b'Speaking of sportfishing vessels, the exceptionDelayeduntilOfficeofManagementandrule:Atpresent,thereisinsufficientdata in the law for fishing vessels refers to com- Budget Approval: tojustifyrequiringtheadditionalcostand mercialfishingvesselsandnotsportfishingcomplexity of fixed systems on existing vessels vessels where passengers pay to go fishing.Log crew and passenger egress drills; and ofnon-combustibleconstruction.Instead,under the interim rule, the Coast Guard is CONTENT OF THE INTERIM RULE Post a passenger safety bill (thatrequiring existing vessels to meet the current In general, the interim rule adds the below re- includes an emergency egress plan) inrequirements for portable fire extinguishers, quirements to 46 Code of Federal Regulations passenger accommodation spaces.which meets the intent of 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). subchapters T and K for vessels that are notAt the same time, the interim final rule will ferries that operate on a coastwise or oceansQUESTIONS RAISED allow for public comment regarding require-route or have overnight accommodations forIN THE INTERIM RULE ments for portable and fixed fire suppression passengers.TheregulationsareeffectiveonTheinterimrulenotonlyprovidesnewsystems onboard these vessels. Note: This is March 28, 2022 and will be phased in over therequirements for certain vessels, but also solic- anotherareawheretheCoastGuardcould next two years for vessels with a keel laid dateited information from the public. As detailedextendrequirementsfleet-wide.PVAstaff before the effective date. For vessels with a keelbelow,someofthequestionsaremorefarconcurs with the Coast Guard that there is not laid date on or after March 28, 2022 the belowreaching than just overnight and coastwise andcasualty data to support installing fixed extin-requirements are effective upon certification. oceans vessels. guishing systems on existing (pre 1996) steel and aluminum vessels. In addition, PVA staff By March 28, 2022, vessels must: Wakefulness Monitoring Device did an analysis that compares the portable fireDevelop safe handling procedures forFor those that operate overnight cruises, whatextinguisher requirements under Old T, Newthe operation and storage of potentiallywakefulness monitoring systems or proceduresK and T, and the 2016 update incorporating hazardous items such as rechargeableare preferable or already in use by your vessels,UL standards, and they are virtually the same. batteries (especially Lithium Ion); and if any? What is on the market already that you have researched? MOVING FORWARD Develop and implement crew firefight- PVA staff and the Regulatory Committee willing and emergency egress training. Portable Fire Extinguishersreview and comment on these regulations as Should requirements for additional portableappropriate.Nextmonth,mycolumnwill By Dec. 27, 2023, vessels must: fireextinguishersbeyondwhatiscurrentlyfocus on the new crew training requirementsInstall interconnected fire detectionrequiredin46CFR118.500or181.500beand how PVAs tools can assist operators insystems in all spaces where passengersrequiredtofacilitateproperfireprotection?complying with the new regulations.and crew have routine access, includingNote:PVAstaffbelievesthisquestionmay dining areas, sleeping quarters, andextend to all T and K vessels and not just thoseFor a detailed explanation of the changes in lounges; and operating with overnight or on coastwise oreachcategoryvisittheinterimruleonthe oceans routes.Federal Register. Install portable fire extinguishers onexisting vessels so that they meet theFixed Fire SuppressionForquestionsaboutthisrulemaking,please same current regulatory requirementsTheCoastGuardstatedintheinterimcontact me at echristensen@passengervessel.com. for new vessels.In addition, vessels regulated under Subchap-ters K and T that are not ferries and have over-nightaccommodationsforpassengersmust also meet the below requirements.By March 28, 2022: Submit plans for the installation anduse a monitoring device to ensure the wakefulness of the required night watchmen; and Conduct passenger emergency egress drills. By Dec. 27, 2024: Have two unobstructed means ofescape that are not located directly above, or dependent on, a berth; and Ensure that means of escape arrange- ments onboard existing vessels meet the same current regulatory require-ments outlined for new vessels23 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022'