Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

New requirements for commercial fishing industry vessels—Part 2.

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by CAPT Eric Christensen, Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Vessel Activities; Mr. Jack Kemerer, Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Fishing Vessel Safety Division

Examinations and Certificates of Compliance
Dockside safety examinations at least once every two years are now mandatory for vessels operating beyond three nautical miles. Voluntary exams will continue to be promoted for vessels operating inside three nautical miles.

Individuals authorized to enforce Title 46 may remove a certificate from a vessel operating in a condition that does not comply with the provisions of the certificate. And, if the vessel does not have the required certificate on board, or if the vessel is being operated in an unsafe condition, it may be ordered to return to a mooring and remain there until the certificate is issued/reissued or the condition is corrected.

Training for Operators
A new provision applicable to vessels operating beyond three nautical miles requires individuals in charge of the vessel to pass a training program covering, among other things, seamanship, navigation, stability, fire fighting, damage control, safety and survival, and emergency drills. Refresher training is required every five years.

Construction Standards for Smaller Vessels
Vessels built after January 1, 2010 and less than 50 feet overall in length must be constructed in a manner that provides a level of safety equivalent to the standards for recreational vessels established under 46 U.S.C. §4302. Note: “overall in length” means the horizontal distance of the hull between the foremost part of the stem and the aftermost part of the stern excluding fittings and attachments. This is different from “registered length.”

The act amends 46 U.S.C. §5102(b) making assignment of a loadline a requirement on fishing vessels 79 feet or greater in length that are built after July 1, 2012. Further, fishing vessels built on or before July 1, 2012 that undergo a substantial change to the dimension of or type of vessel completed after July 1, 2012, or a later date set by the Coast Guard, must comply with an alternate loadline compliance program.

The list continues in part 3.

Full article is available at

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