Vancouver-based towing vessel receives first Certificate of Inspection on the U.S. West Coast

PORTLAND, Ore. — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland issued an initial Certificate of Inspection to Tidewater Barge Lines’ towing vessel Crown Point that operates out of Vancouver, Washington, Thursday.

This COI is the first of its kind on the U.S. West Coast issued to a towing vessel in accordance with the new inspected towing vessel regulations, referred to as Subchapter M.

The Crown Point is a 98 foot, 4480 horsepower towing vessel that pushes barges between Lewiston, Idaho and Vancouver servicing 1,243 miles of the Columbia-Snake River System. There are 130 towing vessels currently operating on the Columbia-Snake River System, and over 5,000 U.S. flagged towing vessels subject to inspection under Subchapter M.

“The Columbia and Snake River Systems move 24 billion dollars of cargo on an annual basis and the towing vessels that fall under the regulations listed under Subchapter M are an integral part of this economically valuable marine transportation system,” said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commanding officer MSU Portland. “The Subchapter M regulations will provide safer vessel movement, safer working conditions for crewmembers, reduce marine casualties, and will help avoid environmental and property damage.”

The Subchapter M regulations provide minimum safety, lifesaving, construction, machinery, electrical, and operational requirements for U.S. towing vessels. All applicable towing vessels must be in compliance with the Subchapter M regulations by July 20, 2018. The initial inspection activities and issuance of COIs will be phased-in over a four year period.

Towing vessel owners and operators are encouraged to contact their local Coast Guard Inspection office to coordinate and schedule Subchapter M inspections. MSU Portland’s towing vessel inspectors can be reached at 503-240-9374 or via email at

Additional Subchapter M regulation information and compliance resources can be found on the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise’s website

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