13th Coast Guard District
915 Second Ave
Seattle, WA 98176
A web site for Commercial Fishing Vessel Owners, Operators and Crew
Coast Guard extends time to comply with requirements to provide Assistant Engineers for Engineering Watches on certain Commercial Fishing Vessels.
The Coast Guard issued guidance requiring certain vessel to have assistant engineers aboard vessels in CG-543 Policy Ltr 11-11. The date for compliance was to be Jan 1, 2014. The Coast Guard has issued further guidance by message that extends this compliance date to Jan 1, 2015.
An End to Emergency Distress Monitoring on 2182kHz
The Coast Guard announced the termination of our monitoring of the Medium Frequencies in the 2 mHz range. in a Marine Safety Alert. This means we will no longer monitor the voice distress channel 2182 mHz. Read more about this important change...
Fatigue on fishing vessels has resulted in numberous accidents and fatailites. Read more about fatigue on commercial fishing vessels and what can be done to minimize it...
Mandatory Dockside Safety Exams for most vessels must be completed by Oct 15, 2015.
Mandatory Dockside Safety Exams are not required now, but must be completed prior to Oct 15, 2015 for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 miles off shore. View Coast Guard letter to the fishing industry.
Although you are not required to get an exam, your vessel is required to have all of the required equipment on board. If boarded at sea, you will be checked for all of the required equipment. A voluntary dockside exam is a good way to ensure your vessel has all of the required equipment. Vessels with decals will see shorter boarding times.
As of July 1, 2013 all newly constructed commercial fishing vessels must meet the following requirements.
Reducing Fatalities due to Falls Overboard..
NIOSH studies have found that a majority of deaths on commercial fishing vessels are a result of man overboard accidents.
The Coast Guard is encouraging crew to wear PFDs while working on the deck of commercial fishing vessels, even if the equipment is not Coast Guard approved.
There has been some concern from the commercial fishing industry that the Coast Guard will not allow excess or unapproved equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels.
Excess equipment even if it is non-approved equipment is allowed to be kept and used on board a commercial fishing vessels provided the vessel has the PFDs or immersion suits as required by the fishing vessel safety regulations. The following regulations and guidance support this interpretation.
- The last sentence in 46 CFR 28.105(b) states; “Equipment for personal use which is not required by this part need not be approved by the Commandant.”
- 46 CFR 28.140 (b) – states; “Each item of lifesaving equipment, including unapproved equipment, must be maintained and inspected in accordance with “
- “(1) Table 28.140” (inspected, cleaned and repaired as necessary annually)
- “(2) The servicing procedure under the subpart of this chapter applicable to the item/s approval; and”
- Subchapter Q does not establish a servicing criteria or interval but states that the manufacturer of the device will establish and label the item with the required servicing.
- (3) “The manufacturer’s guidelines.”
- A final reference is in MOC Policy Letter 01-96 dated 07 February 1996: The subject of which is “Excess equipment found on uninspected commercial fishing industry vessels”
- Paragraph 2 states; “All safety and lifesaving equipment in excess of that required by 46 CFR 28, whether an approved type or not, carried onboard any commercial fishing industry vessel must be:
- (a) Maintained and inspected as required by regulation and in compliance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.”