The Coast Guard recognizes that to effectively respond to a passenger vessel incident, close cooperation
between the Marine Safety and Operations communities is essential. In any incident involving a passenger
vessel, members of the Marine Safety community are typically expected to establish and maintain effective
links with internal and external emergency management, firefighting, and salvage entities while members
from the Operations community focus on marshalling and employing internal and external search and
rescue resources. It is also acknowledged that both the Marine Safety and Operations communities need to
work in concert with industry, state, local and volunteer agencies to focus on preventing passenger vessel
incidents as well as preparing to respond to them.
a. This program applies to both the U.S. domestic passenger fleet and foreign flagged passenger
vessels operating out of U.S. ports. Category (a) vessels include U.S. domestic passenger vessels
(built in accordance with 46 CFR Subchapters T, K, and H.), Category (b) includes foreign flag
passenger vessels operating from U. S ports and Category (c) includes vessels carrying 6 or fewer
passengers (6-packs) for hire in accordance with 46 CFR, Subchapter C.
b. The number of vessels in the U.S. inspected passenger vessel fleet of 100 gross tons (GT) and
under is approximately 6000 vessels. There are currently around 200 Subchapter H vessels over
100 GT under U.S. registry. In addition, the fleet of approximately 130 foreign flagged passenger
vessels that embark passengers in U.S. ports is growing at an average rate of 10 ships a year. The
exact number of uninspected category (c) vessels is unknown, however, with over 45,000
merchant mariners licenses issued to operators of vessels under 100 gross tons, the fleet is likely
in the thousands, nationwide.
6. PROCEDURE. Headquarters Program Managers, Area and District Commanders, Commanding
Officers of Marine Safety Offices and Activities/Group Commanders will conduct activities as
appropriate to meet the requirements delineated in the Program Description (Enclosure 3). Enclosure (4)
describes the functional areas and responsibilities of the various Headquarters offices involved in this
Program, and Enclosure (5) outlines the relationship between these offices.
7. FORMS/REPORTS. None.
DAVID S. BELZ/s/
PAUL J. PLUTA /s/
Assistant Commandant for Operations
Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and
Encl: (1) Passenger Vessel Safety Specialists, Exercise and Response Billets
(2) Program Objectives
(3) Program Description
(4) Functional Descriptions
(5) Passenger Vessel Safety Program Relationships