During this period, USCG Marine Inspectors will perform a more detailed inspection of open lifeboats and related launching appliances using the attached checklist as a guide in conjunction with regularly scheduled Coast Guard Inspections (exclusive of drydock). A final report of this CIC will be later made public.

As noted in the Commandant’s Final Action Memo on the sinking of the El Faro, the response to Safety Recommendation #3 states:

The Coast Guard agrees that open lifeboats should be phased out of operation and supports proposals from vessel owners and operators or legislation to accomplish this… …For existing vessels fitted with open lifeboats, the Coast Guard will initiate a concentrated inspection campaign to ensure that the lifeboats remain in serviceable condition. The inspection will include the launching, maneuvering and recovery of open lifeboats, and the review of related SMS procedures.

Upon evidence that the vessel, equipment, or crew do not comply with the regulations, the exam shall be expanded to include among other items, the effectiveness of the vessel’s SMS. Inspectors shall complete the applicable portions of the job aid, enter the inspection results into MISLE, and forward the completed job aid to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance along with any CG-835Vs issued that relate to this CIC.

  • For actively trading vessels that cannot launch both port and starboard lifeboats due to a particular mooring arrangement, the OCMI should issue a CG-835V requiring the untested lifeboats to be inspected in accordance with the CIC at the next feasible port or place to facilitate testing of all lifeboats while minimizing impact to vessel operations (e.g., 15- Rectify by next port; 50 – Rectify deficiencies w/in 30 days; 705 – Other, as appropriate and applicable).
  • For vessels in Reduced Operating Status (ROS) or are not actively trading where the mooring arrangement prohibits the launching of all lifeboats, the MI should issue a CG-835V requiring that all lifeboats be tested in accordance with this CIC prior to departure (i.e., 17 – prior to departure).


Serious deficiencies may result in a flag State detention, a follow-up inspection, or Safety Management System audit by the vessel’s Authorized Classification Society, Recognized Organization, or the Coast Guard.

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