, don’t you, the cheerleaders for the 30-Day Wonder program? In the Summary, the CG claims that this plan is a “living document that will undergo continuous review.” Well, there’s no need to wait for the ink to dry on this one.
I quote, yet again, from The Talking Heads’ Once In A Lifetime: same as it ever was…..