It's Time Civilian Mariners were regulated by a Civilian Mariner Agency

The Coast Guard needs to be relieved of oversight duty of the US Merchant Marine. They need to relieved by a civilian agency operated by people who actually know and understand the US Merchant Marine Industry.

The Coast Guard is very good at most of their assigned task. For search and rescue, drug and immigration interdiction, and Aids to Navigation Administration, who else would you count on today? The Coast Guard performs these task everyday, the people performing these duties are trained experts. However, commercial marine shipping, commercial marine towing, and the other specialized task of various civilian vessels, are the daily task of Merchant Mariners. We are the experts. The Coast Guard does not perform any of these task on a routine basis.

Airlines and air crews are regulated by the civilian agency FAA, not the US Air Force. The mariners who earn their living providing the vital functions of the US Merchant Marine to our country deserve no less. We deserve administration by an agency that is knowledgeable of our industry and directly accountable to the people that are regulated. Let the Coast Guard do what they do best and relieve them of the burden of civilian administration.

[QUOTE=“ClutchCargo;127090”]The Coast Guard needs to be relieved of oversight duty of the US Merchant Marine. They need to relieved by a civilian agency operated by people who actually know and understand the US Merchant Marine Industry.

The Coast Guard is very good at most of their assigned task. For search and rescue, drug and immigration interdiction, and Aids to Navigation Administration, who else would you count on today? The Coast Guard performs these task everyday, the people performing these duties are trained experts. However, commercial marine shipping, commercial marine towing, and the other specialized task of various civilian vessels, are the daily task of Merchant Mariners. We are the experts. The Coast Guard does not perform any of these task on a routine basis.

Airlines and air crews are regulated by the civilian agency FAA, not the US Air Force. The mariners who earn their living providing the vital functions of the US Merchant Marine to our country deserve no less. We deserve administration by an agency that is knowledgeable of our industry and directly accountable to the people that are regulated. Let the Coast Guard do what they do best and relieve them of the burden of civilian administration.[/QUOTE]

You think the government is going to give up power because you think it is logical? That is not the way politicians and big government work and that is who controls licensing in the US of A.

Next you will be saying we should reduce the deficit.

I don’t think he meant the US government should give up oversight entirely, just that it should be a civilian agency vice the USCG. The FAA is a government agency.

My 2 cents, so long as any proposed civilian oversight organization doesn’t turn into a glorified trade organization I’m all for the idea.

Just what we need, another bloated unwieldy government beauracracy.

[QUOTE=“awulfclark;127098”]I don’t think he meant the US government should give up oversight entirely, just that it should be a civilian agency vice the USCG. The FAA is a government agency.

My 2 cents, so long as any proposed civilian oversight organization doesn’t turn into a glorified trade organization I’m all for the idea.[/QUOTE]

I agree but again, the government WILL NEVER give up control of whatever they get their greasy dick skinners on. Until there is a quantum shift in the way business is done in DC, i.e. both parties are shown the door, we will have to deal with the present system.

Sad but true…

I don’t think he meant the US government should give up oversight entirely

Well, Class Societies, for the most part, are civilian entities. Not sure that I would like to cede regulation to them, though.

A federal agency like the FAA is probably the best alternative. If MARAD was not so riddled with retreads and beltway parasites it might be a reasonable alternative as well. If there were a way to replace the double dipping admirals and their ring knocking sycophants with experienced maritime professionals, the US Merchant Marine might have a fighting chance.

The founding premise for a non military aligned merchant marine agency must be based on the promotion and development of a citizen manned civilian merchant fleet. Let there be tax benefits for American builds and American mariners but remove the Jones Act coastwise restrictions while maintaining the human element protections the Act provides. It must be carved in stone that American military and government cargoes will be transported on American flagged, American manned vessels with absolutely no exceptions, no matter what the situation.

Moving all those responsibilities over to MARAD would really be the only logical choice I think.

The problem, like you said is they’re all about as smart as a bunch of five year olds who spent all week huffing spray paint. Would organisation get better if the funding for those components moved over from CG, maybe. No matter what both the USCG and MARAD kinda suck at their job.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;127166]Moving all those responsibilities over to MARAD would really be the only logical choice I think.

The problem, like you said is they’re all about as smart as a bunch of five year olds who spent all week huffing spray paint. Would organisation get better if the funding for those components moved over from CG, maybe. No matter what both the USCG and MARAD kinda suck at their job.[/QUOTE]

i don’t think that would be a very good idea (or at least any better) as neither #1 or #2 (Jaenichcen or Szabalta) have ever been commercial mariners. #1 is retired USN the #2 is retired USA. I recently spoke with Szabalta for over an hour on the phone and as much as he might be a nice guy and wants to help the USMM, he knows nothing that he has actually experienced for himself.

