CG Proposes New Rules For Unmanned Tanker Enginerooms

In 1977, public outcry forced the Coast Guard to withdraw its opposition to the use of unmanned enginerooms while in U.S. waters.

But, in light of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the agency is once again proposing new requirements for unmanned tanker enginerooms.

Tankers will not be allowed to operate unattended enginerooms in U.S. navigable waters unless the following regulations are adhered to: *The tanker's flag of register must have an official document onboard that states in English: "Approved for periodically unattended machinery space operation." *Before leaving the engineroom unattended, one of the ship's licensed engineers must conduct an inspection of the engineroom spaces to ensure that all equipment and alarms are operating properly.

This inspection must be logged in the official logbook and be carried out before getting underway in U.S.

waters or six hours before entering U.S. territorial waters (except for the Great Lakes).

*A designated licensed engineer must be on call at all times to answer engineroom alarms and at the direction of the deck officer on watch.

*Twelve hours before entering U.S. waters, no faults or alarm conditions have been registered in any vital ship's systems that require the attention of a licensed engineer.

The CG said that these conditions can be easily complied with at a minimal expense to tanker operators.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 53,  May 1992 Alabama

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