Marine Safety Information Bulletins

05/03/2018: MSIB 04-18 Concentrated Inspection Campaign: Open Lifeboats

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued MSIB 04-18 to initiate the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) for all U.S. flag vessels fitted with open lifeboats. As noted in the Commandant’s Final Action Memo on the sinking of the S.S. El Faro, the response to Safety Recommendation #3 states:

The Coast Guard agrees that open lifeboats should be phased out of operation and supports proposals from vessel owners and operators or legislation to accomplish this… …For existing vessels fitted with open lifeboats, the Coast Guard will initiate a concentrated inspection campaign to ensure that the lifeboats remain in serviceable condition. The inspection will include the launching, maneuvering and recovery of open lifeboats, and the review of related SMS procedures.

The purpose of the CIC is to ensure that these critical lifesaving appliances are maintained in working order and ready for immediate use. The CIC will run from May 2, 2018 – May 1, 2019. During this period, Marine Inspectors will perform a more detailed inspection of open lifeboats and related launching appliances using the attached checklist as a guide in conjunction with regularly scheduled Coast Guard Inspections (exclusive of drydock). A final report of this CIC will be made public via Maritime Commons.

To view the entire MSIB, please go to

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.

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