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BAY AREA OIL TANKER TRACTOR TUG ESCORT EXERCISE MONDAY AS STATE, U.S.C.G. OBSERVE ARCO MARINE BAY & DELTA TUG STUDY

 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A marine accident and oil spill prevention exercise testing the safety, maneuverability and capabilities of oil tankers escorted by tractor tugboats will be conducted Monday in Bay Area waters.
 The exercise is part of a study being undertaken by ARCO Marine, Inc. and Bay & Delta Towing to help gather data for the development of new tugboat escort regulations mandated by the State of California's Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and the U.S. Coast Guard.
 Monday's 12-hour exercise will include a number of simulated "real life" scenarios involving tanker and tug escort activities ranging from routine maneuvers like turning and docking to averting potential incidents like groundings and collisions.
 ARCO Marine, the Long Beach, Calif.-based oil shipper and the marine division of Atlantic Richfield Co., will provide the oil tanker ARCO Juneau for the exercise. ARCO Juneau is a 120,000 dead weight ton (DWT), 883-foot-long vessel, capable of carrying more than 940,000 barrels of oil. It is normally used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil to refineries in Washington and California.
 Bay & Delta Towing, based in San Francisco, will provide its tractor tug, Delta Billie, a 97-foot tugboat that differs from conventional tugs in its ability to provide a 360-degree omnidirectional thrust propulsion, equal maneuverability ahead, astern or sideways, the ability to turn around within its own length, and the capability of safely traveling tethered to an assisted vessel at higher speeds.
 The study, which is being funded by ARCO Marine and Bay & Delta Towing, will provide new data about tractor tug escorting of oil tankers. The information is intended to assist OSPR and the Coast Guard in promulgating regulations reflecting the best available technology and equipment. OSPR must develop new escort regulations in accordance with Senate Bill-2040 when interim regulations expire in early 1994.
 "ARCO and Bay & Delta decided to take the lead in developing and administering a study that would provide data on state-of-the-art technology and equipment in tug escorting," said John Dabbar, ARCO Marine's manager of vessel services. "As a shipper to the Bay Area we are anxious to compare the results of this study with existing data on conventional tug escorting."
 Once the data is gathered, ARCO will compare the information with existing materials on conventional tugboat escorting. The results will be shared with OSPR and the Coast Guard. Both OSPR and the Coast Guard will observe Monday's exercise.
 "The tug escort issue in the Bay Area has been debated for quite a while," said Captain Ron Charlesworth, a partner in Bay & Delta. "We hope this study will result in regulations that provide the greatest level of safety and ensure environmental protection to marine life in the Bay Area."
 -0- 9/24/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Loll, 213-486-2562, or Al Greenstein, 213-486-3384, both of ARCO Marine; or Michel Kelly & Associates, 415-388-8009, for Bay/Delta Towing/


CO: ARCO Marine Inc.; Bay & Delta Towing ST: California IN: MAR OIL SU:

NY-LS -- LA012 -- 5523 09/24/93 15:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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