PFDMA Industry News
NEWS From BoatUS
Life Jacket Designs Break New Ground
Competition Winners Announced
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing standards for safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL marks appearing on 66,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 68 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 102 countries. For more information go to www.ul.com.
Service Asks Wildlife Enthusiasts to Support National Survey
The 12th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (FHWAR) starts April 1. This important survey is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Service appreciates the anglers, hunters, birdwatchers, and other citizens throughout the country who participate in the survey when contacted by the Census Bureau. The survey results help wildlife and natural resource managers quantify how much Americans value wildlife resources in terms of participation and expenditures.
The last survey revealed that 87.5 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older, 38% of the population, participated in wildlife-related recreation activities. These recreationists spent over $122 billion pursuing their activities.
Participation is totally voluntary and all responses are strictly confidential. Data collected is used for statistical purposes only and no participant can be identified from information contained in the database and follow-up reports.
The reports of previous surveys are posted at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov. The 2011 survey reports will start being posted in the spring of 2012.
UPV PFD PETITION FOR RULEMAKING (DOCKET #USCG 2010-1065)
Please note the attached response from the Coast Guard which has initiated a Federal Register docket for comment on the Petition for Rulemaking with respect to uninspected passenger vessel lifejacket requirements. This common docket is expected to be availabe online but not be published as part of a federal register notice. Therefore, contact lists, word of mouth, and email become the primary means of the limited dissemination with the advertised limited open docket comment period.
Please forward this letter to anyone else you deem as an appropriate contact.
Admiral Thad Allen Sworn in as the New Coast Guard Commandant
WASHINGTON, DC – United States Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen assumed the duties of Commandant of the Coast Guard today, May 25, to serve as the service’s 23rd commandant, replacing Admiral Thomas H. Collins. Allen, who replaced FEMA Director Michael Brown in Sept. 2005 as the federal point man during the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, has become the face of the Coast Guard for many through his appearances on media outlets while leading the coordination and response.
The nation’s largest recreational boating trade association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), represented by Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations; and Thomas Marhevko, NMMA Vice President of Engineering Standards, attended the Change of Command ceremony held at Ft. McNair. For Marhevko the event had personal ties; he was a classmate and graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with Allen in the Class of 1971.
“The Coast Guard is an important partner for recreational boaters and our industry,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations. “I’d like to congratulate Admiral Allen on this great honor; I know how proud he and his family must be today. The Coast Guard and the Nation will be well served by his proven leadership.”
Allen is widely admired for his straightforward leadership style and candor. He is a second generation Coast Guardsman, graduating in 1971 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Allen commanded the service’s East Coast response before overseeing the Coast Guard’s transition into the Department of Homeland Security.
“I can think of no greater honor and no better way to continue serving our Nation than through our Coast Guard, a Service whose embedded responsibilities impact every American,” Admiral Allen said during his statement to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee following his nomination to be Commandant. “My Coast Guard service has ingrained in me an abiding respect for its people, their work, and the value this work provides to the Nation. My pledge to the Committee and the public we serve is to effectively lead and improve a tested and trusted organization that provides value to people's lives every day.”
The change of command ceremony was held in the highest traditions and honors of the military services, and was attended by President George W. Bush, members of his cabinet, and members of Congress. In remarks at the ceremony, both President Bush and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff praised Admiral Allen and the outgoing commandant, Admiral Thomas H. Collins, for their service and leadership of the Coast Guard.
|Tax Incentives Bill for Boating Safety Equipment Introduced
‘Common Sense’ Approach Lauded
Washington, DC – As boaters prepare to take to the water this summer, the nation’s largest recreational boating trade association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), is reminding people about the importance of incorporating boating safety to ensure these outings will be memorable for all the right reasons. Thanks to legislation introduced by Congressman John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), Congress will have the opportunity to give boating safety a huge boost this year.
Sweeney has introduced a bill, H.R. 5274, the Boating Safety Tax Incentive Act, that provides boat manufacturers an incentive to supply new boats with the most up-to-date lifejackets, which the new boat purchaser might not otherwise buy themselves. New lifejacket designs that provide better comfort and style are expected to significantly increase wear-rates, resulting in a decrease in boating fatalities. Under Sweeney’s bill, boat manufacturers would be allowed to deduct the cost of lifejackets and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB’s) by providing the equipment free of charge to purchasers of new boats. EPIRB’s are highly effective small radio transmitters that search aircraft can use to quickly locate people and boats in need of rescue.
“The recreational boating industry is committed to promoting legislation that would increase boater safety,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations. “We’re grateful to Congressman Sweeney for his leadership in introducing this important legislation, and we will work diligently with him to pass this bill into law.”
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that in 2004 there were 676 recreational boating deaths. Approximately 90% of the victims who drowned were not wearing lifejackets. The Coast Guard estimates that approximately 431 lives could have been saved had boaters worn lifejackets. Additional lives would also likely have been saved had EPIRB technology been more widely used by boaters. Between 1982 and 2002, these devices enabled the rescue of nearly 15,000 people.
