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e-CFR data is current as of November 20, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter LPart 131 → Subpart E


Title 46: Shipping
PART 131—OPERATIONS


Subpart E—Tests, Drills, and Inspections


Contents
§131.505   Steering gear, whistle, and means of communication.
§131.510   Draft and loadline markings.
§131.513   Verification of compliance with applicable stability requirements.
§131.515   Periodic sanitary inspections.
§131.520   Hatches and other openings.
§131.525   Emergency lighting and power.
§131.530   Abandon-ship training and drills.
§131.535   Firefighting training and drills.
§131.540   Operational readiness.
§131.545   Maintenance in general.
§131.550   Maintenance of falls.
§131.555   Spare parts and repair equipment.
§131.560   Weekly tests and inspections.
§131.565   Monthly tests and inspections.
§131.570   Quarterly inspections.
§131.575   Yearly inspections and repair.
§131.580   Servicing of inflatable liferafts, inflatable lifejackets, inflatable buoyant apparatus, and inflated rescue boats.
§131.585   Periodic servicing of hydrostatic-release units.
§131.590   Firefighting equipment.

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§131.505   Steering gear, whistle, and means of communication.

(a) On each vessel expected to be away from shore for more than 48 hours, the master shall examine and test the steering gear, the whistle, and the means of communication between the pilothouse and the engine room 12 or fewer hours before departure. On every other vessel, the master shall do the same at least once a week.

(b) The date of each test and examination and the condition of the equipment must be noted in the vessel's logbook.

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§131.510   Draft and loadline markings.

(a) The master of each vessel on an ocean or coastwise voyage shall enter in the vessel's logbook the drafts of the vessel, forward and aft, when leaving port.

(b) The master of each vessel subject to the requirements of subchapter E of this chapter shall, upon departure from port on an ocean or coastwise voyage, enter in the vessel's logbook a statement of the position of the loadline markings, port and starboard, relative to the surface of the water in which the vessel is then floating.

(c) If the master, when recording drafts, compensates for the density of the water in which the vessel is floating, he or she shall note this density in the vessel's logbook.

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§131.513   Verification of compliance with applicable stability requirements.

(a) After loading but before departure, and at other times necessary to assure the safety of the vessel, the master shall verify that the vessel complies with requirements in its trim-and-stability book, stability letter, Certificate of Inspection, and Loadline Certificate, whichever apply, and then enter a statement of the verification in the log book. The vessel may not leave port until it is in compliance with these requirements.

(b) When determining compliance with applicable stability requirements, the master shall ascertain the vessel's draft, trim, and stability as necessary; and any stability calculations made in support of the determination must remain aboard the vessel for the duration of the voyage.

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§131.515   Periodic sanitary inspections.

(a) The master shall make periodic inspections of the quarters, toilet and washing spaces, serving pantries, galleys, and the like, to ensure that those spaces are maintained in a sanitary condition.

(b) The master shall enter in the vessel's logbook the results of these inspections.

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§131.520   Hatches and other openings.

Before any vessel leaves protected waters, the master shall ensure that the vessel's exposed cargo hatches and other openings in the hull are closed; made properly watertight by the use of tarpaulins, gaskets, or similar devices; and properly secured for sea.

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§131.525   Emergency lighting and power.

(a) The master of each vessel shall ensure that the emergency lighting and power systems are tested at least once each week that the vessel is operated, to verify that they work.

(b) The master shall ensure that emergency generators driven by internal-combustion engines run under load for at least 2 hours at least once each month that the vessel is operated.

(c) The master shall ensure that storage batteries driving fitted systems for emergency lighting and power are tested at least once each 6 months that the vessel is operated, to demonstrate the ability of the batteries to supply the emergency loads for the period specified by Table 112.05-5(a) of this chapter for cargo vessels.

(d) The date of each test and the condition and performance of the apparatus must be noted in the vessel's logbook.

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§131.530   Abandon-ship training and drills.

(a) Material for abandon-ship training must be aboard each vessel. The material must consist of a manual of one or more volumes, or audiovisual training aids, or both.

(1) The material must contain instructions and information about the lifesaving appliances aboard the vessel and about the best methods of survival. Any manual must be written in easily understood terms, illustrated wherever possible.

