The Coast Guard released the Inspected Towing Vessel Decision Aid, also known as TugSafe, in December 2017. TugSafe is designed to streamline and maximize efficiency of the Subchapter M inspection process by providing no guesswork inspections by dynamically generating a customized inspection checklist specific to a given towing vessel. TugSafe helps the Coast Guard reduce inspection preparation time and virtually eliminate errors in the application of regulations. TugSafe can also be used by the towing vessel industry or third party organizations to proactively identify and resolve issues prior to a Coast Guard inspection to reduce vessel downtime while completing the inspection process.
Shortly after the initial release of TugSafe, the Towing Vessel National center of Expertise (TVNCOE) started receiving requests for easier access to the compliance guidance embedded within the custom checklists generated by TugSafe; for example, how to examine a lifejacket or a hand-portable fire extinguisher for compliance with 46 CFR Subchapter M. In response to those requests, TugSafe Lite has been developed and deployed on the TVNCOE’s website. Although TugSafe Lite is not intended to be used as a standalone tool for determining vessel compliance with Subchapter M, it does allow an end-user to view the TugSafe compliance guidance without having to generate a checklist for a specific vessel. Both TugSafe and TugSafe Lite compliance guidance include references to other resources such as the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Manuals, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars, policy letters. TugSafe Lite is currently divided into 11 compliance sections:
TugSafe Lite can be found on the TugSafe webpage. The TVNCOE is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date towing vessel compliance guidance. TugSafe or TugSafe Lite users who find errors or omissions or have suggestions for improvement are highly encouraged to submit their comments to the TVNCOE via the feedback button.
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.