This ride has been a fun one. A little over a year ago we started this little project out with pictures from a shipyard and towboat company on the LMR. Now we've grown to over 1,100 followers on facebook. My dream is to see www.riverati.com become the best place for people to learn about the towboat industry. Here's why:
The towboat industry is about to experience a major generational shift. There are lots of old hands who are in their late 50's to early 70's that have been around since they were deckhands for Noah. Things get pretty thin until you hit the late 20's and early 30's. As the old hands retire and move on, there's a loss of industry knowledge, call it "tribal knowledge" from our towboating tribe.
Young pilots today are over dependent on electronic navigation equipment and arent as experienced with ATON's Young mechanics who go to trade schools and technical colleges just dont get the experience and exposure of breaking down a whole engine and putting it back together. There are a lot more simulators and computer based training units than ever before. Whether its boat operations, mechanical work, legal, insurance, regulatory, etc. there's a lot that the older generation has learned that needs to be transferred to the whippersnappers.
Be a part of the solution. Help Riverati become that resource to house the industry knowledge and pass it down to the next generation of towboaters. Write down the things that are important to you and help us build the best resource for young folks to learn how to deck and get their pilot's license. If you're starting out, use this as your safe place to ask the questions that you're embarrassed to ask at work to get good answers.
My hope is that we build this website into the best family handbook on how to be a good towboater for the younger generations to come (like mine.)
You're probably wondering why I've got all the accident pictures? Its to drive home the point. If we dont teach the younger folks how to do it right, these types of accidents are what lie ahead for the industry both in real life and symbolically.
Thanks for making it this far. If you're interested, email me here.
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