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e-CFR data is current as of November 27, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter KPart 117 → Subpart E


Title 46: Shipping
PART 117—LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT AND ARRANGEMENTS


Subpart E—Number and Type of Survival Craft


Contents
§117.200   Survival craft—general.
§117.202   Survival craft—vessels operating on oceans routes.
§117.204   Survival craft—vessels operating on coastwise routes.
§117.205   Survival craft—vessels operating on limited coastwise routes.
§117.206   Survival craft—vessels operating on Great Lakes routes.
§117.207   Survival craft—vessels operating on lakes, bays, and sounds routes.
§117.208   Survival craft—vessels operating on rivers routes.
§117.210   Rescue boats.

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§117.200   Survival craft—general.

(a) Each survival craft required on a vessel by this part must meet one of the following:

(1) For an inflatable liferaft—Approved under approval series 160.151 or other standard specified by the Commandant, with the applicable equipment pack, as determined by the cognizant OCMI. Each inflatable liferaft required on a vessel by this part must have a capacity of 6 persons or more. Inflatable liferafts may be substituted for inflatable buoyant apparatus or life floats required under this section.

(2) For a life float—Approved under approval series 160.027 or other standard specified by the Commandant. Buoyant apparatus may be used to meet requirements for life floats if the buoyant apparatus was installed on board the vessel on or before March 11, 1996, and if the buoyant apparatus remains in good and serviceable condition.

(3) For an inflatable buoyant apparatus—Approved under approval series 160.010 or other standard specified by the Commandant. Inflatable buoyant apparatus may be substituted for life floats required under this section.

(4) For a buoyant apparatus—Approved under approval series 160.010 or other standard specified by the Commandant. An existing buoyant apparatus may not be used to satisfy the requirements for life floats on existing vessels wishing to upgrade the total number of passengers carried on an oceans route.

(b) If the vessel carries a small boat or boats, the capacity of these boats may be counted toward the life float capacity required by this subpart. Such boats must meet the requirements for safe loading and flotation in 33 CFR Part 183, and must meet the stowage, launching and equipment requirements in this part for the survival craft they replace.

(c) A summary of survival craft requirements is provided in Table 117.200(c).

Table 117.200(c)

RouteSurvival Craft Required
Oceans(a) cold water1—100% ILR2—§117.202(a)
   (b) warm water3
   (i) w/overnight accommodations—100% IBA5—§117.204(c)
   (ii) w/o overnight accommodations—67% IBA4—§117.202(e)
Coastwise(a) w/overnight accommodations—100% IBA5—§117.204(a)
   (b) w/o overnight accommodations
   (i) cold water—67% IBA—§117.204(c)(1)
   (ii) warm water—100% LF—§117.204(c)(2)
   (iii) within three miles of shore w/float free 406 MHz EPIRB 50% LF—§117.204(d)
Limited coastwise (Not more than 20 miles from a harbor of safe refuge)(a) w/overnight accommodations—100% IBA5—§117.205(a)
   (b) w/o overnight accommodations
   (i) cold water—67% IBA6—§117.205(a)
   (ii) warm water—50% LF—§117.205(c)
   (iii) within three miles of shore w/float free 406 MHz EPIRB
   (A) cold water—50% LF—§117.205(a)
   (B) warm water—NONE—§117.205(d)
Great Lakes(a) same as limited coastwise (a) & (b)—§117.206(a)
   (b) within one mile of shore—NONE7—§117.206(b)
Lakes, bays, and sounds8 9(a) w/overnight accommodations—67% IBA5—§117.207(a)
   (b) w/o overnight accommodations
   (i) cold water—100% LF—§117.207(b)(1) & (c)(1)
   (ii) warm water—50% LF—§117.207(b)(2) & (c)(2)
   (iii) within one mile of shore—NONE—§117.207(d)
Rivers9 10(a) cold water
   (i) 50% LF—§117.208(a)
   (ii) within one mile of shore—NONE—§117.208(c)
   (b) Warm water—NONE—§117.208(b)

Abbreviations used:

ILR = Inflatable liferaft

IBA = Inflatable Buoyant apparatus

LF = Life Float. As allowed by §117.15(a), any buoyant apparatus in use on an existing vessel on March 11, 1996, may be used to meet the requirements for LF as long as the buoyant apparatus is in good and serviceable condition.

