Melville, New York-based Bouchard Transportation Co. issued a statement February 14 in response to the news that it had been issued an order by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey requiring that three of its tug and fuel barge units be moved out of anchorage in New York Harbor and moored at a safe berth (see earlier story).
Following is the text of the Bouchard statement:’
The past two years Bouchard has confronted tests the likes of which it has not faced in 100 years of history. Today’s Sector NY/NJ Captain of the Port Order on just eight of our fifty one units is a further financial hurdle. Financial struggles are trial enough, but they are worse when they affect or worry our employees. We are working with financial and technical advisers to address the challenges at every level of our business. Our employees, those who have been with us for years, those new to us in this moment of extreme duress are vital, and their forbearance, more than we have a right to ask for. Today’s COTP Order does not change our focus. Please know that we are working everyday with clients, creditors, and the authorities to put our house aright. We have a financial plan and a clear understanding of and commitment to all those who work with, support or rely upon us. Thank you for the opportunity to address your important and painful question.
TROUBLES IN TEXAS, TOO
The NY NJ Captain of the Port is not alone in taking action related to Bouchard vessels. Beaumont, Texas, broadcaster 12News reported on February 14 that two Bouchard tugboats had been stranded five miles off the coast of Sabine Pass for more than 80 days and included links to COTP orders from MSU Port Arthur to Bouchard Transportation and the Master of the Kim Bouchard (read the order HERE) and the Master of the Danielle Bouchard (read the order HERE).
Dated February 10, both COTP orders reference threats by crew to abandon the vessels and, among other things, require the Masters and crew to remain on board.