The First RSA call-out
Martin & Ottaway developed the RSA (Rapid Situation Assessor) program for DonjonSMIT to assist them in complying with the new USCG OPA 90 Salvage Regulations.
In the simplest terms, the RSA program is a network of maritime professionals who have agreed to be available for rapid response to marine incidents such as fires and groundings and to collect data and assist as needed until the salvage team arrives.
When we were asked to build that network, we relied on our nationwide waterfront knowledge and in a few weeks we managed to create a network that pretty much covers the United States with the intent to get maritime professionals on deck of the casualty within hours of the call-out. When creating the network, one of our first calls went to Jason and Karen Fernandes and Max Hardberger, our friends in New Orleans.
It is therefore very satisfying to know that Jason and Max were the first RSA's to be called out on an actual casualty on June 13 when the tanker RATNA PUNJAB grounded in the Mississippi River.
The call went to Jason, who was not in New Orleans at that moment, and next was coordinated by his wife Karen, who then directed Max to the casualty in Venice, LA.
Bottom line: Max was on the deck within three hours of the call. A fitting start for the program!