Footnotes:

1Cold water means the cognizant OCMI has determined the monthly mean low temperature of the water is ≤15 °C (59 °F)

2Vessels operating less than 50 miles from shore may carry 100% IBA in lieu of ILR—§117.202(b)

3Warm water means the cognizant OCMI has determined the monthly mean low temperature of the water is >15 °C (59 °F)

4Vessels operating in warm water may substitute 100% LF in lieu of 67% IBA—§117.202(c)

5IBA for total number of overnight passengers allowed. Additional primary lifesaving may be required—§117.204(b), §117.205(a), §117.206(a), and §117.207(b)

6Certain vessel operations may substitute 100% LF in lieu of IBA—§117.205(b)

7OCMI may reduce primary lifesaving for seasonal or ferry type operations on the Great Lakes—§117.206(b)

8Shallow water exception—§117.207(e).

9OCMI may reduce survival craft requirements based upon the route, communications schedule, and participation in VTS—§117.207(f) and §117.208(e).

10Shallow water exception—§117.208(d)

[CGD 85-080, 61 FR 911, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51351, Sept. 30, 1997; 62 FR 64305, Dec. 5, 1997; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59781, Oct. 1, 2012]

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§117.202   Survival craft—vessels operating on oceans routes.

(a) Except as allowed by paragraph (b) of this section, each vessel certificated to operate on an oceans route in cold water must be provided with inflatable liferafts of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(b) Each vessel certificated to operate on an oceans route not more than 50 nautical miles offshore in cold water must be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(c) Each vessel with overnight accommodations certificated to operate on an oceans route in warm water must be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of overnight persons permitted on board.

(d) Where the total number of persons allowed on the COI exceeds the total number of overnight persons allowed, the survival craft requirements contained in paragraph (e) of this section apply when not engaged in an overnight voyage.

(e) Each vessel certificated to operate on an oceans route in warm water must be provided with either:

(i) Inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 67% of the total number of persons permitted on board; or

(ii) Life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

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§117.204   Survival craft—vessels operating on coastwise routes.

(a) Each vessel with overnight accommodations certificated to operate on a coastwise route must be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of overnight persons permitted on board.

(b) Where the total number of persons allowed on the COI exceeds the total number of overnight persons allowed, the following survival craft requirements apply when not engaged in an overnight voyage:

(1) Except as allowed by paragraph (d) of this section, if operated in cold water, be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 67% of the total number of persons permitted on board; or

(2) Except as allowed by paragraph (d) of this section, if operated in warm water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(c) Each vessel without overnight accommodations certificated to operate on a coastwise route, must:

(1) Except as allowed by paragraph (d) of this section, if operated in cold water, be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 67% of the total number of persons permitted on board; or

(2) Except as allowed by paragraph (d) of this section, if operated in warm water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(d) Each vessel certificated to operate on a coastwise route within three miles of land, and equipped with an FCC type accepted Category 1 406 MHz EPIRB installed to float free and automatically activate, may be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 50% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

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§117.205   Survival craft—vessels operating on limited coastwise routes.

(a) Except as allowed by paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section, each vessel certificated to operate on a limited coastwise route shall be provided with the survival craft required by §§117.204 (a) through (d) of this part, as applicable.

(b) Each vessel without overnight accommodations operating in cold water, between two points, with a set schedule on a specific route that maintains a 15 minute radio communications schedule with an operation base, may be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(c) Each vessel operating in warm water may be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 50% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(d) Each vessel certificated to operate on a limited coastwise route within three miles of land in warm water, and is equipped with an FCC type accepted Category 1 406 MHz EPIRB installed to float free and automatically activate, is not required to carry survival craft.

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§117.206   Survival craft—vessels operating on Great Lakes routes.

