USCG Issues Final Rule on Marking Sunken Vessels

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday the publication of a final rule revising its regulations to implement Section 301 of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004.

This Act authorized the Commandant of the Coast Guard to waive the statutory requirement to mark sunken vessels with a light at night if the Commandant determines that placing a light would be impractical and waiving the requirement would not create an undue hazard to navigation.

Current regulations in Title 33 Code Federal Regulations Part 64 require an owner of a vessel, raft or other craft that is wrecked and sunk in a navigable channel to immediately mark it with a buoy or a beacon during the day and a light at night, and maintain the markings until the wreck is removed.

The primary purpose of this rule is to add to the regulations a provision in section 301 of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004, codified at 33 United States Code 409, that authorizes the Commandant to waive the requirement to mark a sunken vessel, raft or other craft with a light at night if the Commandant determines it would be “impracticable and granting such a waiver would not create an undue hazard to navigation.” The Commandant has delegated to the District Commander the authority to grant this waiver.

USCG, December 25, 2013

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