(2) If a manual is used, there must be a copy in each messroom and recreation room for crew members or in each stateroom for them. If audiovisual aids are used, they must be incorporated in the training sessions aboard under paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) The material must explain the—

(i) Method of donning immersion suits and lifejackets carried aboard;

(ii) Mustering at assigned stations;

(iii) Proper boarding, launching, and clearing of survival craft and rescue boats;

(iv) Method of launching survival craft by people within them;

(v) Method of releasing survival craft from launching-appliances;

(vi) Use of devices for protecting survival craft in launching-areas, where appropriate;

(vii) Illumination of launching-areas;

(viii) Use of each item of survival equipment;

(ix) Instructions for emergency repair of lifesaving appliances;

(x) Use of radio lifesaving-appliances, with illustrations;

(xi) Use of sea anchors;

(xii) Use of engine and accessories, where appropriate;

(xiii) Recovery of survival craft and rescue boats, including stowage and securing;

(xiv) Hazards of exposure and need for warm clothing;

(xv) Best use of survival craft for survival; and

(xvi) Methods of retrieving personnel, including use of helicopter-mounted rescue gear (slings, baskets, stretchers) and vessel's line-throwing apparatus.

(b) An abandon-ship drill must be held on each vessel in alternate weeks. If none can be held during the appointed week, because of bad weather or other unavoidable constraint, one must be held at the first opportunity afterward. If the crew changes more than once in any 2 weeks, one must be held as soon after the arrival of each crew as practicable.

(1) Any crew member excused from an abandon-ship drill must participate in the next one, so that each member participates in at least one each month. Unless more than 25 percent of the members have participated in one on that particular vessel in the previous month, one must be held before the vessel leaves port if reasonable and practicable; but, unless the Commandant (CG-CVC) accepts alternative arrangements as at least equivalent, one must be held not later than 24 hours after the vessel leaves port in any event.

(2)(i) On a voyage likely to take more than 24 hours to complete, a muster of offshore workers must be held on departure. The master shall ensure that each worker is assigned to a survival craft and is directed to its location. Each person in charge of such a craft shall maintain a list of workers assigned to the craft.

(ii) On a voyage likely to take 24 hours or less to complete, the master shall call the attention of each offshore worker to the emergency instructions required by §131.330.

(3) Each abandon-ship drill must include—

(i) Summoning of crew members and offshore workers to survival craft with the general alarm;

(ii) Simulation of an abandon-ship emergency that varies from drill to drill;

(iii) Reporting of crew members and offshore workers to survival craft, and preparing for, and demonstrating the duties assigned under the procedure described in the station bill for, the particular abandon-ship emergency being simulated;

(iv) Checking to see that crew members and offshore workers are suitably dressed;

(v) Checking to see that immersion suits and lifejackets are correctly donned;

(vi) Lowering of at least one lifeboat (far enough that the davit head has completed its travel and the fall wire of the lifeboat has begun to pay out) or, if no lifeboats are required, lowering of one rescue boat, after any necessary preparation for launching;

(vii) Starting and operating of the engine of the lifeboat or rescue boat; and

(viii) Operation of davits used for launching liferafts.

(4) As far as practicable, at successive drills different lifeboats must be lowered to meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(vi) of this section.

(5) As far as practicable, each abandon-ship drill must be conducted as if there were an actual emergency.

(6) Each lifeboat must be launched with its assigned crew aboard during an abandon-ship drill, and be maneuvered in the water, at least once each 3 months that the vessel is operated.

(7) Each rescue boat must be launched with its assigned crew aboard and be maneuvered in the water—

(i) Once each month that the vessel is operated, if reasonable and practicable; but,

(ii) In any event, at least once each 3 months that the vessel is operated.

(8) If drills for launching lifeboats and rescue boats are carried out with the vessel making headway, the drills must, because of the danger involved, be practiced only in waters where the drills are safe, under the supervision of an officer experienced in such drills.

(9) At least one abandon-ship drill each 3 months must be held at night, unless the master determines it unsafe.

(10) Emergency lighting for mustering and abandonment must be tested at each abandon-ship drill.

(c) The master of each vessel carrying immersion suits shall ensure that—

(1) Each crew member either—

(i) Wears an immersion suit in at least one abandon-ship drill a month unless it is impracticable because of warm weather; or

(ii) Participates in at least one immersion-suit drill a month that includes donning an immersion suit and being instructed in its use;

(2) In each abandon-ship drill, each offshore worker aboard is instructed in the use of immersion suits; and

(3) Each offshore worker is told at the beginning of the voyage where immersion suits are stowed aboard and is encouraged to read the instructions for donning and using the suits.