(a) Except as allowed by paragraph (b) of this section, each vessel certificated to operate on a Great Lakes route must be provided with the survival craft required by §§117.205 (a) through (d) of this part as applicable.

(b) Each vessel certificated to operate on a Great Lakes route within one mile of land is not required to carry survival craft if the OCMI determines that it is safe not to do so, taking into consideration the vessel's scope of operation, hazards of the route, and availability of assistance.

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§117.207   Survival craft—vessels operating on lakes, bays, and sounds routes.

(a) Each vessel with overnight accommodations certificated to operate on a lakes, bays, and sounds route must be provided with inflatable buoyant apparatus of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 67% of the total number of overnight persons permitted on board.

(b) Where the total number of persons allowed on the COI exceeds the total number of overnight persons allowed, the following survival craft requirements apply when not engaged in an overnight voyage:

(1) If operated in cold water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board; or

(2) If operated in warm water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 50% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(c) Except as allowed by paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section, each vessel without overnight accommodations certificated to operate on a lakes, bays, and sounds route must:

(1) If operated in cold water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 100% of the total number of persons permitted on board; or

(2) If operated in warm water, be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 50% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(d) Each vessel certificated to operate on a lakes, bays, and sounds route within one mile of land is not required to carry survival craft.

(e) For a vessel certificated to operate on a lakes, bays, and sounds route in shallow water where the vessel can not sink deep enough to submerge the topmost passenger deck or where survivors can wade ashore, the cognizant OCMI may waive a requirement for survival craft, if the OCMI determines that it is safe to do so, taking into consideration the vessel's scope of operation, hazards of the route, and availability of assistance.

(f) Each vessel operating with a set schedule on a specific route that does not take it more than 20 nautical miles from a harbor of safe refuge, and that maintains a 15 minute radio communications schedule with an operations base, or participates in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), may be granted a reduction in the survival craft requirements of this section if the cognizant OCMI is satisfied that a sufficient level of safety exists.

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§117.208   Survival craft—vessels operating on rivers routes.

(a) Except as allowed by paragraph (c), (d), or (e) of this section, each vessel certificated to operate on a rivers route in cold water must be provided with life floats of an aggregate capacity that will accommodate at least 50% of the total number of persons permitted on board.

(b) Each vessel certificated to operate on a rivers route in warm water is not required to carry survival craft.

(c) Each vessel certificated to operate on a rivers route within one mile of land is not required to carry survival craft.

(d) For a vessel certificated to operate on a rivers route in shallow water where the vessel can not sink deep enough to submerge the topmost passenger deck or where survivors can wade ashore, the cognizant OCMI may waive a requirement for life floats, if the OCMI determines that it is safe to do so, taking into consideration the vessel's scope of operation, hazards of the route, and availability of assistance.

(e) Each vessel operating with a set schedule on a specific route that maintains a 15 minute radio communications schedule with an operations base, or participates in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), may be granted a reduction in the survival craft requirements of this section if the cognizant OCMI is satisfied that a sufficient level of safety exists.

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§117.210   Rescue boats.

(a) Each vessel must carry at least one rescue boat unless the cognizant OCMI determines that:

(1) The vessel is sufficiently maneuverable, arranged, and equipped to allow the crew to recover a helpless person from the water;

(2) Recovery of a helpless person can be observed from the operating station; and

(3) The vessel does not regularly engage in operations that restrict its maneuverability.

(b) In general, a rescue boat must be a small, light-weight boat with built-in buoyancy and be capable of being readily launched and easily maneuvered. In addition, it must be of adequate proportion to permit taking an unconscious person on board without capsizing.

(c) On a vessel of more than 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length operating on protected waters, a rescue boat approved under approval series 160.056 is acceptable in meeting the intent of this section. On a vessel of more than 19.8 meters operating on exposed or partially protected waters, a rescue boat approved under approval series 160.156 is acceptable in meeting the intent of this section. On a vessel of not more than 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length, a required rescue boat must be acceptable to the cognizant OCMI.

[CGD 85-080, 61 FR 911, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51351, Sept. 30, 1997; 62 FR 64305, Dec. 5, 1997]

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