The U.S. Coast Guard has proposed expanding the casualty reporting requirements applicable to facilities operating on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to match the marine casualty reporting requirements currently applicable to only U.S. flag vessels. Current OCS regulations require reporting of casualties that result in death, injury to 5 or more persons, incapacitation of any person for more than 72 hours, damage to primary lifesaving or firefighting equipment, and certain other property damage in excess of $25,000. However, U.S. flag vessels are subject to more extensive reporting requirements, covering not only the foregoing types of incidents, but also allisions, groundings, incidents resulting in a loss of propulsion or maneuverability, casualties impacting seaworthiness or fitness for service, causing or threatening significant harm to the environment, or causing injuries requiring professional medical treatment. The Coast Guard notes that because of the disparity between the reporting requirements applicable to U.S. flag vessels and those applicable to foreign vessels and other OCS facilities, which comprise the majority of facilities working on the U.S. OCS, many serious casualties may be going unreported. To address that concern, the proposed rule would require all OCS units to comply with the more extensive casualty reporting requirements currently applicable to only U.S. flag vessels. Comments on the proposed regulatory changes are due on or before April 10, 2014.

Click here to view the Proposed Rules.