US Coast Guard SealIf you’re a mariner, you know how important it is to always stay updated on the latest news and regulations regarding marine safety. And one of the best sources for this information is the US Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs). In this blog post, we’ll talk about two recent MSIBs that have important implications for mariners: one about changes to survival craft equipment and one about the phasedown of FM-200 fire extinguishing agent.

Survival Craft Equipment
Let’s start with the first MSIB about changes to survival craft equipment (2022-July). According to the new regulations, all survival craft (lifeboats, liferafts, and inflatable boats) must now have a means of reboarding from the water. This means that if someone falls overboard, they must be able to climb back into the survival craft on their own without assistance. This is a big change from the previous regulations, which only required a means of reboarding for lifeboats. The new regulations also require that the reboarding means must be at least as strong as the survival craft to which it is attached.

FM-200 Fire Extinguishing Agent
The second MSIB is about the phasedown of FM-200 fire extinguishing agent (2022-Oct). FM-200 is a clean agent fire suppression system that is used on many commercial vessels. However, it is also a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In response, the US Environmental Protection Agency has mandated a phasedown of FM-200. The Coast Guard’s MSIB provides guidance on how to comply with this phaseout, and encourages vessel owners to consider alternative fire suppression systems such as water mist or high-pressure water mist.

It’s worth noting that MSIBs are not legally binding regulations, but they are important sources of information and guidance for mariners.

The Coast Guard uses MSIBs to communicate important safety information to the boating community, and vessel owners have a responsibility to stay informed and comply with the recommendations.

If you’re a mariner, staying informed about the latest safety regulations and recommendations is an essential part of your job. The US Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Information Bulletins are an excellent resource for this information. By staying informed and complying with the recommendations in these MSIBs, mariners can help ensure their vessels are as safe as possible.