Marine Safety


Via The Practical Sailor

Coast Guard Warns of Radio Interference from LEDs

Back in 2010, Practical Sailor and others raised the alert that a conversion to LED navigation lights can have some unintended consequences, including distorted color shifts (see PS January 2016 “USCG Issues Alert on Uncertified Nav Lights” and PS October 2017  “Converting an Anchor Light to a Tricolor Light” ). And we’ve long been concerned about LED lights, both interior and exterior, interfering with VHF and AIS radio transmissions (see PS February 2010 “Practical Sailor Tracks Down the Best LED Tri-color Light” see PS June 2014, “LED Interior Lights Part 2”).

The problem with radio interference has recently gotten the attention of the U.S. Coast Guard, which released the following Marine Safety Alert on August 15, 2018.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment).

– Continue reading the article on the Practical Sailor website –

Advertisements

Via Workboat.com

Coast Guard raises marine casualty report threshold to $75,000

The Coast Guard has raised the limit on damages that trigger a marine casualty report to keep pace with inflation, and eliminate the burden of chronicling and investigating relatively minor mishaps.

The new property damage threshold is $75,000, up from $25,000 and $3,000 higher than originally proposed. The limit for a serious marine incident, which requires mandatory drug and alcohol testing, is $200,000, up from $100,000 but still lower than many industry advocates sought.

The final rule published Monday – the first change since the amounts were established in the 1980s – is effective April 18.

“This is a big step forward. We welcome these improved thresholds,” said John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). “We would have liked to see higher numbers, but we’re generally pleased. It will be helpful.”

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) also supported the increase.

Continue reading this article at Workboat.com >>>

From United States Coast Guard Headquarters
Inspections and Compliance Directorate

During a recent inspection, U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control examiners discovered a significant flaw involving almost all of a vessel’s immersion suits. The examiners noted that the glue used to attach the main zipper to the body of the suit had failed. Failure of the suit at this location will prevent the suit from achieving a watertight seal. Such conditions present serious risk to crewmembers in a survival situation.

Due to the high failure rate discovered during the Coast Guard exam (35 out of 40 suits were defective), the Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel operators inspect their Immersion Suits for this potential unsafe condition. Do not wait to discover the problem during a real emergency. As a reminder, any replacement survival suits need to be approved by the vessel’s Flag State.

Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington DC. Questions may be sent to HQS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil.

Click here for images of defective suits (PDF)

Fixed CO2 Fire Extinguishing Systems – When your hoses aren’t right you might lose the firefight

 

Recently, Coast Guard marine inspectors discovered critical deficiencies onboard a containership with its fixed CO2 fire extinguishing system. The conditions associated with the CO2 system may have prevented the system from operating correctly or, if not discovered, the system may not have operated at all in an emergency situation.

During the inspection, it was noted that some of the hoses which connected the large CO2 cylinders to the manifolds were wrapped around the bottle valve handles as shown in photographs A and B.   The bottles could have been in place for a long period of time, in their original positions without regard to the stresses placed on the connecting hoses.  However, experts in Fixed CO2 System Servicing have indicated that service personnel routinely find loose bottles which have rotated over a period of time.  The experts expressed that photographs A and B represented extreme cases of rotation.  The service personnel also stated that “four bottle deep” manifold systems were atypical and may have contributed to an inability to maintain tightness.

These bottles should have been clamped tightly in place by the use of wooden brackets as displayed in photograph C.  Wooden spacers in between the rows of bottles can also be used to ensure proper securing of all the bottles.

Inspectors also found significant cracking of the CO2 discharge hoses which were under tension as shown in photograph D. This condition is known as ozone cracking and occurs when very small amounts of ozone in the atmosphere interact with the polymers that compose rubber products and certain other elastomers when those products are under tension.

As a result of the inspection the vessel was detained until these and other identified deficiencies identified were corrected.  During a reinspection of the vessel to clear the deficiencies, it was discovered that the servicing organization that replaced  the hoses, installed several new hoses in a similar orientation that maintained excessive stress on the hoses.  That issue was subsequently rectified by rotating the bottles.

In June of 2009 the IMO released MSC.1/Cir.1318, titled “GUIDELINES FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTIONS OF FIXED CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE-EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS.”  It provides the minimum recommended level of maintenance and inspections for fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing systems on all ships in order to demonstrate that the system is kept in good working order as specified in SOLAS regulation II-2/14.2.1.2.  In addition to other important information, it provides useful maintenance and inspection guidance.

One related monthly inspection item suggests checking that all “high pressure cylinders are in place and properly secured.”

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel owners and operators obtain MSC.1/Cir.1318 for distribution to their fleets.  In addition, each vessel’s Safety Management System should incorporate the Circular’s pertinent data.  Public users can establish a free account to access the Circular and other important information at https://docs.imo.org/.  The Coast Guard also urges owners and operators to ensure the following steps are taken for each fixed CO2 system:

* Bottle installation must be accomplished carefully considering hose and actuator positioning in addition to ensuring stress is minimized for each hose.  Securing devices must be inspected for effectiveness.

*  Vessel crewmembers should check for bottle rotation, loose bottles, and excessive stress on discharge hoses during periodic inspections of fixed CO2 systems.  All appropriate safety precautions should be completed prior to taking any actions to re-secure or reposition CO2 cylinders.

This information has been provided by the Marine Inspectors at USCG Marine Safety Detachment, Lake Worth.   This Safety Alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement.  Developed with assistance of the Marine Safety Detachment, Lake Worth and distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington DC.  Questions may be sent to HQS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil.

 

View PDF (includes photos)

 

 

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)

 

Next Page »