Lancer Insurance Company

  • Professional captains and pilots in all sectors of the maritime industry confront daunting challenges and hazards every day on every trip. From piloting oceangoing ships into congested harbors and safely docking them, to navigating ferries, tourist vessels and water taxis through harbors and rivers teaming with other commercial vessels and recreational craft and everything in between, U.S Coast Guard licensed deck officers have one of the most difficult, pressure-packed jobs in any industry.

     
    Arguably, the pilots and captains who face the most challenging conditions in their daily duties are the hardworking officers aboard vessels navigating the nation’s rivers and their tributaries in the towboat industry. Bridges, dams and locks constantly changing water levels and shoaling and limited space in which to handle all of these shifting challenges while pushing a flotilla of barges are the rule, not the exception. Long periods away from home, constant time pressures and deadlines, all are under the watchful eyes of river-based Coast Guard commands make work in America’s inland rivers one of the most difficult career choices in the maritime … or any … industry.
     
    Perhaps not surprisingly, when things go sideways, it seldom involves a minor incident. The following case study demonstrates how a seemingly routine passing arrangement between two towboat pilots became a nerve-wracking license-threatening mid-river collision – in an instant.
     
    A Perilous Passing
    The license-insured river pilot was traveling northbound on the Mississippi River at around 4 knots pushing 15 barges, seven of which were empty. When approaching one of the many railroad bridges spanning the river, he received radio contact from the pilot of a southbound tow who wanted to make arrangements for a passing to take place near the bridge. The northbound vessel approached the bridge on the portside descending bank with the intent of proceeding through the left descending span. Unfortunately, the river had other plans.
     
    As he closed in on the bridge and the oncoming southbound tow, the swollen river’s current slowed his vessel’s speed to barely 1.5 knots and slowly began to affect control of the tow. Despite taking immediate and appropriate corrective action, the current’s strength prevailed, forcing his towboat and barges into the bridge piers causing the tow to break-up and scatter haphazardly across the river. The pilot’s corrective action, while unable to allow him to avoid alliding with the bridge piers, did prevent a collision with the southbound tow … an event which would have presented a higher probability of injury to the crews of both vessels, oil product discharge into the river and, most likely, a lengthy shutdown of the busy waterway.
     
    The Coast Guard, both companies and bridge authority were all contacted and as the barges were slowly recovered and secured, the pilot of the northbound vessel was sent for drug testing before meeting with investigators from the regional Coast Guard command. Prudently, in the interim, he reported the incident promptly to his license insurance company and was assigned his own maritime attorney who, via cellular telephone prepped him for his initial Coast Guard verbal interview, assisted him in drafting his maritime casualty report (2692) and accompanied him to his formal Coast Guard interview.
     
    Several nerve-wracking interviews and attorney conferences later, the Coast Guard investigators finally decided against pursuing negligence charges against the pilot, concluding that, given the circumstances, he had acted responsibly and did the best he could to prevent a bad situation from becoming even worse; in other words, a collision with the Southbound vessel and its barges. The only hitch: it took two years from the date of the incident for the captain to receive notification that no further action would be pursued against his license. This was perhaps the most agonizingly long 24 months in that professional mariner’s long and admirable career.
     
    The legal fees incurred in the defense of this towboat pilot’s license totaled $4,500 as maritime attorney worked long and hard to get authorities to finally render a decision to bring him peace of mind that his Coast Guard license was not at risk. He was also very relieved that all his legal expenses were fully paid by his license insurance company. 
     
    While the pilot passed the incident site dozens of times since losing out to the power of the mighty Mississippi’s unpredictable currents without incident, there is also little doubt that the memory of that bridge allision and the two years of legal proceedings and long-awaited exoneration will never be forgotten. Nor will the knowledge that protecting one’s ticket before taking last line will always be a smart move, as well.


    The Author
    Randy O’Neill is Senior Vice President with Lancer Insurance Company.
     