“As responsible corporate stewards, the businesses that comprise the recreational marine industry have traditionally taken a proactive approach to boating safety,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “As part of this effort, the industry is working to increase lifejacket wear in recreational boating and the usage of EPIRB’s; passage of this legislation would boost these efforts tremendously.”
Most recently, two rowers participating in the Woodvale Events Atlantic Rowing competition, billed as the "toughest rowing race in the world," were saved in January after their 24-foot rowboat capsized in the stormy Atlantic Ocean and left them clinging to a barnacle-encrusted, upturned hull. Rowers Sarah Kessans and Emily Kohl were able to get help by activating their EPIRB while stranded some 1000 miles east of Cuba. The activation alert was picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard, allowing a full-scale search and rescue operation to save the two racers.
Sweeney’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means where it awaits further action. NMMA strongly supports H.R. 5274 and urges Congress to pass the bill by the end of the 109th Congress.
|US SAILING Applauds Transportation Security Administration For Amending CO2 Cylinder Policy
For boaters traveling by air to enjoy boating away from home, bringing along a CO2 cylinder for a self-inflatable life jacket through airport security was not an option due to a policy set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). However, after a recent request from a member of US SAILING's Safety-At-Sea Committee, the TSA announced that it had amended its policy to allow boaters to travel through security checkpoints at airports nationwide with a CO2 cylinder.
Boaters should be cautioned, however: while this change in TSA policy allows boaters to carry a cylinder through airport security, the decision on whether the cylinder can be taken on board a plane still lies with the airline on which the passenger is flying. US SAILING recommends that boaters check with their airlines directly to find out if the CO2 cylinder can be taken onboard.
The amended TSA policy calls for “a ‘Compressed Gas Cylinder Exception’ for both carry-on and checked baggage that allows two compressed gas cylinders, fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket, as well as two spare cartridges, with the approval of the aircraft operator.” This amendment by the TSA now is in line with policies that were already in place at the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The CO2 cylinder is a compressed gas cylinder that inflates a self-inflatable life jacket. The most common inflatable life jackets have a cord that needs to be pulled in order to activate the gas cylinder and inflate the device.
For the complete wording on TSA's policy, please visit the TSA website at http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?theme=178.
For more information on TSA’s amended policy and more background information on traveling with a CO2 cylinder, please visit http://www.ussailing.org/safety/pfds_and_faa.htm.
originally posted at http://www.uscgboating.org/waypoints/may06/art2_sailing.htm »
|Leland Limited, Inc. Announces Successful Registration to ISO 9001-2000
South Plainfield, New Jersey, Leland Limited Inc announces their successful registration to ISO 9001-2000 at the end of April. This registration is for the design and manufacture of disposable gas cylinders and related gas handling equipment. Leland currently produces and distributes gas cylinders for PFD and Life Raft applications in North and South America as well as USCG approved emergency strobe lights for PFD’s.
The company, now in its 41st year of operation is finishing the development of UHP (Ultra High Pressure) gas cylinders for inflation products to save on weight and space used by conventional CO2 filled cylinders. The UHP filled cylinders also represent a significant improvement in performance as the non liquefied gas used is highly compressed and operational temperature limits are allowing rapid inflation at sub-zero temperatures where CO2 would normally fail. This advancement will allow designers in the world of safety to create inflatable life saving devices that will operate in virtually any environment.
Leland Stanford, President and CEO is appointed to CFIVSAC (Commercial Vessel Industry Safety Advisory Committee) and now chairs the Communications Sub-committee which is tasked with providing USCG recommendations on methods and procedures to improve communications between industry stakeholders and the USCG. Stanford, a volunteer firefighter for 21 years in a busy NJ district, has been certified in various areas of rescue including high angle, elevator, vehicle, and will soon be certified in swift water rescue.
|EU, US and Ireland sign MRA on marine equipment
By IBI Magazine / David Foxwell
European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Ireland's Ambassador to the US, Noel Fahey have signed a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) on marine equipment between the EU and the US.
The agreement will facilitate trade in this sector: equipment certified as acceptable for the market of one party will circulate in the other without the need for additional testing or certification.
At the signing ceremony Pascal Lamy said: "Today's agreement is a clear example of our pragmatic approach to tearing down barriers to transatlantic trade. Through the MRA we will facilitate trade in a sector which represents Euro 1 billion worth of EU-US trade. Regulatory cooperation between us is the way forward to foster trade and investment. Now that that agreement on this item has been reached we can focus on the remaining issues under our common Positive Economic Agenda."
US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said: "The US-EU Marine Equipment MRA represents an important new mechanism to facilitate transatlantic trade and promote closer US-EU regulatory co-operation. This agreement saves US manufacturers the time and expense of redundant product testing for the EU market and also promotes our efforts to improve the quality of international marine safety regulations."
The EU-US MRA is intended to facilitate transatlantic trade in marine equipment. Under its terms, designated products which comply with EU requirements will be accepted for sale in the US without any additional testing or certification and vice-versa.
