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Recently NAUTICAL LOG has had a series of posts about Assistance Towing in which we addressed in Part 4 "Issues and Points" the importance of 'Confidentiality'. We also addressed the required behaviour under First Responder laws and how this should be applied by Assistance Towing Responders in "Response and Responders". We gave examples of indiscreet remarks which ended up on Media reports.

Our research had brought up that when the USCG ceased to supervise the assistance towing industry an organisation was formed called 'Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing' (C-PORT). On NAUTICAL LOG making further inquires their Executive Director was kind enough to reply with an explanation of their programme. The Executive Director states that "ACAPT Accreditation is available to any marine assistance company who wishes to participate in the process". She further states that "membership in C-PORT is not required to obtain ACAPT certification nor is it a requirement to be connected to the TowBoatUS/VesselAssist or Sea Tow networks". So that was clear, precise and answered the NAUTICAL LOG inquiry.

As mentioned in the previous posts there are some assistance towing companies that have their own blogs, two in particular are well known. These are fun to write and are an inexpensive form of getting business for the company. Actually it was from one of these that we had drawn our examples of improper comments which ended up in the Media. Now NAUTICAL LOG has been advised of a third incident by this same towing company. It appears they were in better position and had a faster vessel so got to the vessel requiring assistance first. Fair enough you say - well not quite as it appears the vessel requiring assistance was contracted with the second arriving assistance tower. The understood seamanlike procedure is to let the contracted vessel take the contracted tow. It is reported that this was not done and the first vessel demanded the tow. Now this incident was duly reported in their blog as a business victory. Amongst the comments it received was one from the other company that has a blog. They praised this improper behaviour in a comment complete with capitalization (CAPS), exclamation points (!!!) and funny faces (no funny faces here). On doing further research NAUTICAL LOG was astounded to find that the author of the comment praising this unseamanlike behaviour was in fact one of the Board of Directors of C-PORT who particularly represents an important section of their business. Now we wonder just what sort of an organisation that offers 'Accreditation' to the assistance towing industry behaves in this manner. Just what is its value to the industry if this is how one of its Board of Directors responds to such an incident. It would seem to NAUTICAL LOG that personal honour, courtesy and a decent waterfront reputation would have much more value than a colourful sticker on the pilothouse window.

Good Watch.


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