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Passenger Vessel Safety Program

M/V Sea Diamond Mass Rescue Operation April 2007,  1,600 people was evacuated safely  after vessel struck rocks and began taking on water off the Greek island of SantoriniThe small passenger vessel CONTENDER with 28 people on board sank swiftly off San Francisco's Ocean Beach on May 15, 2004.  The Thirteen District Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist just happened to be in the area and witnessed the sinking.  The M/S Explorer sank off the South Shetland Islands, in the Antarctic Ocean, on November 24, 2007.  91 passengers, nine guides and 54 crew members were safely evacuated to lifeboats and then to another ship.lifeboatCruise Line Safety Officer and U.S. Customs Agents discussing passenger accountability during Caribbean Mass Rescue Exercise, August 9, 2007, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin IslandsPassenger Vessel Safety Specialist logo: The lifering surrounding a passenger airplane and passenger vessel, signifies the Passenger Vessel Safety Programs commitment to planning for  Mass Rescue Operations with International, Federal, State, Local and Industry partners.

Background Info:

In 2002 Congress authorized permanent positions for the Coast Guard's Passenger Vessel Safety Program.  There is a Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist at each U.S. Coast Guard District Office and one at Sector San Juan.

The objective of the program is to enable the response community (U.S. Coast Guard, other Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as industry and other stake holders) to have processes and procedures to prevent, or if necessary, to respond to and mitigate a passenger vessel emergency, taking in account all available resources.

This programs applies to both the U.S. domestic passenger fleet and foreign flagged passenger vessel operating out of U.S. ports.  The category of these vessels are:

    a. U.S. domestic passenger vessels (built in accordance with 46 CFR Subchapters T, K, and H)

    b. Foreign flagged passenger vessels operating out of U.S. Ports

    c. Vessels carrying six (6) or fewer passengers in accordance with 46 CFR Subchapter C

Passenger Vessel Safety Specialists are also available to provide assistance with regulatory matters affecting the passenger vessel industry. The full details of  U.S. Coast Guard Passenger Vessel Safety, Prevention and Mass Rescue Operations Program is is outlined in  Commandant Instruction 16711.1

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Last Modified 3/27/2014