More U.S. Crews for LNG Tankers
Training Standards Agreement Goes Forward
Tell America Campaign in cooperation with Maritime TV Offers Archived Video Webcast of this Historic Announcement and Agreement Signing
U.S. seafarers will be able to get more jobs in one of the fastest growing segments of the international shipping trade, as a result of an agreement signed June 5 by Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton. The agreement implements a universal set of training standards developed by an industry working group facilitated by the Maritime Administration, and will expand opportunities for U.S. mariners on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers.
“The worldwide demand for qualified mariners, plus the growth in the LNG industry, provides a unique growth opportunity for U.S. merchant mariners and the U.S. maritime industry,” said Connaughton.
Connaughton also noted that the LNG fleet is expanding rapidly; in January 2006 there were 194 LNG tankers worldwide, and the expected number at the end of 2007 is 373. There have been few opportunities for U.S. mariners to sail on those ships. While several maritime academies offer training for LNG, their training was not standardized, and standardization of training and credentials in an internationally accepted set of competencies will make it easier for U.S. mariners to be employed on the worldwide LNG fleet.
The majority of maritime training facilities, including the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and some of the State maritime academies, already have programs that train candidates for work on LNG tankers. The standards put forward in today’s agreement will be implemented at the maritime academies and at training facilities operated by maritime unions, whose representatives signed the agreement. Signatories include the Seafarers International Union, American Maritime Officers, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association; Masters, Mates, and Pilots; Sailor’s Union of the Pacific, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, California Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the Maritime College of the State University of New York, and Texas Maritime Academy.