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USCG - electronic charts & pubs 
The US Coast Guard posted a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) providing USCG marine inspectors and the maritime industry with uniform guidance regarding what the Coast Guard policy regarding use of electronic charts and publications in lieu of paper charts, maps, and publications. NVIC 01-16 [located at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/2016/NVIC_01-16_electronic_charts_and_publications.pdf (2/3/16)

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EPIRBS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice reminding owners of EPIRBS and other emergency beacons to review the registration and identification numbers for their devices. The information provided by proper registration can prove invaluable to response personnel during an emergency..

 

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FOREIGN FLAGGED VESSELS 

As you know, we are just beginning our summer patrol schedule and as such we will hopefully have boats underway on the weekends for safety patrols. In addition to all other jobs of a safety patrol, and/or a MSU mission, one of the functions of these patrols is to report to Marine Safety Unit Savannah any and all foreign flagged pleasure craft spotted. MSU Savannah has again indicated they want to know about pleasure craft that are flying foreign flags or have foreign hailing ports on the stern. This does not include large commercial vessels as they are already being reported by our patrols and are known to the MSU. This mission is to concentrate on all foreign flagged pleasure craft spotted as they are required to report in to U.S. Customs when they enter American waters and the MSU wants to make sure this happens.

When these vessels are spotted, regardless of their location, they should be reported by calling (912-443-3681) . The watchstander at this number should know what to do with the information. In case he/she does not, the coxswain or person calling in the report should simply request that the information be passed on to U. S. Customs.

The above number may roll over to Sector Charleston from time to time. If this happens simply indicate you called the wrong number and then call the following number (912-232 -7507). This number belongs to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection watchstander for Savannah and is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will be answered and they will know what to do with your information. Please remember and do not call this number until you have first tried to call (912-443-3681) and received no answer or your call rolls over to Sector Charleston.

The procedure above should be followed if the vessel is spotted in a marina, at a dock or underway. Members walking the docks of a marina should also report such vessels if they see them. The idea is to report these vessels when and where they are spotted. All members should carry the above numbers with them so they can report these vessels properly and promptly. I suggest these numbers be put in their cell phones. It would be better to report a vessel more than once than to not report it at all; so if you see it, report it immediately.

The following is the information needed when a report is made.

Vessel name

Vessel Location

Identifying numbers, if visible

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MARINE SAFETY ALERT

The Coast Guard's Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety has become aware of instances where recreational type boats are being manufactured and sold but do not meet federal construction requirements. In some cases persons holding Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) Operator licenses are operating such vessels while carrying passengers for hire. This alert reminds UPV operators both six-pack and twelve pack, to ensure that they are aware that all vessels operated as UPVs are in compliance with the appropriate U.S. laws and regulations.

The laws applicable to UPVs are found at 46 USC 4105(a); recreational vessels are addressed in 46 USC Chapter 43. The regulations based on those laws are found in 33 CFR Parts 181 and 183 and are the minimum safety standards for recreational boat manufacturing and include the requirements for: 

certification
 
identification of boats
 
display of capacity information
 
safe loading
 
safe powering
 
flotation requirements (for both inboard and outboard powered boats (including airboats))
 
electrical systems
 
fuel systems
 
ventilation requirements
 
start-in-gear protection
 
navigation lights

It is the responsibility of U.S. Coast Guard licensed Masters that operate UPVs in passenger-for-hire operations to ensure compliance with all federal requirements applicable to the vessel.  Questions regarding this information may be addressed to Mr. Michael Jendrossek, Marine Investigator, (202) 372-1052 or michael.a.jendrossek@uscg.mil