Posted by Lt. Jodie Knox, Friday, April 15, 2016
Yesterday, the Coast Guard renewed the Memorandum of Agreement with the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO). The purpose of this agreement is to ensure the safety and security of the water and ports of the United States where parties exchange information to promote the interest of the American public.
The MOA was signed by Edward O’Brien, vice president of NACO and Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy.
“We appreciate this because nobody knows the local waters better than the charterboat operators,” said Thomas. “When it comes to the ‘See Something Say Something’ initiative and keeping an eye on our waterways, NACO is the organization for the Coast Guard to partner with.”
Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 Signed into Law,
Includes New Survival Craft Requirements
For Immediate Release
February 23, 2016
Contact: Susan Mason
National Association of Charterboat Operators
The USCG Authorization Act of 2015 was signed into law on February 8, 2016 becoming Public Law 114-120. The new law includes a new Section 301 which supersedes the one size fits all survival craft requirement passed in 2010. The enactment of the new Sec 301 has been a NACO legislative priority since 2011.
NACO contacted other National, Regional and Local small vessel passenger associations to form a coalition to work on the issue and together we were able to have the new Sec 301 requirement implemented into law. The first call we made for help was to Senator Marco Rubio, the freshman Senator from Florida. He immediately understood the issue and the pending impact it would have on Florida small family passenger vessel businesses as well as those across the Nation.
Senator Rubio initiated the legislative process that ended with the creation of PL 114-120. He and his staff worked with us every step over the 5 years to have the current requirement implemented saving many small family businesses across the country and easing the regulatory and financial burdens on all of them.
Working with Senator Rubio on this effort in the Senate was Senator Nelson (FL), Senator Wicker (MS), Senator Thune (SD), Senator Cardin (MD), and Senator Feinstein (CA). The coordinated effort in the House was led by Representative Duncan Hunter (CA), Representative Lobiondo (NJ), Representative Garamendi (CA), and Representative Harris (MD).
NACO members responded to our many requests to keep in constant contact with their Senators and Representatives on this issue which shows what a membership driven association can accomplish. The coordination with the other small passenger vessel associations also shows how working together on common issues can provide successful results for the small passenger vessel industry.
NACO appreciates the hard work led by Senator Rubio and the other Senators, Representatives, and their staffs to have this issue resolved. The many small family businesses that provide a safe and entertaining recreational experience for the thousands of families and individuals to enjoy our natural marine resources are truly grateful for the dedication and hard work of our Congressional leaders.
NACO continues to stress the excellent safety record of the small passenger for hire fleet across the country. The USCG 2013 report to Congress “Survival Craft Safety” clearly verifies the record of safety for this industry and proves that small passenger vessel safety should remain the responsibility of the USCG as they are the experts on vessel safety.
NACO is the leading voice of the small passenger vessel industry in the United States. Our membership is located across the country from Alaska to Maine, including Hawaii, the Great Lakes, and Caribbean Territories. We provide legislative and regulatory representation to help ease the regulatory and financial burdens on the small passenger vessel industry.