Rear Admiral Mary Landry, Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District will address the Cruise Ship Safety Conference sponsored by the Crescent River Port Pilots on Thursday, March 4th.  The Eighth Coast Guard District is headquartered in New Orleans and covers all or part of 26 states throughout the Gulf Coast and heartland of America.

Rear Admiral Landry will communicate the importance of the cooperative relationship between the Coast Guard, Crescent Pilots and the cruise ship industry that is so essential to safely navigating passenger vessels during poor visibility.  Capt. Ed Stanton, Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans will also be addressing the conference.

“As pilots we are responsible for navigating vessels over 100 miles in one of the busiest port complexes in the world. Implementation of these safety procedures is vital if New Orleans is to expand its cruise ship business, where even small delays in arrivals have significant social and economic consequences,” said Capt. Allen J “AJ” Gibbs, President of the Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association and Member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans.

The purpose of the program is to discuss the implementation of the latest technology and safety protocols for the navigation of passenger vessels during times of reduced visibility and fog.  The seminar will be facilitated by Walt Megonigal of the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS).  Attendees will include cruise ship captains and mariners, U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Crescent River Pilots.

This conference features four one-day seminars, and each will review the proposed practices, processes and procedures in implementing a Reduced Visibility Safe Navigation protocol during periods of reduced visibility.  The program will cover the use of a pilot and co pilot; establishment of a moving safety zone; as well as coordination with the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Station pilot and U.S. Coast Guard.

The event will be held at the Marriott New Orleans Metairie at Lakeway 3838 N. Causeway Blvd. in Metairie on March 1, 2, 4 and 5.  Each one-day seminar will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The Crescent River Pilots navigate ocean-going vessels in the Mississippi River between Pilot Town and New Orleans.   The Pilots work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and shipping agencies to safely navigate more than 5,296 vessels a year and protect the citizens and environment of the state.