OCSNCOE Unit Emblem (silhouettes of a self-elevating MODU, an OSV and an offshore wind turbine over a silhouette of the United States with the U.S. Coast Guard mark (i.e., racing stripe) in the background).Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)

JACK ST. MALO during offshore construction with attending OSV and Floatel VICTORY. C-ENFORCER underway with water cannons flowing. SEVAN LOUISIANA underway when initially entering the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Platform GINA off the California coast. Block Island windfarm with attending CTV. SPARTAN 151 dockside in Seward, AK.

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Useful Resources

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- Drill Down articles are available in pdf AND web formats. See more on the Drill Down page.

D8 OCS OCMI Marine Safety Information Bulletins

- OCSNCOE-developed MODU Codes (1979, 1989 and 2009) and all of the associated IMO resolutions are available on the MODU Regulations, Policy and Guidance page.

- OSV reference books and 'old' CFRs (see tabs on the linked page)

Introduction to Dynamic Positioning (DP) Systems

Frequently Asked Questions

33 CFR Subchapter N Federal Register reference document

- Policy letters, NVICs and guidance applicable to the OCS, categorized for:

Job Aids (similar to the legacy CG-840 books) for Floating OCS Facilities, Fixed Platforms, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units and Offshore Supply Vessels

Memorandums of Understanding and Memorandums of Agreement with other federal agencies and industry partners

OCS Inspections Organization Chart

Coast Guard Maritime Industry Cybersecurity Resource Center

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As the content on the OCSNCOE site continues to grow, please contact the web content manager with any broken/non-working links discovered or with recommendations for additional content.

OCS-Related News and Information

The tabs below to contain a summary of OCS-related recent news or important updates. Topics include:

1) overarching OCS-related recent news for OCS facilities and vessels working in the minerals-based industries,
2) public notices related to OCS activities,
3) recent news for facilities and vessels working in the non-minerals-based (i.e., renewable/alternative energy) industries,
4) most recent releases of the Drill Down,
5) Floating OCS Facility policy updates, and
6) most recent OCS-related casualty investigations.


See the "Public Notices" tab for Federal Register notices related to the OCS activity and oversight. See the "Non-Mineral Energy" (NME) tab for news specific to NME-related activities.


April 22, 2024: If you are planning to attend the 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, TX May 6-9, stop by and visit with us at Booth 3071.

Snip of OTC 2024 exhibition floorplan with OCSNCOE booth description.


April 15, 2024: The D8 OCS Division published a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address recent changes to the Certificate of Compliance (COC) process for foreign MODUs. The FAQs can be viewed on the D8 OCS FAQs page.


March 26, 2024: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) published Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 03-24, Amendment to MARPOL Annex V/10: Update to Garbage Record Book Requirements. The MSIB summarizes changes to MARPOL Annex V, Regulation 10 by Resolution MEPC.360(79) that goes into force on May 1, 2024. The requirements for MARPOL V/10.3 will change from ships of 400 gross tons and above to ships of 100 gross tons and above and MARPOL V/10.3.6 is replaced in its entirety. The MSIB also addresses how this change to MARPOL affects domestic regulations that implement MARPOL requirements. MSIB 03-24 was publicized through a Maritime Commons post on March 26, 2024.


March 19, 2024: We have a new frequently asked question available that details if expiring items in a formerly Coast Guard approved, or current CG accepted first aid kit can be replaced individually. The FAQ was developed in response to questions that have arisen due to the change from CG approved first aid kits and short-term expirations of individual kit medications. See the lifesaving section of the FAQ pages for the various unit or vessel types. Essentially, a first aid kit, whether a prior CG-approved kit or a newer self-certified to ISO standard kit, does NOT have to be in an unopened condition (i.e., sealed outer wrapper) AND items with expirations can be replaced individually. See the FAQ for background, references and further explanation.


February 26, 2024: The USCG District Eight OCS OCMI cancelled D8(ocs) Policy Letter (PL) 01-2020 (Emergency Evacuation Drills on Manned Facilities with Lifeboats) via Cancellation Memo OCS-24010 and issued Revision 1 to PL 01-2022 (Verification of Training and Drills for Personnel Assigned Special or Emergency Duties on FOFs). All affected policies have been updated on the D8 FOF Regulatory Guidance and D8 Fixed Platform Regulatory Guidance pages.


