Subchapter M

Decatur Marine Earns Auditor Status In AWO Responsible Carrier Program

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) approved Decatur Marine Audit & Survey as a third-party organization authorized to conduct audits of AWO member operations as part of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) June 4. The RCP, a safety management system for tugboat, towboat and barge companies, requires AWO member companies to undergo periodic management and vessel audits conducted by an independent third party.

Towing vessel operators serving the inland waterways, coasts and harbors are looking closely at their fleets to determine how they will meet the new U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations establishing vessel safety and inspection requirements. Under Subchapter M, vessel owners and operators can choose whether to opt for annual Coast Guard inspections or adopt a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). AWO’s RCP has been accepted by the Coast Guard as an existing safety management system that meets Subchapter M requirements.

“Decatur Marine, along with our parent and affiliate companies, has already performed more than 31,000 audits and inspections,” said Christian Mollitor, managing director of Decatur Marine. “AWO members need top-level auditing, surveying, and compliance services from reputable third-party providers. At a time when towing vessel owners and operators are facing key TSMS and Subchapter M deadlines, our AWO partnership provides further recognition that Decatur Marine is positioned to move into a leadership role in the tug and towboat safety management industry.”

“We are pleased to add Decatur Marine to the pool of well-qualified, well-trained third-party auditors who can conduct RCP/TSMS audits,” said AWO President and CEO Tom Allegretti.  “The facilitation of member compliance with Subchapter M, and the elevation of safety and environmental stewardship standards across the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, are among AWO’s highest priorities. The approval of Decatur Marine to conduct third-party RCP audits will help ensure achievement of these goals.”

Subchapter M Course

In light of its TPO status and the pending Subchapter M changes, Decatur Marine is bringing a Subchapter M Lead Surveyor and Lead Auditor Certification course to Conley Marine’s headquarters in New Orleans, La., June 25–29.

Inland marine safety and compliance veteran Capt. Kevin Mullen and former Coast Guard inspector Kevin Smith will instruct a two-part, five-day class that will satisfy CFR 139.130(b)(4). Topics for the class will include surveying and auditing towing vessels, TSMS management audits, RCP audits, exercises to navigate 46 CFR Subchapter M, how to use TugSafe, the Towing Vessel Record, and the ISM code.

Special guests will also be joining the classes for some on-site discussions, and the company said that lunch will be provided daily.

This two-part certification course costs $750 for the entire week, per person. For current clients of Decatur Marine or Conley Marine, the cost for the course is $475 per person.