Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saving Property And Lives At Sea For The Shipping Community

MRA Gets A New Member
Shipping News Feature

US – The OPA 90 regulations, introduced after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in March 1989, have recently been revised in the light of recent similar tragedies and in particular the Deepwater Horizon affair in the Gulf of Mexico. Penalties for environmental damage can now extend into billions of dollars which can only be mitigated by prompt and effective action. The regulation changes plus new Marine Firefighting Regulations persuaded the Marine Response Alliance LLC (MRA) to take a hard look at their capabilities and have prompted the introduction of a new member.

The original alliance group Crowley Marine Services Inc., Marine Pollution Control Corporation, Titan Maritime and Marine Hazard Response, have been joined by McAllister Towing and Transportation to ensure the group can provide the most comprehensive and rapid response to a variety of hazards arising at sea.

The MRA claim they can provide unparalleled access to comprehensive emergency response services. The MRA provides OPA '90 compliant capabilities for rescue towing, lightering, salvage and firefighting services in all U.S. Captain of the Port zones. Since 1994, MRA has provided access to marine emergency response services through a "one-call" approach for both drills and actual response efforts. The Alliance relies on the member companies' equipment and personnel to initiate emergency response within hours,or often minutes,of notice.

McAllister is one of the oldest and largest marine towing and transportation companies in the United States, operating a fleet of more than 70 tugboats and 12 barges along the entire East Coast from Portland, Maine, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The corporate headquarters is located in New York City with additional staffed offices around the coast. In each port, McAllister is engaged in ship docking, general harbour, coastal and rescue towing plus bulk transportation servicing to more than 600 major steamship companies. Buckley McAllister, a new director of the Alliance from McAllister, said:

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to team up with Crowley, Titan, MPC and MHR as a full member of the MRA. We are excited to be part of consortium that provides the worldwide shipping community with a one-stop call for emergency towing, lightering, salvage and marine firefighting services. We believe that the MRA team members have more than proven themselves via their extensive and impressive resume of successful jobs and we look forward to being part of MRA's future."

Margaret Kaigh Doyle, MRA general manager added:

"The U.S. Coast Guard salvage and marine firefighting regulations that take effect next year are all about having the resources, assets and ability to properly respond in all of the required geographic areas. The Alliance has gone above and beyond to ensure that our clients' vessels are fully compliant and, more importantly, covered by the most capable resources available. We're changing so our clients don't have to.

"The combined resources of the Alliance provide clients with more than 11,000 full-time employees and a fleet of over 370 vessels owned and operated by the five MRA member companies. This capability is unprecedented anywhere in the world."

Photo left to right: Art Mead of Crowley. John Ara of Crowley, Eric McAllister of McAllister, Margaret Kaigh Doyle of MRA, Brian McAllister of McAllister, David Usher of MPC, Dan Schwall of Titan, Buckley McAllister of McAllister, and Scott Powell of MHR as McAllisters are welcomed as full members of the Alliance.