February 21, 2024: The U.S. Coast Guard issued NVIC 02-24, Reporting Breaches of Security, Suspicious Activity, Transportation Security Incidents and Cyber Incidents, as supported by Executive Order 14116 issued on the same date. The NVIC was publicized via a Maritime Commons post on 23Feb. A separate Maritime Commons post on 22Feb summarizes how the E.O. expands Coast Guard authorities to address maritime cyber threats.

Also, as a reminder, CG-CVC updated the Cyber Risk Management Work Instruction (CVC-WI-027) on October 17, 2023. Changes include elaboration on the definition of “poor cyber hygiene,” clarification on procedures and standards to follow during port state control exams, amplifying information on cyber resources for marine safety personnel and updated reporting procedures in response to suspected cyber incidents onboard vessels.


February 20, 2024: The U.S. Coast Guard issued NVIC 01-24, Guidelines for Qualification for National Endorsements for Lifeboatman and Lifeboatman-Limited and STCW Endorsements for Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats and Proficiency in Survival Craft-Limited.


January 9, 2024: See our new FAQ on if/why the U.S. Coast Guard considers a vessel equipped with dynamic positioning (DP) to be self-propelled. The FAQ is posted on our General FAQs page but is also available on the MODU and mineral and non-mineral support vessels FAQs pages.


December 27, 2023: See our new FAQ detailing the applicability of construction and modification related NVICs to floating OCS facilities (FOFs) on the FOF FAQs page.


December 13, 2023: BSEE Director Kevin Sligh, and U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations (CG-DCO), Vice Admiral Peter Gautier, signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. This updated MOU supersedes the previous MOU that was signed on November 27, 2012. Enclosure (1) provides agency contacts and Enclosure (2) provides a list of Memoranda of Agreement covered by the MOU. The updated MOU and the associated MOAs are available on the BSEE/BOEM tab of our MOUs and MOAs page.


Temporary safety zone information related to current or planned windfarm project areas are consolidated at the bottom of this page.


April 9, 2024: The Coast Guard published an extension of the comment period for MTSA-regulated U.S. flagged vessels, Outer Continental Shelf facilities and U.S. facilities via Federal Register notice 89 FR 24751. Comments for this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) are now due on or before May 22, 2024. See the February 22nd entry below for additional information related to the rulemaking project.


April 4, 2024: The Coast Guard published a notice of meeting in the Federal Register at 89 FR 23601 stating that the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee will conduct a virtual meeting to discuss a new Committee task to provide comment on the U.S. Coast Guard's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Cybersecurity in the Marine Transportation System. The virtual meeting will be open to the public and will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See the referenced Federal Register Notice for pre-registration requirements for virtual access/attendance. While this Federal Advisory Committee is not typically tied to OCS activities, the proposed rulemaking on cybersecurity that they will be reviewing is applicable to OCS facilities subject to MTSA requirements. See the February 22nd entry below for more information on the cybersecurity NPRM.


March 25, 2024: PROPOSED RULE - The Coast Guard published a notice of Public Meeting and extension of comment period in the Federal Register at 89 FR 20582 regarding the establishment of shipping safety fairways along the Atlantic Coast. The public meeting is to be held at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ at 6 PM on April 17, 2024. "The proposed rule is intended to protect traditional shipping routes as well as to help facilitate development on the outer continental shelf (OCS)."

The comment period for the related Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (89 FR 3587) is extended and will now close on May 17, 2024. In this proposed rule, "the Coast Guard recognizes that there is increasing interest in offshore commercial development, including offshore renewable energy installations, and believes this development is best served by the establishment of consistent and well-defined fairways. The proposed fairways would help ensure that offshore developments remain viable by allowing developers to construct and maintain installations without risk of impeding vessel traffic."

See the notices for additional information.


March 21, 2024: PROPOSED RULE - The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (89 FR 20150) to establish temporary safety zones around the construction of each facility during the development of the Revolution Wind Farm project area located approximately 15 nautical miles (NM) offshore southeast of Point Judith, Rhode Island, 32 NM southeast of the Connecticut coast and 12 NM southwest of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. NPRM highlights:

  • Proposes to establish temporary safety zones with a 500-meter radius from each of the 67 facilities during their construction.
  • Project will include 65 wind turbine generators and two offshore substations.
  • Temporary safety zones would be effective from June 1, 2024, through 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2027.

Comments must be received no later than April 22, 2024. See the NPRM for additional details.


