Inland Waterways: Towboats on the rivers: Do they need/carry engineers?

I know this kinda ties in with my other question about DDE-4000.

Do the pushboats which handle barges on the inland rivers have engineers on-board and if so, what level license is the most common? Are they unlic. deckineers? DDE?

Always liked the rivers (worked on the SS American Queen in the fireroom) and the rotation is very attractive for a family man.

As always, thanks for any & all replies!

It depends upon the companies. Some companies who are more professional use licensed engineers. Some don’t. Uninspected vessels (and Towboats are one variety) don’t ‘require’ a licensed engineer when UNDER 200 GT. However, ANY towing vessel when operated in INLAND waters regardless of tonnage does NOT require a license.

It seems to me that in the last 20 years or so, most companies ARE hiring licensed engineers though. Maybe insurance is better? Maybe they are tired of ‘Oil Change, Start, Stop’ “engineers” who are pretty useless! Who knows. But, I think the new Subchapter M towboat regs will bring this up to a rational level playing field.

The line haul towboats have always carried engineers, though not always licensed but guys who came up through the ranks and know what they are doing. Companies operating smaller boats generally do not. Not that they are necessarily bad companies, just that there is much less equipment to maintain on a boat with a pair of GM 871’s pushing 2 barges than a lower mississippi boat with 16 cyl turbo’s pushing 30 or so barges.