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October 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dive Vessel Inspections: Not All Insured Liveaboards Have Been Thoroughly Checked

from the October, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In the aftermath of several alarming fires, groundings and sinkings by liveaboards around the world, several Undercurrent subscribers have asked what oversight exists by government agencies with regard to diving vessels. In the U.S., all licensing and vessel inspections are conducted by the U.S Coast Guard. For the most part, the USCG does a thorough and very professional job.

The licensing process requires applicants to show substantial evidence of sea time and practical experience to qualify to take the Master's examination. It's a tough test -- candidates will be challenged on Rules of the Road, safety, fire-fighting, navigation, seamanship and contingencies. Masters (captains) must show proof of ongoing sea time, and renew every five years. Chemical drug testing, a physical, security credentials and a background check are required on each renewal. Unfortunately, no actual "operational" test in maneuvering an actual boat is given. I find this remarkable....

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