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Towboat Safety: Understanding New Regulatory Requirements

December 13, 2016 | 10:00 - 11:00 am CST

Recent regulatory changes by the United States government have updated how companies must document policies and practices in the towing industry. Regulations, such as the new Subchapter M, require the approval and implementation of specific plans and systems to remain compliant. This webinar addresses the following topics to provide owners and operators with a better understanding of the requirements and how to satisfy them in a cost effective manner:

  • Requirements of 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
  • Whether to use a Towing Vessel Health and Safety Plan or Towing System Management System
  • Methods of creating plans and systems for your organization
  • Who can approve your new plans and systems for compliance
  • What has to be done to keep a plan current



John Francic 

John Francic is a Survey Manager for ABS Group with oversight of projects such as vessel condition surveys, riverboat gaming vessel inspections, environmental services, developing or improving safety management systems, internal audits of ISM or TSMS, Pre-US Coast Guard (USCG) inspection assessments and third party verifications. He also opened the ABS Group branch office in Paducah, Kentucky. Prior to joining ABS Group, Francic served 27 years with the USCG and retired as a Lieutenant Commander. During his time with the USCG, he served on the board of Coast Guard cutters and in the Marine Safety field with port operation, vessel inspections and investigation duties Additionally, he worked in two distinct inspection / investigation management positions at the complex port area of Houston/Galveston and Pittsburgh.

Benjamin Higgins

Benjamin Higgins is a Technical Manager at ABS Group. As an engineer, Higgins worked in the commercial aerospace fields before joining ABS Group to manage technical inspection and verification projects in the LNG, marine and offshore industries. His aerospace background provides him with technical knowledge and regulatory understanding that he uses to assist ABS Group clients in multiple market sectors. He has managed and participated in risk workshops and design reviews as well as authored operational and feasibility documentation for marine and offshore clients. Higgins holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University and was named to the GasTech Young Engineers Foundation in 2015.

About ABS Group

ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (, through its operating subsidiaries, provides technical advisory and certification services to support the safety and reliability of high-performance assets and operations in the oil, gas and chemical, power generation, marine, offshore and government sectors, among others. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ABS Group operates with more than 1,000 professionals globally. ABS Group is a subsidiary of ABS (, a leading marine and offshore classification society.

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