(d) Each crew member aboard the vessel must be given training in the use of lifesaving appliances and in the duties assigned by the station bill.

(1) Except as provided by paragraph (d)(2) of this section, training aboard in the use of the vessel's lifesaving appliances, including equipment on survival craft, must be given to each crew member as soon as possible but not later than 2 weeks after the member joins the vessel.

(2) If a crew member is on a regularly scheduled rotating assignment to a vessel, training aboard in the use of the vessel's lifesaving appliances, including equipment on survival craft, must be given to the member not later than 2 weeks after the member first joins the vessel.

(3) Each crew member must be instructed in the use of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances and in survival at sea during alternate weeks, normally in the weeks when abandon-ship drills are not held. If individual instructional sessions cover different parts of the vessel's lifesaving system, they must cover each part of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances each 2 months. Each member must be instructed in at least—

(i) Operation and use of the vessel's inflatable liferafts;

(ii) Problems of hypothermia, first aid for hypothermia, and other appropriate procedures; and

(iii) Special procedures necessary for use of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances in heavy weather.

(4) Training in the use of davit-launched inflatable liferafts must take place at intervals of not more than 4 months on each vessel with such liferafts. Whenever practicable this must include the inflation and lowering of a liferaft. If this liferaft is a special one intended for training only, and is not part of the vessel's lifesaving system, it must be conspicuously so marked.

(e) Dates when musters are held, details of abandon-ship drills, drills on other lifesaving equipment and appliances, and training aboard must be entered in the vessel's official logbook. Each logbook entry must include the following, as applicable:

(1) Time and date.

(2) Length of drill or training session.

(3) Identification of survival craft used in drills.

(4) Subject of training session.

(5) Statement on the condition of the equipment used.

(6) Unless a full muster, drill, or training session is held at the appointed time, the circumstances and the extent of the muster, drill, or training session held.

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49340, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49235, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59782, Oct. 1, 2012]

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§131.535   Firefighting training and drills.

(a) A fire drill must be held on each vessel, normally on alternate weeks. It must not be held as part of the abandon-ship drill, nor immediately before or after the abandon-ship drill. If none can be held on schedule, because of bad weather or other unavoidable constraint, one must be held at the next opportunity.

(b) Any crew member excused from a fire drill must participate in the next one, so that each member participates in at least one each month. Unless more than 25 percent of the members have participated in one on that particular vessel in the previous month, one must be held before the vessel leaves port if reasonable and practicable; but, unless the Commandant (CG-CVC) accepts alternative arrangements as at least equivalent, one must be held not later than 24 hours after the vessel leaves port in any event.

(c) Each fire drill must include—

(1) Summoning of crew members and offshore workers to their stations with the general alarm;

(2) Simulation of a fire emergency that varies from drill to drill;

(3) Reporting of crew members and offshore workers to stations, and preparing for, and demonstrating of the duties assigned under the procedure described in the station bill for, the particular fire emergency being simulated;

(4) Starting of fire pumps and use of a sufficient number of outlets to determine that the system is working properly;

(5) Bringing out each breathing apparatus and other item of rescue and safety equipment from the emergency-equipment lockers, and demonstrating of the use of each item by the person or persons that will make use of it;

(6) Operation of each watertight door;

(7) Operation of each self-closing fire door;

(8) Closing of each fire door and each door within the fire boundary; and

(9) Closing of each ventilation closure of each space protected by a fixed fire-extinguishing system.

(d) Each fire drill must, as far as practicable, be conducted as if there were an actual emergency.

(e) The dates when fire drills are held, and details of training in fire fighting and of fire drills, must be entered in the vessel's official logbook. Each logbook entry must include the following, as applicable:

(1) Time and date.

(2) Length of drill or training session.

(3) Number and lengths of hose used.

(4) Subject of training session.

(5) Statement on the condition of the equipment used.

(6) Unless a full drill or training session is held at the appointed time, the circumstances and the extent of the drill or training session held.

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49340, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49235, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59782, Oct. 1, 2012]

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§131.540   Operational readiness.

(a) Except as provided by §131.545(e) of this subpart, ach lifesaving appliance and each item of equipment for a lifeboat, liferaft, survival craft, rescue boat, life float, or buoyant apparatus must be in good working order and ready for immediate use before the vessel leaves port and at any time when the vessel is away from port.

