A marine inspector will often be approached by representatives of vessel safety committees, either verbally or in written petition. These individuals should be notified of any deficiencies identified during the inspection.
Sometimes, a regulation may apply but is inappropriate or not in the best interest of overall safety.
The marine inspector’s inspection reports serve as public records of vessel safety requirements and reflect upon the professionalism of the individual inspector, the marine inspection services, and the Coast Guard as a whole. Marine inspectors are encouraged to utilize the optional inspection booklets CG-840 when preparing inspection reports.
The master and chief engineer of a vessel should be notified of any deficiencies discovered by the marine inspector. This notification may be verbal or written and should include the requirement to correct the deficiency within a specific period.
The inspector should also make remark entries in the inspection narrative for any items that are only partially completed. In general, time limits for deficiency corrections should only be extended with the approval of the issuing OCMI or district commander. Exceptions to this general rule may be made when the extension is required to clarify, reconsider, or elaborate upon specific requirements. When such exceptions are made, the inspection narrative should record a detailed description of the circumstances.
Marine inspectors must be highly qualified and trained to perform their duties. They are experts in assessing a vessel’s condition and safety from the outside and inside. They also serve as representatives of a ship’s flag state to ensure that domestic statutes are adhered to. These professionals often work alongside government surveyors. They carry out various surveys, including marine warranty surveys, charter surveys, flag state inspections, and offshore structural inspections. In addition, they can conduct comprehensive repurchase surveys or AC and V (Condition and Valuation) surveys.
A marine survey is essential for various reasons, including an appraisal of a used boat to set a fair purchase price, an insurance requirement by some companies before issuing a marine policy, or to alert the new owner to potential maintenance issues they can’t see. Therefore, it is essential to prepare a vessel before its survey by making sure that all areas are accessible and that all compartments, drawers, and cabinets are open.
It is a good idea to ask for a copy of the completed inspection report from any inspector you consider using. Reputable inspectors will be quick to provide one. If they are, this may be a red flag.
OCMIs should ensure that all of the requirements they find are entered into MISLE as soon as possible, especially when it is clear that the vessel will need to enter another inspection zone before the requirements can be completed and corrected.
The OCMI and inspection personnel are responsible for determining when it is appropriate to supplement, alter, or waive the requirements contained in this volume.
Marine inspectors are bound to encounter situations where a regulation appears to apply to a particular situation but is not applicable or not in the best interests of overall safety. In such cases, the OCMI must make a judgment call and, if necessary, request advice from the district commander or Commandant via the chain of command. In addition, the OCMI must carefully consider the impact of a particular requirement before it is modified.