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In wake of boat fire, Coast Guard sets out new safety rules on preparedness, battery charging

Richard Winton, Mark Puente and Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

-- Review the vessel log book and ensure records of crew training, emergency drills and equipment maintenance are logged and current. Additionally, it is recommended that the master complete log entries to demonstrate to the Coast Guard that the vessel is operating in compliance with routes and conditions found on the certificate.

-- Ensure all required firefighting and lifesaving equipment is on board and operational.

-- Reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords.

-- Review the overall condition of the passenger accommodation spaces and any other space that is readily available to passengers during the voyage for unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements.

Authorities said it could take a year to complete the investigation. But issuing the safety bulletin was seen as an urgent first step.


"In some instances, our marine casualty boards identify pressing safety issues related to vessel stability, the engine room, or lifesaving and firefighting equipment," the Coast Guard said in a statement. "In those instances, we issue safety alerts or bulletins to ensure a widespread dissemination of the most recent safety guidance."

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