All Vessels - Lifesaving Equipment Readiness, Maintenance & Inspection of

Maintenance & Inspection of Lifesaving Equipment

46 CFR 28.140

Requirements:

The master or individual in charge of a vessel must ensure that each item of lifesaving equipment be in good working order, ready for immediate use and readily accessible before the vessel leaves port and at all times when the vessel is operated.

Except for an inflatable liferaft or an inflatable buoyant apparatus less than two years of age, each item of lifesaving equipment, including unapproved equipment, must be maintained and inspected in accordance with Table 46 CFR 28.140.

An escape routefrom a space where an individual may be employed or an accommodation space must not be obstructed.

Table 46 CFR 28.140

Maintenance & Inspection of Lifesaving Equipment

Item Interval Regulation
Inflatable wearable PFD (type V commercial hybrid). Annual: Servicing 46 CFR 28.140
Immersion suits, exposure suits, and PFD’s Annual: Inspect, clean, and repair as necessary 46 CFR 28.140
Buoyant apparatus and life floats Annual: Inspect, clean, and repair as necessary 46 CFR 28.140
Inflatable liferaft Annual: Servicing (See Note 1) 46 CFR 28.140
Inflatable buoyant apparatus Annual: Servicing (See Note 1) 46 CFR 28.140
Hydrostatic release Annual: Servicing 46 CFR 28.140
Disposable hydrostatic release Replace on or before expiration date 46 CFR 28.140
Undated batteries Annual: Replace 46 CFR 28.140
Dated batteries* and other items Replace on or before expiration date 46 CFR 28.140, 46 CFR 25.26-5
EPIRB Monthly: Test 46 CFR 25.26-5

* Water activated batteries must be replaced after use.

Maintenance and inspection must:

  • be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Inflatable liferafts or inflatable buoyant apparatus must be serviced at a facility approved by the CG and by the manufacturer of the survival craft.

Note 1: Except new inflatable liferafts or new inflatable buoyant apparatus within two years of the manufacture date.

Distress Signals

46 CFR 28.145

Requirements:
Area Parachute Flares Hand Flares Smoke Signals
Ocean, more than 50 miles from the coastline (See B.) 3, and 6, and 3
Ocean, 3-50 mile from coast (See C.) 3, and 6, and 3
Coastal waters:

Day

 

and

Night (See D.)

 

3 or

 

 

 

3 or

 

3, or

 

 

 

3 or

 

3 or 1 Distress Flag (See E.)

1 Electric Distress Signal (See F.)

Acceptability:

  1. All Flares and signaling devices must be replaced by their expiration dates
  2. Flares required on vessels operating beyond 50 milesfrom the coast must be approved under 46 CFR
    1. 160.136 (parachute)
    2. 160.121 (hand)
    3. 160.122 (smoke)
  3. Flares required on vessels operating 3-50 milesfrom the coast must be approved under 46 CFR:
    1. 160.136 or 160.036 (parachute)
    2. 160.121 or 160.021 (hand)
    3. 160.122 or 160.022 or 160.037 (smoke)
  4. Any 3 Coast Guard approved flares are acceptable in coastal waters.
  5. Distress flag must be in accordance with 46 CFR 160.072.
  6. Electric distress light must be in accordance with 46 CFR 161.013.

EPIRB

46 CFR 28.150, 46 CFR 25.26

Applies to: All commercial fishing industry vessels operating on the high seas (beyond 3nm of the coastline).

Type Required:

  1. Fishing vessels 36 feet or more in length:
    1. A float-free, automatically activated Category 1 406 MHz EPIRBunless there is a builder’s certification stating the vessel was built with sufficient buoyant material to keep the flooded vessel afloat (see para. B).
  2. Fishing vessels less than 36 feet in length, or a fishing vessel 36 feet or more in length having a builder’s certification stating the vessel was built with sufficient buoyant materialto keep the flooded vessel afloat:
    1. A float-free, float free, automatically activated Category 1 406 MHz EPIRB,
    2. or
    3. A manually activated Category 2 406 MHz EPIRB.

Note: The "grandfathering" exception allowing the substitution of a post-Oct ‘88, 121.5/243.0 MHz Class A or B EPIRB installed on or before 24Apr93 expired 1Feb98. All EPIRBs carried to meet vessel requirements must be of the proper 406 MHz type.

Exemptions:

  1. A skiff or workboat does not require an EPIRB if it is stored, when not working, aboard a mother ship equipped with an EPIRB.
  2. The District Commander may grant other exemptions.

Fire Extinguishers

46 CFR 28.155, 46 CFR 28.160, 46 CFR 25.30

Type Required

Without Fixed System in Machinery Space

With Fixed System in Machinery Space

Vessel less than 26 ft in length

1 B-I

0

26 ft to less than 40 ft

2 B-I

1 B-I

40 ft to less than 65 ft

3 B-I

2 B-I

Note:

  1. One B-II replaces two B-I fire extinguishers.
  2. Outboard boats less than 26 feet in length are not required to carry fire extinguishers if their construction will not permit the entrapment of explosive or flammable gases or vapors.

For vessels 65 feet or more in length:

  1. See following page for table containing portable fire extinguishers plus
  2. Ensure each carries the minimum number of B-II extinguishers as listed here:
Gross Tonnage  

Over

Not over

Minimum number of B-II hand portable fire extinguishers

------

50

1

50

100

2

100

500

3

500

1000

6

1000

------

8

Excess fire detection and protection equipment is permitted if:

  • It does not endanger the crew or vessel,
  • It is listed and labeled by an independent, national testing laboratory such as UL, FM, etc.
  • It is in accordance with appropriate industry standards for design, installation, testing and maintenance.

Portable Fire Extinguishers for Vessels 65 feet (19.8 meters) or more in Length:

Space

Class

Quantity/Location

Safety areas, communicating corridors

A-II

1in each main corridor not more than 150 ft apart. (May be located in stairways)
Pilothouse

C-I

2in vicinity of exit.
Service spaces, galleys

B-II or

C-II

1for each2500 sq ft or fraction thereof suitable for hazards involved.
Paint lockers

B-II

1 outside space in vicinity of exit.
Accessible baggage & storerooms

A-II

1for each2500 sq ft or fraction thereof located in the vicinity of exits, either inside or outside the spaces.
Work shops & similar spaces

A-II

1outside the space in vicinity of exit.
Machinery spaces, internal combustion propelling machinery

B-II

1 for each1000 brake horsepower or fraction thereof but not less than 2 nor more than 6.
Electric propulsion motors or generator unit of open type

C-II

1 for eachpropulsion motor or generator unit.
Auxiliary spaces

B-II

1outside the space in the vicinity of exit.
Internal combustion machinery

B-II

1outside the space in the vicinity of exit.
Electric emergency motors or generators

C-II

1outside the space in the vicinity of exit.