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

Dockside Exam Decal

USCG file photo

HOUSTON — Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston will return to Lake Texoma April 28-30, 2011, to conduct voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety inspections in conjunction with ongoing Coast Guard Auxiliary examinations.

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. 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.

Examinations will be conducted at locations based on requests from owners of commercial passenger vessels. 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. Once the courtesy exam is complete, the Coast Guard will issue a decal or a boarding receipt which will document the boat’s level of compliance.

All mariners who carry passengers for hire on U.S. navigable waters are required to hold an appropriate merchant mariner credential (license). This requirement has existed since the passage of The Motorboat Act of 1910. The Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels credential was created when the licensing regulations were amended and is commonly used by commercial vessels carrying six or fewer passengers.

“The Coast Guard is pleased to assist the Lake Texoma boating community through the voluntary examination process,” said Chief Warrant Officer Steve Kilgore, assistant branch chief of uninspected vessels at Sector Houston-Galveston. “We are here to pass the necessary information to boaters to ensure they are properly informed about the process,” he said.

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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