Coast Guard develops regulatory implementation plan for Lake Texoma

HOUSTON – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston has developed a regulatory compliance implementation plan for Lake Texoma’s commercial passenger vessels and operators. This plan will bring inspected vessels into compliance as soon as possible and authorize uninspected passenger vessels to operate until the end of the year after a successful voluntary uninspected passenger vessel examination by the Coast Guard. Inspected vessels will be required to undergo an inspection for certification as soon as possible.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 25, the Coast Guard will have boat crews on Lake Texoma to enforce recreational and commercial safety regulations. They will also work with state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure recreational boaters have the appropriate safety gear and are obeying all state and federal regulations. The Coast Guard will board and note the compliance levels of all uninspected passenger vessel operations. Vessel operators not in compliance with federal regulations will be required to work with the Coast Guard by scheduling and undergoing voluntary examinations of their vessels and coming into full compliance no later than December 31, 2009.

During the remainder of 2009, Coast Guard crews will conduct voluntary passenger vessel examinations for uninspected vessels to document compliance levels with applicable federal standards and educate the commercial passenger vessel community on passenger vessel safety regulations.

The Coast Guard’s primary goal is to ensure that sight-seeing cruises, fishing charters and party boats operate safely within the standards captured by Federal Regulations outlined in Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Because many commercial enterprises operating on Lake Texoma do not currently meet these requirements, operators and companies are encouraged to register with the Coast Guard, take the necessary steps toward regulatory compliance and request a Coast Guard courtesy examination. By doing this, boat operators will not have their businesses impeded for 2009 as long as their boat and operations are not found to be substandard to the point of demonstrating grossly negligent operations. Once the courtesy exam is complete, the Coast Guard inspector will issue a Coast Guard decal, a Certificate of Inspection or a boarding receipt which will document the boat’s level of compliance.

Owners and/or operators who are interested in receiving a courtesy inspection of their boats should contact the Sector Houston-Galveston Domestic Inspection Branch at (713) 671-5143. Individuals may also request an exam by emailing a copy of an Application for Inspection (Coast Guard Form Number CG-3752) to HoustonDom@uscg.mil. This form can be found at www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/cg_3752.pdf.

Operators of uninspected passenger vessels must be properly licensed. In order to apply for an uninspected passenger vessel operator’s license, the applicant must make successful application and provide the following as part of this evaluation:

  • Results of drug testing
  • Physical examination
  • First Aid & CPR training Certificate
  • Proof of Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) application
  • Proof of meeting professional service requirements

As a reminder, another requirement for all commercial vessels operators is the reporting of accidents. All accidents or marine casualties as defined in 46 CFR 4 and involving Coast Guard-licensed operated vessels must be reported to Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston. More information about reporting marine casualties can be requested by contacting the Sector Houston-Galveston Investigation’s Division at HoustonIO@uscg.mil.

The Coast Guard plans to hold two public meetings on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at the Tanglewood Resort to help commercial passenger vessel operators understand and comply with federal regulations, licensing, transportation workers identification cards, marine casualty reporting and drug and alcohol testing programs. Coast Guard officials will discuss potential consequences for not complying with federal regulations relating to the operation of commercial vessels. The times of the public meetings are being finalized and will be released soon.

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2 Comments

  1. Ken Jones says:

    I firmly believe that federal regualtion of Lake Texoma’s commercial boating activities is unecessary. I question why after ~50 years is the Federal government pursuing this course of action? I am not now or ever intend to be a commercial boater, but I do occasionally charter guides for fishing. I also know that guiding is not a lucrative career choice and to place additional finacial burdens on these people after they have over so many years performed admirably is simply not right.

  2. phillip Baker says:

    Trying to look for a way to give a comment about AF Flight 447.
    I would like to suggest to the people in charge of finding the flight recorders to DROP a new, working flight recorder on the area of the suspected crash and track it to see if they can continue to pick it up after it lands on the ocean floor. This will also give them an idea of how possibly ocean currents moved the original recorder from the crash.
    Just a suggestion that could perhaps help in the investigation.
    Thank you .
    PB.