- Domestic Vessels

9/9/2015: Safety alert – Reminder to employ knowledgeable operators with appropriate skills

The Coast Guard issued Marine Safety Alert 09-15 to remind owners and operators of pollution response vessels and other types of special purpose vessels of the need to employ knowledgeable operators with appropriate seamanship skills to navigate their vessels. It emphasizes the responsibilities of owners and operators to ensure a safe working environment for employees and passengers irrespective of the absence of applicable federal regulations regarding the need for vessel inspections or credentialed mariners.

This safety alert is in response to a collision involving two pollution response vessels where the operator was not a licensed mariner and unfamiliar with the Inland Rules of the Road

Both operators contributed to the collision by not understanding or adhering to the Inland Rules of the Road.

The safety alert provides recommendations for all pollution response companies and other industries that operate special purpose vessels without licensed or credential mariners do the following:

• Develop policies and hiring prerequisites that require all boat operators to attend a formal boating safety course which includes basic Inland Rules of the Road.

• Critically examine boat operations to determine if sufficient attention has been given to the safety of company employees and other personnel who are transported or work onboard their vessels.

View Marine Safety Alert 09-15 for full details.

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.