46 CFR 31.10-21 - Drydock examination, internal structural examination, cargo tank internal examination, and underwater survey intervals
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, each tank vessel must undergo drydock, internal structural, and cargo tank internal examinations as follows:
(1) Except under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, vessels that operate in salt water must be inspected in accordance with the intervals set forth in table 31.10-21(a). Where table 31.10-21(a) indicates a 2.5 year examination interval, it means a vessel must undergo two examinations within any five year period. No more than three years may elapse between any two examinations.
(2) Vessels that operate in fresh water at least six months in every 12 month period since the last drydock examination must be examined in accordance with the intervals set forth in table 31.10-21(b). Where table 31.10-21(b) indicates a 2.5 year examination interval, it means a vessel must undergo two examinations within any five year period. No more than three years may elapse between any two examinations.
(b) During each inspection or reinspection for certification, all wing voids, rakes, cofferdams, and other void spaces on tank barges must be opened and checked from on-deck for the presence of water or cargo indicating hull damage or cargo tank leakage. If water or cargo is not present, these spaces need not be gas freed, ventilated, cleaned, or otherwise prepared for personnel entry. If water or cargo is present, an internal structural examination may be required.
(c) If, during an internal structural examination, cargo tank internal examination, or underwater survey, damage or deterioration to the hull plating, structural members, or cargo tanks is discovered, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, may require the vessel to be drydocked or otherwise taken out of service to further assess the extent of the damage and to effect permanent repairs.
(d) Vessels less than 15 years of age (except wooden hull vessels) that are in salt water service with a 2.5 year drydock interval (as indicated in table 31.10-21(a) of this section) or that are in fresh water service with a five year drydock interval (as indicated in table 31.10-21(b) of this section) may be considered for an underwater survey instead of alternate drydock examinations, provided the vessel is fitted with an effective hull protection system. Vessel owners or operators must apply to the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, for approval of underwater surveys instead of alternate drydock examinations for each vessel. The application must include the following information:
(1) The procedure to be followed in carrying out the underwater survey.
(2) The location where the underwater survey will be accomplished.
(3) The method to be used to accurately determine the diver location relative to the hull.
(4) The means that will be provided for examining through-hull fittings.
(5) The means that will be provided for taking shaft bearing clearances.
(6) The condition of the vessel, including the anticipated draft of the vessel at the time of the survey.
(7) A description of the hull protection system.
(e) Vessels otherwise qualifying under paragraph (d) of this section, that are 15 years of age or older may be considered for continued participation in or entry into the underwater survey program on a case-by-case basis, if -
(1) Before the vessel's next scheduled drydocking, the owner or operator submits a request for participation or continued participation to Commandant (CG-CVC);
(2) During the vessel's next drydocking after the request is submitted, no appreciable hull deterioration is indicated as a result of a complete set of hull gaugings; and
(3) The results of the hull gauging and the results of the Coast Guard drydock examination together with the recommendation of the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, are submitted to Commandant (CG-CVC) for final approval.
(f) Each vessel which has not met with the applicable examination schedules in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section because it is on a voyage, must undergo the required examinations upon completion of the voyage.
(g) The Commandant (CG-CVC) may authorize extensions to the examination intervals specified in paragraph (a) of this section.