USCG Safety Alert: Recreational Diving from Commercial Platforms ...

U.S. Coast Guard
Thursday, June 21, 2012

United States Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Marine Safety Advisory 01-12 June 21, 2012 Washington, DC; Recommendations for Recreational Diving Operations Occurring from Commercial Passenger Vessels.

 

This advisory is addressed to Passenger Vessel Operators, Owners and Crewmembers providing commercial transport and support services to recreational divers, and reminds them of safety responsibilities to themselves and their passengers.  Additionally, this advisory is intended to provide recommendations and lessons learned from recreational diving casualty investigations, and promote awareness of industry best practices.

 

While recreational diving is not regulated by the Coast Guard, the USCG licensed Master of a commercial vessel transporting Divers / Passengers is ultimately responsible and accountable for vessel and passenger safety. Administrative action can be taken against an operator if his or her unsafe actions or decisions lead to an injury or fatality.

 

Due to an increase in the number of fatalities associated with passenger vessels supporting recreational diving activities, the Coast Guard believes there is a need for improved safety and performance in this area.  Accordingly, the Coast Guard strongly recommends that passenger vessel operators performing dive site transit services and recreational diving operations develop and use daily operational and maintenance procedures that cover recreational dive evolutions which may include:

 

  • Loading and stowing dive gear;
  • Loading passengers;
  • Transiting to dive site;
  • Dive pre-brief and dive planning;
  • Knowing dive site specific risks and hazards;
  • Pre-dive equipment checks;
  • Entering water;
  • Boarding vessel;
  • Accounting for all divers;
  • Departing dive site;
  • Returning to port;
  • Unloading passengers;Unloading gear;
  • Duties and responsibilities of crew members; and
  • Accounting for the safe return of all divers and passengers.

 

Fueling, emergency, man-overboard, firefighting, evacuation and diver rescue / recovery procedures should be included. Each member of the organization should have access to the written procedures and be trained on them.  Owners and operators of a vessel providing dive equipment to passengers should maintain equipment as required by the equipment manufacturer and keep this information together with a record of periodic inspections and tests performed.

 

If the vessel provides a diving guide or dive master, or if one is provided by the excursion party, it is recommended that a planning and coordination meeting be held between all involved to ensure the highest level of safety.  Additionally, procedures are recommended to address the operator’s approved range of operations taking into account the operational limitations of the vessel, the environmental conditions reasonably expected, the number and experience range of diving passengers, and the duration of a typical excursion.

 

It is important to note that while the passenger safety orientation requirements in 46 CFR 185.506 and 46 CFR 26.03-1 do not specifically include recreational diving topics, it is considered a best practice to do so.  Additionally, it is recommended that the vessel operators account for the following prior to permitting the divers  to enter the water, regardless of the experience level of those involved:

 

  • Diver responsibilities;
  • Vessel and crewmember responsibilities;
  • Estimated time on site;
  • Dive site orientation and hazzards;
  • Communication procedures between submerged divers and vessel;
  • Emergency procedures for distressed or disabled divers;
  • General safety considerations unique to the vessel; and
  • Environmental conditions to be expected.

 

Passenger vessels providing commercial transport and support services to recreational divers may use special equipment to ensure the safety of passengers such as rescue points for distressed divers.  These components should be properly maintained, sufficiently sized and strengthened to support all personnel involved in the retrieval of a distressed or incapacitated diver. Enhanced medical / first aid equipment, such as medical oxygen for injured divers may be carried onboard. This equipment should be inspected regularly to ensure it is adequate for service.  A logbook of inspection, maintenance, service, and repair should be kept for reference.
 
The Coast Guard encourages Owners / Operators, industry experts and associations to work together to develop and share best practices for passenger vessels providing commercial transport and support services to recreational divers in order to minimize injuries and the potential  for fatalities. 

 

This advisory is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international requirement.  This document was produced in collaboration with the Office of Operating and Environmental Standards, Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance and the Office of Investigations and Analysis, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC.
 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Schlumberger Announces Q1 Results

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) today reported first-quarter 2014 revenue from continuing operations of $11.24 billion versus $11.91 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, and $10.

Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share.

Shipping Turns From Banks to Equity Markets for Cash

Shipping companies are turning to equity markets to fill a growing funding gap, betting that investors hungry for decent returns will provide capital to a sector

Cruise Ship Trends

China Homeport for Latest Giant RCI Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean International says that its latest cruise ship, 'Quantum of the Seas', will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China The ship will reposition to China in May 2015,

Holland American Line donates $100,000 to Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

In honor of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s work to spread peace, justice and democracy around the globe, Holland America Line has made a $100,000 donation to

Cruise Industry Disappointed by Findings of Critical LMU Report

New research by the UK's Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU) claims the cruise industry is ignoring its responsibility to the environments and societies it visits.

Passenger Vessels

3rd Officer at helm when ferry capsized - Investigator

The third officer was at the helm of a South Korean ferry when it capsized on Wednesday with 475 people on board, an investigating prosecutor told a news conference on Friday,

Obama Offers US Aid to S.Korea Following Ferry Accident

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the South Korean ferry sinking and said the U.S. military will provide

S.Korean Ferry Master Faces Investigation

The captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized off the southwest coast was facing a criminal investigation on Thursday, an official said, amid unconfirmed

Coast Guard

Coast Guard tactical air squadron holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Visits Ingalls Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division apprises it has hosted a visit by Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Rep.

Stranded Virginia Beach Bulker Salvage Plan Set

The Coast Guard advises it is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, 'Ornak',

Maritime Safety

Coast Guard tactical air squadron holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

RS at SEA JAPAN 2014

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) was the only Russian company to take part in SEA JAPAN 2014 exhibition and conference – one of the major exhibitions of the maritime industry.

Bodies found trapped in S Korean ferry

Divers searching for survivors of a capsized South Korean ferry saw three bodies floating through a window of a passenger cabin on Saturday but were unable to retrieve them,

Government Update

Reports: Brazilian Tycoon Batista Investigated For Financial Crimes

Brazils federal police have opened an investigation into former billionaire Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading, manipulation of markets and money laundering,

Shell Commited To Russia Expansion Despite Sanctions

Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions

Obama Offers US Aid to S.Korea Following Ferry Accident

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the South Korean ferry sinking and said the U.S. military will provide

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2052 sec (5 req/sec)