Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
As I ref ect upon my Coast Guard career and experience in marine casualty investigations, I recall my assignment as the senior investigating off cer at Marine Safety Off ce Morgan City, Louisiana — arguably one of the busiest and most diverse areas of responsibility in the marine safety realm. I vividly recollect feeling overwhelmed, attempting to manage a seemingly continuous deluge of major marine casualties related to myriad vessel types and operations. I was drinking from a f re hose, so to speak. Although the unit maintained several investigating officer (IO) billets, the complexities involved with incidents occurring on the outer continental shelf and within the congested inland waterways highlighted a pressing need to have experts available with an in-depth understanding of commercial operations in the region (such as drilling, diving, towing, and lightering operations). Completing these types of complex investigations in what often equated to on-the-job-training mode was often ineff cient and led to issues when time-sensitive evidence collection was involved. My entire staff frequently felt isolated, but at the same time hesitant to tap into the limited technical and engineering support resources available to f eld commands at the time. As time progressed, marine safety program shortfalls and personnel prof ciency gaps became too glaring to ignore. As a result, in 2007 the Coast Guard developed the Marine Safety Enhancement Plan. The prevention program realized immediate benef ts, as numerous senior civilian and junior off cer billets were added to f eld units nationwide to provide better con- tinuity and bolster training programs. An important part of the new additions included national centers of expertise specif cally created to focus on enhancing marine inspections and investigations. The articles in this edition show how essential and integral national centers of expertise have become to prevention operations. Centralizing specialized expertise for the infrequent but highly complex investigations the marine investigators encounter has made the Coast Guard more agile while also improving casualty investigations and suspension and revocation actions. The national centers of expertise have also established robust working relationships with key investigative partners like the National Safety Transportation Board. They also f eld questions from both internal and external stakeholders, including individual companies and industry organizations. I f rmly believe the national centers of expertise have improved consistency and service deliv- ery nationwide by providing the timely resources needed to ensure that prevention person- nel no longer have to drink from the f re hose. However, there's signif cant potential for even greater gains as we strive to attain maximum utilization of national center of expertise ser- vices. I hope that the success stories highlighted in this edition will help us achieve that goal. Champion's Point of View 5 Winter 2015–2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Editorial Team Barbara Chiarizia Executive Editor Diana Forbes Managing Editor Leslie C. Goodwin Art Director Proceedings is published quarterly in the interest of safety at sea under the auspices of the Marine Safety & Security Council. Special permission for republication, either in whole or in part, except for copyrighted mate- rial, is not required, provided credit is given to Proceedings. The articles contained in Proceed- ings are submitted by diverse public and private interests in the maritime community as a means to promote maritime safety and security. The views expressed by the authors do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Department of Homeland Security or represent off cial policy. Editorial Contact Email: HQS-DG-NMCProceedings@ uscg.mil Mail: Commandant (CG-DCO-84) ATTN: Editor, Proceedings Magazine U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7318 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.E. Washington, DC 20593-7318 Web: www.uscg.mil/proceedings Phone: (202) 372-2316 Subscription Requests Proceedings is free. Subscriptions www.uscg.mil/proceedings by CaPt Jason neuBaueR Off ce of Investigations and Casualty Analysis U.S. Coast Guard