District Staff Officer-VESSEL EXAMINATIONS
Edwin W Seda

ADSO-VE Central Area
John B. Hunter ADSO-VE Eastern Area
Kevin Behr ADSO-VE Western Area
Auxiliarist giving a Vessel Exam

The following is a PowerPoint slide show explaining best practices for submitting a “new” facility into AuxData 2. Also it provides pointers about removing a facility that is no longer offered for use.


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Courtesy Examination Sticker

Courtesy Examination Sticker from 1966

Usual Disclaimer:  The Vessel Examiner web pages are intended to communicate with and disseminate information to Auxiliary members. Do not contact the webmaster regarding these pages. Contact the DSO-VE for information and questions.

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The Vessel Examiner web pages are intended to communicate with and disseminate information to Auxiliary members.

The Vessel Safety Check Program is intended to serve as a “prevention through education, outreach and volunteer compliance” activity and to help recreational boaters gain a respect for the boating environment as a result of the Vessel Safety Check encounter.

Thus, these pages will reflect the efforts of the Department of Vessel Examination to promote “Safe Boating” to the boating public.

We hope you will find them interesting and informative.

For more information from the National VE Department, click here

VE Workshop 2024

Attestation for 2024

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Engine Cut-off Switch Wear Requirement 

Over the last three years (2018-2020), Congress has passed two laws requiring, first, that manufacturers install engine cut-off switches on recreational vessels and, second, that recreational vessel operators use those engine cut-off switches. The laws that have placed these requirements on recreational vessel manufacturers and recreational vessel operators are found in United States Code (USC), as opposed to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) where these types of requirements are typically found. These are federal laws and not enforceable by state and local marine officers at this time. These new laws will improve safety for all recreational boaters by reducing the potential for propeller injuries to recreational vessel operators, other users of the nation’s waterways, and marine law enforcement officers responsible for responding to runaway boats.

More specifically, Section 503 of the LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 created 46 USC 4312 to require a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer that installs propulsion machinery and associated starting controls on a covered recreational vessel (less than 26 feet long and capable of 115 pounds of static thrust) to equip the vessel with an ECOS per compliant with ABYC Standard A-33. This law went into effect on December 4, 2019 one year after the 2018 CGAA was enacted and is referred to as the “installation requirement.”

Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 amended 46 USC 4312 to require individuals operating those recreational vessels covered by the installation requirement to use ECOS links, except if the main helm is within an enclosed cabin or the vessel does not have and is not required to have an ECOS. It provides a penalty of $100, $250, and $500 for the first, second, and third offenses, respectively. The law goes into effect on April 1, 2021. This requirement is referred to as the “use requirement.”

The seven States listed below have ECOS laws:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Texas

The Coast Guard will be contacting those states to discuss those laws this coming month. Federal law preempts States from enacting or enforcing a law on a subject that is different from a federal law on the same subject. However, the Coast Guard has the authority to provide an exemption from preemption if recreational vessel safety is not adversely affected, as when a state law is close enough to the federal law and does not adversely affect recreational vessel safety.

The Coast Guard is putting together a press release, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other educational materials on this new boating safety requirement and will disseminate those prior to the April 1, 2021 deadline. The Coast Guard will also make a presentation on this topic at the BLA Workshop. If you have any questions please contact your state coordinator

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Attention: All Vessel Examiners

From Sector Delaware to D5NR Vessel Examiners


B. 46 CFR 25.30
C. 46 CFR 28.160
D. USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination – (Form CG-5587)
E. Vessel Safety Check Manual, COMDTINST M16796.8 (series)

1. Purpose. This ALCOAST announces the enforcement, dockside examination, vessel safety check, and vessel inspection procedures for vessels with a recalled Kidde Fire Extinguisher.

2. Discussion.
A. On November 2, 2017, Kidde issued a voluntary recall, REF (A), of two styles of disposable fire extinguishers that identified 142 models of Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles or push button indicators manufactured between January 1, 1973 and September 22, 2017; these extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.
B. Presently, the recalled fire extinguishers remain approved by the Coast Guard and COMDT (CG-ENG) is working with the manufacturer to more fully understand the risk of failure.

3. Action. Effective immediately, adhere to the following enforcement, inspection, and examination procedures:
A. Educate the owner and/or operator of any inspected or uninspected vessel with a recalled Kidde fire extinguisher onboard about the recall and replacement process for getting a new fire extinguisher. The recall and replacement procedures can be found at the following websites:
(a) Consumer Products Safety Commission: Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported

  (b) Marine Safety Alert: http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/CG-5PC/INV/Alerts/1217.pdf. Do not issue a written warning or violation solely based on the presence of a voluntary recalled Kidde fire extinguisher that otherwise appears in good and serviceable condition. If asked about the risk associated with the recalled fire extinguishers, advise the owner and/or operator to REF (A).

  B. Dockside Commercial Fishing Vessel Examinations: Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiners (CFVE) shall continue to document CFVS exams and issue safety decals IAW current policy for both mandatory and voluntary exams. The presence of recalled fire extinguishers shall not prevent the issuance of a safety decal even if the fire extinguishers subject to this recall are used to fulfill carriage requirements found in REFs (B) and (C). If all requirements for issuing a decal are otherwise met, then issue a safety decal but note on the “Continuation Sheet” of REF (D) that the CFV has recalled fire extinguishers aboard and that the CFVE notified the owner and/or operator of the CFV of the recall.

  C. Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron Vessel Safety Checks (VSC): Recalled fire extinguishers shall not prevent issuance of a VSC decal. Vessel Examiners shall issue a VSC decal to any vessel that receives a VSC in which a recalled fire extinguisher is on board and needed to meet carriage requirements when all other VSC requirements are met IAW REF (E).
If a recalled extinguisher is found and fulfills a carriage requirement, the vessel examiner shall annotate the VSC form by placing an asterisk and the word “RECALL” next to item 5, Fire Extinguishers, and provide a copy of the recall notice to the vessel owner. Vessel Examiners shall retain a copy of any VSC form annotated pursuant to this message until further notice. Auxiliary vessel examiners shall inform anyone requesting a VSC of the recall and the prudence in replacing recalled fire extinguishers.

  D. All other Inspected vessels: Educate all owners and/or operators of vessels with a recalled Kidde fire extinguisher onboard on the recall and replacement process for getting a new, non-recalled fire extinguisher. No enforcement action or deficiencies will be documented (e.g., COMDT (CG-835)), but please record notification of recall in MISLE activity narrative.

4. POCs

  A. Auxiliary VSC: BMCM Dennis OConnell, COMDT (CG-BSX-12), (202) 372-1265, Dennis.A.OConnell@uscg.mil.

  B. Recreational Boating: Joseph Carro, COMDT (CG-BSX-2), (202) 372-1068, Joseph.J.Carro@uscg.mil.

  C. CFV Dockside Exams: Joseph Myers, COMDT (CG-CVC-3), (202) 372-1249, Joseph.D.Myers@uscg.mil.

  D. Inspected Vessels: CDR Jennifer Hnatow, COMDT (CG-CVC-1), (202) 372-1215, Jennifer.L.Hnatow@uscg.mil

  E. MLE: CDR Kristi Bernstein, COMDT (CG-MLE-2), (202) 372-2166, Kristi.L.Bernstein@uscg.mil.


For questions related to USCG approval of portable fire extinguishers, please send an email to: TypeApproval@uscg.mil
5. Released by RDML J. P Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy.
6. Internet release is authorized.