NACO is pleased to announce that on Monday evening, February 1, we achieved one of our greatest accomplishments for NACO members and the For-Hire Industy. The passage of the USCG Bill includes language that eliminates the 2010 requirement that all USCG certified passenger vessels that carry more than 6 passengers must replace required life floats with out of the water survival craft. The 2010 requirement was to go into effect on February 26th.
Section 301 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, when signed into law, will supersede the current requirement mandating all COI vessels to install out of the water survival craft. That requirement was originally enacted in the year 2010. In June of 2011 NACO contacted the other National and Regional Passenger Associations to form a coalition to work to change the 2010 law. NACO and our partners worked overtime since then to convince Congress to reconsider its decision. Although some familiar with Congressional activities said we would not succeed, our persistence and unity of action persevered.
The last step is for the President to sign H.R. 4188. Congress will deliver the bill to the White House in a few days. Once it arrives there, the President will have 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it, or simply let it become law without his signature. There is no indication that the President will veto the legislation.
Once H.R. 4188 (including section 301) becomes law a large number of NACO vessel owners will be relieved of the out of the water survival craft mandate of the 2010 law. Current Coast Guard regulations specifying the type of survival craft (life floats, IBAs, etc.) applicable to a specific vessel will continue unchanged.
NACO's Annual meeting was recently held January 18-20, 2016 in San Diego, CA. The meeting went well this year with some exciting decisions to help move NACO forward in the coming years, We would like to congratulate the reelected Board members Capt. Ron Maglio (IN), Capt. Paul Malo (MA), Capt. Ed O' Brien (MD), and Capt. Richard Yamada (AK) and our newly elected Board member Capt. Butch Smith (WA). We also would like to thank the two Board members who decided not to seek reelection, Capt. Bob Rush Jr. (NJ) and Capt. Randall Schmidt (IN) for their many years of service for NACO. Their work is greatly appreciated.
We congratulate the Board members reelected as officers, Capt. Bob Zales, II (President), Capt. Tom Becker (1st Vice President), Capt. Ed O’Brien (2nd Vice President), Capt. Ron Maglio (Treasurer), and Capt. Charlie Phillips (Secretary). We appreciate their continued hard work and dedication to NACO and the For-Hire Industry.
NACO extends its appreciation to Susan Mason-Yadav and her staff for their hard work on all the day to day issues that come before NACO. Her efforts and willingness to serve the Board continues to help enhance our Association.
NACO is constantly looking for new ways to serve our members and are in the process of implementing several new changes which you will see over the coming months. If you have not already liked our NACO Facebook page, Followed us on Twitter & Joined us on LinkedIn please do so; those as well as our NACO website will help to keep you informed.
As NACO is a membership driven association your concerns are very important to us. We encourage your participation with your local associations and are here to help you with regulatory issues and other issues that affect your business. The web site will be updated this week with the Board member contact info. When you have an issue we urge you to contact the NACO office toll free 866-981-5136 so they can address the issue or bring it to the attention of the Board. If you have suggestions on how we may better serve you please provide those. NACO is here to help you and to work to ease regulatory burdens that adversely affect your business.
We look forward to the coming year and working with the Board and the Membership to keep NACO as the premier voice for the Charter Boat Industry.
Capt. Bob Zales, II