(b) Each deck where a lifeboat, liferaft, survival craft, rescue boat, life float, or buoyant apparatus is stowed, launched, or boarded must be kept clear of obstructions that would interfere with the breaking out, launching, or boarding of the lifesaving appliance.

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§131.545   Maintenance in general.

(a) For each lifesaving appliance, the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance of the appliances aboard must be aboard and must include the following:

(1) Checklists for use in the inspections required by §131.565(a) of this subpart.

(2) Instructions for maintenance and repair.

(3) A schedule of periodic maintenance.

(4) A diagram of lubrication points with the recommended lubricants.

(5) A list of replaceable parts.

(6) A list of sources of spare parts.

(7) A log for records of inspections, maintenance, and repair.

(b) The master shall ensure that maintenance is carried out to comply with the instructions required by paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) For lifesaving appliances constructed on or before July 1, 1986, paragraph (a) of this section need be complied with only to the extent that appliances' manufacturers' instructions are available.

(d) The cognizant OCMI may accept, instead of the instructions required by paragraph (a) of this section, a program for planned shipboard maintenance that includes the items listed in that paragraph.

(e) If lifeboats and rigid liferafts are maintained and repaired on the vessel while the vessel is under way, there must be enough lifeboats and liferafts available for use on the vessel to accommodate each person aboard the vessel.

(f) Except in an emergency, no extensive repairs or alterations may be made to any lifesaving appliance without advance notice to the cognizant OCMI. As far as possible, each repair or alteration must be made to comply with the requirements for the appliance in subchapter Q of this chapter. This OCMI may require each appliance that has been extensively repaired or in any way altered to undergo each pertinent test in subchapter Q of this chapter.

(g) The master shall report each emergency repair or alteration to a lifesaving appliance, as soon as practicable, either to the OCMI in the next port in the United States where the vessel calls or, if the vessel does not regularly call at ports in the United States, to the OCMI responsible for the next foreign port where the vessel calls.

(h) No lifeboat or rigid liferaft may be repaired or reconditioned for use on a vessel other than the one it was originally built for, unless specifically permitted by the cognizant OCMI. The lifeboat or rigid liferaft must be so repaired or reconditioned under the supervision of this OCMI, unless he or she specifically allows otherwise.

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§131.550   Maintenance of falls.

(a) Each fall used with a launching appliance must be turned end for end at intervals of not more than 30 months.

(b) Each fall used with a launching appliance must be renewed either when necessary because of deterioration or after the passage of not more than 5 years, whichever occurs earlier.

(c) Each fall used with a launching appliance must have a corrosion-resistant tag permanently marked with—

(1) The date the new fall was installed; and

(2) The last date, if any, the fall was turned end for end.

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§131.555   Spare parts and repair equipment.

Spare parts and repair equipment must be provided for each lifesaving appliance and component that either is subject to excessive wear or consumption or needs to be replaced regularly. These parts and equipment must be kept aboard the OSV, except that, if the vessel operates daily out of the same shore base, they may be kept at that base.

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§131.560   Weekly tests and inspections.

The following tests and inspections must be carried out weekly:

(a) Each lifesaving appliance and launching appliance must be visually inspected to ensure that it is ready for use.

(b) Each engine of a lifeboat or a rescue boat must be run ahead and astern for not less than 3 minutes, unless the ambient temperature is below the minimal temperature required for starting the engine.

(c) The general alarm system must be activated.

(d) Each battery for starting the engine of a lifeboat or a rescue boat, or for energizing a searchlight, a fixed installation of a radio in a lifeboat, or a portable radio, must be brought up to full charge at least once a week if the battery is—

(1) Of a type that requires recharging; and

(2) Not connected to a device that keeps it continuously charged.

(e) The transmitter of each fixed installation of a radio in a lifeboat and that of each portable radio must be tried out at least once a week with a dummy antenna load.

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§131.565   Monthly tests and inspections.

(a) Each lifesaving appliance, including lifeboat equipment, must be inspected monthly against the checklist required by §131.545(a)(1) of this subpart to ensure that it is aboard and in good order. A report of the inspection, including a statement on the condition of the appliance, must be entered in the vessel's logbook.

(b) Each Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and each Search and Rescue Transponder (SART), other than an EPIRB or SART in an inflatable liferaft, must be tested monthly. The EPIRB must be tested using the integrated test circuit and the output indicator (test button) to determine that it works.

