NACO shares tips to Captains regarding routes submitted and potential of being changed by USCG

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Shared from NACO

All Gulf Members who own and/or operate a USCG vessel
with a Certificate of Inspection

From: Capt Bob Zales, II
Re: All COIs issued from Sector Mobile

I own and operate a USCG COI vessel out of Panama City, FL which is under the purview of USCG Sector Mobile. I recently renewed my COI under the 5 year renewal requirement. When I received my new COI someone at Sector Mobile had changed my original route of navigation which was to operate up to 100 miles offshore from Apalachee Bay, FL to Brownsville, TX, the area under USCG District 8 Jurisdiction. The new route was listed to operate within Sector Mobile’s area which greatly curtailed my area of operation and also created potential marine insurance liability issues since my marine insurance is based on my COI requirements.

I contacted my local USCG Inspector who provided a contact at Sector. I explained the problem and asked why the arbitrary change was made. The USCG Cmdr in Mobile began to research the issue and I was notified that my COI would be reissued with my original route as apparently over the past 4 years there were internal issues regarding COIs in Sector. After contacting Sector about the problem I contacted several other USCG COI vessel owners in the area and some had the change made on their COI while others had not. Those who found the change were unaware of the change made when they received a new COI.

Cmdr Franz in Sector was extremely helpful on this issue and informed me to contact everyone I could to inform them if their COI includes a change to their original route of navigation to operate under Sector Mobile’s area and it is different than originally issued to contact their local USCG Inspector and request their original route be reinstated. All USCG COI vessel owners and operators should read your COI carefully for any changes that may be different than your original. If any change has been made by Sector Mobile that you did not request you need to contact your local USCG Inspector. Always pay close attention to your required vessel paper work issue by any government agency. Sometimes there may be a simple typo and in cases like mine changes could be made for no apparent reason. Your operation is governed by several agencies and each can make mistakes. It is your ultimate responsibility to ensure all your required paper is up to date and as per what you have originally established.

NACO is constantly working on issues like this for the membership. This is one of the main benefits that we provide for members. Please pass on this information to others you may know who are not members as they may be informed on such issues. A $65/year regular membership or a $25/year sponsoring association membership is the best bargain you can find to help protect your business interests, help to reduce regulatory burdens, provide member benefits, and to keep you informed of all issues affecting the For Hire Charter Boat Industry.

Should anyone have any questions about this issue or NACO please contact our office.
Capt. Bob Zales, II

Sage Advice, review your documents

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