     
    (As published in the April 2017 edition of Marine News)
  • standard … even if his or her actions ultimately prevented a more serious casualty. The Author Randy O’Neill is Senior Vice President with Lancer Insurance Company and has been Manager of its MOPS Marine License Insurance division since 1984. Over the past 29 years, O’Neill has spoken and written on many

  • to avoid such a problem in the future and the ongoing need for license protection – endure forever.   Randy O’Neill is Senior Vice President with Lancer Insurance Company and has been Manager of its MOPS Marine License Insurance division since 1984. Over the past 29 years, Mr. O’Neill has spoken and written

  • specialty that exists to this day. PWC accidents, unfortunately, are not uncommon.  The Author Randy O’Neill is Senior Vice President with Lancer Insurance Company and has been Manager of its MOPS Marine License Insurance division since 1984. Over the past 29 years, O’Neill has spoken and written on many

  • . He managed ODECO production operations for many years, and the highly successful operations of the dynamic positioning drillship Ben Ocean Lancer, from 1977 until 1980 when he returned to ODECO headquarters in New Orleans. He served as assistant vice president- foreign drilling operations from

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  • MT Apr-19#64 Index page MTR APRIL19:MTR Layouts  4/15/2019  9:39 AM)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 64

    Index page MTR APRIL19:MTR Layouts 4/15/2019 9:39 AM Page 1 Advertiser Index PageCompany Website Phone# 25 . . . . .Blueprint Subsea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.blueprintsubsea.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+44 (0) 1539 531536 13 . . . . .Deep Ocean Engineering

  • MT Apr-19#60 Products Buoyancy
DeepWater Buoyancy’s DeepWater Benthic)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 60

    Products Buoyancy DeepWater Buoyancy’s DeepWater Benthic Lander DeepWater Buoyancy claims to be components, there are also plastic, com- lander is free-fall deployed to the sea- the world’s largest supplier of subsea posite, polyurethane and fabricated met- ? oor to collects data. The product is buoyancy

  • MT Apr-19#57 come one of the principal innovators 
in the subsea)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 57

    come one of the principal innovators in the subsea imaging and measure- ment industry. It is headquartered is in BIRNS, Inc. Kildare, Ireland with of? ces in the U.S., BIRNS started out in the subsea the U.K., China and Australia. industry creating underwater cam- Currently the company is building

  • MT Apr-19#56 Products Imaging
SubC Imaging Remote Ocean Systems SIDUS)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 56

    Products Imaging SubC Imaging Remote Ocean Systems SIDUS Solutions, LLC ROS is an ISO-9001-2008 certi? ed company with a 28,000 sq. ft. research and manufacturing facility dedicated to producing products. Its product line includes underwater video cameras, lights, rugged pan and tilt positioning

  • MT Apr-19#54 1,700-kilometer mission autonomously collecting ?  sheries)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 54

    1,700-kilometer mission autonomously collecting ? sheries thus increasing mission ef? ciency. acoustics and physical properties of the sea surface. As part Looking back 20 years, we celebrate the progress and ad- of this multi-vehicle mission under the U.K. NERC/Defra vancements made in ocean observatio

  • MT Apr-19#47 2019  
Media Kit
EDITORIAL CALENDAR
2019
Market Feature)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 47

    2019 Media Kit EDITORIAL CALENDAR 2019 Market Feature ProfileTechnical FeatureProduct Feature Ad Close: Dec 21Ad Close: Jan 22 Ad Close: Feb 21 JAN/FEBFEBRUARYMARCH Underwater Vehicle Annual Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis Subsea Defense Ocean Business 2019 Technology

  • MT Apr-19#46 tech delivers cost savings and Waagen’s Test Center)
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    tech delivers cost savings and Waagen’s Test Center attracts A place to grow Along with the 1,100-square-meter testing and training cen- wind power entrepreneurs, ? oating or marine wind power con- ter backed by The Switch — plus researchers, equipment and tinues to grow. Since Equinor’s launch of a

  • MT Apr-19#45 At least one unnamed wind player (our guess is Equinor))
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 45

    At least one unnamed wind player (our guess is Equinor) has “Norwegian Catapult” or the Test Center — is hoping to pro- already signed on with Unitech. While they’ve opted for wind duce other Unitechs out of an expected stream of startups. power cables, Unitech is also in negotiations with clients for

  • MT Apr-19#41 AUV visuals: 
Swire Seabed’s 
user interface. 
Photo:)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 41

    AUV visuals: Swire Seabed’s user interface. Photo: Swire Seabed Norway has announced it will follow the Cooke Isles example of issuing licenses to quali? ed subsea mining companies. Ocean Minerals’ quali? ed offshore process involves low- ering pipe bound to nodule-harvesters on the seabed. Nod- ules

  • MT Apr-19#39 waii, underwater mining tools target the whole gamut of)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 39

    waii, underwater mining tools target the whole gamut of min- of major offshore acreage awards. Deepsea miner, Ocean ing support tasks. Minerals, says REEs are “17 chemically similar metals con- sisting of the 15 elements known as the lanthanides plus yt- High-stakes ops trium and scandium” and they’re of

