Proceedings Of The Marine

FAL 2012

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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ÀOLQJV VXFK DV PRWLRQV FRPSODLQWV VHWWOHPHQW DJUHH- PHQWV DQG EULHIV 2IÀFHUV DOVR UHFHLYH VSHFLDOL]HG advice on suspension and revocation procedures and assistance in preparing for administrative hearings. The Process The S&R mechanism is an integral part of the Coast Guard's marine casualty investigation process, as Title 46, United States Code, Section 6301, mandates Coast Guard Investigative Process sess the necessary skills, experience, and character to safely operate in the maritime transportation system. The complaint will state under what authority (Title 46, United States Code, Section 7703 or 7704) the Coast Guard is initiating the S&R action and will allege per- WLQHQW IDFWV WKH LQYHVWLJDWLQJ RIÀFHU LQWHQGV WR SURYH at the subsequent administrative hearing to establish that the offense occurred. S&R proceedings afford an opportunity for an oral, fact-finding hearing before an administrative law judge. The applicable regulations con- taining the guidelines concerning sus- pension and revocation proceedings are located in Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20. At a hearing, a merchant mariner has the right to rep- resentation by another person such as an attorney, and to obtain witnesses, records, and other evidence by sub- poena. (Source: U. S. Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Marine Inspection and Investigation School.) The S&R process is intertwined within all steps of the investigative process (see graphic); and, in the final step, WKH LQYHVWLJDWLQJ RIÀFHU ZLOO HYDOXDWH the facts, causal factors, and actions or inactions to determine if an offense occurred. Although the S&R NCOE assists investigating officers during several steps in the investigative pro- cess, their location with the National Maritime Center has proven extremely valuable during the violation analy- sis step. The S&R NCOE staff utilizes their marine safety experience work- LQJ ZLWK WKH LQYHVWLJDWLQJ RIÀFHU DQG the National Maritime Center's Medi- that the Coast Guard determine if a credentialed mariner's actions or inactions contributed to a casu- alty or incident. When a Coast Guard marine casualty LQYHVWLJDWLRQ UHYHDOV FUHGLEOH DQG VXIÀFLHQW HYLGHQFH of negligence, incompetence, misconduct, a threat to maritime security, or violations of laws or regulations LQWHQGHG WR SURPRWH PDULQH VDIHW\ LQYHVWLJDWLQJ RIÀ- cers issue complaints to begin suspension and revo- cation proceedings that can ultimately result in the suspension or revocation of a mariner's MMC. The proceedings are remedial and not penal by nature and suspension and revocation actions minimize damage to property, the environment, and the U.S. economy by ensuring that mariners continue to pos- 52 Proceedings Fall 2012 cal Evaluation Division to determine if any involved PHUFKDQW PDULQHU·V ÀWQHVV XVH RI RYHU WKH FRXQWHU or prescription medication, or medical condition may have been a factor in the casualty. When a casualty investigation reveals that a merchant mariner who holds a Coast Guard-issued MMC may EH SK\VLFDOO\ LQFRPSHWHQW WKH LQYHVWLJDWLQJ RIÀFHU may issue a complaint alleging incompetence. This initiates the suspension and revocation administra- tive process, which can ultimately conclude with the Coast Guard presenting its evidence of incompetence EHIRUH DQ DGPLQLVWUDWLYH ODZ MXGJH DW D IDFW ÀQGLQJ administrative hearing.

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