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MSIB: Passenger vessel compliance and operational readiness

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 008-19, “Passenger vessel compliance and operation readiness,” to remind mariners of regulations related to firefighting and lifesaving aboard passenger vessels, after the small passenger vessel Conception caught fire and sank off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, California, claiming the lives of 34 of the 39 people on board.

A Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) has been convened and will conduct a thorough and comprehensive marine casualty investigation to determine the causal factors that contributed to this tragic incident. However, the Coast Guard and the maritime industry do not have to delay until the MBI has completed its investigation before taking immediate and positive action.

This bulletin identifies regulations related to firefighting, lifesaving, preparations for emergencies, and means of escape that serve as a reminder for owner and operators to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew while onboard. It is recommended that owners, operators, and masters of passenger vessels immediately complete the following:

Owners, operators, or masters of passenger vessels that are unsure of the requirements placed on the vessel’s COI or otherwise required by regulation are encouraged to contact their local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection. Alternatively, questions may be forwarded to Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Domestic Compliance Division (CG-CVC-1) by email at

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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