Bouchard Updates

Any updated info on the situation at Bouchard?

I see just now on Marine Traffic AIS site that the Danielle M Bouchard AIS is showing a destination of Port Arthur and the Kim M Bouchard AIS is showing Sabine.

That’s new from when I looked a few hours ago. Neither one seems to be moving.

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Still there… the destination port is a setting, which ya all know… when I’m on watch at anchor not in a VTS it’s entertaining to change it around, I.e. North Pole on Christmas etc… maybe all BTC crews at anchor should change their destination to Melville…

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Yeah, I thought that when I first looked this morning there was no destination showing and then the next time I looked later it had been entered but I might have been mistaken.

Maybe it was wishful thinking.

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This is awesome

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Good for him for making an effort. I don’t blame him for one second. What about medical and other benefits? I’m assuming since there is financial trouble that the plans the employees are in are now not being funded correct?

Whoever responds to this ad and goes to pick up this crewmember, he hasn’t been paid in 2 months. Tell him to keep the $200. Let the $20 you spend in fuel and the effort you make to pick him up be an act of kindness.

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I called the insurance company as of Friday we still had health insurance

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It may dent your pride a little but if this debacle put you in a tight financial spot, you might consider a starting a go-fund-me page. It may also help to focus attention on this unfair BS.
Post a link on this forum and I expect fellow mariners who can afford it will be willing to help. If there’s a huge response, some of the funds could be used to help other BTC employee families in the same bind.

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Does anyone know if this morning’s 0200 mission succeeded?

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Yes Steven Seagal went out there this morning in his black rubber raft and got everyone off Including the Topless Birthday Cake Girl

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I had a prescription filled and paid for today. If that’s any help

Crew change made on one of two stranded tugboats near Sabine Pass, vessels still can’t dock

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Two tugboats remain anchored in the water a few miles from Sabine Pass, with crews unable to dock the boats after months of being in limbo. Four crew members aboard one of the boats were finally relieved by a new crew last week.

After members of the crew told the U.S. Coast Guard on February 10 that they were planning to abandon the two tugboat and barge units, the Coast Guard issued “Captain of the Port” orders for both the M/V Danille M. Bouchard and the M/V Kim M. Bouchard. Bouchard Transportation, a company based in New York, owns the vessels.

One of the crew members on board previously reached out to 12News.

The crew member said the tugboats, which are connected to barges, have been sitting there anchored since November 26.

Father Sinclair Oubre serves as the executive director of the Port Arthur International Seafarers Center.

12News reached out to Oubre by phone about the tugboat crews.

He says a crew change was made on the ‘Danielle’ early last week. Four crew members got off the boat, and four new crew members got on. He says the situation is becoming a little more urgent as the captain issued an order for the ‘Danielle’ to dock because of mechanical issues.

Father Oubre says the technical issues are not life-threatening, but called them ‘troublesome.’

The tugboat hasn’t yet docked even though the order was issued.

No doubt an unfortunate situation for all involved, but question whether the latest actions taken by USCG are not, in fact, exacerbating the problem(s) all around. The units that are the subject of the COTP order have been securely anchored, with watchstanding crew, in a designated anchorage, with no cargo on board. The owner/operator has openly stated that it is facing serious financial challenges, and is working through its options to resolve its debts, including crew wages. I am curious as to what specific threat of imminent danger the CG identified to justify its actions, which will certainly further impair the vessel owner/operator’s ability to improve its financial position to the point at which it can pay the crew off the boats.

The U.S. Coast Guard is moving to take enforcement action against New York-based Bouchard Transportation Company after the company failed to comply with a recent captain of the port order related to the safety of one of its vessels anchored in Port Arthur, Texas.

The Coast Guard says the tugs Kim M. Bouchard and Danielle M. Bouchard and their associated barges have been anchored off Texas Point since mid-December with no known plans to move and crews unpaid since January, raising serious concerns over the safety of the vessels and well-being of the crews.

Captain Jacqueline Twomey, captain of the port of Port Arthur, issued captain of the port orders to both vessels on February 10 to resolve problems related to staffing and safety, or face stiff penalties and even prison.

Similar captain of the port orders were also sent to Bouchard vessels in New York and New Jersey and New Orleans.

The orders have effectively prevented Bouchard crews from abandoning the vessels, despite no guarantee of a paycheck.

According to a Coast Guard statement on Thursday, the COTP order against the Danielle M. Bouchard was “amended to require additional repairs or to be moored at a dock”, with Capt. Twomey granting a 3-day extension for Bouchard to meet the requirements. However, Bouchard has now failed to comply by the extended deadline of Sunday, and a second extension request has been denied, the Coast Guard said.

In accordance with the current captain of the port order, maximum civil penalties for Bouchard could include fines of $94,219 for each violation and a class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

The Coast Guard insists that the crews of the are not responsible for the penalties, rather it is the responsibility of Bouchard.

“Multiple Coast Guard men and women are in daily contact with crews remaining aboard both vessels to ensure they are safe and have adequate provisions,” the Coast Guard said Thursday. “Twomey visited both tugs Tuesday and expressed her gratitude to the professional mariners aboard who understand their responsibility to the waterways and are continuing to diligently stand their watch and weather the situation to the best of their abilities. She assured them the Coast Guard’s top priority is their safety and wellbeing. She also told them all related fines and penalties will not be directed at them, but rather at Bouchard Transportation Company, ” the Coast Guard said.

Combined, the Kim M. Bouchard and Danielle M. Bouchard and their barges are carrying nearly 200,000 gallons of oil, gas and other potential pollutants.

“The Coast Guard expects vessel owners to proactively manage the safety of their vessels and ensure operators have sufficient resources to maintain compliance with applicable requirements, and it is our responsibility to the public, professional mariners, and the marine transportation system to hold companies accountable when safety demands it,” said Twomey.

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For who though?

Safe to say I think, Morty may not be paying his crews, but his lawyers are being compensated. Will not be surprised at anything that happens going forward, for better or worse.

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