The Federal government has passed new laws for your safety. The captain of your boat should know about these rules. If he doesn’t know about some of them, how many of the other safety items has he compromised ?
All of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association Captains know and comply with these regulations.
FEDERAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS - For Passenger Carrying Vessels.
REGISTRATIONS: If your vessel is over 5 tons (about 26ft.) it MUST be documented "coasting trade" for carrying passengers for hire.
LIFE JACKETS: Your P.F.D’s must have writing on them that says for ALL VESSELS. (Type 1) and also contain the USCG Approval Number 160.00x. The jackets must be in good serviceable condition with no rips or tears and all straps present.
WATER LIGHTS: They must be attached to each life jacket. Each light must also have a USCG Approval Number 161.0xxx and must be current. If the light used batteries, they must have an expiration date.
LIFE RING: (type IV PFD). One must be immediately available. It must have an Approval Number in it and 60 ft. line may be attached.
FLARES: V.D.S. all must have an expiration date and Approval Number on each one. You must have three (3) day/night current one aboard. (hand held or gun, red flares).
ON GAS ENGINE BOATS: Your VENTILATION SYSTEM must be properly installed and in working order including a power blower in vessels built after July 31, 1980. Your FUEL TANKS must be properly installed with a shut off at the tank and at each engine and properly grounded.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: These must have an Approval Number on each one and if it doesn’t have a gauge on it to show its fully charged. It must have an inspection tag that is not over six (6) month old. If you have a fixed fire fighting system, it counts as one (1) BI ext. The number of extinguishers depend on the length of the vessel. - Less than 26ft - 1 BI, 26 to 39 ft - 2 BI or 1 BII, 40 to 64 ft - 3 BI or I BII and I BI.
NAVIGATION LIGHTS: Running lights and an all around white ANCHOR LIGHT must be in working order. RUNNING LIGHTS - 12 point white stern and 10 point red & green lights and a 20 point white light forward. (Other options are available.)
HORN or WHISTLE and BELL: Under 40 ft - some means of making an efficient sound. 40 ft. or over - Whistle audible ½ mile and a bell if the vessel is over 65 ft. and a COPY of RULES OF THE ROAD Aboard.
HEAD: M.S.D. Approved (approval number in it) type I or II or III. OR make sure the SEA COCK IS CLOSED within 3 miles of land.
OILY WATE DISCHARGE PLAQUE: (5x8) is required on vessels over 26 ft. and a bucket for oily bilge slops.
SAFETY INFO SHEET: Each vessel must give a safety lecture or POST A NOTICE that shows how to put on a P.F.D and that also states requirements of an EMERGENCY CHECK OFF SHEET.
TRASH DISPOSAL PLACARD: must be posted for all to see. Vessels over 40 ft. must have a written WASTE DISPOSAL PLAN aboard that states who (by name) is responsible for handling the trash and what is to be done with it and a log kept of all disposals.
THE OPERATOR OF THE VESSEL MUST HAVE A VALID USCG LICENSE to operate the vessel/ the license must be of adequate size with regard to area of operation and number of passengers.
DRUG PROGRAM. All licensed personnel and deckhands MUST be in an approved Drug Program that meets the 5 requirements: Pre-employment, Serious marine Incident and For Cause, Periodic, and Random Drug testing, and an Education Assistance Program that includes one hour of training.
MAX. 6 PASSENGERS. You can not carry more than 6 passengers unless you have a CERTIFICATE of INSPECTION posted that is issued by the USCG.
DOCUMENTS needed aboard: current original USCG License, Light List, Coast Pilot, and current Paper Charts for the area.