George Zeitler, MSc, has over 30 years of experience in the Marine Industry in various regulatory, management, and consulting roles. He is an Accredited Marine Surveyor (Y&SC) by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and a Member of the International Institute of Marine Surveying.
Background Experience - Mr. Zeitler served 18 years as a USCGMarine Inspector / Casualty Investigator, and 7 years as a Class Society principal surveyor (DNV). He then spent 1 year as VP of Operations for a niche cruise line. Mr. Zeitler went on to serve 5 years as a technical consultant for various segments of the marine industry, including 2 years as third party environmental auditor for criminal pollution cases. He has been an Accredited Yacht and Small Craft Surveyor for over 15 years.
In 2002, Mr. Zeitler formed Zeitler Marine Services (ZMS), using his experience and knowledge to offer condition and valuation (pre-purchase and insurance) and damage survey services to the yachting and recreational boating communities in south Florida. He is currently the Director of the Chapman School of Seamanship Yacht and Small Craft survey course.
Litigation Support - Mr. Zeitler uses his vast experience verifying Compliance with Applicable Maritime Laws / Regulations through on site surveys and audits of client's vessels. His years of operational and regulatory enforcement help provide clients with a unique perspective that is key in identifying vulnerabilities onboard vessels as well as gaps in policies and procedures. He functions as a Court Appointed Monitor in situations where vessel operators are negotiating a plea agreement for a DOJ-approved Environmental Compliance Programs.
Areas of Expertise:
Vessel Design and Construction
Vessel Compliance with International and US Laws and Regulations
Compliance with Federal and Voluntary (ABYC) Standards for Yachts and Small Craft
The public wants to know who is directly responsible for cruise ship safety. Well, the simple answer is that responsibility for safety starts and ends with ship owners and managers. However, owners often seek assistance from classification (class) societies in identifying and evaluating safety risks. Although often referenced in the maritime world, class society roles and responsibilities relating to vessel safety are not widely known.
The adoption of the International Safety Management Code by the International Maritime Organization as a means to promote a change in maritime industry’s attitude towards safe operating practices has been well documented. The code placed a strong level of responsibility on the ship owner or operator to conduct a self-assessment of their policies and practices in order to develop and implement a safety management
Gerald (Gerry) Nielsen, PMP, founder of Ocean Ridge Maritime, is a Project Management Professional with over 35 years of experience in the Commercial Maritime, Offshore, and Cruise Industries. Mr. Nielsen serves as an Expert Witness, Consultant, Project Manager, Surveyor, and Auditor for the Maritime and Offshore Industries.
A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification combined with a background that includes a USCG Chief Engineers license and experience in ISM/ISO Auditing, Marine Surveying, and Emergency Response, Mr. Nielsen provides professional and personalized service and support when needed.
Past Positions Include:
Rig Assurance, Preservation (Stacking), and Reactivations - Transocean Offshore Drilling
Global Consulting Operations (VP) - ABS Nautical Systems
Environmental and Safety Management (Director) - Cunard Line Limited
Designated Person Ashore - Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line
New Construction Surveyor - American Bureau of Shipping
ISM / ISO Auditor - American Bureau of Shipping
Shipboard Engineer - Exxon Shipping Company and Global Marine Drilling
Litigation Support: Since the Exxon Valdez incident and response, through development of DOJ mandated Compliance Programs, to conducting ECP Audits as Third Party Auditor, Mr. Nielsen has been providing consulting services related to litigation. In recent years, Ocean Ridge Maritime has been engaged for Jones Act Injury Cases, Regulatory (Environmental) Compliance Audits, Technical Opinions related to Oil Spill damages, and MARPOL Compliance.
Gregory T. Davis is an internationally recognized expert in Marine Forensics and Marine Survey. He has over 40 years of experience as a Professional Marine Surveyor and Investigator, and is the founder and President of Davis & Company, Ltd. the nation's leading marine survey and loss investigation firm.
Mr. Davis was formerly Senior Managing Consultant with Engineering Systems Inc. (ESi) and Director of the Marine Practice Group. His firm, Davis Marine Consulting Associates, LLC, formed in June of 2018, offers professional services to a wide variety of clients, for investigations related to Marine Accidents that range from recreational and commercial watercraft design and loss evaluations to marina operations.
Mr. Davis is a Fire and Explosion Investigator certified by the National Association of Fire Investigators, and a Marine Surveyor certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors, Inc., He is a ‘Special Expert’ on NFPA 303 “Marinas and Boatyards,” and is NTSB training certified in Marine Accident Investigation.
He is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), serving on their O-45 Fire Protection and Safety Panel and is Chair of the MF10 Small Boat Forensics Panel. He is a member of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), having served on their Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Technical Board.
Mr. Davis has been recognized by Marquis Publications with their “Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award” and by Lawyer Monthly magazine within their “2019 Expert Awards”.
Litigation Support -Mr. Davis offers comprehensive, project specific expert witness services to help identify project goals and issues. His service are available to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant. General areas of specialization include:
Marine Forensics and Marine Survey
Marine Accident Investigation and Reconstruction
Failure Analysis, Safety Assessments, and Risk Analysis
Marine Fire and Explosion Origin and Cause
Specific Areas of Expertise:
Marina Operations Standards and Design Considerations
Many recreational boat explosions occur at the fuel dock, after the operator has filled the fuel tank/s. There is a federal requirement to run the mandated bilge blowers for 5 minutes after the fueling event and prior to attempting to start the engine/s. The boat blows up anyway, with injuries or death to those onboard or on shore.
Captain Arlen Leiner,. He has an engineering degree from the University of Toledo, with a Masters's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a subcategory of Marine Combustion Engines. He is trained in MARPOL, SOLAS, and IMO Regulations as well as International Maritime treaties.
Capt. Leiner has performed Marine Surveys and Inspections Including FLIR INFRARED THERMAL throughout the U.S. and virtually worldwide as well as testifying throughout the US and in 18 Foreign countries
Litigation Support - In his 52 years of surveying boats and other watercraft, Capt. Leiner has provided expert witness testimony in marine litigation involving vessels of any size or type. This includes numerous depositions and trials in state and federal courts, with each damage and casualty survey prepared so that findings can be defended in a court of law.
Capt. Leiner is qualified to analyze evidence, form a professional opinion, and communicate his findings to a jury. His services are necessary for litigation in many situations, requiring an expert evaluation of any vessel's value or seaworthiness. These situations can include: