Summer 2016 Issue



JULY 25, 2016

The Marine Chemist Association held an Executive Board meeting and annual seminar in Savannah at
the Hilton DeSoto. A summary of the meeting and general news follows.

Our annual 2016 seminar was held in Savannah with 42 chemists, three gas free engineers and three trainees in attendance. In total the MCA had over 100 participants at the seminar. Chemist attendance was above our average of 34 chemists based on numbers going back to 1966, in fact the last time an annual seminar exceeded 40 chemists was in 2000. While Savannah was hot and steamy, the seminar was a success based on the many positive comments in the evaluation forms.

This year the seminar centered on fire and explosion hazards. On Monday we changed up the normal format. We had our welcome breakfast followed by the business meeting. Then we allowed two hours for the insurance luncheon. Many chemists belong to the fund and they recently updated their by-laws. Ken Mercer 577, chairman of the fund gave an overview on the state of the fund and Wells Fargo representative, Kristen Richendifer gave a presentation on how the fund works for us. This was followed by the fund’s longtime attorney, Dale Kingman who gave some advice on items to check on when reviewing contracts. (The presentation is available on the website) Following this Amy Wangdahl, OSHA’s Director of Maritime and Agriculture gave an update on current issues in the maritime area along with an enforcement update. On Tuesday, we began our technical presentations. 

A wide range of speakers including our own Philip Dovinh 667 and Greg Grondin 676 gave presentations. In most likely a first, Jenny Moore, wife of chemist Eric Moore 626 gave a presentation on the Basics of Fire Extinguishment. Jenny is an arson investigator for the Lake Jackson Police and Fire Department. This was followed by presentations by Bob Kamb on Static Charge Isolation on Vessels, Bob was the main instructor at the LNG seminar this spring in Newport. LT. William Cotta from the USCG gave a presentation on Fire Safety Design and Mitigation on LNG Vessels, William Lawrence, at FM Global oversees intrinsically safe testing and gave a presentation on hazardous location classifications and what it means for an instrument to be classified as intrinsically safe or explosion proof. Finally, on Wednesday morning presentations were given by Larry Russell and Guy Colonna on Fire, Explosions and Consequences along with Explosions and Deflagrations. This ended the technical session. All presentations are posted on our website.

During the welcome breakfast we had a speaker from the Savannah Coastal Heritage Society give a presentation on the history of Savannah. Speaker Ray Christie was very entertaining and held the attention of everyone. The MCA thanks the Society for providing a great speaker along with their help on advising the MCA on things to do while in the city.

During breakfast two individuals were recognized for their outstanding service to the MCA. The first was Robert Clinton, a longtime member of the Marine Gas Hazards Control Program and Fund. Bob retired this year after many years of service in the maritime industry ranging from captain to safety director. We wish him well in his retirement.

The second individual is well known to us all; Les Blaize our assistant secretary was also recognized. Les has been involved with the MCA for many years. He served on the executive board and then as chairman. He worked with Ed Willwerth as his assistant secretary and still serves as the assistant secretary. He is on the 306 technical committee representing the MCA as a principal and also on the insurance committee. It goes without saying that his service to us and the industry has been exceptional. While doing all of this, his main function takes place during the annual seminars where he takes on the heavy responsibility of ensuring that the social activities for your wives, spouses and significant others go smoothly and are entertaining. Everyone knows that if your spouse is not happy, then you are not happy. Finally, Les is also in charge of the wrist charms for the ladies. He searches out charms that are of significance to the locations of the seminars, orders and installs them for all. He does this with his usual “charm”. Many thanks to Les and his wife Barbara for their outstanding service to the MCA. It is an award well deserved.