Newly Formed ASNE Puget Sound Section Holds First Meeting
The first regular meeting of the newly formed Puget Sound Section of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) was held recently at the Officers' Club of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The meeting was called to order by Section chairman Capt. L.H. Taylor Jr., who called for the secretary's and treasurer's reports, introduced the committee chairmen, and conducted the business of the meeting. Especially worth mentioning was the appreciation rendered by all those present at the meeting to Mr. and Mrs. Russ Carstensen, who presented the Section with a superb cloth-felt banner of the ASNE logo circumscribed with the words "Puget Sound Section." The featured speaker was Rear Adm. Chester A. Richmond, USCG, Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Seattle, Wash.
He spoke to members and their guests about "Vessel Traffic Control and Tanker Traffic on Puget Sound." Admiral Richmond's career in the Coast Guard began by winning an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy in 1941, after serving two years in the Army. Since becoming an aviator in 1943, he has served at a number of Coast Guard Air Stations in the Continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Upon being promoted to rear admiral in 1969, his first assignment was as Chief, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Headquarters.
He has been Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District, since June 1973 and, as such, has daily first-hand knowledge of vessel traffic control systems and vessel safety.
Admiral Richmond's remarks centered about the problems of oil tanker safety, environmental pollution control and some of the effects of current and proposed legislation on the design requirements for oil tankers, such as double bottoms, backup steering, and segregated ballast systems. He praised the safety record of U.S.-flag tankers, and attributed most casualties resulting in instances of environmental pollution to human error and not design deficiencies. The success record of the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Control System, one based on radar and voice communication coverage of fixed, separate vessel traffic lanes, was highlighted by the impressive statistic of no groundings or collisions since 1972, with a daily usage rate of about 120 transits per day. Admiral Richmond's closing remarks concerned the Coast Guard's new role of enforcer of national oil pollution control regulations. He also discussed methods of oil pollution cleanup, and presented available data showing that even large oil spills, which certainly cause dramatic shortterm effects, probably have no long-lasting effects on marine ecology.