Lange Towing, a small, family-owned towing company in Morgan City, La., recently achieved what few companies have in the few months since Subchapter M went into effect. In August, the company received a certificate of inspection (COI) for every vessel in its fleet.
When Subchapter M went into full effect July 21, Lange Towing operated a pair of towboats: the mv. Mr. Lange and the mv. Carrie Mae. The company, owned and operated by a father-son duo, George Lange Sr. and Capt. George Lange Jr., opted for the Coast Guard option and developed its own safety management system.
“My sister, Kim Macaluso, is with KMS Safety, and she was my safety advisor for both of those boats,” George Lange Jr. said.
Lange said Macaluso was so successful helping the company develop its safety management system and plan for the vessel audits that she’s now working with other similar towing companies preparing for inspections under Subchapter M.
Lange said his company was the first in Morgan City to receive vessel COIs under the Coast Guard option, as opposed to using a third party organization.
“It was a smooth process for us,” Lange said. “We put in a bunch of work ahead of the inspections to get the boats ready, and we did both boats at the same time.”
Coast Guard officials inspected the Lange Towing vessels on consecutive days. The Coast Guard issued both COIs on August 14.
Since that time, Lange Towing has actually sold the mv. Mr. Lange to Boone’s Fleet in Channelview, Texas. Lange explained that, because the Mr. Lange was sold, its COI will be valid for a year instead of the usual five years. On or before August 14, 2019, Boone Towing will have the boat reinspected. Under Subchapter M, vessels have to undergo annual audits.
Lange Towing was founded in the 1970s by Wilbur Lange, George Lange Sr.’s father.
“My grandpa started it in the early ’70s,” George Lange Jr. said. “Then my dad took over seven years ago, after we lost my grandpa to cancer.”
George Lange Jr. and George Lang Sr. now operate the company as owners-operators.
“I’m a third-generation owner,” Lange said proudly.
Lange said his vessels have worked for C&J Marine Services since 2011, offering high-water assistance in the Morgan City area.
“That’s one reason I wanted to get my COI early is to get ready for springtime,” Lange said.