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§131.570   Quarterly inspections.

(a) Each apparatus that controls a lifeboat winch, including motor controllers, emergency switches, master switches, and limit switches, must be inspected once each 3 months.

(b) The inspection must involve the removal of drain plugs and the opening of drain valves to ensure that enclosures are free of water.

(c) The date of the inspection required by this section and the condition of the equipment must be entered in the vessel's logbook.

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§131.575   Yearly inspections and repair.

(a) Each lifeboat, rescue boat, rigid liferaft, buoyant apparatus, and life float must be stripped, cleaned, and thoroughly inspected and repaired as needed at least once a year. This procedure includes emptying and cleaning each fuel tank and refilling it with fresh fuel.

(b) Each davit, winch, fall, and other launching-appliance must be thoroughly inspected at least once a year, and repaired as needed.

(c) Each item of survival equipment with an expiration date must be replaced during the annual inspection and repair if this date has passed.

(d) Each battery used in an item of survival equipment and clearly marked with an expiration date must be replaced during the annual inspection and repair if this date has passed.

(e) Except a storage battery used in a lifeboat or in a rescue boat, each battery used in an item of survival equipment and not clearly marked with an expiration date must be replaced during the annual inspection and repair.

(f) Compliance with the requirements of this section does not relieve the master or person in charge of the duty of compliance with requirements in §131.540(a) of this subpart to keep the equipment ready for immediate use when the vessel is under way.

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§131.580   Servicing of inflatable liferafts, inflatable lifejackets, inflatable buoyant apparatus, and inflated rescue boats.

(a) An inflatable liferaft or inflatable buoyant apparatus must be serviced at a facility specifically approved by the Commandant for the particular brand, and in accordance with servicing procedures meeting the requirements of part 160, subpart 160.151, of this chapter—

(1) No later than the month and year on its servicing sticker affixed under 46 CFR 160.151-57(n), except that servicing may be delayed until the next scheduled inspection of the vessel, provided that the delay does not exceed 5 months; and

(2) Whenever the container is damaged or the container straps or seals are broken.

(b) Each inflatable lifejacket and hybrid inflatable lifejacket or work vest must be serviced:

(1) Within 12 months of its initial packing; and

(2) Within 12 months of each subsequent servicing, except that servicing may be delayed until the next scheduled inspection of the OSV, provided that the delay does not exceed 5 months.

(c) Each inflatable lifejacket must be serviced in compliance with subpart 160.176 of this chapter.

(d) Each hybrid inflatable lifejacket or work vest must be serviced in accordance with the manual provided under §160.077-29 of this chapter.

(e) Repair and maintenance of inflatable rescue boats must follow the manufacturers' instructions. Each repair, except an emergency repair made aboard the vessel, must be made at a servicing facility approved by the Commandant (CG-ENG).

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49340, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2002-11118, 67 FR 58541, Sept. 17, 2002; USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49235, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59782, Oct. 1, 2012]

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§131.585   Periodic servicing of hydrostatic-release units.

(a) Except a disposable hydrostatic-release unit with an expiration date, each hydrostatic-release unit must be serviced—

(1) Within 12 months of its manufacture and within 12 months of each subsequent servicing, except when a servicing due after 12 months is delayed not more than 5 months until the next scheduled inspection of the vessel; and

(2) In compliance with subpart 160.062 of this chapter.

(b) The springs of each spring-tensioned gripe used with a hydrostatic-release unit must be renewed when the unit is serviced and tested.

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§131.590   Firefighting equipment.

(a) The master shall ensure that the vessel's required firefighting equipment is on board in the prescribed location and always ready for use, other than when the equipment is being serviced.

(b) The master shall, at least once each 12 months, ensure the performance of the tests and inspections of each portable fire extinguisher, semiportable fire extinguisher, and fixed fire-extinguishing system aboard described by Table 132.350 of this subchapter.

(c) The master shall keep records of these tests and inspections, showing the dates of their performance, the number or other identification of each unit undergoing them, and the name of the person or company conducting them. The records must be made available to the marine inspector upon request and must be kept for the period of validity of the vessel's current Certificate of Inspection.

(d) The conducting of tests and inspections required by this section does not relieve the master of his or her responsibility to maintain the prescribed firefighting equipment in working order for use at any time when the vessel is under way.

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49340, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58284, Sept. 29, 2014]

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