The Maritime Subsidy Board turned down for the third time a request from three tug-barge operators for subsidy to cover one additional deck engineer.
The board contended that Seabulk Transmarine I Inc., Seabulk Transmarine II Inc. and Seabulk Transmarine III Inc. again failed to make a case for approving additional subsidy beyond what it authorized in 1978.That was when the board granted subsidy to build and operate the units to
haul super-phosphoric acid to the Soviet Union.
The three companies, only two of which are still engaged in that chemical trade, took the board's previous rejection to U.S. District Court. They won a rehearing on the board's contention that it lacked authority to adjust subsidized crew sizes once they were determined.
Under a different section of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act (606(1), the board again ruled that the Seabulk companies haven't demonstrated that any relevant change has occurred tojustify boosting the subsidizable crews from 16 to 17.
The vessels, their equipment, and the trade are unchanged, the board said.