TVIB News Jeremy Dyers

USCG: Federal Register Notice: Proposed distribution of scheduled Navigation Safety Messages (Broadcast Notice to Mariners) by mobile and internet methods

Published 07/15/2021

In 2020, the Coast Guard began making broadcast notices to mariners containing locally relevant information accessible by mobile devices and the internet. Previously, the only way to obtain this information in a timely fashion was to tune in to local Coast Guard broadcasts that take place on very high frequency (VHF) marine radio two or more times per day. The new methods of information delivery have included Rich Site Summary, also known as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, email, and other means such as map-based filtering. The Coast Guard has received public feedback indicating that mariners prefer the real-time accessibility of mobile and internet access to this information over scheduled VHF broadcasts, because access is more timely, reliable, convenient, and customizable. Also, some mariners have reported that VHF broadcast notice to mariners are bothersome, because they are perceived as unnecessary radio clutter that can be distracting when maneuvering along a dock, in ports or other areas of congested traffic. The Coast Guard is considering phasing out the process of distributing this information by routine VHF radio broadcasts, and is seeking public comment.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted to the online docket via https://www.regulations.gov on or before August 16, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information about this document, please call or email Eugene Diotalevi, Coast Guard Navigation Center; telephone: 703-313-5800; email: Eugene.j.diotalevi@uscg.mil.

 

USCG: D8 Policy on Bulwark Height for Rivers Routes

Bulwark/handrail height has become a hot-button issue with the USCG during COI inspections, at least in one OCMI zone within D8.  District 8 and the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CVC) have upheld the Marine Inspector’s finding on every appeal. Some customers have even been denied the vessel’s COI as a result of this finding.  As a result, we reached out to D8 Towing Vessel Coordinator, Jill Bessetti, and obtained the following information.

At issue is a vessel’s bulwarks and/or handrails being less than the OSHA recommended height of 39.5”- 40”.  In an appeal determination letter, D8 Chief of Prevention stated the minimum height that would provide equivalent protection would be 30” from the deck. If non-compliant bulwarks/handrails are found on the vessel, the Marine Inspector should issue a CG-835v and should mark the deficiency as a work list item, meaning it would not be visible in PSIX.  The company would then submit their proposal for bringing the vessel into compliance.  According to District 8, no COI should be held up as a result of this deficiency.  In instances where space or the vessel’s operations make installing compliant bulwarks/handrails not feasible, hand grabs would be accepted as an acceptable alternative.