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February 5th, 2010

Voluntary Commercial Passenger Vessel Safety Exams on Lake Texoma

Coast Guard personnel will conduct voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety examinations throughout the Lake Texoma region February 12-15, 2010 based upon requests received from owners of commercial passenger vessels operated on Lake Texoma.

The Coast Guard encourages vessel owners to specify a marina or other public location where Coast Guard personnel can conduct examinations to assure vessels meet established safety and credentialing requirements.  Once the courtesy exam is complete, the Coast Guard inspector issues a Coast Guard decal, a Certificate of Inspection or a boarding receipt, to document the boat’s level of compliance.

The Coast Guard is working with state and congressional delegations from Texas and Oklahoma to improve safety on Lake Texoma.  These groups are working to assure that sightseeing cruises, fishing charters, and party boats operate safely within Federal guidelines.

All mariners who carry passengers for hire on the navigable waters of the United States are required to hold an appropriate merchant mariner credential (license).  Additionally, the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) credential is commonly used by commercial vessels carrying six or fewer passengers and has lower qualification requirements.  Furthermore, all mariners must hold a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) without regard to the scope of their credentials or the waterways upon which they will operate.

Commercial vessel owners and/or operators should contact Lt. Geoffrey Scibek to schedule a voluntary uninspected passenger vessel examination at (832) 256-3257 or via e-mail atHoustonDOM@uscg.mil.

If you have any questions concerning an accident that has occurred on board a commercial passenger vessel, please e-mail the experienced Texas Maritime Lawyers of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  at info@smslegal.com.

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