Passenger Vessel Association Testifies on Coast Guard Inspections

Colleen Stephens

Published Dec 4, 2019 9:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) Vice President Colleen Stephens testified before the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee last month at a hearing focused on marine safety. 

"An essential reason for PVA's existence is to promote safety among its members and indeed among all operators of domestic passenger vessels," said Stephens. "Congress can best support safety on domestic passenger vessels by strongly supporting and adequately funding and staffing the existing Coast Guard Marine Safety Mission with direct inspection of passenger vessels."

Stephens strongly cautioned Congress against delegating inspection of domestic passenger vessels from Coast Guard to third-party organizations, as has been done for towing and certain deep-sea vessels. "PVA adamantly believes that this would be a mistaken policy. Third-party organizations do not have expertise regarding smaller passenger vessels that operate on domestic routes. The current commitment to direct Coast Guard inspection of domestic passenger vessels is the preferable policy and is the best way to promote safety."

In her remarks, Stephens also pointed to the growing problem of illegal charter operations nationwide as a looming menace to public safety. "The problem of illegal charters has always existed, but it seems to have become much worse. Combating the proliferation of illegal passenger vessel charters is an important component of the Coast Guard's safety mission."  

The full testimony is available here.