46 CFR 131.530 - Abandon-ship training and drills.

§ 131.530 Abandon-ship training and drills.

(a) Material for abandon-ship training must be aboard each vessel. The material must consist of a manual of one or more volumes, or audiovisual training aids, or both.

(1) The material must contain instructions and information about the lifesaving appliances aboard the vessel and about the best methods of survival. Any manual must be written in easily understood terms, illustrated wherever possible.

(2) If a manual is used, there must be a copy in each messroom and recreation room for crew members or in each stateroom for them. If audiovisual aids are used, they must be incorporated in the training sessions aboard under paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) The material must explain the -

(i) Method of donning immersion suits and lifejackets carried aboard;

(ii) Mustering at assigned stations;

(iii) Proper boarding, launching, and clearing of survival craft and rescue boats;

(iv) Method of launching survival craft by people within them;

(v) Method of releasing survival craft from launching-appliances;

(vi) Use of devices for protecting survival craft in launching-areas, where appropriate;

(vii) Illumination of launching-areas;

(viii) Use of each item of survival equipment;

(ix) Instructions for emergency repair of lifesaving appliances;

(x) Use of radio lifesaving-appliances, with illustrations;

(xi) Use of sea anchors;

(xii) Use of engine and accessories, where appropriate;

(xiii) Recovery of survival craft and rescue boats, including stowage and securing;

(xiv) Hazards of exposure and need for warm clothing;

(xv) Best use of survival craft for survival; and

(xvi) Methods of retrieving personnel, including use of helicopter-mounted rescue gear (slings, baskets, stretchers) and vessel's line-throwing apparatus.

(b) An abandon-ship drill must be held on each vessel in alternate weeks. If none can be held during the appointed week, because of bad weather or other unavoidable constraint, one must be held at the first opportunity afterward. If the crew changes more than once in any 2 weeks, one must be held as soon after the arrival of each crew as practicable.

(1) Any crew member excused from an abandon-ship drill must participate in the next one, so that each member participates in at least one each month. Unless more than 25 percent of the members have participated in one on that particular vessel in the previous month, one must be held before the vessel leaves port if reasonable and practicable; but, unless the Commandant (CG-CVC) accepts alternative arrangements as at least equivalent, one must be held not later than 24 hours after the vessel leaves port in any event.


(i) On a voyage likely to take more than 24 hours to complete, a muster of offshore workers must be held on departure. The master shall ensure that each worker is assigned to a survival craft and is directed to its location. Each person in charge of such a craft shall maintain a list of workers assigned to the craft.

(ii) On a voyage likely to take 24 hours or less to complete, the master shall call the attention of each offshore worker to the emergency instructions required by § 131.330.

(3) Each abandon-ship drill must include -

(i) Summoning of crew members and offshore workers to survival craft with the general alarm;

(ii) Simulation of an abandon-ship emergency that varies from drill to drill;

(iii) Reporting of crew members and offshore workers to survival craft, and preparing for, and demonstrating the duties assigned under the procedure described in the station bill for, the particular abandon-ship emergency being simulated;

(iv) Checking to see that crew members and offshore workers are suitably dressed;

(v) Checking to see that immersion suits and lifejackets are correctly donned;

(vi) Lowering of at least one lifeboat (far enough that the davit head has completed its travel and the fall wire of the lifeboat has begun to pay out) or, if no lifeboats are required, lowering of one rescue boat, after any necessary preparation for launching;

(vii) Starting and operating of the engine of the lifeboat or rescue boat; and

(viii) Operation of davits used for launching liferafts.

(4) As far as practicable, at successive drills different lifeboats must be lowered to meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(vi) of this section.

(5) As far as practicable, each abandon-ship drill must be conducted as if there were an actual emergency.

(6) Each lifeboat must be launched with its assigned crew aboard during an abandon-ship drill, and be maneuvered in the water, at least once each 3 months that the vessel is operated.

(7) Each rescue boat must be launched with its assigned crew aboard and be maneuvered in the water -

(i) Once each month that the vessel is operated, if reasonable and practicable; but,

(ii) In any event, at least once each 3 months that the vessel is operated.

(8) If drills for launching lifeboats and rescue boats are carried out with the vessel making headway, the drills must, because of the danger involved, be practiced only in waters where the drills are safe, under the supervision of an officer experienced in such drills.

(9) At least one abandon-ship drill each 3 months must be held at night, unless the master determines it unsafe.

(10) Emergency lighting for mustering and abandonment must be tested at each abandon-ship drill.

(c) The master of each vessel carrying immersion suits shall ensure that -

(1) Each crew member either -

(i) Wears an immersion suit in at least one abandon-ship drill a month unless it is impracticable because of warm weather; or

(ii) Participates in at least one immersion-suit drill a month that includes donning an immersion suit and being instructed in its use;

(2) In each abandon-ship drill, each offshore worker aboard is instructed in the use of immersion suits; and

(3) Each offshore worker is told at the beginning of the voyage where immersion suits are stowed aboard and is encouraged to read the instructions for donning and using the suits.

(d) Each crew member aboard the vessel must be given training in the use of lifesaving appliances and in the duties assigned by the station bill.

(1) Except as provided by paragraph (d)(2) of this section, training aboard in the use of the vessel's lifesaving appliances, including equipment on survival craft, must be given to each crew member as soon as possible but not later than 2 weeks after the member joins the vessel.

(2) If a crew member is on a regularly scheduled rotating assignment to a vessel, training aboard in the use of the vessel's lifesaving appliances, including equipment on survival craft, must be given to the member not later than 2 weeks after the member first joins the vessel.

(3) Each crew member must be instructed in the use of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances and in survival at sea during alternate weeks, normally in the weeks when abandon-ship drills are not held. If individual instructional sessions cover different parts of the vessel's lifesaving system, they must cover each part of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances each 2 months. Each member must be instructed in at least -

(i) Operation and use of the vessel's inflatable liferafts;

(ii) Problems of hypothermia, first aid for hypothermia, and other appropriate procedures; and

(iii) Special procedures necessary for use of the vessel's lifesaving equipment and appliances in heavy weather.

(4) Training in the use of davit-launched inflatable liferafts must take place at intervals of not more than 4 months on each vessel with such liferafts. Whenever practicable this must include the inflation and lowering of a liferaft. If this liferaft is a special one intended for training only, and is not part of the vessel's lifesaving system, it must be conspicuously so marked.

(e) Dates when musters are held, details of abandon-ship drills, drills on other lifesaving equipment and appliances, and training aboard must be entered in the vessel's official logbook. Each logbook entry must include the following, as applicable:

(1) Time and date.

(2) Length of drill or training session.

(3) Identification of survival craft used in drills.

(4) Subject of training session.

(5) Statement on the condition of the equipment used.

(6) Unless a full muster, drill, or training session is held at the appointed time, the circumstances and the extent of the muster, drill, or training session held.

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49340, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49235, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59782, Oct. 1, 2012]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 09-May-2017 04:27

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 131 after this date.

  • 2014-09-29; vol. 79 # 188 - Monday, September 29, 2014
    1. 79 FR 58270 - Shipping and Transportation; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments
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      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective September 29, 2014.
      46 CFR Parts 1, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 24, 27, 28, 30, 35, 38, 42, 44, 45, 52, 62, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 76, 77, 78, 90, 92, 95, 97, 105, 109, 111, 114, 115, 117, 119, 121, 122, 131, 150, 151, 153, 154, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 167, 169, 171, 172, 174, 175, 176, 180, 181, 182, 185, 188, 189, 190, 194, 196, 197, and 199
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