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Coast Guard: US vessel deficiencies up nearly 8 percent in 2018

Apr 23, 2019 03:34 PM

Under Subchapter M, the size of the nation's inspected fleet grew by 6,500 vessels, or 50 percent

Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The following is text of a blog post from Coast Guard Maritime Commons:

(WASHINGTON) — The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has announced the publication of the 2018 Domestic Annual Report. The report highlights U.S. domestic fleet deficiencies, inspections, and marine casualty statistics and serves as a powerful tool to study trends, identify key performance indicators, and bring attention to issues in the fleet.

The report presents information reflecting the entire U.S.-flag fleet, including barges, cargo vessels, passenger vessels, vessels operating on the Outer Continental Shelf, research and school ships, fishing vessels, and the newest members of the inspected fleet, towing vessels.

A few key findings discussed in the report are:

• Coast Guard marine inspectors conducted 20,048 inspections on 19,679 U.S.-flag vessels, and documented 25,324 deficiencies.
• There were 1,946 reportable marine casualty investigations in 2018 involving 1,812 vessels.
• In 2018 there were 40 valid flag state detentions.

Excerpt from Rear Adm. John Nadeau:

The data contained in this report was compiled by the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) using information from the Coast Guard’s Marine Information Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database system. It does not include findings, deficiencies, or other inspection data associated with vessel surveys conducted by recognized organizations or third-party organizations acting on behalf of the Coast Guard.

With the addition of towing vessels, which started getting inspected under 46 CFR Subchapter M in July 2018, the size of the U.S. inspected fleet grew by approximately 6,500 vessels to a total fleet size of nearly 20,000 vessels, an increase of 50 percent.

In 2018, Coast Guard marine inspectors conducted 20,048 inspections on U.S.-flagged vessels and identified 25,324 deficiencies. In comparison to last year, which was the first year we published this annual report, the number of vessel inspections increased by 1,624 and the average number of deficiencies identified per inspection increased from 1.17 to 1.26, rising nearly 8 percent.

We started issuing detainable deficiencies, or Action Code 30, to U.S.-flagged vessels in April 2018. Detaining a ship is a control action that restricts a vessel’s movement because one or more deficiencies are discovered that indicate of a serious failure or lack of effectiveness of the safety management system (SMS). For a vessel that does not have a SMS, a detention will be issued if there is evidence that a serious substandard condition is not being proactively managed. In the last eight months of 2018, 40 U.S.-flagged vessels were detained by the Coast Guard. Our increased focus on the SMS is to promote a proactive safety culture and increase vessel owner and operator accountability.

We will continue to refine and improve this report each year to increase its utility.

Click here to see the complete report.

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