33 CFR 156.330 - Operations.
(a) Unless otherwise specified in this subpart, or when otherwise authorized by the cognizant Captain of the Port (COTP) or District Commander, the master of a vessel lightering or conducting STS Operations in a zone designated in this subpart must ensure that all officers and appropriate members of the crew are familiar with the guidelines in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section and that the requirements of paragraphs (d) through (l) of this section are complied with.
(b) Lightering and STS operations must be conducted in accordance with the Ship to Ship Transfer Guide, (Petroleum) (incorporated by reference, see § 156.111) to the maximum extent practicable.
(c) Helicopter operations must be conducted in accordance with the Guide to Helicopter/Ship Operations (incorporated by reference, see § 156.111) to the maximum extent practicable.
(d) The vessel to be lightered, or the discharging vessel engaged in an STS Operation, must make a voice warning prior to the commencement of lightering activities or STS Operations via channel 13 CHF and 2182 Khz. The voice warning shall include -
(1) The names of the vessels involved;
(2) The vessels' geographical positions and general headings;
(3) A description of the operations;
(4) The expected time of commencement and duration of the operation; and
(5) Request for wide berth.
(e) In the event of a communications failure between the lightering vessels, or vessels engaged in STS Operations, or the respective persons-in-charge of the transfer, or an equipment failure affecting the vessel's cargo handling capability or ship's maneuverability, the affected vessel must suspend lightering activities, or STS Operations, and must sound at least five short, rapid blasts on the vessel's whistle. Lightering activities, or STS Operations, must remain suspended until corrective action has been completed.
(f) No vessel involved in a lightering operation, or STS Operation, may open its cargo system until the servicing vessel is securely moored alongside the vessel to be lightered (or the vessel transferring oil in an STS Operation).
(g) If any vessel not involved in the lightering operation, STS Operation, or support activities approaches within 100 meters of vessels engaged in lightering or STS Operation, the vessel engaged in lightering or STS Operation shall warn the approaching vessel by sounding a loud hailer, ship's whistle, or any other appropriate means.
(h) Only a lightering tender, a supply boat, or a crew boat, equipped with a spark arrestor on its exhaust, or a tank vessel providing bunkers, may moor alongside a vessel engaged in lightering operations or STS Operations.
(i) Lightering operations and STS Operations must not be conducted within 1 nautical mile of offshore structures or mobile offshore drilling units.
(j) No vessel engaged in lightering activities or STS Operations may anchor over charted pipelines, artificial reefs, or historical resources.
(k) All vessels engaged in lightering activities or STS Operations must be able to immediately maneuver at all times while inside a designated lightering zone. The main propulsion system must not be disabled at any time.
(l) In preparing to moor alongside the vessel to be lightered or vessel transferring oil in an STS Operation, a service vessel shall not approach the vessel closer than 1000 meters unless the service vessel is positioned broad on the quarter of the vessel transferring oil. The service vessel must transition to a nearly parallel heading prior to closing to within 50 meters of the vessel transferring oil.