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e-CFR data is current as of September 23, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter MPart 140 → Subpart F


Title 46: Shipping
PART 140—OPERATIONS


Subpart F—Vessel Operational Safety


Contents
§140.600   Applicability.
§140.605   Vessel stability.
§140.610   Hatches and other openings.
§140.615   Examinations and tests.
§140.620   Navigational safety equipment.
§140.625   Navigation underway.
§140.630   Lookout.
§140.635   Navigation assessment.
§140.640   Pilothouse resource management.
§140.645   Navigation safety training.
§140.650   Operational readiness of lifesaving and fire suppression and detection equipment.
§140.655   Prevention of oil and garbage pollution.
§140.660   Vessel security.
§140.665   Inspection and testing required when making alterations, repairs, or other such operations involving riveting, welding, burning, or like fire-producing actions.
§140.670   Use of auto pilot.

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§140.600   Applicability.

This subpart applies to all towing vessels unless otherwise specified. Certain vessels remain subject to the navigation safety regulations in 33 CFR part 164.

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§140.605   Vessel stability.

(a) Prior to getting underway, and at all other times necessary to ensure the safety of the vessel, the master or officer in charge of a navigational watch must determine whether the vessel complies with all stability requirements in the vessel's trim and stability book, stability letter, COI, and Load Line Certificate, as applicable.

(b) A towing vessel must be maintained and operated so the watertight integrity and stability of the vessel are not compromised.

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§140.610   Hatches and other openings.

(a) All towing vessels must be operated in a manner that minimizes the risk of down-flooding and progressive flooding.

(b) The master must ensure that all hatches, doors, and other openings designed to be watertight or weather-tight function properly.

(c) The master or officer in charge of a navigational watch must ensure all hatches and openings of the hull and deck are kept tightly closed except:

(1) When access is needed through the opening for transit;

(2) When operating on rivers with a tow, if the master determines the safety of the vessel is not compromised; or

(3) When operating on lakes, bays, and sounds, without a tow during calm weather, and only if the master determines that the safety of the vessel is not compromised.

(d) Where installed, all watertight doors in watertight bulkheads must be closed during the operation of the vessel, unless they are being used for transit between compartments; and

(e) When downstreaming, all exterior openings at the main deck level must be closed.

(f) Decks and bulkheads designed to be watertight or weathertight must be maintained in that condition.

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§140.615   Examinations and tests.

(a) This section applies to a towing vessel not subject to 33 CFR 164.80.

(b) Prior to getting underway, the master or officer in charge of a navigational watch of the vessel must examine and test the steering gear, signaling whistle, propulsion control, towing gear, navigation lights, navigation equipment, and communication systems of the vessel. This examination and testing does not need to be conducted more than once in any 24-hour period.

(c) The results of the examination and testing must be recorded in the TVR, official logbook, or in accordance with the TSMS applicable to the vessel.

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§140.620   Navigational safety equipment.

(a) This section applies to a towing vessel not subject to the requirements of 33 CFR 164.82.

(b) The owner, managing operator, or master of each towing vessel must maintain the required navigational-safety equipment in a fully-functioning, operational condition.

(c) Navigational safety equipment such as radar, gyrocompass, echo depth-sounding or other sounding device, automatic dependent surveillance equipment, or navigational lighting that fails during a voyage must be repaired at the earliest practicable time. The owner, managing operator, or master must consider the state of the equipment (along with such factors as weather, visibility, traffic, and the dictates of good seamanship) when deciding whether it is safe for the vessel to proceed.

(d) The failure and subsequent repair or replacement of navigational safety equipment must be recorded. The record must be made in the TVR, official logbook, or in accordance with the TSMS applicable to the vessel.

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§140.625   Navigation underway.

(a) At all times, the movement of a towing vessel and its tow must be under the direction and control of a master or mate (pilot) properly licensed under subchapter B of this chapter.

(b) The master or officer in charge of a navigational watch must operate the vessel in accordance with the conditions and restrictions stated on the COI and the TSMS applicable to the vessel.

Note to §140.625. Certain towing vessels subject to §140.625 are also subject to the requirements of 33 CFR 164.78.

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§140.630   Lookout.

