US Coast Guard to issue updated fire safety rules covering passenger vessels

Photo: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The US Coast Guard is issuing an interim rule as the first step to implementing the statutorily mandated requirements for fire safety on certain covered small passenger vessels.

This statutory mandate is in response to the fire and loss of life on the dive boat Conception off the coast of California on September 2, 2019.

This interim rule adds additional fire safety requirements for small passenger vessels. Such requirements include fire detection and suppression systems, avenues of escape, egress drills, crew firefighting training, watchmen monitoring devices, and the handling of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries.

Save for some amendatory instruction numbers, the interim rule will come into effect on March 28, 2022. Comments and related material must be received by the coast guard on or before June 27, 2022, while comments on the collection of information must be received by the coast guard on or before January 26, 2022.

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