March 14, 2024: PROPOSED RULE - The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (89 FR 18706) for Mariner Credentialing Program Transformation. The NPRM proposes:

  • to allow for the electronic submission of information required for credentialing to allow for the future implementation of a new information technology system to support the mariner credentialing process;
  • to require the electronic payment of mandatory fees for merchant mariner credentials through Pay.Gov;
  • to remove the requirement for prospective mariners to take an oath before an authorized official;
  • to change the requirements for the Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariners; and
  • technical amendments to update addresses and websites, to remove antiquated terminology, and to amend language to use gender-neutral terms.

Comments must be received no later than May 13, 2024. See the 15Mar Maritime Commons post for a summary and the NPRM for additional details and the proposed changes.


February 22, 2024: PROPOSED RULE - The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (89 FR 13404) related to proposed updates to cybersecurity requirements for MTSA-regulated U.S. flagged vessels, Outer Continental Shelf facilities and U.S. facilities. See the 22Feb Maritime Commons post for a summary and the NPRM for additional details and the proposed requirements. An extension of the comment period was published via Federal Register notice 89 FR 24751 on April 9, 2024. Comments are now due on or before May 22, 2024.


February 22, 2024: The Coast Guard announced the availability of a new style Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) via Federal Register notice (89 FR 13355) that will be implemented on March 1, 2024. The new MMC was further publicized through Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 01-24, a Maritime Commons post on 26Feb and U.S. Coast Guard email notification to subscribers. Existing passport style credentials will not be replaced immediately, and mariners will receive their new credential during the next application process. See the referenced notices and the National Maritime Center website for more information.


February 20, 2024: The U.S. Coast Guard published a notice of vacancies and request for applications for the National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee via Federal Register Notice 89 FR 12853. The notice announces the solicitation for three positions that follow. Please see the Federal Register Notice linked above for additional information and application details.

  • One member representing entities engaged in offshore oil exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf adjacent to Alaska.
  • One member representing entities engaged in offshore drilling (one of two positions in this category is open).
  • One member representing entities engaged in the construction of offshore facilities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.

Non-Mineral Energy Safety Zones (Construction-Related)

Safety Zone; Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind-Commercial Wind Farm Project Area, Outer Continental Shelf, Lease OCS-A 0483, Offshore Virginia, Atlantic Ocean

  • Published 26Mar2024 as 89 FR 20851
  • 179 temporary 500-meter safety zones around the construction of 176 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and three offshore substations (OSSs)
  • Effective from May 1, 2024, through May 1, 2027

Safety Zone; Installation Area for Offshore Wind Power Transmission Export Cables, Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Published 22Feb2024 as 89 FR 13274
  • temporary safety zone for navigable waters within 550-yards of a near shore construction site near the State Military Reservation, in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Effective from March 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024

Safety Zone; South Fork Wind Farm Project Area, Outer Continental Shelf, Lease OCS-A 0517, Offshore Rhode Island, Atlantic Ocean

  • Published 19Dec2023 as 88 FR 87716
  • 13 temporary 500-meter safety zones around the construction of 12 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and one offshore substation (OSS)
  • Effective from January 1, 2024, through May 31, 2024

Safety Zone; Vineyard Wind 1 Wind Farm Project Area, Outer Continental Shelf, Lease OCS-A 0501, Offshore Massachusetts, Atlantic Ocean

  • Published 30Jun2023 as 88 FR 42237
  • 63 temporary 500-meter safety zones around the construction of 62 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and one electrical service platform (ESP)
  • Effective without actual notice from June 30, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2024

See the "Public Notices" tab for temporary safety zone information related to current or planned windfarm project areas.


April 1, 2024: BSEE Director Kevin Sligh, BOEM Deputy Director Walter Cruickshank (on behalf of BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein) and U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations (CG-DCO), Vice Admiral Peter Gautier, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding non-mineral energy installations and vessels. This MOU between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Coast Guard supersedes BOEMRE/USCG MOA OCS-06 dated July 27, 2011. Enclosure (1) provides agency contacts and Enclosure (2) provides a list of Memoranda of Agreement that will be covered by the MOU (to be populated at a future date). The non-mineral energy MOU is available on the BSEE/BOEM tab of our MOUs and MOAs page. As a reminder, the updated mineral-based MOU between BSEE and USCG was signed on December 13, 2023 (see the "Recent News" tab).

