Coast Guard to conduct voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety examinations on Lake Texoma

HOUSTON — Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston and Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 5 and Division 10 will conduct voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety examinations throughout the Lake Texoma region on December 14-18, 2009.

Examinations will be conducted at locations based upon specific requests received from owners of commercial passenger vessels being operated on Lake Texoma. The Coast Guard is encouraging vessel owners to specify a marina or other location where Coast Guard personnel can arrive to conduct examinations to assist owners in meeting established safety standards.

The Coast Guard is currently working with state representatives and the congressional delegations from Texas and Oklahoma to examine ways to improve safety on Lake Texoma.

The Coast Guard’s primary goal is to ensure that sightseeing 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. The voluntary examination is a “no blame, no penalty & no fault” examination that will assist the boat owner to better understand the federal regulations that are required for operation. Once the courtesy exam is complete, a Coast Guard inspector will issue a safety decal, a Certificate of Inspection or a boarding receipt which will document the boat's level of compliance.

Commercial vessel owners are encouraged to contact Lt. Geoff Scibek to schedule a voluntary uninspected passenger vessel examination. He can be reached via phone at (832) 256-1053 or via e-mail at HoustonDOM@uscg.mil.

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