Page 27: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)
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P erhaps in no other corner of the marine business are risk and reward so closely linked as they are in marine salvage and firefighting.
The inherent nature of the marine sal- vage business means that equipment and personnel sometimes come into harm’s way; a risk mitigated by experi- ence, preparedness and quality and quantity of information on the job at hand.
When operating vessels in and around the United States, risk is everywhere, particularly if and when an accident occurs and cargo is accidentally dis- charged in U.S. waters.
As readers of this publication likely already know, the risk factor in and around the U.S. has risen much higher starting February 2011, courtesy of new
OPA-90 regulations for the salvor and marine firefighter, regulations which dictates how and where vessel owner/operators must be prepared if an accident happens. “The simple fact is that the regula- tions drive the owners and operators who believe ‘it’s never going to happen to me’ to pre-plan,” said Mauricio
Garrido, president of the American
Salvage Association (T&T Bisso). “It’s a win-win for all sides: for the owners; for their underwriters; for the Coast
Guard; and for the American Public.”
The genesis of OPA-90 regulations are well recorded, born from the his- toric grounding and spill of the Exxon
Valdez in Alaska’s Prince William
Sound more than 20 years ago; an acci- dent which resonates still today in its material effects on owning and operat- ing tank vessels globally.
It took more than 15 years, but in 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard finally pub- lished new OPA-90 Salvage and Marine
Firefighting regulations, in the form of 15 selection criteria industry should examine when choosing the contracted provider of salvage and firefighting resources. “Perhaps the most important thing the new regulations do is identify a legiti- mate stable of qualified salvors from which to choose,” said Paul Hankins, a member of the American Salvage
Association (ASA) executive board (Donjon-Smit). “Pre-regulation, there were more than 200 salvors identified in vessel response plans. Clearly, most of these named ‘salvors’ were neither qualified nor ready to respond quickly. With the new regulatory requirements for both standards and planning timeframes, the risk posed by naming an unqualified salvor is significantly reduced.”
ASA was involved early in the process. “As things started taking shape, we (ASA) felt compelled to get involved because there was a need to provide further clarification to better define a professional salvage contract, and to better define what exactly was salvage response,” said Garrido.
In addition to the 15 prerequisites, salvage companies and its clients must have a contracting mechanism in place before an incident; complete with a funding component and rate sheet. “The second risk management bene- fit, in my opinion, is the pre-negotiated contracts,” said Hankins. “With the contractual pieces in place to allow for immediate response without the need to chase owners to win contracts, there is a significant decrease in the potential for salvage delay. While some salvors might argue the chase for contracts after an incident never imposed signifi- cant delay, nevertheless the mechanism
New Salvage & FiFi Rules Enter Force
When disaster strikes, modern marine salvors stand at the forefront of Risk Mitigation. – by Greg Trauthwein
American Salvage Association “We have created a very good risk management, mitigation and loss-control tool. Now we need to use it, and the United
States Coast Guard has to do its part enforcing it.”