Vital maritime laws and programs, mariner workforce central topics at Congressional Sail-in on Capitol Hill

On March 30, 138 representatives from U.S.-flag shipping companies, American maritime labor unions, U.S. merchant mariners, U.S. shipyards, maritime businesses, and maritime organizations and associations, as well as workers from other segments of the maritime industry, met with members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill during the Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In.

The individual participants represented nearly every segment of the maritime industry and included presidents and other officers from the major seafaring unions and the CEOs and other top executives from all the major U.S.-flag shipping companies. Representatives from most of the state maritime academies, as well as from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation, also participated.

American Maritime Officers Service directors and American Maritime Officers members, officials and staff participated in the event, and shared their personal seagoing experiences while emphasizing the important roles the U.S. Merchant Marine serves in national defense, commerce and security.

Sail-In participants had 139 congressional meetings throughout the day, including 120 meetings on the House side and 19 meetings on the Senate side, to discuss the importance of the U.S.-flag commercial shipping industry and the U.S. Merchant Marine, sustaining a strong job base for American mariners, and the laws and programs that are vital to the industry, such as the Jones Act, Maritime Security Program, Tanker Security Program and U.S. cargo preference laws.

Meeting with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) during the Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In on March 30 on Capitol Hill were Shelton Metcalf, Waterman Logistics; Greg Doyle, APL; Don Josberger, Masters, Mates and Pilots; American Maritime Officers National President Paul Doell; and Aram Dosdourian, Maersk Line, Limited.

Meeting with Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) during the Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In on March 30 on Capitol Hill were Bryant Gardner, Liberty Maritime; Art Mead, Crowley; American Maritime Officers Service Legislative Consultant Brenda Otterson; AMO Director of Government Relations Alaina Basciano; and AMOS President/Chairman Anthony Naccarato.

American Maritime Officers member Captain Brent Acuff met with Congressman Keith Self (R-TX), who represents the district in which he lives.

Meeting with Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) during the Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In on March 30 were Devon Carlock, Cottrell Contracting; American Maritime Officers member Captain Kevin Stith; Shane Sterry, Seafarers International Union; and Bryant Gardner, Liberty Maritime.

Meeting with Chance Costello, legislative director for Senator John Thune (R-SD), were Douglas Morgante, Maersk; Wendi Cain, APL; American Maritime Officers member Captain Shane Morton; AMO National Vice President, Government Relations, Christian Spain; and Jason Drouyor, Hapag-Lloyd (America) LLC.

Meeting with Robert Evans, legislative assistant for Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), were DeCarlo Harris, Seafarers International Union; American Maritime Officers member Chief Mate Nadir Bousseloub; and Lanier Avant, Seafarers International Union.