decision for jettisoning, for dispersing, and for firefighting. As long as that mechanism is in place and people can address it through that decision-making process, you can put it behind you early in the incident and move on. You then have relieved your conscience. You have relieved your Monday morning quarterbacks who are going to look at the scenario after it is over and say these people either did or did not consider the event. So, if the decision-making process is developed and in place ahead of the incident, we are ahead of the game.

MR. BERNS: I just wanted to let you know that in the Exxon Valdez situation, the Exxon Baton Rouge was coming up Prince William Sound. She was instructed and authorized by the Coast Guard (no RRT input, et cetera) to drop the slots and ballast that would contain some oil so that she would be empty to go alongside to lighter the Exxon Valdez. There has never been an action brought on that. There is no intent of action being brought on that. And there is no way that is a jettisoning.

MR. WITTE: I would make one comment. I was onboard the Argo Merchant , and perhaps enough time has passed for this comment. There was no question in my mind that the owner wanted a total loss. What happened there could not happen today. The vessel could have been saved.



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