3/19/2019: Commandant to deliver State of the Coast Guard Address

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz will deliver the 2019 State of the Coast Guard Address, at 10 a.m., PST, Thursday, March 21, from Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Long Beach. This is Schultz’s first State of the Coast Guard Address since his tenure as commandant began in 2018. Schultz will provide a current overview of the service and outline priorities for the year ahead.


3/14/2019: Owners of two vessels criminally charged, convicted for operating illegal passenger charters

This posted highlights two recent back-to-back law enforcement cases in Florida that demonstrate the aggressive posture the Coast Guard is taking to eliminate illegal passenger charter activities. Because Smartphone-based applications have made it easier in recent years for passengers to locate and hire charter vessels, the Coast Guard is more vigilant than ever in detecting illegal charter activities and seek maximum enforcement actions against the vessel owners and operators.


3/7/2019: Investigation leads to mariner conviction and prompts Coast Guard data quality improvements

Although attempts by mariners to operate vessels using invalid MMCs are a rare occurrence, it does happen, and the Coast Guard and the maritime industry have an online MMC verification tool to alert them to the few cases that surface each year. Upon entry of mariner identification details by a marine employer or other party, the MMC verification tool provides immediate information regarding whether the subject mariner has a valid MMC and medical certificate. This post provides a summary of a 2017 case that led to data quality improvements in the MMC verification tool and how current and prospective employers can report credential discrepancies.


3/5/2019: Findings of Concern released – “Impacts of Modifications, Alterations, and Weight Creep on Stability”

The Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis issued Findings of Concern 006-19, “Impacts of Modifications, Alterations, and Weight Creep on Stability,” after the fishing vessel Destination marine board of investigation concluded that unsafe stability conditions, combined with an open deck hatch and a fatigued crew, were the primary factors leading to the tragedy.


2/28/2019: A century and a half of marine safety and prevention – The Congressional Act of Feb. 28, 1871

In this post, Rear Adm. John Nadeau offers a few thoughts on The Congressional Act of 1871, which provided the nation with the basis of a functioning marine safety code. The Act of 1871 was an important change that combined all the practical features of previous legislation with a number of new requirements to form a coherent and unified body of law for the regulation of steamboats and to prevent marine casualties and loss of life.


2/25/2019: Coast Guard seeks additional information in Oregon marine casualty investigation

The Coast Guard announced in a news release last week that investigators continue to seek information regarding the fishing vessel Mary B II, which capsized off Newport, Oregon, Jan. 9, 2019, and resulted in the loss of the three crew members and the vessel. Anyone with information is encouraged to provide it to the investigation team at AccidentInfo@uscg.mil, using the subject line “F/V MARY B II.” Questions may be sent to the same address.


2/5/2019: Commandant discusses Arctic, Subchapter M, and more in INSIGHTS interview

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz recently did an interview with Marine Link Magazine staff for its Jan. 30, 2019, edition of INSIGHTS. During the interview, Schultz discussed a variety of issues relavent to the maritime industry, and as a courtesy Maritime Commons is providing a link to the article in an effort to keep our subscribers informed.


1/24/2019: Commercial vessel safety during lapse in appropriations

With passage of a continuing resolution, Marine Safety Information Bulletin 01-19 is cancelled effective Feb. 1, 2019.


1/2/2019: Minimum random drug testing rate set at 50 percent

The Coast Guard has increased the minimum random drug testing rate for 2019 as a result of Drug and Alcohol Management Information System data for the most recent reporting year indicating that the positive rate is greater than one percent.


12/26/2018: Third party oversight – one year after the commandant’s Final Action Memo on the El Faro sinking

On Dec. 22, 2017, the commandant of the Coast Guard released the Final Action Memo for the Report of the Marine Board of Investigation into the sinking of the steam ship El Faro and the loss of its 33 crewmembers. In the FAM, the commandant signaled the Coast Guard’s commitment to making improvements to prevent similar marine casualties. This post highlights the actions taken to address gaps in third party oversight and the Alternate Compliance Program in the year since the FAM was released.


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