The agreement covers 30 types of marine equipment ranging from life saving equipment (distress signals, rigid life rafts), fire protection equipment (flame retardant materials) and navigational equipment (GPS equipment, echo-sounding equipment).
The agreement also contemplates expanding the product scope in the future based on the results of international regulatory cooperation.
|SYNOPSIS OF PFD WORKSHOP
Over 85 people attended the event on Friday February 13th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and a lively discussion took place for 2 hours. During this time an array of facts, figures, and challenges were presented to the audience, showcasing the different obstacles and barriers that face the different segments of the boating market.
Captain Scott Evans, Chief of Boating Safety, US Coast Guard, gave welcoming comments and outlined some US Coast Guard facts regarding boating fatalities. Chuck Hawley, VP of Product Development, West Marine was the able moderator. Panelists included Sam Wehr, US Coast Guard, Gordon Black, American Canoe Association, Matt Menashes, Professional Paddlesports Association, Chris Edmonston, Boat US Foundation and Bernice McArdle representing the PFDMA.
While the perception among some of the participants was that the Coast Guard had its eye on mandatory wear regulations, the workshop did indeed explore a lot of other options and approaches to increasing PFD wear. In some instances it would appear that education alone has not been as successful as was first thought.... so where to go from here? What was evident throughout the various presentations is that each boating category is a stand alone challenge, in terms of the emotional message it needs to impart to its constituents. What triggers anglers/hunters, would not necessarily be successful with the paddlesports industry, and what motivates watersports enthusiasts, is not what the sailing community would buy into...one size (message) clearly does not fit all. Some ideas proposed included boat manufacturers featuring PFDs as part of their boat show displays, ensuring media buy-in to the philosophy that wearing a jacket is part of on-water fashion, securing boating and fishing celebrities and other cultural icons to promote the "normality" of wearing a jacket, in addition to highlighting the many types of comfortable, stylish, fashionable and unobtrusive variety of models available on the market today.
The workshop turned out to be a great format for industry to gather and discuss how it can team together and make a difference...
For a copy of the presentation given by Chuck Hawley, Moderator, please contact Bernice McArdle at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Coast Guard Issues Interim Rule for Child PFD Requirements
|Earlier this year, the Coast Guard issued a new regulation, which mandated PFD use by children under 13. On March 27, the Coast Guard withdrew the new rule in response to questions raised by the State of Ohio regarding enforcement of the rule in states where state law and the new regulation are contradictory.
The Coast Guard issued an Interim Rule in the Federal Register in June, which will take effect December 23, 2002.
Effectively the rule remains the same, i.e. No person may operate a recreational vessel underway with any child under 13 years old aboard unless each such child is either 1) wearing an appropriate lifejacket approved by the Coast Guard, or 2) below decks or in an enclosed cabin.
Another provision to the Interim Rule was added by the Coast Guard, which will adopt State requirements (e.g. age, length of vessel etc.) in lieu of Federal requirements. (e.g. if a Federal Officer stops a vessel in a State where the State requirement for a child to wear a PFD is 6 and under, that Officer will adhere to the State law, as opposed to the Federal law of 13 and under).
|PFDMA Hosts Another Successful Annual Conference
|The PFD industry had another good turnout for their annual conference this year. PFMDA hosted their event at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, FL June 15-18, 2002.
The PFDMA Conference Committee has, over the past couple of years, been working hard to ensure an even balance of both technical and marketing/consumer focused issues. As the world consolidates, so too does our industry, and it is now more important than ever to reach out and form strategic partnerships with related industries. The PFDMA has been, and continues to be, successful in this area.
|PFDMA is Successful in Securing a Coast Guard Grant to Fund an Educational Outreach Program
|Life jacket, life vest, personal floation device (pfd)... Whatever you call it, IT ONLY WORKS IF YOU WEAR IT !
The essence of all boating safety organizations is to save lives. The US Coast Guard has a more specific objective to reduce boating fatalities to below 400 by the year 2007, and it has largely focused on interventions to increase lifejacket wear to achieve this goal. The percentage of total boating fatalities due to drowning declined from 83% in 1993 to 70% in 1998, so clearly the combined efforts of coalition based boating safety initiatives is working, but there is still much work to do in this area!
|Coast Guard Approval of Inflatable Personal Flotation Devices
|The Final Rule on approval of inflatable PFDs was published in the Federal Register on March 28,1996. Manufacturers had anxiously awaited the rule, as it culminated many years of standards development involving a consensus committee of manufacturers, safety experts, the Coast Guard and Underwriters labs. Inflatable PFDs have been used widely by boaters in all types of waterways around the world for many years; the Final Rule gives U.S. boaters the Flexibility to also choose these lightweight life saving devices. Inflatables contain a carbon dioxide cartridge that inflates the vest either automatically upon contact with water or manually when a cord is pulled. Once inflated, the amount of buoyancy is equal to or greater than that provided by traditional lifejackets.|