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e-CFR data is current as of September 22, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter EPart 45 → Subpart E


Title 46: Shipping
PART 45—GREAT LAKES LOAD LINES


Subpart E—Unmanned River Barges on Lake Michigan Routes


Contents
§45.171   Purpose.
§45.173   Eligible barges.
§45.175   Applicable routes.
§45.177   Freeboard requirements.
§45.179   Cargo limitations.
§45.181   Load line exemption requirements for the Burns Harbor and Milwaukee routes.
§45.183   Load line requirements for the St. Joseph and Muskegon routes.
§45.185   Tow limitations.
§45.187   Weather limitations.
§45.191   Pre-departure requirements.
§45.193   Towboat power requirements.
§45.195   Additional equipment requirements for the Muskegon route.
§45.197   Operational plan requirements for the Muskegon route.

Source: USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

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§45.171   Purpose.

(a) This subpart establishes a special load line regime under which certain unmanned, river-service, dry-cargo barges may be exempted from the normal Great Lakes load line requirements while operating on certain Lake Michigan routes. Depending upon the route, the barge may only need a limited service domestic voyage load line, or may be conditionally exempted from load line assignment.

(b) Except as provided in this subpart, barges operating on Lake Michigan must have either an international load line assignment issued in accordance with the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as amended, or a Great Lakes load line assignment issued in accordance with the requirements of this part.

(c) The requirements of this subpart are summarized in table 45.171:

eCFR graphic er06jn11.055.gif

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[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70601, Nov. 18, 2010; 75 FR 78928, Dec. 17, 2010; 76 FR 32326, June 6, 2011]

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§45.173   Eligible barges.

Only barges meeting the following requirements are eligible for the special load line regime under this subpart:

(a) Unmanned, river service, dry-cargo barges;

(b) Barges that have been designed and built to at least the minimum scantlings of the American Bureau of Shipping River Rules which were in effect at the time of construction;

(c) Barges with a length-to-depth ratio less than 22;

(d) Barges on the Milwaukee route must not be more than 10 years old; and

(e) All weathertight and watertight closures (dogs, gaskets, covers, etc.) must be in proper working condition.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70603, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.175   Applicable routes.

This subpart applies to the following routes, including intermediate ports, on Lake Michigan, between Calumet Harbor, IL, and—

(a) Milwaukee, WI (the “Milwaukee route”);

(b) Burns Harbor, IN (the “Burns Harbor route”);

(c) St. Joseph, MI (the “St. Joseph route”); and

(d) Muskegon, MI (the “Muskegon route”).

[USCG-1998-4623, 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.177   Freeboard requirements.

(a) All barges must have a minimum freeboard of 24 inches (610 mm).

(b) Additionally, open hopper barges must have a combined freeboard plus cargo box coaming height of at least 54 inches (1,372 mm).

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§45.179   Cargo limitations.

(a) Only dry cargoes may be carried. Liquid cargoes, even in drums or tank containers, may not be carried.

(b) Hazardous materials, as defined in part 148 of this chapter and 49 CFR chapter 1, subchapter C, may not be carried.

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§45.181   Load line exemption requirements for the Burns Harbor and Milwaukee routes.

Barges operating on the Burns Harbor and Milwaukee routes may be conditionally exempted from load line assignment provided that the following requirements are met:

(a) Registration. Before the barge's first voyage onto Lake Michigan, the owner or operator must register the barge in writing with the Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, 555A Plainfield Road, Willowbrook, IL, 60527. The registration may be faxed to MSU Chicago in advance at (630) 986-2120, with the original following by mail. The registration may be in any form, but must be signed by the owner or operator. No load line exemption certificate will be returned. However, the registration will be kept on file.

(b) The registration must include the following information:

(1) Barge name and official documentation number;

(2) Owner and operator (points-of-contact, company addresses and telephone numbers);

(3) Service route (Milwaukee and/or Burns Harbor);

(4) Design type (covered/uncovered hopper, deck, etc.);

(5) External dimensions;

(6) Types of cargo; and

(7) Place built and original delivery date.

(c) The registration must include a statement certifying that:

(1) The barge has been designed and built to at least the minimum scantlings of the ABS River Rules which were in effect at the time of construction; and

(2) The owner or operator agrees to maintain the barge in serviceable condition and comply with the applicable provisions of 46 CFR part 45, subpart E.

(d) Expiration. Registration is valid only until the earliest of the following events:

(1) The tenth anniversary of the delivery date (for barges on the Milwaukee route),

(2) The barge no longer is fit for this service (due to damage), or

(3) The barge changes ownership or operators (registration is not transferable to new owners or operators; the barge must be re-registered if it is to continue in Lake Michigan service).

(e) Notification. The owner or operator of an exempted barge must notify the OCMI of the transfer of ownership or change of operator, withdrawal from Lake Michigan service (due to damage, age, or other circumstances), or other disposition of the barge.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended by USCG-2006-25556, 72 FR 36330, July 2, 2007; 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.183   Load line requirements for the St. Joseph and Muskegon routes.

(a) Load line certificate. (1) The load line issued under this subpart must be a limited-service, domestic-voyage load line.

