(a)Maintenance. The owner, master, or operator of each towing vessel shall maintain operative the navigational-safety equipment required by § 164.72.
(b)Failure. If any of the navigational-safety equipment required by § 164.72 fails during a voyage, the owner, master, or operator of the towing vessel shall exercise due diligence to repair it at the earliest practicable time. He or she shall enter its failure in the log or other record carried on board. The failure of equipment, in itself, does not constitute a violation of this rule; nor does it constitute unseaworthiness; nor does it obligate an owner, master, or operator to moor or anchor the vessel. However, the owner, master, or operator shall consider the state of the equipment—along with such factors as weather, visibility, traffic, and the dictates of good seamanship—in deciding whether it is safe for the vessel to proceed.
(c)Reporting. The owner, master, or operator of each towing vessel whose equipment is inoperative or otherwise impaired while the vessel is operating within a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Area shall report the fact as required by 33 CFR 161.124. (33 CFR 161.124 requires that each user of a VTS report to the Vessel Traffic Center as soon as practicable:
(1) Any absence or malfunction of vessel-operating equipment for navigational safety, such as propulsion machinery, steering gear, radar, gyrocompass, echo depth-sounding or other sounding device, automatic dependent surveillance equipment, or navigational lighting;
(2) Any condition on board the vessel likely to impair navigation, such as shortage of personnel or lack of current nautical charts or maps, or publications; and
(3) Any characteristics of the vessel that affect or restrict the maneuverability of the vessel, such as arrangement of cargo, trim, loaded condition, under-keel clearance, and speed.)
(d)Deviation and authorization. The owner, master, or operator of each towing vessel unable to repair within 96 hours an inoperative marine radar required by § 164.72(a) shall so notify the Captain of the Port (COTP) and shall seek from the COTP both a deviation from the requirements of this section and an authorization for continued operation in the area to be transited. Failure of redundant navigational-safety equipment, including but not limited to failure of one of two installed radars, where each satisfies § 164.72(a), does not necessitate either a deviation or an authorization.
(1) The initial notice and request for a deviation and an authorization may be spoken, but the request must also be written. The written request must explain why immediate repair is impracticable, and state when and by whom the repair will be made.
(2) The COTP, upon receiving even a spoken request, may grant a deviation and an authorization from any of the provisions of §§ 164.70 through 164.82 for a specified time if he or she decides that they would not impair the safe navigation of the vessel under anticipated conditions.