American Salvage Assoc

the U.S.When a ship’s in distress, a lot of times the crew is overwhelmed and the Coast Guard really has limited capabilities when it comes to firefight- ing or towage, or divers - those types of things. Theymust rely on commercial salvors to do that type of work.” The ASA’s membership includes over 70 general members and corporate associates. “General members are mainly organizations whose primary mission is marine salvage; there are about ten major organizations in the Amer- icas that focus on that work,” says Elliott. “And then, we have corporate/associate members that support those efforts: towing companies, marine environmental response companies, and others. It’s a team effort when you’re doing a major salvage operation, so you come together with divers, towing companies, marine firefight- ers, and others to affect a response. The ASA organization provides a time for everybody to get to know each other, work on common issues, support the industry, and help build our capa- bilities. During Hurricane Katrina, one of the ASA’s biggest accomplishments was uniting the salvage industry during that nationwide re- sponse, helping to quickly save lives, protect the environment, and recover vessels that had been destroyed, or pushed up onshore, or sunk during that major hurricane.” Today, the ASA represents about 90 percent of THE AMERICAN SALVAGE ASSOCIATION the U.S. salvage sector and continues to work closely with the Coast Guard, and other govern- ment agencies, such as the U.S. Navy’s Super- visor of Salvage, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “The ben- efits of membership are that you have partners in the organizations that you may ultimately work for,” Elliott explains. “For example, we work side by side with other industry organizations in the shipping industry; we have quality part- nerships with the federal government organi- zations; most of the salvors have contracts with the U.S. Coast Guard. So, your interests are being discussed at our meetings.” “And we do a lot of good work, proactive- ly,” Elliott adds, “like building relationships with local fire departments. For example, we set up meetings with the New York City Fire Department, and others, to help improve the firefighting capabilities and responses in major ports.We have a training committee - we go out and train the U.S. Coast Guard and other gov- ernmental organizations on effective salvage operations to meet, not only our industry goals, but also to meet the public’s goals of saving lives and protecting the environment. It gives our members an opportunity to be in front of the organizations they’re going to be working for in an emergency. You don’t want to be ex- changing business cards at three o’clock in the