The Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act is applicable on the navigable waters of the United States, which includes the territorial sea (the waters, 12 nautical miles wide, adjacent to the coast of the United States and seaward of the territorial sea baseline), internal waters that are subject to tidal influence, and those waters not subject to tidal influence but that are used or are determined to be capable of being used for substantial interstate or foreign commerce
Regulations in 33 CFR Part 26 outline the purpose of the Act, its associated carriage requirements, designated frequencies, and use and maintenance of radio equipment. Section 5 of the Act states that the radiotelephone required by the Act is for the exclusive use of the master or person in charge of the vessel, or the person designated by the master or person in charge to pilot or direct the movement of the vessel, who shall maintain a listening watch on the designated frequency.
Section 6 of the Act states that a vessel's radiotelephone equipment shall be maintained in an effective operating condition. If the radiotelephone equipment carried aboard a vessel ceases to operate, the master shall exercise due diligence to restore it or cause it to be restored to effective operating condition at the earliest practicable time.
The failure of a vessel's radiotelephone equipment shall not, in itself, constitute a violation of this Act, nor shall it obligate the master of any vessel to moor or anchor his vessel; however, the loss of radiotelephone capability shall be given consideration in the navigation of the vessel.
Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Regulations