- Lifesaving & Fire Safety

Coast Guard ends year-long concentrated inspection campaign for open lifeboats

On May 1, 2019, the Coast Guard concluded a year-long concentrated inspection campaign (CIC), [MSIB 04-18], focused on open lifeboats throughout the U.S. commercial fleet as directed in the Commandant’s Final Action Memo on the 2015 sinking of the S.S. El Faro.  During the CIC, Coast Guard Marine Inspectors visited 45 U.S. flag vessels and inspected 122 open lifeboats.

The CIC focused primarily on records keeping, crew proficiency, and the material condition of the lifeboats. Coast Guard Marine Inspectors identified 68 deficiencies on 35 open lifeboats. Examples of the identified material deficiencies included visible cracks on the hull, wastage on davits, delamination and cracking on various components, inoperable winches, and oil leaks.

Due to mooring configurations, 14 vessels could not launch, maneuver, and recover every open lifeboat during the CIC.  For the lifeboats that could not be launched, Coast Guard Marine Inspectors examined the other eight items outlined on the CIC checklist and issued an inspection requirement to launch the remaining lifeboats in the presence of a Coast Guard Marine Inspector. The Coast Guard will monitor the material condition of the open lifeboats through annual inspections.  Additionally, the Coast Guard will continue to evaluate the crew’s proficiency and the company maintenance programs to ensure lifeboats are ready for immediate use.

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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