(a) Throughout the trip or voyage the master and officer in charge of the navigational watch must assess the requirement for a lookout, consistent with 33 CFR 83.05. A lookout in addition to the master or mate (pilot) should be added when necessary to:

(1) Maintain a state of vigilance with regard to any significant change in the operational environment;

(2) Assess the situation and the risk of collision/allision;

(3) Anticipate stranding and other dangers to navigation; and

(4) Detect any other potential hazards to safe navigation.

(b) In determining the requirement for a lookout, the officer in charge of the navigational watch must take full account of relevant factors including, but not limited to: state of weather, visibility, traffic density, proximity of dangers to navigation, and the attention necessary when navigating in areas of increased vessel traffic.

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§140.635   Navigation assessment.

(a) The officer in charge of a navigational watch must conduct a navigation assessment for the intended route and operations prior to getting underway. The navigation assessment must incorporate the requirements of pilothouse resource management of §140.640, assess operational risks, and anticipate and manage workload demands. At a minimum, this assessment must consider:

(1) The velocity and direction of currents in the area being transited;

(2) Water depth, river stage, and tidal state along the route and at mooring location;

(3) Prevailing visibility and weather conditions and changes anticipated along the intended route;

(4) Density (actual and anticipated) of marine traffic;

(5) The operational status of pilothouse instrumentation and controls, to include alarms, communication systems, variation and deviation errors of the compass, and any known nonconformities or deficiencies;

(6) Air draft relative to bridges and overhead obstructions taking tide and river stage into consideration;

(7) Horizontal clearance, to include bridge transits;

(8) Lock transits;

(9) Navigation hazards such as logs, wrecks or other obstructions in the water;

(10) Any broadcast notice to mariners, safety or security zones or special navigation areas;

(11) Configuration of the vessel and tow, including handling characteristics, field of vision from the pilothouse, and activities taking place onboard;

(12) The knowledge, qualifications, and limitations of crewmembers who are assigned as members on watch and the experience and familiarity of crewmembers with the towing vessels particulars and equipment; and

(13) Any special conditions not covered above that impact the safety of navigation.

(b) The officer in charge of a navigational watch must keep the navigation assessment up-to-date to reflect changes in conditions and circumstances. This includes updates during the voyage or trip as necessary. At each change of the navigational watch, the oncoming officer in charge of the navigational watch must review the current navigation assessment for necessary changes.

(c) The officer in charge of a navigational watch must ensure that the navigation assessment and any updates are communicated to other members of the navigational watch.

(d) A navigation assessment entry must be recorded in the TVR, official log, or in accordance with the TSMS applicable to the vessel. The entry must include the date and time of the assessment, the name of the individual making the assessment, and the starting and ending points of the voyage or trip that the assessment covers.

Note to §140.635. Certain towing vessels subject to §140.635 are also subject to the voyage planning requirements of 33 CFR 164.80.

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§140.640   Pilothouse resource management.

(a) The officer in charge of a navigational watch must:

(1) Ensure that other members of the navigational watch have a working knowledge of the navigation assessment required by §140.635, and understand the chain of command, the decision-making process, and the fact that information sharing is critical to the safety of the vessel.

(2) Ensure that the navigation assessment required by §140.635 is complete, updated, communicated and available throughout the trip.

(3) Ensure that watch change procedures incorporate all items listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(4) Take actions (to include delaying watch change or pausing the voyage) if there is reasonable cause to believe that an oncoming watchstander is not immediately capable of carrying out his or her duties effectively.

(5) Maintain situational awareness and minimize distractions.

(b) Prior to assuming duties as officer in charge of a navigational watch, a person must:

(1) Complete the navigation assessment required by §140.635;

(2) Verify the operational condition of the towing vessel; and

(3) Verify that there are adequate personnel available to assume the watch.

(c) If at any time the officer in charge of a navigational watch is to be relieved when a maneuver or other action to avoid any hazard is taking place, the relief of that officer in charge of a navigational watch must be deferred until such action has been completed.

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§140.645   Navigation safety training.

(a) Prior to assuming duties related to the safe operation of a towing vessel, each crewmember must receive training to ensure that they are familiar with:

(1) Watchstanding terms and definitions;

(2) Duties of a lookout;

(3) Communication with other watchstanders;

(4) Change of watch procedures;

(5) Procedures for reporting other vessels or objects; and

(6) Watchstanding safety.