  • MT Apr-19#38 pling survey, mapping, hyperspectral photo work (met- of)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 38

    pling survey, mapping, hyperspectral photo work (met- of the 47th Underwater Mining Conference in Bergen last als detection), environmental monitoring, risk assessment, year — yes, the 47th — organizers noted the achievements cutting-process observation and serving as equipment mules and attendance of a

  • MT Apr-19#37 Mining for AUVs
In Europe, there are sure signs that)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 37

    Mining for AUVs In Europe, there are sure signs that underwater mining is the next big market for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) and new “drones” called HROV, DART or TURTLE. Among the indicators is the involvement of mining companies, governments

  • MT Apr-19#35 tenance activities, these are effectively hotel boats with)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 35

    tenance activities, these are effectively hotel boats with a lot term we want to develop the HAUV track and survey buried of redundant time. We have developed HAUV to be able to be cables autonomously. Various pipe tracking technologies are deployed and recovered from these vessels essentially replac-

  • MT Apr-19#34 survey, producing stunning images, as well as point cloud)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 34

    survey, producing stunning images, as well as point cloud data, says Ward. “The CathX Laser system provides a very high- of both the pipeline and passing marine life (see inset with de- resolution point cloud of the pipeline and adjacent seabed. The tail of the shark’s teeth, taken at 2 knots) using a

  • MT Apr-19#33 AUVs in the market are not actually that autonomous;)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 33

    AUVs in the market are not actually that autonomous; often from a quayside at a lake close to Saab’s Facility in Sweden the vessel needs to track the vehicle during a scope, which, in to perform a “mow the lawn” style pre-programmed survey our eyes, defeated the object of the autonomous feature.”

  • MT Apr-19#32 fter four years spent developing an autonomous  HAUV will)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 32

    fter four years spent developing an autonomous HAUV will return to its dock on completion of the work scope underwater vehicle (AUV)/remotely operated un- and will wait to be recovered at a convenient time. “For ex- derwater vehicle (ROV) hybrid (HAUV) based on ample, if you have engaged a vessel to

  • MT Apr-19#28 Insignts Business
The ?  rst phase of Virtual Residency)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 28

    Insignts Business The ? rst phase of Virtual Residency will leverage the en- the service sector. Some will respond with incremental change abling technology’s ability to achieve a correspondency ratio and some will respond with transformational propositions. similar to warehouse robotics. This results

  • MT Apr-19#26 Insignts Business
long-term residence, many service)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 26

    Insignts Business long-term residence, many service companies are conducting the availability of vessel operations. We call this concept Vir- MTBF studies in underwater robotics. No matter how good tual Residency and the technology which ful? lls it - Aquanaut. a study is, and how well equipment is

  • MT Apr-19#25 HQTXLULHV#EOXHSULQWVXEVHDFRP
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    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 25

    HQTXLULHV#EOXHSULQWVXEVHDFRP VRXQGE\GHVLJQ 0XOWLEHDP,PDJLQJ6RQDUV 6LQJOHDQG'XDO)UHTXHQF\WRN+] they dominate it. Often subsea service try released a large number of staff, company quarterly reports are sum- lowering costs without fundamentally maries and projections of the number changing the business.

  • MT Apr-19#24 Insignts Business
Solving the Real Problem: 
T  e Subsea)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 24

    Insignts Business Solving the Real Problem: T e Subsea Business Model By Sean Halpin, Aquanaut Product Manager, Houston Mechatronics e seem to be experiencing an underwater operators determined that they need to dramatically lower the technological renaissance. It’s extremely cost of doing business

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Customer Pro?  le: Tappan Zee Constructor)
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    Project @ a Glance Customer Pro? le: Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC is a consortium – including Fluor Enterprises, Inc., American Bridge Company, Granite Con- struction Northeast, Inc., and Traylor Bros., Inc. – that was hired to design and build the new Gov- ernor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, one of the

  • MT Apr-19#12 Insignts Cables
Cable to Make a Dif  erence in 
Underwater)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 12

    Insignts Cables Cable to Make a Dif erence in Underwater Missions By Chad Murdock, lead applications engineer, Cortland Company he US GEOTRACES program is dedicated to col- Electromechanical cable specialist Cortland supplies equip- lecting trace elements and their isotopes from the ment which is used by

  • MT Apr-19#11 export regulations extend beyond the initial export out of)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 11

    export regulations extend beyond the initial export out of the ments and obtaining any required licenses when a speci? c United States. A re-export of a U.S.-origin item from one for- writing has been obtained ? rst by the U.S. seller from the for- eign destination to another, including use aboard a

  • MT Apr-19#10 Insignts Government Update
Export Licensing: 
Tips U.S.)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 10

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