Page 29: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)
www.maritimeprofessional.com Maritime Professional 29 for pre-negotiation removes at least the potential for delay.”
Also, tight new rules regarding vessel and personnel response times to an incident were put in place, a require- ment that will cause vessel owners who want to ensure full compliance, to take a hard look at their contracted salvor.
The marine salvage community is a fiercely independent and competitive group, bound by the nature and danger of their work, but also separated by the need to out-hustle the competition to prosper and survive.
Regulations such as the new salvage and fighting under OPA 90 have helped to forge a kinship of sorts; new rela- tionships born and nurtured under the auspices of the American Salvage
Association, solidified by new rules which have strict pre-positioning and response time requirements. Salvage companies have, in essence, fortified their resources and effectively spread their own risk.
First out of the gate were Donjon and
Smit, who late last year formed the
Donjon-Smit OPA-90 Alliance, led by
Paul Hankins. Set up as a completely separate operation, the combined group is completely focused on OPA-90 work.
More recently, Resolve Marine Group and T&T Bisso announced a coalition built specifically to help tank vessel operators fully comply with the latest
OPS 90 regulations effective February 22, 2011. “The new regulations required a sub- stantial capital investment just to meet the minimum planning requirements,” said Captain Farhat Imam, COO of
Resolve. “Resolve talked with fellow
American Salvage Association (ASA) member T&T Bisso and both agreed that meeting the minimum just wasn’t enough.”
The Resolve and T&T Bisso coalition pre-positions 45 high-volume marine fire pumps and makes available over two million gallons of firefighting foam throughout all USCG Captain of the
Port Zones. “Shipboard fires don’t occur that often, but when they do you must have the best gear and trained personnel available,” said Garrido, wearing his hat as President of T&T Bisso. “The decision to pool resources was cat- alyzed by several tanker operators who opted to list both Resolve and T&T
Bisso so as to ensure the best possible coverage and the reluctance of most public fire departments to support the tanker industry.”
The new regulations required the sal- vage companies to put in writing the network of third party support organi- zations, a step which admittedly was already in place, just not formally doc- umented. “It (the regulations) helped to lay out the planning that the salvors had to do, forcing them to create good relation- ships with third party (product and service) providers, and, ultimately, helping to further mitigate risk by plan- ning ahead,” said Hankins “The challenge we have now is we really have to close the loop in this reg- ulation,” said Garrido. “The intent was to have better response, and the loop will only be closed when the plans are put into use. If we don’t actually use the plans in real life, we might as well go back to square one. 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.”
New Salvage & FiFi Rules Enter Force
Executive Board Member, ASA “The most significant advance has been ... working the salvor's operation into the command and control organization. In the past, (salvage was) only a secondary consideration in the command center. Ironically, the focus of the groups’ effort is chasing the oil after it leaves the ship, when in almost every case; the major threat is the oil remaining in the ship. That oil can only be kept in the ship with a positive, success- ful salvage effort. While it’s not a 100% complete success yet, the regulations take an important step in reversing this paradox, chasing the horse after it’s out of the barn and forgetting about the gate to keep the rest of the horses in the barn. Salvors are that gatekeeper, without whom our shores are at exponentially increased risk of environmental catastrophe.”