Coast Guard conducts training exercises for new passenger safety reform

Members with the Coast Guard’s prevention and inspection departments discuss how well the training exercise went aboard the fishing vessel Excalibur in the San Diego Harbor on July 7, 2021. Members ran through scenarios that contained real-life safety violations; this new reform focuses on mitigating passenger vessel safety infractions that might result in deaths at sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Stanton.)

Members with the Coast Guard’s prevention and inspection departments discuss how well the training exercise went aboard the fishing vessel Excalibur in the San Diego Harbor on July 7, 2021. Members ran through scenarios that contained real-life safety violations; this new reform focuses on mitigating passenger vessel safety infractions that might result in deaths at sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Stanton.)

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Coast Guard members conducted training exercises with the fishing vessel Excalibur Wednesday in the San Diego Harbor.

The exercises are part of a Coast Guard wide overhaul aimed at reducing passenger vessel safety infractions that could result in deaths at sea.

Coast Guard Sector San Diego crewmembers ran through scenarios that contained real-life safety violations, such as expired safety equipment, fire hazards, obstructed emergency exits, non-responsive vessel and no watchstander on deck.

“The Coast Guard is taking a hard look at what we do and how we do it in response to the fire aboard the Conception,” said Capt. Greg Callaghan, the Eleventh Coast Guard District Prevention chief. “We are looking at where we can improve things and where we can take advantage of opportunities to ensure that passenger vessels are operating safely.”

The Conception, a scuba dive passenger ship, caught fire off the coast of California in September 2019, killing 34 people. This tragedy prompted the Coast Guard and Congress to reexamine their small passenger vessel regulations.

“This reform is in the roll-out phase and will be tested throughout the district,” said Callaghan. “We are enhancing what we already do on the inspection and prevention side by expanding our at-sea capabilities.”

Additional exercises are planned within the next few months throughout California.


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