Commercial Vessel Compliance

2/4/2015: New Outer Continental Shelf course for Coast Guard marine inspectors

Written by Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Hnatow

The Coast Guard has a multi-layered mission training program to qualify its marine inspectors that includes baseline training at the Coast Guard’s Training Center Yorktown, on-the-job training at their field units with testing to personnel qualification standards by vessel type, and several advanced vessel inspection training courses. This includes advanced training on domestic and foreign Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, or MODUs.

The breadth of oil exploration vessel types and the speed with which the industry continually innovates imposes unequal demands upon the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS, Coast Guard marine inspector. The nature of the work performed by offshore drilling units is inherently interdependent upon a multitude of marine operations and drill processing systems simultaneously working together to achieve the subsea objective. Such an environment demands that qualified OCS inspectors possess a competent working knowledge of the entire offshore operation to fully grasp the implications of the part they play to ensuring safety and compliance.

The Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise is spearheading the Outer Continental Shelf Inspector Course with a focus on rebuilding core qualifications for Coast Guard OCS marine inspectors. This initial training session will center on the inspection of foreign flag MODUs with the expectation to expand the program to all other offshore units in the future.

This first course in 2015 will be held in Robert, Louisiana at the Shell Robert Training & Conference Center. Fifteen Coast Guard participants have been accepted into this unique course which is being taught by Coast Guard and industry subject matter experts. Such an arrangement was imperative and driven by the highly technical nature of some subject matter for which the Coast Guard cannot entirely provide with existing in-house training resources. This five-day industry and Coast Guard led instruction will detail drilling, well control, dynamic positioning and cranes; as well as discuss the authorities, regulations, proper documentation of deficiencies and issuance of certificates. A second course is expected to be held again this year in July and will be continued to be held as needed in years to come.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.