JULY 27, 2016 — The U.S. Coast Guard yesterday issued a policy letter (CG-CVC Policy Letter 16-04) giving guidance on when personnel may conditionally occupy the barge unit of an ATB (articulated tug barge).
The letter notes that by virtue of their operations, modern ATBs may employ towing vessel personnel on the barge to operate and maintain systems (e.g., inert gas systems, thermal fluid heaters, ship service generators, self-unloading equipment and ballast systems) and transfer crew members between the tug and barge while underway, placing personnel at risk.
The letter says under fair weather conditions and other criteria, personnel from the towing vessel may board the barge to perform discretionary , non-navigational tasks
.It sets out the criteria to be met under which a barge operating beyond the boundary line, or on the Great Lakes, with an unmanned load line assignment may be conditionally occupied.
Download the letter HERE