See the group picture of BSEE, BOEM and CG personnel present for the signing ceremony.


November 21, 2023: NVIC 02-23, Guidance on the Coast Guard's Roles and Responsibilities for Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) was released. Enclosure (6) was updated December 11, 2023. Expand to read the purpose of this NVIC. 

This Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) highlights considerations when planning and undertaking voyages in the vicinity of offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs) in U.S. waters. Mariners should review and consider the contents of this NVIC prior to navigating within or in the vicinity of an OREI. For this document, the term ‘mariner’ is used to include masters, officers, crew, skippers and recreational users on all vessel types and personal watercraft.

This NVIC assists mariners making informed risk assessments for their intended voyage. The information provided in this NVIC should be considered together with the guidance on voyage planning and safe navigation found in the references. OREI structures are anew development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This guidance is general in nature based on information available to date; details of individual sites may vary.

Enclosure (6) to the NVIC was updated and publicized through a Maritime Commons blog post on 11Dec2023. The edit clarifies requirements for sound signals on offshore structures within renewable energy installations on pages 1 and 2 of Encl. (6). Also note that there are no change notices within the NVIC to denote the differences between versions 1 and 2 of NVIC 02-23.


November 1, 2023: We have published 2 new frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to renewable energy support vessels. See our Offshore Renewable Energy Support Vessels FAQs page, regulatory requirements FAQs 1 and 2.


October 6, 2023: NVIC 02-23, Guidance on the Coast Guard's Roles and Responsibilities for Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), was released. Expand to read the purpose of this NVIC.

The purpose of this Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) is to provide guidance to Coast Guard Program Offices, Unit Commanders, and Offshore Renewable Energy Installation (OREI) developers on the Coast Guard’s roles and responsibilities throughout the Department of Interior’s development of offshore renewable energy on the OCS. This NVIC identifies information the Coast Guard will use to evaluate and mitigate the potential impacts of OREI leasing, construction, and operations on the Marine Transportation System (MTS); navigation safety; vessel traffic; traditional uses of waterways; and Coast Guard missions. This guidance will assist the Coast Guard in streamlining intra- and inter-governmental information sharing. It also provides relationship expectations to provide Coast Guard input to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in the execution of authorities under 30 CFR Part 585 and Part 285, such as the review of OREI project plans and associated environmental reviews. Additionally, this Circular provides guidance to members of industry, port safety and security stakeholders, and the public on the Coast Guard’s role and responsibilities in the OREI leasing and plan review process.


September 5, 2023: The U.S. Coast Guard District 1 Prevention Division (dp) released D1(dp) Policy Letter 01-2023, Use of Dynamic Positioning (DP) by Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) Conducting Oil and HAZMAT Transfers in Support of Alternative Energy on the Outer Continental Shelf. The policy is also accessible under the D1 Policy "tab" on the Support Vessel Regulatory Guidance page.


August-October 2023: We released an 8-part series concerning hazardous location (HazLoc) electrical equipment markings. See our Drill Down page for all issues of the Drill Down.

This series includes:

  • Issue #23 was the first in the series, addressed the standards related to U.S. Coast Guard oversight of electrical equipment installed in hazardous locations and was released on August 14, 2023.
  • Issue #24 for location classification (2 of 8) was released on August 21, 2023.
  • Issue #25 on material groups (3 of 8) was released on August 28, 2023.
  • Issue #26 for protection techniques (4 of 8) was released on September 4, 2023.
  • Issue #27 for temperature classes (5 of 8) was released on September 11, 2023.
  • Issue #28 on equipment protection levels (6 of 8 in the series) was released on September 18, 2023.
  • Issue #29 addressing certificate numbers and special symbols (7 of 8 in the hazardous location electrical markings series) was released on September 25, 2023.
  • Issue #30 explores degrees of protection (i.e., ingress protection) is the final issue in the series and was released on October 2, 2023.

August 10, 2023: Drill Down Issue #22, addressing the effects of portable accommodation modules or independent tanks to a vessel's tonnage, was released. This edition and all previous issues are available on our Drill Down page.


February 26, 2024: The USCG District Eight OCS OCMI cancelled D8(ocs) Policy Letter (PL) 01-2020 (Emergency Evacuation Drills on Manned Facilities with Lifeboats) via Cancellation Memo OCS-24010 and issued Revision 1 to PL 01-2022 (Verification of Training and Drills for Personnel Assigned Special or Emergency Duties on FOFs). All affected policies have been updated on the D8 FOF Regulatory Guidance page.


