On 21 November, a significant event marked the 5th consecutive annual meeting between representatives of 7 HELMEPA member companies and the Prevention Policy Sector of the USCG, held at their Headquarters in Washington D.C.
The meeting took place in a spirit of camaraderie and constructive dialogue, with the honorable RADM John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant, presiding over the proceedings. Accompanying him were competent officers, each responsible for addressing crucial issues outlined in the agenda:
Ballast Water Management
Adequacy of Shore Reception Facilities and Management of Sewage and Garbage
Inspections leading to the issuance of COC (Certificate of Compliance)
Navigation issues in US waters
The participating member companies and their representatives were as follows:
Ariston Navigation Corp. - Mr. Christos Georgousopoulos
Carras (Hellas) S.A. - Mr. Spiros Vlachos
Costamare Shipping Company S.A. - Mr. Ioannis Drakogiannopoulos
Diana Shipping Services S.A. - Mr. Michael Gavriil
Euronav Ship Management Hellas Ltd. - Mr. Pantelis Patsoulis
S. Livanos - Hellas S.A. - Mr. Michail Fragkias
Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (TCM) S.A. - Mr. Andreas Zarvanelis
In attendance were also HELMEPA's General Director, along with two dedicated staff members from the Secretariat.
Throughout the meeting, the American officers emphasized the profound appreciation of the United States Coast Guard for timely and candid reports from the Masters and companies to the Captain of the Port (COTP) about any encountered problems onboard the vessels en route to U.S. ports. The importance of quick and sincere communication was underscored, as it enables the prompt addressing of challenging situations, thereby preventing serious consequences and high costs.
The meeting served as a testament to the unwavering commitment of the participating companies and the United States Coast Guard in promoting maritime safety and environmental responsibility. It showcased the value of open dialogue and cooperation, fostering a stronger bond between the maritime communities of Greece and the United States.
Such collaborative efforts play an instrumental role in ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for the shipping industry, setting a remarkable example for the entire global maritime fraternity.