If you operate a commercial fishing vessel that operates beyond 3 nautical miles from shore, the coast guard wants to remind you that a commercial fishing vessel safety exam will be required beginning October 16th.
The dockside exam has been administered for more than a decade on a voluntary basis, but it will be required after October 16th and affects commercial fishing vessels nationwide.
The examination is free of charge and covers regulatory topics including: lifesaving equipment, communications, firefighting and various other operational readiness measures.
Vessels that pass the exam are awarded a decal noting compliance with applicable regulations, which remains valid for up to two years.
Currently, no fines are assessed if discrepancies are noted when a vessel receives a voluntary dockside safety exam.
However, after October 16, a vessel found operating beyond three nautical miles offshore without a valid decal may be subject to enforcement action.
If you need to schedule one of the dockside exams, you can call the Coast Guard marine Safety Detachment in
at 850-233-0366. Panama city
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