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MARITIME SAFETY & SECURITY BULLETIN
February 2, 2021
COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System
On January 21 2021 the President of the United States of America issued Executive Order (13998), Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel that requires masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels, including ferries” to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued order, Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks while on Transportation Hubs, 29JAN2021, requires all persons travelling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask.
This Order requires conveyance operators to use best efforts to ensure that any person on the conveyance wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. Depending on the circumstances, best efforts may include:
boarding only those persons who wear masks;
instructing persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask on the conveyance and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law;
monitoring persons on board the conveyance for anyone who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such persons;
at the earliest opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply;
providing persons with prominent and adequate notice to facilitate awareness and compliance of the requirement of this Order to wear a mask; best practices may include, if feasible, advanced notifications on digital platforms, such as on apps, websites, or email; posted signage in multiple languages with illustrations; printing the requirement on transit tickets; or other methods as appropriate.
The CDC has guidance on the definition of a mask and how to properly wear a mask at the following link https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html
Under Title 42 of the United States Code section 268, the Coast Guard is charged with enforcing CDC quarantine orders. Owners, operators, and crew of vessels that fail to implement the mask wearing order above may be subject to civil or criminal penalties from the CDC. Furthermore, based on the scientific determination of the CDC, the Coast Guard finds that failure to wear a mask creates an undue safety risk by increasing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between passengers, the crew of the vessel, and port operators. COVID-19 is known to cause severe illness and death which impacts the safe operations of ships and port facilities. The Coast Guard has broad authority to control the movement and operations of a vessel based on a hazardous condition found on that vessel (see 33 CFR § 160.111). Vessels that have not implemented the mask requirement may be issued a Captain of the Port (COTP) order directing the vessel’s movement and operations; repeated failure to impose the mask mandate could result in civil penalties and/or criminal action.
Persons that wish to report vessels not operating in accordance with the Executive Order or CDC Order may email the Coast Guard at firstname.lastname@example.org. This shared email inbox is not monitored on a continuous basis. If there is an emergency, it should not be reported to this email inbox, but rather to local authorities through proper emergency channels.
Vessel owners and operators are encouraged to monitor the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/ for the most up to date guidance.
State, local, Tribal, and territorial laws or rules imposing public health measures that are more protective of public health than those required by the CDC, are an acceptable equivalency for these requirements. Vessel operators who believe local mask wearing requirements fit this exemption should contact the local COTP.
Richard V. Timme, RDML, U. S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy
May 30, 2020
We are open for sailing charters!
At last, some of the Maryland COVID-19 restrictions have been eased so we can now conduct sailing adventures in Annapolis and Baltimore again.
In order to protect all aboard, everyone must have a face covering with them. Face coverings are required to be worn by all over the age of two years. of age when social distancing is not possible. While the open-air decks of our vessel provides plenty of fresh air, there are other times while onboard, (moving about, embarking and disembarking, etc.) when the keeping of 6’ distance from others is simply not possible especially with our Crew preforming their duties. Due to the close quarters below, passengers will not be allowed below except for going below deck to use the head (restroom) onboard. Passengers assisting with raising the sails and steering at the helm will not be able available while under the physical distancing guidelines. We intend to operate responsibly and provide our passenger, Captains and Crews the safest sailing environment in today’s challenging environment.
In keeping with the Maryland COVID-19 and maritime industry guidance, the following requirements are in place:
As the guidelines dictate, no more than ten persons are allowed on a vessel. As a result, we are limiting the number of passengers that we can sail with to eight with a crew of two.
All aboard self-certify that they have not been exposed or have tested positive for COVID-19 and remain free of symptoms. The Captain and Crew will have their temperatures recorded prior to passenger embarkation.
Face masks shall be worn by all passengers over the age of 2 years, the Captain and Crew while boarding, disembarking and whenever social distancing is not possible. This should make interesting tan lines for conversations later.
Hand sanitizer will be available onboard and surfaces that are handled often will be sanitized regularly. You may also bring your own sanitizer.
To the extent possible, passengers shall keep social distances from each other, and the Captain and Crew while onboard. There is plenty of space and open-air seating available onboard.
We are closely adhering to the guidelines set forth by maritime industry standard and in accordance with the Center for Disease Control, (CDC) guidelines on how to safely operate under COVID-19 conditions. In addition, are following the State of Maryland Re-Opening Guidelines as they pertain to our industry. Please also note that the guidelines may change over time and the procedures implemented may be adjusted. For any major changes in procedures, our previously booked charters primary contact will be notified.
Once the remaining restriction on the number of persons allowed onboard are lifted, we will be back to accommodating up to 20 passengers.
When chartering aboard SV ‘PINTINA’, you and your guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. You have advised all of the other passengers in your group who are sick to stay home. You also agree to communicate the above risk message to all of the other passengers in your group.
We ask that you continue to support your local businesses and remember, this Veteran owned small business also needs your support and patronage. Please book your private sailing charter soon for your next friends, family, and or corporate outings. We are looking forward to harnessing the wind and creating memories with you.