Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 10 Small Offshore Supply Vessel Deficiencies—Part I

Excerpted from “Top Ten Deficiencies Found on Vessels.” Full text available on http://homeport.uscg.mil. Navigate to missions/investigations/safety reports.

The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis recently examined vessel deficiencies in various vessel classes to identify the 10 most common deficiencies in each class.

We share these so that owners can take corrective action, rectify problems prior to scheduling the next Coast Guard examination, and ensure continual compliance with safety and environmental requirements.

Oily Water Separator 33 CFR 151.10
Common deficiencies:
  • Documentation of routine preventive maintenance is not available to the inspector.
  • Documentation that attests to OWS calibration is not on board.

Owners/operators: Ensure that an appropriate crewmember is available to demonstrate proper operation for the inspector.

Hull Plating 46 CFR 126.140, USCG NVIC 7-68
Inspectors typically find breaches in the hull plating, a temporary repair that had not been previously documented, and wastage of structural members.

Watertight Doors 46 CFR 174.210, 46 CFR 131.893
Common findings include hinges and dogs that need lubrication or adjustment, warped doors, and deteriorated gaskets.

Occasionally inspectors find required “watertight door” markings have been painted over.

EPIRB 46 CFR 133.60(a)
All offshore supply vessels must have a (Category 1) 406-MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) installed in a float-free system.

Most noteworthy is the number of unregistered EPIRBs.

Owner/operator checklist:

  • Check the status of EPIRB registration at (888) 212-SAVE or BeaconRegistration.NOAA.gov.
  • Inspect the EPIRB and the hydrostatic release mechanism before leaving port.
  • Occasionally remove the EPIRB from its bracket to exercise the hydrostatic release.
  • Ensure that the EPIRB is switched off before manually releasing the bracket to inspect the mechanism.
  • Ensure the hydrostatic release unit for the EPIRB is replaced prior to its expiration date.

Running Lights Inoperable or Defective 46 CFR 129.430
Many vessels have inoperable stern, mast, and sidelights, and, in some instances, the installation of these lights was also found to conflict with the International and Inland Navigation Rules.

Vessels of 65 feet or more in length or 100 gross tons or more in size must also have navigation lights that are compliant with UL 1104 standards.

For more information:
For more information about small passenger vessel inspections, contact your local Coast Guard Sector/Inspections Division. For a listing of sector offices, click on “Sector Map” on http://homeport.uscg.mil.

The list continues in part 2.