Thursday, May 14, 2015

Safe or unsafe?

I was going to post a photo I got of a boat today, but then I wondered if I should. It showed a guy on a towboat. He was out on the boat near one of the smokestacks working on something. He was not wearing a flotation vest or other similar device, as far as I could tell.

I have gotten several other photos like that of guys on barges, whether moving or tied to a dock or a mooring cell. I've seen guys painting the boat. Some wore vests and some didn't.

It's not the goal of this blog to get anyone fired. If I have a question of whether using a picture would get someone fired, I keep the picture to myself.

But I do wonder sometimes if I'm being too cautious. Is it company policy or Coast Guard regulation that everyone who walks out on a barge must wear a vest or other floatation device? What about someone who has just gone off watch and is sitting at the head of the boat, between the knees, and enjoying a cigarette? Is he supposed to wear a vest? Or someone painting the side of the boat, or a smokestack, or wiping down a handrail?

If a boat is tied up below a lock, and a couple of guys go out to enjoy some sun, are they allowed to take off their vests if they're just sitting around passing time?

Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill and being too cautious?

Two stories from the Upper Ohio

There was a towboat fire up near Wheeling yesterday that caught the attention of a TV news department. Hat tip to Moundsville, W.Va., resident Willie Nelson for sending me the link. I probably wouldn't have found it on my own because I look for "towboat" stuff instead of "tugboat" stuff.


Two bureaucracies appear to have different views on whether some coal-fired power plants should be shut down. This story from Wheeling has one take on what's going on.