b'SAFETYMATTERSBy Eric Christensen, ComplianceDirector of Regulatory Affairsin a Crisisand Risk ManagementT he Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought about an un- guidance on vessel inspection activities. Generally speaking, precedented set of circumstances and challenges forthe local Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI) has the domestic passenger vessel industry throughoutwide latitude in carrying out vessel inspection activities. the country. While at the time of this writing the majorityAnnual and periodic inspections have a 90-day window of the domestic passenger vessel fleet sits idle, the ability toon either side of their inspection anniversary date. Many maintain vessel and mariner compliance during this timeOCMIs are encouraging operators to get inspections done will allow companies to quickly ramp up operations withouttoward the end of the 90-day period. This is an option but having to wait on potentially strained Coast Guard resources. could result in inspection delays if the local Coast Guard in-spection resources become overwhelmed once restrictions Inspections imposed are lifted.The U.S. Coast Guard remains on duty and is carryingSome Coast Guard units are considering virtual inspec-out critical marine safety mission activities as resourcestions to minimize personal interaction as allowed by the permit, balancing personnel safety with the facilitation ofMSIB. If a vessel operator is considering approaching their commerce. On March 26, 2020, the Coast Guard releasedlocal Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI) with a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 09-20 providingrequest to conduct a virtual inspection, or if the OCMI is 38APRIL 2020FOGHORN'