Marine Safety

Merchant Mariner Credential Processing Delays Update

The National Maritime Center (NMC) continues to experience a greater-than-average volume of applications for Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC). This bulletin outlines actions to be taken for U.S. mariners holding national and STCW endorsements.


Survival Craft Display at 2014 Tall Ships(r) Conference in San Diego.

Survival Craft Display at 2014 Tall Ships(r) Conference in San Diego. (Tall Ships America)

Please be aware of the upcoming changes regarding Out Of Water Survival Craft (OOWSC). The attached MSIB provides information and notification of the laws that govern the use of OOWSC on commercial vessels, effective February 26, 2016. Please note that the Coast Guard is currently developing a Policy Letter to assist with the implementation of the new requirements. The USCG stands ready assist; please contact your inspection office if you have any concerns or questions.

Tall Ships America member vessels represent a broad spectrum of vessel types, programs, and missions.The guidelines provided here attempt to cover a wide range of application and are necessarily general in nature. This document is aimed at providing a variety of options for implementation of a vessel-specific aloft safety regimen. This document offers some discussion and context for the provided options. It aims to provide resources for both training and equipment suitable for use in aloft work in sailing vessels, with emphasis placed on both training and safety. Effective training and practice are the primary means of ensuring safety aloft. Harnesses, lanyards, and related safety equipment provide protection in the event of the unexpected.

Sailing vessels, by nature of their design, require that personnel go aloft as part of the regular care and operation of the ship. Whether for routine rig inspections and maintenance or for the operation of the sailing rig, this aloft work carries with it a measure of risk. Although falls from aloft are rare, the implications of such a fall are dire. All sail training vessels must provide effective safety aloft training, gear, and operational protocols to their trainees and crew. All successful sail training operators place safety at the core of their program. Tall Ships America encourages a culture of safety and seeks to assist where it can in enhancing safety practices.

To continue reading the Guidelines for Safety Aloft, click here (PDF)


U.S. Aids to Navigation

U.S. Aids to Navigation

The US Coast Guard issued a notice announcing that henceforth it will no longer produce printed Light List volumes. Only electronic versions will be available [80 Fed. Reg. 17473] (4/1/15).

Electronic Light Lists are available on the Coast Guard Navigation Center’s Web Site and are updated weekly.

SEA Crew Training Flyer DEC 2014

Sign up for crew training with SEA this December 

SEA is offering the following training classes at their Falmouth campus next month, so be sure to register! The courses available are Bridge Resource Management, Wilderness First Responder, and Basic Safety Training.  The price of the course includes housing and lunch each training day held on campus. Click here to read the flier (PDF).


USCG Sector Hampton Roads issued a Safety Alert regarding compatibility of CO2 fire extinguisher components. During the fighting of a small shipboard fire, a CO2 extinguisher failed to operate properly. Fortunately, a second fire extinguisher accomplished the job. Investigation revealed that an obsolete and incompatible diffuser had been installed in the CO2 extinguisher at some time in the past. It is recommended that fire-fighting servicing companies check all CO2 extinguishers for compatibility of parts on a regular basis. (3/5/14).

The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the Department of State (DOS), will meet in Washington, DC on 16 November to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Marine Safety Committee (MSC).  Topics on the agenda include: maritime security; goal-based ship construction standards; LRIT-related matters; passenger ship safety; and making the Polar Code mandatory.  77 Fed. Reg. 57638  (September 18, 2012).

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