Jones Act Enforcer

Anybody see this? What a joke.

OMSA is announcing the launch of the JONES ACT ENFORCER, a first-of-its-kind vessel that will be used to gather video and photographic evidence of Jones Act violations. Evidence of violations will be submitted to authorities, made public, and shared with the media.

The Jones Act requires seaborne cargo shipped between two U.S. points to be carried by U.S.-built, crewed, and owned vessels. However, the Act is often violated by foreign vessels.

“The Act is not being implemented in a manner that is correct under the law and as a result, American security is being threatened and American workers are losing jobs to foreign vessels,” said Aaron Smith, OMSA President and CEO. “It’s time that someone takes a stand and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The JONES ACT ENFORCER will produce evidence showing foreign flag vessels that continue to violate U.S. law by transporting merchandise between points in the U.S., utilizing their significantly lower crewing costs to undercut American vessels and American workers.

“Now, we’re going to shine a bright spotlight on their actions and show everyone just how many foreign mariners are taking money out of U.S. mariners’ pockets. If foreign vessel owners or the companies that hire these vessels don’t like this scrutiny, I suggest they hire U.S. owned, U.S. crewed, and U.S. built vessels.”

1 Like

This is a bit weird, in this day and age it is so easy to track violations remotely through digital methods, it is hard to understand what this vessel would actually do.

Painted in Navy gray to make it more “official” looking.

Good for a chuckle anyway. This is the most OMSA thing I’ve ever seen.

Outstanding! If we’re gonna have laws on the books, enforce them. No more paradoxical loops about lack of domestic tonnage when nobody will hire a domestic operator to do the work because they know they can circumvent the laws on the books and pay less.

It’s sad enough they have to engage a powerless observer boat to draw any kind of attention to what is going on.


IFAIKR my mentor here, ccaptain, repeatedly pointed out that it was not the Jones Act but the OCS Land Act that covered the use of foreign flag vessels in the GoM.
Is that not correct??

The Epic Hedron is a non-propelled crane barge operated by Triton Offshore LLC:
It is engaged in the decommissioning and removal of disused platforms in the US GoM:

Yes it was built in Chinas and fly the flag of Vanuatu, but who crews this barge?

PS> Aren’t all the Drillships and large Semisubs operating in the GoM also foreign built and flagged? IFAIK they are manned by US crews.

1 Like
1 Like

These guys are a bunch of yahoos. Nothing like vigilante justice!

Dude is just getting pay for the gray paint. This won’t make a difference. If it does, good for them.

Read the article, the question is whether or not the authorities do anything.

They need to mount a .50 cal on the foredeck if they want to be taken seriously.


“The violation was not spotted by Jones Act Enforcer ; instead, OMSA received a tipoff from an industry stakeholder about the vessel operator’s own LinkedIn accounts. Upon review, those accounts appeared to show the Chinese-built Epic Hedron carrying and transporting objects that would be classified under the Jones Act as “cargo,” with captions clearly describing the nature of the activity.” OMSA Releases First Report of Jones Act Violations in U.S. Gulf

1 Like

They appear to be hung up in the fact that the barge was built in CHINA!"!!
Would it have been any difference if it was built anywhere else (incl. US), as long as it is flying Vanuatu flag??

The other item of interest is that it did not appear on AIS tracking sites.
Non-propelled barges are not required to have AIS. (this one had AIS)
The tug that towed the barge should have AIS and be US flag, though.
Maybe they were outside range of terrestrial AIS range while operating offshore??

Can anybody explain how else they were going to transport the jacket the short distance from the field to the site where they were to sink it as an artificial reef??

The GOM is not my area but the article says the barge was used to transport cargo between two U.S. points so in that case the fact that the barge was built in China would be the key issue.

a Chinese-built, Vanuatu-flagged crane barge named Epic Hedron (also known as Triton Hedron, DB Hedron ), which was allegedly transporting cargo between U.S. points off the coast of Louisiana

1 Like

My question was:

missing; who’s paying for this?

Good, they’ll want some results!!

I’m not sure if that fits the definition of cargo. It has no value and is being moved only for disposal

However, materials to construct an artificial reef might be “cargo” and the construction of the reef might be fisheries enhancement project that does not fall within oil patch OCS waivers and exemptions.