Safe Operations, Proven Results
This op-ed originally appeared on MarineLink.
The recent editorial (MarineNewsFebruary edition) by Jeff Cowan entitled “The Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) Quandary” raised more than a few eyebrows here at the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and among AWO members who operate ATBs. Mr. Cowan has it backwards: far from being unsafe, ATBs in fact represent a significant advancement in safety in the coastal tugboat and barge industry and have a long history of safe operation. Mr. Cowan’s piece also contained several factual errors and is based on the flawed premise that the regulatory standards for tankers should be applied rigidly to ATBs despite the differences in vessel characteristics. We would like to set the record straight.