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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter MPart 137 → Subpart C


Title 46: Shipping
PART 137—VESSEL COMPLIANCE


Subpart C—Drydock and Internal Structural Surveys


Contents
§137.300   Intervals for drydock and internal structural examinations.
§137.302   Documenting compliance for the Coast Guard inspection option.
§137.305   Documenting compliance for the TSMS option.
§137.310   External survey program.
§137.315   Internal survey program.
§137.317   Coast Guard oversight of drydock and internal structural examination program for vessels under the TSMS option.
§137.320   Vessels holding a valid load line certificate.
§137.322   Classed vessels.
§137.325   General conduct of examination.
§137.330   Scope of the drydock examination.
§137.335   Underwater survey in lieu of drydocking.

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§137.300   Intervals for drydock and internal structural examinations.

(a) Regardless of the option chosen to obtain a COI, upon obtaining a COI each towing vessel must then undergo a drydock and internal structural examination at the following intervals:

(1) A vessel that is exposed to salt water more than 6 months in any 12-month period since the last examination or initial certification must undergo a drydock and internal structural examination at least twice every 5 years, with not more than 36 months between examinations.

(2) A vessel that is exposed to salt water not more than 6 months in any 12-month period since the last examination or initial certification must undergo a drydock and internal structural examination at least once every 5 years.

(b) The cognizant OCMI may require additional examinations of the vessel whenever he or she discovers or suspects damage or deterioration to hull plating or structural members that may affect the seaworthiness or fitness for the route or service of a vessel. These examinations may include a drydock examination, including:

(1) An internal structural examination of any affected space of a vessel, including its fuel tanks;

(2) A removal of the vessel from service to assess the extent of the damage and to affect permanent repairs; or

(3) An adjustment of the drydock examination intervals to monitor the vessel's structural condition.

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§137.302   Documenting compliance for the Coast Guard inspection option.

The managing owner or managing operator of a towing vessel, who has selected the Coast Guard inspection option, must make their vessel available for the Coast Guard to conduct the examinations required by this subpart in accordance with the intervals prescribed in §137.300.

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§137.305   Documenting compliance for the TSMS option.

The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel, who has selected the TSMS option, must document compliance with this subpart as follows:

(a) For vessels under the external survey program, provide objective evidence of compliance with §137.310.

(b) For vessels under the internal survey program, provide objective evidence of compliance with §137.315.

(c) Provide objective evidence that the vessel has undergone a drydock and internal structural examination, including options permitted in §137.320 or §137.322.

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§137.310   External survey program.

(a) The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that has selected the TSMS option and who has chosen to demonstrates compliance through an external survey program must:

(1) Have the vessel examined by a surveyor from a TPO at the intervals prescribed in §137.300;

(2) Ensure the examination is conducted in accordance with §137.325;

(3) Ensure the TSMS applicable to the vessel includes policies and procedures for complying with this section; and

(4) Make the applicable sections of the TSMS available to the surveyor.

(b) The drydock examination and internal structural examination must be documented in a report that contains the information required in §137.135.

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§137.315   Internal survey program.

(a) The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that has selected the TSMS option and who has chosen to demonstrate vessel compliance with this subpart through an internal survey program must ensure that the TSMS applicable to the vessel includes:

(1) A survey program that meets the requirements contained in §137.325;

(2) Qualifications of the personnel authorized to carry out a survey program that are comparable to the requirements of a surveyor from a TPO as described in §139.130 of this subchapter;

(3) Procedures for documenting and reporting non-conformities and deficiencies;

(4) Procedures for reporting and correcting major non-conformities;

(5) The identification of a responsible person in management who has the authority to stop all vessel operations pending corrections, to oversee vessel compliance activities, and to track and verify the corrections of non-conformities and deficiencies; and

(6) Objective evidence that supports the completion of all elements of a vessel's drydock and internal structural examinations.

(b) The owner or managing operator must notify the TPO responsible for auditing the TSMS whenever activities related to credit drydocking or internal structural examinations are to be carried out prior to commencing the activities.

(c) The interval between examinations of each item may not exceed the applicable interval described in §137.300.

(d) The owner or managing operator must notify the cognizant OCMI of the zone within which activities related to credit drydocking or internal structural examinations are to be carried out prior to commencing the activities.

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§137.317   Coast Guard oversight of drydock and internal structural examination program for vessels under the TSMS option.

If the cognizant OCMI has reasonable cause to believe the program for the drydock examination and internal structural examination is deficient, he or she may:

(a) Require an audit of ongoing drydocking procedures and of documentation applicable to the vessel, in the presence of a representative of the cognizant OCMI;

(b) Increase the frequency of the audits;

(c) For vessels under the internal survey program, require an examination by a TPO;

(d) Require any other action within his or her authority that he or she considers appropriate; or

(e) For continued deficiencies, remove the vessel, owner, managing operator, or all three, from the TSMS option.

