46 CFR § 28.265 - Emergency instructions.

§ 28.265 Emergency instructions.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, each vessel must have emergency instructions posted in conspicuous locations accessible to the crew.

(b) The instructions identified in paragraphs (d)(6), (d)(7), (d)(8), and (d)(9) of this section, may be kept readily available as an alternative to posting.

(c) On a vessel which operates with less than 4 individuals on board, the emergency instructions may be kept readily available as an alternative to posting.

(d) The emergency instructions required by this section must identify at least the following information, as appropriate for the vessel:

(1) The survival craft embarkation stations aboard the vessel and the survival craft to which each individual is assigned;

(2) The fire and emergency signal and the abandon ship signal;

(3) If immersion suits are provided, the location of the suits and illustrated instructions on the method for donning the suits;

(4) Procedures for making a distress call, such as:

(i) Make sure your communication equipment is on.

(ii) Select 156.8 MHz (VHF channel 16), 2182 kHz, or other distress frequency used in your area of operation. Note: VHF channel 16 and 2182 kHz on SSB are for emergency and calling purposes only.

(iii) Press microphone button and speaking slowly—clearly—calmly say:


(iv) Say: “This is the M/V (Insert name of your vessel), (Insert name of your vessel), (Insert name of your vessel), Over.”

(v) Release the microphone button briefly and listen for acknowledgment. If no one answers, repeat steps in paragraphs (d)(4) (iii) and (iv) of this section.

(vi) If there is still no answer, or if the Coast Guard or another vessel responds, say: “Mayday—This is the M/V (Insert Name of Your Vessel).”

(vii) Describe your position using latitude and longitude coordinates, or range and bearing from a known point.

(viii) State the nature of the distress.

(ix) Give number of individuals aboard and the nature of any injuries.

(x) Estimate the present seaworthiness of your vessel.

(xi) Describe your vessel: (Insert length, color, hull type, trim, masts, power, and any additional distinguishing features).

(xii) Say: “I will be listening on Channel 16/2182 (or other channel monitored).”

(xiii) End message by saying: “This is (insert vessel's name and call sign).”

(xiv) If your situation permits, stand by the radio to await further communication with the Coast Guard or another vessel. If no answer, repeat, then try another channel.

(5) Essential action that must be taken in an emergency by each individual, such as:

(i) Making a distress call.

(ii) Closing of hatches, airports, watertight doors, vents, scuppers, and valves for intake and discharge lines which penetrate the hull, stopping of fans and ventilation systems, and operation of all safety equipment.

(iii) Preparing and launching of survival craft and rescue boats.

(iv) Fighting a fire.

(v) Mustering of personnel including—

(A) Seeing that they are properly dressed and have put on their lifejackets or immersion suits; and

(B) Assembling personnel and directing them to their appointed stations.

(vi) Manning of fire parties assigned to deal with fires.

(vii) Special duties required for the operation of fire fighting equipment.

(6) The procedures for rough weather at sea, crossing hazardous bars, flooding, and anchoring of the vessel, such as:

(i) Close all watertight and weathertight doors, hatches and airports to prevent taking water aboard or further flooding in the vessel.

(ii) Keep bilges dry to prevent loss of stability due to water in bilges. Use power driven bilge pump, hand pump, and buckets to dewater.

(iii) Align fire pumps to use as bilge pumps, if possible.

(iv) Check all intake and discharge lines which penetrate the hull for leakage.

(v) Personnel should remain stationary and evenly distributed.

(vi) Personnel should don lifejackets and immersion suits if the going becomes very rough, the vessel is about to cross a hazardous bar, or when otherwise instructed by the master or individual in charge of the vessel.

(7) The procedures for anchoring the vessel.

(8) The procedures to be used in the event an individual falls overboard, such as:

(i) Throw a ring life buoy as close to the individual as possible;

(ii) Post a lookout to keep the individual in the water in sight;

(iii) Launch the rescue boat and maneuver it to pick up the individual in the water;

(iv) Have a crewmember put on a lifejacket or immersion suit, attach a safety line to the crewmember, and have the crewmember standby to jump into the water to assist in recovering the individual in the water if necessary;

(v) If the individual overboard is not immediately located, notify the Coast Guard and other vessels in the vicinity; and

(vi) Continue searching until released by the Coast Guard.

(9) Procedures for fighting a fire, such as:

(i) Shut off air supply to the fire—close hatches, ports, doors, ventilators, and similar openings.

(ii) Deenergize the electrical systems supplying the affected space, if possible.

(iii) Immediately use a portable fire extinguisher or use water for fires in ordinary combustible materials. Do not use water on electrical fires.

(iv) If the fire is in a machinery space, shut off the fuel supply and ventilation system and activate the fixed extinguishing system, if installed.

(v) Maneuver the vessel to minimize the effect of wind on the fire.

(vi) If unable to control the fire, immediately notify the Coast Guard and other vessels in the vicinity.

(vii) Move personnel away from the fire, have them put on lifejackets, and if necessary, prepare to abandon the vessel.

[CGD 88-079, 56 FR 40393, Aug. 14, 1991, as amended by USCG-2010-0759, 75 FR 60002, Sept. 29, 2010]