Port Security Conference

April 25 2003

Increased security on the rivers
A new Inland Rivers Vessel Movement Center (IRVMC) in St. Louis, is playing an important part in increasing security on the river system. The IRVMC was established April 16, to gather information and track certain barges along the river system 24-hours a day.

In addition to tracking movement of barges containing certain dangerous cargoes, increased patrols, vessel escorts and/or boardings by river marshals could be implemented based on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory System level and other factors. These increased security measures are designed to ensure the safe transit of vessels carrying certain cargoes, the safe movement of commerce through specific portions of the river system and the safety of strategic infrastructure.

The regulations were signed April 16. Docket numbers CGD08-03-014 and CGD09-03-209 can be found at

Owners or operators of vessels carrying certain dangerous cargoes must report their position and progress along the waterway to the IRVMC toll-free at 1-866-442-6089. Some examples of those cargoes include highly flammable, poisonous or toxic materials. Vessels may be identified for boarding or escorting based upon the cargo they carry, their destination, or by random selection.

The Coast Guard says mariners and the public can play a vital role in homeland security. They are asked to remain vigilant and keep a sharp eye out for suspicious activity in or around the water. Suspicious activity can be reported to the Coast Guard's terrorism hotline (National Response Center) at 1-800-424-8802.

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