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§137.320   Vessels holding a valid load line certificate.

A drydock and internal structural examination performed for a towing vessel to maintain a valid load line certificate issued in accordance with subchapter E of this chapter would count as an examination required under §137.300.

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§137.322   Classed vessels.

(a) A drydock and internal structural examination performed for a towing vessel to maintain class by the American Bureau of Shipping in accordance with their rules, as appropriate for the intended service and routes, would count as an examination required under §137.300.

(b) A drydock and internal structural examination performed for a towing vessel to maintain class by a recognized classification society in accordance with their rules, as appropriate for the intended service and routes, would count as an examination required under §137.300, provided the Coast Guard has accepted their applicable rules.

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§137.325   General conduct of examination.

(a) When conducting an examination of a towing vessel as required by this subpart, the surveyor must determine whether any defect, deterioration, damage, or modifications of the hull and related structure and components may adversely affect the vessel's seaworthiness or fitness or suitability for its route or service.

(b) The examination must address the items in §137.330 as applicable, and must include:

(1) Access to internal spaces as appropriate;

(2) A visual examination of the external structure of the vessel to confirm that the condition is properly maintained; and

(3) A visual examination to confirm that unapproved modifications were not made to the vessel.

(c) The thoroughness and stringency of the examination will depend upon the condition of the vessel.

(d) The owner or managing operator must notify the cognizant OCMI when the condition of the vessel may create an unsafe condition.

(e) The cognizant OCMI may require the owner or managing operator to provide for the attendance of a surveyor or auditor from a TPO to assist with verifying the vessel's compliance with the requirements in this subpart.

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§137.330   Scope of the drydock examination.

(a) This regulation applies to all towing vessels covered by this subchapter. The drydock examination must be conducted while the vessel is hauled out of the water or placed in a drydock or slipway. The Coast Guard inspector or surveyor conducting this examination must:

(1) Examine the exterior of the hull, including bottom, sides, headlog, and stern, and examine all appendages for damage, fractures, wastage, pitting, or improper repairs;

(2) Examine each tail shaft for bends, cracks, and damage, including the sleeves or other bearing contact surfaces on the tail shaft for wear. The tail shaft need not be removed for examination if these items can otherwise be properly evaluated;

(3) Examine the rudders for damage, the upper and lower bearings for wear, and the rudder stock for damage or wear. Rudders need not be removed for examination if these items can be otherwise properly evaluated. This also includes other underwater components of steering and propulsion mechanisms;

(4) Examine the propellers for cracks and damage;

(5) Examine the exterior components of the machinery cooling system for leaks, damage, or deterioration;

(6) Open and examine all sea chests, through-hull fittings, and strainers for damage, deterioration, or fouling; and

(7) On wooden vessels, pull fastenings as required for examination.

(b) An internal structural examination required by this part may be conducted while the vessel is afloat or while it is out of the water. It consists of a complete examination of the vessel's main strength members, including the major internal framing, the hull plating and planking; voids; and ballast, cargo, and fuel oil tanks. Where the internal framing, plating, or planking of the vessel is concealed, sections of the lining, ceiling, or insulation may be removed or the parts otherwise probed or exposed to determine the condition of the hull structure. Fuel oil tanks need not be cleaned out and internally examined if the general condition of the tanks is determined to be satisfactory by an external examination.

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§137.335   Underwater survey in lieu of drydocking.

(a) This section applies to all towing vessels subject to this subchapter. If a TSMS is applicable to the vessel, the TSMS may include policies and procedures for employing and documenting an underwater survey in lieu of drydocking (UWILD). A vessel is eligible for UWILD if the Coast Guard determines that:

(1) There is no obvious damage or defect in the hull adversely affecting the seaworthiness or fitness for the vessel's route or service;

(2) The vessel has been operated satisfactorily since the last drydocking;

(3) The vessel is less than 15 years of age;

(4) The vessel has a steel or aluminum hull; and

(5) The vessel is fitted with a hull protection system.

(b) The owner or managing operator must submit an application to the cognizant OCMI at least 90 days before the vessel's next required drydock examination. The application must include:

(1) The procedure for carrying out the underwater survey;

(2) The time and place of the underwater survey;

(3) The method used to accurately determine the diver's or the remotely operated vehicle's location relative to the hull;

(4) The means for examining all through-hull fittings and appurtenances;

(5) The condition of the vessel, including the anticipated draft of the vessel at the time of the survey;

(6) A description of the hull protection system; and

(7) The names and qualifications of all personnel involved in conducting the UWILD.

(c) If a vessel is 15 years of age or older, the Commandant may approve a UWILD at alternating intervals provided that:

(1) All provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section are complied with, except that the vessel does not need to be less than 15 years of age; and

(2) During the vessel's drydock examination preceding the underwater survey, a complete set of hull gauging was taken which indicated that the vessel was free from hull deterioration.

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