Page 44: of Marine News Magazine (March 2019)

Pushboats, Tugs & Assist Vessels

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DAPI 101: Outreach and Enforcement

Even as the minimum Random Drug Testing Rate is raised to 50 PCT, the Coast

Guard wants its mission to consist of 90% outreach and just 10% enforcement. Really.

By Joseph Keefe he domestic waterfront got some less-than-happy Over a third of the American population is on some form news when the U.S. Coast Guard announced that of a narcotic – prescribed, for various reasons. Mannion ad-

T the calendar year 2019 minimum random drug dresses that reality by saying, “American citizens working on testing rate had been set at 50 percent of covered crew- these vessels come from the general population, and they members. It’s safe to say that nobody is happy about it, suffer the same affictions, medical maladies and challenges much less the Coast Guard itself. as everybody else. We know that – through casualty inves-

In truth, the Coast Guard had little to say about the matter. tigations, through research done by our other DOT col- 46 CFR part 16.230(f)(2) requires the Commandant to set leagues – that drugs and alcohol are a signifcant safety risk.” the minimum random drug testing rate at 50 percent when Mannion knows of what he preaches. That’s because, as the positivity rate for drug use is greater than one percent. a civilian Coast Guard employee, he’s also a licensed mari-

Indeed, every marine employer is required by 46 CFR 16.500 ner (1600-ton masters offshore and 1600-ton master tow- to collect and maintain a record of drug testing data for each ing, unlimited). He sailed for many years. Because career calendar year, and submit this data by March 15 of the fol- choice (fnance) did not suit him, eventually he went to lowing year to the Coast Guard in an annual MIS report. sea. “I started out working on deck and working my way up as fast as I could – on OSVs, fshing boats, towing ves-

DAPI 101 sels, passenger vessels. You name it – if they let me do it, I

In mid-December 2018, in advance of the increased did it, and I was fortunate enough to move up quickly in random testing announcement, we traveled to Coast the ranks because I was young, unattached and you can sail

Guard headquarters in Washington, DC, to learn about 365 days a year. I enjoyed it tremendously. It was probably the Coast’ Guard’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention and In- the most satisfying job I’ve ever had in my life.” vestigations (DAPI) program, and to visit with its director, Eventually, he found himself ashore and working very

Mr. Patrick Mannion. What we found out might surprise closely with the captain of the port in New York and the most domestic maritime stakeholders. area maritime security committees. This led to a position

DAPI is the lead entity for the Anti-Drug Demand Re- as the Vessel Traffc Service Director in New York. duction Mission of the Coast Guard. Mannion started off But, Mannion didn’t step into his current job without by explaining, “We’re responsible for ensuring that 225,000 credentials. For example, he ran the Drug and Alcohol mariners, over 5,000 marine employers, and another 300 Testing program for New York Waterway, something that sponsoring organizations are all acting in compliance with involved keeping tabs on hundreds of employees as part regulations. The DAPI program is placed under Investiga- of that testing program. “Just by the sheer number of vol- tions, because we have broader authority to conduct investi- umes that we were operating at that time, marine casualties gations on mariner drug use, and on marine employer failure were going to inevitably happen. We were carrying passen- to comply with enforcing the regulations. We have been oper- gers, passengers would fall down, and we always exercised ating an active drug and alcohol testing program since 1991.” an abundance of caution in doing drug testing, even when

Actually, Mannion is the sole person assigned to the we weren’t even sure it would turn into an issue.”

DAPI program. A few others, once attached to the offce, have since seen those billets reallocated. Nevertheless, says Cosco Busan: Game Changer

Mannion, “Although the program itself has gotten smaller, The infamous 2007 Cosco Busan accident – the ill-fated we’ve become more effective. In the past two years, I have vessel striking the San Francisco Bay Bridge and spilling trained over 149 new investigators and inspectors on drug 53,000 gallons of oil into the bay – served to establish and alcohol inspections and investigations.” more regular, thorough and more standardized medical

March 2019 44 MN

Marine News

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