I’d like to see at least one long term chief, capt, etc. with long term sailing experience and some office time be in one or both of those positions for a change. then we might get somewhere.

they have grandiose plans in that office for the future of USMM that sound good on paper, but they do not understand the industry.

they certainly don’t understand why the deep sea fleet is continually shrinking. it’s almost as if they don’t understand the trade imbalance that’s been going on for decades now, let alone the cost of FOC vessel registration. ( i paid more for FL property taxes for my 2500sq ft house than the 2009 dual activity drillship i just left paid for 2012 to Marshall Islands). and they also didn’t seem to understand how much cheaper almost everybody is (not to be read cheaper and better or as good) compared to Americans.

i’d never want to see the jones act go away or severely amended, unless it was for a construction differential subsidy, because i think it would be a stepping stone to having taco express or wang chung airways flying domestically in the US and affecting all those American pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, baggage handlers. that’s a lot of jobs. they should have the same consideration and help we get.

sad fact is, before the oil patch exploded over last 10 yrs, MSC had more unlimited credentialed mates, engineers, ABs, electricians, qmeds than anybody.

You might be on to something. While I’m certainly not I favor of eroding the jones act, what if the “built in America” requirement was eliminated and instead companies were offered construction subsidies to build in America. Maybe even a penalty for registering foreign built vessels.

What’s the deal with Jaenichcen anyway? Is he staying on full time? Has there been any chatter on that front, i.e. the near future of MARAD? Commrade Obama probably doesn’t have the attention span to look for someone worth-while to fill the position left by great and glorious leader Matsuda, what’s more I don’t think Commrade Obama knows what “worth-while” means when it comes to the MARAD, the USMM, or anything for that matter. I doubt his new SECTRANS knows what to do with MARAD either.

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[QUOTE=LI_Domer;127174]You might be on to something. While I’m certainly not I favor of eroding the jones act, what if the “built in America” requirement was eliminated and instead companies were offered construction subsidies to build in America. Maybe even a penalty for registering foreign built vessels.[/QUOTE]

Been fighting that fight for years, no ground to be gained there. The chief problem with the Jones Act is that the ships are too damn expensive. There are other faults with it too but the “built in america” component is by far the most expensive. It’s just hard to accept abandoning one industry for the survival of the other. In a perfect world we’d re-vamp the shipyards and bring costs down to at least European levels, if not Asian levels and then become at least that much more competitive. We would then have the freedom to be able to work on other problems like the daily cost of running the vessels.

That part of it annoys me to no end. Maybe I need to do some research on it or something but how is it that Northern Europe can make ships and diesel plants that are, often, technically better, at a more affordable cost than the US and still enjoy higher median salary, minimum wage, and cost of living. Our steel manufacturing used to be the best in the world, now it’s all outdated.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;127176]That part of it annoys me to no end. Maybe I need to do some research on it or something but how is it that Northern Europe can make ships and diesel plants that are, often, technically better, at a more affordable cost than the US and still enjoy higher median salary, minimum wage, and cost of living. Our steel manufacturing used to be the best in the world, now it’s all outdated.[/QUOTE]

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES. DO MORE RESEARCH. That is the single BEST possible thing that you can do as a budding member of the United States Merchant Marine. It’s exactly what the competition DOESN’T want you to do. You should ALWAYS learn more, ESPECIALLY considering that your LIVELIHOOD is on the line. Don’t just read gCaptain either. I personally LOVE gCaptain and there is no end to how much I appreciate what John and Rob and all the rest do for us but they are not the only news source for this industry. Read MarineLink, Marine Insight, get subscriptions to Professional Mariner, Workboat, Coast Guard Proceedings, ALL OF THEM (and more…). READ, READ, READ, READ, READ!!! Google endlessly, be insatiable, ABSORB IT ALL!!!

If you do just half of what I mentioned above you alone might have the power to change this entire industry for the rest of us for the better. Now go out there and do it! We all need to read more and stay on top of what the movers and shakers in this industry are doing, because let’s face it, they’re not always moving and shaking in our favor and we need to be there to let them know when they aren’t, because the American public damn well isn’t going to do it. You too one day could be one of those movers and shakers and it wouldn’t be a minute too soon for us to have someone who actually lived in the USMM doing some moving and shaking for a change, instead of these USN, USA, etc. retirees…

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;127175]What’s the deal with Jaenichcen anyway? Is he staying on full time? Has there been any chatter on that front, i.e. the near future of MARAD? Commrade Obama probably doesn’t have the attention span to look for someone worth-while to fill the position left by great and glorious leader Matsuda, what’s more I don’t think Commrade Obama knows what “worth-while” means when it comes to the MARAD, the USMM, or anything for that matter. I doubt his new SECTRANS knows what to do with MARAD either…[/QUOTE]

his official apptmt as head of MARAD is simply a political formality that just hasn’t been taken care of yet. it’s not up for some major political showdown over confirmation b/c no one cares about MARAD.

