§ 71.50-31Continued participation in the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) program.
(a) To continue to participate in the AHE Program, vessel operators must conduct an annual hull condition assessment. At a minimum, vessel operators must conduct an internal examination and take random hull gaugings internally during the hull condition assessment, unless waived by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). If the annual hull assessment reveals significant damage or corrosion, where temporary repairs have been made, or where other critical areas of concern have been identified, the OCMI may require an expanded examination to include an underwater hull examination using divers. If an underwater examination is required, the examination must focus on areas at higher risk of damage or corrosion and must include a representative sampling of hull gaugings.
(b) If an underwater survey is required for the annual hull condition assessment, the OCMI may require the presence of a third party examiner and a written hull examination report must be submitted to the OCMI. This report must include thickness gauging results, a copy of the audio and video recordings and any other information that will help the OCMI evaluate your vessel for continued participation in the AHE program. The third party examiner must sign the report and confirm the validity of its contents.
(c) You must submit your preventive maintenance reports or checklists on an annual basis to the OCMI. These reports or checklists must conform to the plans you submitted in your application under § 71.50-19 of this part, which the OCMI approved.
(d) Prior to each scheduled annual hull condition assessment—
(1) The owner may submit to the OCMI a plan for conducting the assessment, or a request for a waiver of this requirement, no fewer than 30 days before the scheduled assessment; and
(2) The OCMI may reduce the scope or extend the interval of the assessment if the operational, casualty, and deficiency history of the vessel, along with a recommendation of the vessel's master, indicates that it is warranted.