b'LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTThanks for a Great Year! In July, PVA submitted a statement to the U.S. District Court in California, Central This is my final letter as President of theDivision, Southern District in support of the Passenger Vessel Association. I wanted tocourts ruling in favor of one of our members. take a moment to thank the members for theirThe case was between two competing vessel support throughout the last year. I especiallyoperators and involved claims of deceptive want to thank the officers, Colleen Stephensbusiness practices, false advertising, and and Bob Bijur, as well as the entire Board ofprice manipulation. In that letter we stated Directors and committee members. As vol- Bob Lawler that, Our organization promotes safety and unteers, you donate your time and energysecurity of customers and vessels; we also advocate throughout the year for the betterment offor practices that instill the general publics confi-PVA and we all appreciate your commitment. dence in the way our members conduct business, I also want to thank the PVA staff: John Groundwater,including the manner by which they advertise through their Tamara Callabro, Eric Christensen, Katie Hill, Lee Hill,websites and how they price their services.Leslie Kagarise, Pete Lauridsen, Karen Rainbolt, ZackThe PVA Board unanimously voted in favor of another Reed, Ed Welch, and Jen Wilk. Over the last three yearsresolution. This one was in response to the Duck Boat as I ascended from Secretary/Treasurer to Vice PresidentSafety Enhancement Act of 2019 introduced by Senator and then President, I have developed new appreciationHawley of Missouri. When I took over as PVA President, for all you do, for how hard you work and for your com- one of my key areas of focus was taking safety to the next mitment to the members. The entire PVA staff works tire- level and as General Manager of Boston Duck Tours, this lessly on our behalf to help ensure that we continue tolegislation was very concerning. The PVA Board felt that have a safe, professional and successful industry. the legislation was too broad and was being introduced During my year as president, the PVA staff and com- before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) mittees worked on numerous state and national issuesand the Coast Guard Marine Board investigations were and faced a variety of challenges that will have a lastingcomplete. The Boards resolution urged Congress to impact on our members and our industry. Below is adefer action until the investigations were complete. In sample of just some of the work that staff, officers, andaddition, PVA leadership, including myself and others, your committees have been involved in during 2019.worked with other Duck Boat operators from Maine We started the year in the midst of a governmentto California in the hopes of educating the Coast Guard, shutdown and the PVA Board immediately took actionNTSB, and legislators about the differences in amphibi-and unanimously voted in support of a resolution toous vehicles and urging all parties to not have a one-size-urge the President and Congress to immediately passfits-all solution. These efforts resulted in the NTSB lead legislation that would return to full duty all U.S. Coastinvestigators visiting several member companies and an Guard employees and guarantee that they were paid oninitial report that drew a clear distinction between WWII schedule for their service. This resolution was then sentDUKWs and other amphibious vessels.to numerous members of the U.S. House and Senate onCurrently, we are monitoring the investigation into behalf of our members.the fire and sinking of the overnight dive boat Conception. The PVA Legislative Committee also worked toAlthough not a PVA member company, the Conception support our members on many state issues. We are con- tragedy and subsequent regulation changes that will tinuing to monitor federal and state environmental laws,be proposed are certain to impact the passenger vessel regulations and policies. These issues that might affectindustry. New vessels and grandfathered vessels are our members across the country, and specifically we arealready having their fire plans, deck arrangements, and keeping an eye on proposed tougher emissions standardscrew training plans scrutinized. Policies on lithium-ion for new and existing passenger vessels in California.battery charging and electronic storage onboard vessels On behalf of our members in Hawaii, we took awill also be a priority. The PVA Safety and Security formal position in support of state legislation that wouldCommittee, PVA Regulatory Committee, and the PVA make certain harbors temporarily available to commer- Legislative Committee are all actively working on these cial passenger vessels during severe storms and hur- issues. ricanes as designated by the National Weather Service.Finally, as the year was coming to an end, PVA was PVA also stood with our members from Maine asasked to testify on Capitol Hill before the U.S. House they opposed state legislation that would limit theCoast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. operations of vessels of more than 200 feet or carryingPVA Vice President Colleen Stephens did an exceptional more than 100 passengers in the waters of southern Mount Desert Island.LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT, CONTINUED ON PAGE 504JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020FOGHORN'