July 10, 2023: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) released a new work instruction: CVC-WI-033(1), Non-Vessel Floating OCS Facilities (FOF) - Compliance Requirements. "This work instruction provides policy to Coast Guard Officers In Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMIs) for the inspection of Floating OCS Facilities (FOFs) determined not to be vessels as defined in 1 U.S.C. § 3. The WI updates the guidance that was published in Chapter 4 of COMDTINST (CI) 16000.76 (i.e., MSM Volume II, Section G) that is applicable to non-vessel FOFs. Section L of the WI contains "regulatory clarification" and the much-anticipated guidance related to hull structure and inspection (i.e., In-Service Inspection Plan (ISIP)). Additional highlights include float-free liferaft arrangements and USCG involvement in service life extensions.


June 2, 2022: Added clarification to FAQ #30 related to CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22 and the chemical testing requirements for an individual voluntarily holding a MMC while serving on a floating OCS facility. See the FAQ on the FOF FAQs page for additional information.


May 4, 2022: D8 OCS Policy Letter 01-2022, Verification of Training and Drills for Personnel Assigned Special or Emergency Duties on Floating Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Facilities (FOFs), was issued on May 3, 2022 and cancels D8 Policy Letter 03-2000, CH-1, Policy on Manning of Non-Self-Propelled Floating Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Facilities.


April 13, 2022: Questions by the Offshore Operators Committee and their membership related CG-OES Policy Letter 01-22 and CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22 regarding changes in Coast Guard policy/oversight of floating OCS facilities and the answers provided by the Coast Guard have been posted to the FOF FAQs page. A pdf document of the questions and answers is available here.


February 10, 2022: Guidance Documents, Oversight and Manning Requirements for Floating OCS Facilities (FOFs) were published via Federal Register 87 FR 7716, Docket No. USCG-2020-0049. This FR announces the release and discusses policies related to Floating OCS Facilities, CG-OES Policy Letter 01-22 and CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22. These policies are also available on the National Policy tab of the FOF Regulatory Guidance page. MMC PL 01-22 cancels D8 PL 08-2001. Readers are encouraged to review the FR notice in conjunction with the policy letters for additional, explanatory information related to these policy changes.


Liftboat Seacor Power Capsizing: Report of Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Capsizing of the Liftboat Seacor Power Approximately 7 Nautical Miles South of Port Fourchon, LA in the Gulf of Mexico Resulting in the Loss of 13 Lives on April 13, 2021. View the Seacor Power page for information related to this incident. 

The report was released on Jul 3, 2023. See the Investigation Recommendations tab on the Seacor Power page for a ready reference to the ROI recommendations and Commandant actions for each recommendation. Additional information that detail the accident, besting practiced recommended by the Marine Board of Investigation and Coast Guard Findings of Concern, as well as links to information and documents used during the investigation are available on the Seacor Power page.

Additional reports for OCS-related casualty investigations are available under the USCG Investigations tab on our OCS Accidents, Investigations and Safety Information page.


FPS Auger Lifeboat No. 6: Report of Investigation into Shell Auger TLP Lifeboat No. 6 Inadvertent Hook Opening with Loss of Life and Injury at Garden Banks 426 on the U.S. OCS in the Gulf of Mexico. View the Auger LB 6 page for information related to this incident.

The report was initially released on December 21, 2021. The updated Report of Investigation (ROI) for the FPS Auger Lifeboat No. 6 Casualty dated October 2, 2023, was published on November 29, 2023, and contains the Commandant Final Actions addressing the safety and administrative recommendations made by the Investigating Officer in the ROI. A bookmarked copy of the ROI and the Recommendations and Actions from the investigation can be viewed on our Auger LB 6 page. See the Investigation Recommendations tab for a ready reference to the ROI recommendations and District Commander's endorsement and Commandant actions for each recommendation. Additional information such as timelines that detail the accident and maintenance events for the Lifeboat No. 6 casualty and the USCG testing report for the Schat-Harding LHR 3.5M2 release mechanism (Enclosure (2) to the Report of Investigation) are also available on the Auger LB 6 page. 

Additional reports for OCS-related casualty investigations are available under the USCG Investigations tab on our OCS Accidents, Investigations and Safety Information page.