Mr. Richard Hiscock, former member of Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Advisory Committee; Ms. Kari Guddal, president, Guddal Enterprises LLC; and Mr. Tom Thompson, executive director, United States Marine Safety Association.
In 1983, the U.S. Lifesaving Manufacturers’ Association was formed to promote performance, manufacturing, maintenance, service, and training standards for lifesaving and emergency rescue equipment. It eventually became the United States Marine Safety Association (USMSA).
The association represents all segments of the marine safety industry, including individuals as well as companies involved with safety training, the manufacture, maintenance, promotion of lifesaving and emergency rescue equipment, and classification societies.
The United States Marine Safety Association: A history of support for marine safety:
- In 1985, the USMSA supported the Coast Guard with a proposal related to the delegation of its responsibilities regarding factory inspections of life boats and other lifesaving equipment. Equipment and marine safety inspection remains under the purview of the U.S. Coast Guard.
- In 1986, the USMSA urged its members to express their support for pending fishing vessel safety bills. As a result, the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 was passed.
- In 2005, the association organized an international life and fire safety systems and equipment summit that brought together industry leaders from around the world. The importance of developing uniform standards for extended service interval life rafts was brought to the forefront at this summit. The exploration of this topic at the summit galvanized the USMSA membership to play an active role as standards evolved.
Subsequently, the International Maritime Organization published guidance that helped to fill a gap in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)’s 1974 regulations, which previously lacked any substantial guidance on life raft design and maintenance.
Full article is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/winter2010-11/
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