USCG Opens Door To Commercial Emergency Towing

In an action not necessarily connected with the recent Public Hearings on emergency towing, the Coast Guard's publishing of a Final Rule, effective September 15, 1988, states that anyone wanting to engage in towing of disabled boats for financial consideration will be able to do so. The only requirement is to have a Coast Guard license of any level, and an endorsement on that license for "Assistance Towing." "Assistance Towing" is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as "towing a disabled vessel for consideration." This could mean using your own boat to bring in a disabled sailboat stuck on a sandbar, or a motorboat that ran out of gas, and charging for the service.

To qualify, one must hold a license (motorboat operator, Ocean operator, master or mate) and pass a written examination based on assistance towing safety, equipment and procedures.

In order to meet the demand for this endorsement, Sea School has announced a series of one-day (or two evening) prep courses to cover this specialized towing exam. For more information on this Final Rule, call the License Information Hotline toll free at (1-800) 237- 8663.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 56,  Sep 1988

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.