(2) Except as provided under paragraph (b)(2)(vi) of this section, the term of the certificate is 5 years.

(3) The load line certificate is valid for the St. Joseph and Muskegon routes, and intermediate ports. However, operators must comply with the route-specific requirements on the certificate.

(4) The freeboard assignment, operational limitations, and towboat requirements of this subpart must appear on the certificate.

(b) Conditions of assignment. (1) An initial load line survey under §42.09-25 of this chapter and subsequent annual surveys under §42.09-40 of this chapter are required.

(2) At the request of the barge owner, the initial load line survey may be conducted with the barge afloat if the following conditions are met:

(i) The barge is less than 10 years old;

(ii) The draft during the survey does not exceed 15 inches (380 millimeters);

(iii) The barge is empty and thoroughly cleaned of all debris, excessive rust, scale, mud, and water. All internal structure must be accessible for inspection;

(iv) Gaugings are taken to the extent necessary to verify that the scantlings are in accordance with approved drawings;

(v) The hull plating (bottom and sides) and stiffeners below the light waterline are closely examined internally. If the surveyor determines that sufficient cause exists, the surveyor may require that the barge be drydocked or hauled out and further external examination conducted; and

(vi) The initial load line certificate is to be issued for a term of 5 years or until the barge reaches 10 years of age, whichever occurs first. Once this certificate expires, the barge must be drydocked or hauled out and fully examined internally and externally.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.185   Tow limitations.

(a) Barges must not be manned.

(b) No more than a total of three barges per tow may operate on the Milwaukee, St. Joseph, and Muskegon routes. A mixed tow of load-lined and exempted barges is still limited to three barges on those routes.

(c) Tows must not be more than 5 nautical miles from shore.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.187   Weather limitations.

(a) Tows on the Burns Harbor route must operate during fair weather conditions only.

(b) The weather limits (ice conditions, wave height, and sustained winds) for the Milwaukee, St. Joseph, and Muskegon routes are specified in §45.171, table 45.171.

(c) If weather conditions are expected to exceed these limits at any time during the voyage, the tow must not leave harbor or, if already underway, must proceed to the nearest appropriate harbor of safe refuge.

[USCG-1998-4623, 76 FR 32327, June 6, 2011]

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§45.191   Pre-departure requirements.

Before beginning each voyage, the towing vessel master must conduct the following:

(a) Weather forecast. Determine the marine weather forecast along the planned route, and contact the dock operator at the destination port to get an update on local weather conditions.

(b) Inspection. Inspect each barge of the tow to ensure that they meet the following requirements:

(1) A valid load line certificate, if required, is on board;

(2) The barge is not loaded deeper than permitted;

(3) The deck and side shell plating are free of visible holes, fractures, or serious indentations, as well as damage that would be considered in excess of normal wear;

(4) The cargo box side and end coamings are watertight;

(5) All hatch and manhole dogs are in working condition, and all covers are closed and secured watertight;

(6) All voids are free of excess water; and

(7) Precautions have been taken to prevent shifting of cargo.

(c) Verifications. On voyages north of St. Joseph, the towing vessel master must contact a mooring/docking facility in St. Joseph, Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon to verify that sufficient space is available to accommodate the tow. The tow cannot venture onto Lake Michigan without confirmed space available.

(d) Log entries. Before getting underway, the towing vessel master must note in the logbook that the pre-departure barge inspections, verification of mooring/docking space availability, and weather forecast checks were performed, and record the freeboards of each barge.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010; 75 FR 78928, Dec. 17, 2010; 76 FR 32327, June 6, 2011]

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§45.193   Towboat power requirements.

The towing vessel must meet the following requirements:

(a) General. The towing vessel must have adequate horsepower (HP) to handle the tow, but not less than the amount specified for the routes below.

(b) Milwaukee and St. Joseph routes: a minimum of 1,000 HP.

(c) Muskegon route: a minimum of 1,500 HP.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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§45.195   Additional equipment requirements for the Muskegon route.

Towboats on the Muskegon route must meet these additional equipment requirements:

(a) Communication equipment. Two independent voice communication systems in operable condition, such as Very High Frequency (VHF) radio, radiotelephone, or cellular phone. At least two persons aboard the vessel must be capable of using the communication systems.

(b) Cutting gear. Equipment that can quickly cut the towline at the towing vessel. The cutting gear must be in operable condition and appropriate for the type of towline being used, such as wire, polypropylene, or nylon. At least two persons aboard the vessel must be capable of using the cutting gear.

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§45.197   Operational plan requirements for the Muskegon route.

Towing vessels on the Muskegon route must have on board an operational plan that is available for ready reference by the master. The plan must include the following:

(a) The cargo limitations, the general operational requirements, and the special operational requirements of this subpart.

(b) A list of mooring and docking facilities (with phone numbers) in St. Joseph, Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon, that can accommodate the tow.

(c) A list of towing firms (with phone numbers) that have the capability to render assistance to the tow, if required.

(d) Guidelines for possible emergency situations, such as barge handling under adverse weather conditions, and other emergency procedures.

[USCG-1998-4623, 67 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 2002, as amended at 75 FR 70604, Nov. 18, 2010]

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