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

Dockside Exam Decal

USCG file photo

HOUSTON – Personnel from Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 10 will conduct voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety examinations throughout the Lake Texoma region on an individual request basis.

Examinations will be conducted upon specific requests received from owners of commercial passenger vessels operated on Lake Texoma. The Coast Guard encourages vessel owners to specify a marina or other publicly accessible location where Coast Guard personnel can conduct examinations.

These examinations are designed to assist commercial passenger vessel owners in meeting established safety and licensing requirements. The voluntary examination is a “no blame, no penalty and no fault” examination that will assist vessel owners in better understanding federal regulations governing the operation of passenger vessels for hire. Successful completion of the examination will earn the vessel owner a Coast Guard issued decal, documenting the boat’s compliance with all applicable regulations.

The Coast Guard is working with state and congressional delegations from Texas and Oklahoma 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 established by the Code of Federal Regulations.

All mariners who carry passengers for hire on navigable waters of the United States are required to hold an appropriate merchant mariner credential (license). This requirement has existed in one form or another since the passage of The Motorboat Act of 1910. The Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels credential was created when the licensing regulations were amended in 1989. The OUPV credential is commonly used by commercial vessels carrying six or fewer passengers and has lower qualification requirements, including age, than the previously required Master license.

Commercial vessel owners are encouraged to contact Chief Warrant Officer Steve Kilgore to schedule a voluntary uninspected passenger vessel examination. Kilgore can be reached at (713)671-5192/5143 or at HoustonDOM@uscg.mil.

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