(b) Crewmember training must be recorded in the TVR, official logbook, or in accordance with the TSMS applicable to the vessel.

(c) Credentialed mariners holding Able Seaman or officer endorsements will be deemed to have met the training requirements in this section.

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§140.650   Operational readiness of lifesaving and fire suppression and detection equipment.

The owner, managing operator, or master of a towing vessel must ensure that the vessel's lifesaving and fire suppression and detection equipment complies with the applicable requirements of parts 141 and 142 of this subchapter and is in good working order.

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§140.655   Prevention of oil and garbage pollution.

(a) Each towing vessel must be operated in compliance with:

(1) Applicable sections of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, including section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1321);

(2) Applicable sections of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.); and

(3) Parts 151, 155, and 156, of 33 CFR, as applicable.

(b) Each towing vessel must be capable of preventing all oil spills from reaching the water during transfers by:

(1) Pre-closing the scuppers/freeing ports, if the towing vessel is so equipped;

(2) Using fixed or portable containment of sufficient capacity to contain the most likely spill, if 33 CFR 155.320 does not apply; or

(3) Pre-deploying sorbent material on the deck around vents and fills.

(c) No person may intentionally drain oil or hazardous material into the bilge of a towing vessel from any source. For purposes of this section, “oil” has the same meaning as “oil” defined in 33 U.S.C. 1321.

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§140.660   Vessel security.

Each towing vessel must be operated in compliance with:

(a) The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (46 U.S.C. Chapter 701); and

(b) 33 CFR parts 101 and 104, as applicable.

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§140.665   Inspection and testing required when making alterations, repairs, or other such operations involving riveting, welding, burning, or like fire-producing actions.

(a) The inspections and issuance of certificates required by this section must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of NFPA 306 (incorporated by reference, see §136.112 of this subchapter) before alterations, repairs, or other operations involving riveting, welding, burning, or other fire producing actions may be made aboard a vessel.

(b) Until an inspection has been made to determine that such operation can be undertaken with safety, no alterations, repairs, or other such operations involving riveting, welding, burning, or like fire-producing actions must be made:

(1) Within or on the boundaries of cargo tanks which have been used to carry combustible liquid or chemicals in bulk;

(2) Within or on the boundaries of fuel tanks; or,

(3) To pipe lines, heating coils, pumps, fittings, or other appurtenances connected to such cargo or fuel tanks.

(c) Such inspections must be made and evidenced as follows:

(1) In ports or places in the United States or its territories and possessions the inspection must be made by a marine chemist certificated by the National Fire Protection Association. However, if the services of such certified marine chemist are not reasonably available, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), upon the recommendation of the vessel owner and his or her contractor or their representative, must select a person who, in the case of an individual vessel, must be authorized to make such inspection. If the inspection indicated that such operations can be undertaken with safety, a certificate setting forth the fact in writing and qualified as may be required, must be issued by the certified marine chemist or the authorized person before the work is started. Such qualifications must include any requirements as may be deemed necessary to maintain the safe conditions in the spaces certified throughout the operation and must include such additional tests and certifications as considered required. Such qualifications and requirements must include precautions necessary to eliminate or minimize hazards that may be present from protective coatings or residues from cargoes.

(2) When not in such a port or place, and a marine chemist or such person authorized by the OCMI, is not reasonably available, the inspection must be made by the master or person in charge and a proper entry must be made in the vessel's logbook.

(d) The master or person in charge must secure copies of certificates issued by the certified marine chemist or such person authorized by the OCMI. The master or person in charge must maintain a safe condition on the vessel by full observance of all qualifications and requirements listed by the marine chemist or person authorized by the OCMI in the certificate.

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§140.670   Use of auto pilot.

Except for towing vessels in compliance with requirements in 33 CFR 164.13(d), when an automatic pilot is used in areas of high traffic density, conditions of restricted visibility, or any other hazardous navigational situations, the master must ensure that:

(a) It is possible to immediately establish manual control of the ship's steering;

(b) A competent person is ready at all times to take over steering control; and

(c) The changeover from automatic to manual steering and vice versa is made by, or under, the supervision of the officer in charge of the navigational watch.

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