Houston-Galveston Maritime Safety Committee Wins Prestigous National Award

HOUSTON – The Houston-Galveston Navigational Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC) recently received the prestigious “2007 Harbor Safety Committee of the Year” award for its partnership efforts and work in improving marine safety on the Houston Ship Channel. The award was presented during the 10th Annual Harbor Safety Committee Conference held in Seattle, Washington, from May 12-14, 2008, and accepted by Ms. Tava Foret, the HOGANSAC Chair.

HOGANSAC was cited for the numerous programs it developed to strengthen maritime relationships, influence national-level policy, and improve maritime safety. These included establishing “Brown Water University,” a two-day training curriculum that rapidly enhances the knowledge of Coast Guard personnel, mariners, and industry professionals involved in inland waterways transportation. Also cited was the development of risk assessment models incorporating chemical and gas dispersion, nature of distress, and other factors that help identify safe offshore refuge locations for vessels in distress. Finally, the award citation included recognition of the Navigation Operations Subcommittee which visited maritime facilities to assess mooring configurations for ships, resulting in a 25 percent reduction in ships and barges breaking away from their docks.

HOGANSAC is a Federal Advisory Committee consisting of 19 Houston area industry members, appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to advise the U.S. Coast Guard on matters related to the safe transit of vessels and products through Galveston Bay, and to/from the Ports of Galveston, Texas City, and Houston. A vitally important waterway to our nation’s commerce with over 70 large ships and 350 towing vessels transiting the channel each day, the daily economic impact to the region is estimated at 350 million dollars.

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