never have never will, especially as long as non Mariners are running it.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;127174]You might be on to something. While I’m certainly not I favor of eroding the jones act, what if the “built in America” requirement was eliminated and instead companies were offered construction subsidies to build in America. Maybe even a penalty for registering foreign built vessels.[/QUOTE]

what i should have said before was heavily regulated and controlled CDS as a help to USMM.

unfortunately, CDS (constr. diff. subsidies) were wrought with frauduent claims, repairs, kickbacks, etc. for a long time. i had USNR duty a long time ago at an MSC office in NOLA where i actually learned a lot about the days of the CDS. a pretty picture was not painted of Avondale yard. and that was just one shipyard at a time (for decades) when the USA had yards cranking out tankers and freighters up and down mid atlantic coast. if we still had that level CDS today, it might give American shipping companies who don’t trade jones act or don’t receive MSP a real reason to build ships here.

i say “level of CDS” b/c i am not entirely sure it is completely gone.

https://casetext.com/case/us-v-burmah-oil-co-ltd

following is an exceprt from the above link. certainly doesn’t make MARAD of 1977 look good as far CDS is concerned.

On August 19, 1976, the front page of the New York Times contained the following news report:

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Maritime Administration and at least one Congressional committee are investigating whether the Burmah Oil Company, a major British concern, illegally received commitments for Federal guarantees or subsidies to build at least eight huge tanker ships in this country.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in shipbuilding projects and thousands of American shipyard jobs may be in jeopardy because of the possibility of fraud in applying for the Government backing, which is illegal for foreign companies under Federal law.

The report went on to explain that the Times had obtained a memorandum from one Richard Kurrus, a lawyer for Burmah Oil, to the president of Burmah Oil, expressing concern over the fact that the applications were based on a “fiction.”

Six weeks later, on September 30, 1976, relator filed her complaint in the Southern District of New York. As is required by 31 U.S.C. § 232©, she served upon the United States a “disclosure in writing of substantially all evidence and information in (her) possession material to the effective prosecution of (the) suit.” Of the ten documents, or sets of documents thus disclosed, only one, the Kurrus memorandum, was not already in the physical possession of the government.

2 Relator claims that the Kurrus memorandum revealed the complicity of the Maritime Administration in the alleged fraud, thus disclosing vital information about the nature of the fraud. Assuming that the complicity of the Maritime Administration would be relevant, this information was clearly disclosed in the Times article, which states that documents obtained by the Times, including the Kurrus memorandum, “indicate that officials of the Maritime Administration may have been aware that violations of Federal law might have been committed in connection with the Burmah guarantees and subsidies.”

This view is supported by the Council of American Master Mariners. They are a nationwide professional organization who believe vessel documentation, inspection, and credentialing should be completed by the Maritime Administration (DOT) instead of the USCG.

[QUOTE=“jsmithjr;127189”]This view is supported by the Council of American Master Mariners. They are a nationwide professional organization who believe vessel documentation, inspection, and credentialing should be completed by the Maritime Administration (DOT) instead of the USCG.[/QUOTE]

Great idea. Now please explain how u r going to get congress off their dead asses and where the money for this will come from since we are now effectively broke as a country.

They want to cut their responsibilities to veterans which is a heck of a lot bigger voting block than the American mariner. Why do u expect those morons to fix something they don’t think is broken? THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US!

[QUOTE=ClutchCargo;127090]The Coast Guard needs to be relieved of oversight duty of the US Merchant Marine. They need to relieved by a civilian agency operated by people who actually know and understand the US Merchant Marine Industry.

The Coast Guard is very good at most of their assigned task. For search and rescue, drug and immigration interdiction, and Aids to Navigation Administration, who else would you count on today? The Coast Guard performs these task everyday, the people performing these duties are trained experts. However, commercial marine shipping, commercial marine towing, and the other specialized task of various civilian vessels, are the daily task of Merchant Mariners. We are the experts. The Coast Guard does not perform any of these task on a routine basis.

Airlines and air crews are regulated by the civilian agency FAA, not the US Air Force. The mariners who earn their living providing the vital functions of the US Merchant Marine to our country deserve no less. We deserve administration by an agency that is knowledgeable of our industry and directly accountable to the people that are regulated. Let the Coast Guard do what they do best and relieve them of the burden of civilian administration.[/QUOTE]

The Coast Guard is doing a fine job in my opinion. They are a big reason we all get paid what we do. Its not easy to get a license, and the harder they make it, the better off we are. Unlicensed guys may hate that statement, but once they have that paper, they will change their tune.

Domer - please elaborate on the CG sucking at what they do?!? Its pretty unprofessional of a “Merchant Mariner” like yourself to bash the organization that works side by side you guys daily. You don’t see CG inspectors posting how bad the vessel they just finished inspecting and disrespecting your profession. Without the CG YOU wouldn’t have a job and without merchant mariners the CG inspectors wouldn’t have a job either.