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Meeting Set On New Boating Regulations


Sept. 15, 2001 – Regional U.S. Coast Guard officials are encouraging St. Thomas and St. John commercial boaters to attend a meeting on the morning of Sept. 28 to go over new marine safety regulations coming into effect this season and to review those already in place.
Billed as The Small Passenger Vessel Industry Meeting, the event is aimed at the owners and operators of commercial vessels in the territory who are licensed to carry more than six passengers. The Coast Guard is asking that those planning to attend let the Marine Safety Detachment office on St. Thomas know by Sept. 21.
The officer in charge of marine inspection regionally, Cmdr. Joseph Servidio, who is based in San Juan, is urging and encouraging all commercial boaters to attend. "We need to continue working together toward our common goal of a partnership in safety," he said. The meeting was timed to coincide with the traditionally slow time of year for boaters, he noted.
Lt. John Reinert, supervisor of the Marine Safety Detachment on St. Thomas, said the Sept. 28 meeting "is the only one planned at this time."
High on the list of issues to be addressed are amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping that were adopted by international convention in 1995 and come into full effect on Feb. 1, 2002. Servidio said the new requirements are of particular interest to local boaters on inspected vessels weighing 100 gross tons or more and carrying passengers between the USVI and the British Virgin Islands.
Other topics on the agenda for the meeting include requirements and responsibilities for vessel maintenance and administration, chemical testing, marine casualty reporting and pollution prevention.
Servidio said anyone with questions or suggestions on topics to be addressed should contact Reinert at 776-3497. That is also the number to call to reserve space for the meeting, which will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to noon.


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