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VSC DATA COLLECTION. William S. Griswold. Presentation Agenda. 1. USCG Strategic Plan. 2. NASBLA Work Group. 3. Project purpose. 4. Results to date. 5. Q&A. STRATEGIC PLAN of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program 2012-2016 .

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vsc data collection

William S. Griswold


Presentation Agenda


USCG Strategic Plan


NASBLA Work Group


Project purpose


Results to date



strategic plan of the national recreational boating safety program 2012 2016

STRATEGIC PLAN of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program 2012-2016

Objective 8: Operator Compliance – USCG Required Safety Equipment

Increase compliance levels for specific required safety equipment on recreational boats.

Strategy 8.1 – Evaluate Incidents of Non-Compliance with specific USCG Required Safety Equipment

nasbla engineering reporting analysis committee erac
NASBLAEngineering, Reporting & Analysis Committee (ERAC)

Charge C-3: Conduct an analysis of data derived from the United Safe Boating Institute (and affiliated organizations) efforts to capture Vessel Safety Check (VSC) data to determine what meaningful trends can be identified from the initial data collection.

[National RBS Plan Performance Goal for reducing casualties; RBS Obj. 8, Operator Compliance-Required Safety Equipment; NASBLA’s strategic goal of conducting research for evaluating RBS program efforts and informing decision makers.]

purpose of the vsc data collection project
Purpose of the VSC Data Collection Project

Make better use of data from the VSC Process

usbi united safe boating institute
USBI – United Safe Boating Institute
  • Undertook project, funded by CG grant & Involving two parent organizations:
    • USCG Auxiliary
    • United States Power Squadrons (USPS)

Determine Why Vessels Fail VSCs

CG Aux in CY 12 - 119,987 vessel exams

98,408 passed (74.5%)

30,579 FAILED

Compare with Accident Data

Correlations ? Trends? Regional Differences?

Archive for Other Future Uses

Incorporate in future data collection systems


AUXDATA is on life support

    • No funds to change VSC collection
    • Trial run 10 years ago – not possible
  • Why USBI?
    • Represents both CGAux & USPS
    • Has an existing web site for collection

Gather only important information

  • Only need info from exams that FAILED
  • No personal information, but some other info that’s already captured on form 7012

Form 7012

Used by both


auxiliary examiners
Auxiliary Examiners
  • Will be asked to complete their VSCs as always
  • For those vessels that fail, the examiner will go to the web page at


and enter the reasons the vessel failed

usps vessel examiners

USPS Vessel Examiners

Will be asked to complete their VSCs with the additional data asked for

The Squadron VSC Chairs will enter the VSC data on a newly designed USPS input page rather than the existing page

This data will be passed to the USBI database to be merged with the Auxiliary data

  • To see if this pilot program is capturing significant data, we can compare number of VSC failures in each state between AUXDATA and the Pilot Program
  • This measurement might help future changes
analysis so far
ANALYSIS – so far

Data collected is up to end of 2012

Hurricane Sandy flooded CGAux host equipment Oct. 29, shutting down web site for 2 months

USPS data intact – National input from most states

CGAux data incomplete – mainly from 5 test states –MI, MO, NC, TX & WA + 4 – FL, IL, MD, WY



Focusing on 5 reasons which could cause an accident, reports show % of total failures:

  • Fire Extinguishers 18%
  • Life Jackets 8%
  • Navigation Lights 8%
  • Visual Distress Signals 6%
  • Sound Device 3%

Notes: An examination may result in a failure for more than one reason

These differences are statistically significant


Probability of Failure:

  • Fire Extinguishers 30%
  • Life Jackets 13%
  • Navigation Lights 13%
  • Visual Distress Signals 10%
  • Sound Device 6%

USPS – 44 States + Washington DC + Puerto Rico

3119 failed VSC’s with

5,398 reasons failed

CGAux – 5 pilot states + 4 others

471 failed VSC’s with

778 reasons failed

Overall average 1.7 items failed per exam


Possible reasons for differences in failure patterns

    • Lack of consistency in criteria used by each organization
    • Differences in boat populations being examined by the two organizations (locations, size of boats, other)
visual distress signals vds
  • CGAux reported 176 VDS failures – 31% were on Inland Waters
  • USPS reported 200 VDS failures – 52% were on Inland Waters
  • Some concern about Federal requirements, State requirements on Inland Waters and Vessel Examiners getting it right
other interesting facts
Other Interesting Facts
  • 55% of USPS “Pollution Placard” failures were on vessels <26 feet – not a Fed. Requirement
  • 75 (2%) of total reported failures (3590) had no failures, VSC was passed
  • Florida had the highest # failures – 12%, Ohio and Michigan had 11% each
  • These three states had 34% of the reported failures , 18% of registered boats, and 21% of reported boating accidents
and in conclusion
And in Conclusion
  • This project is a long term wish to use VSC’s as a vehicle to determine why boats fail, where they are and what they don’t have on board
  • Perhaps, we can correlate carriage deficiencies with boating accidents
  • Other data bases have not been able to tell us why; maybe our method will help direct our educational efforts, and public awareness initiatives
check us out http www usbi org
Check Us Outhttp://www.usbi.org/

We are glad to be partners with




If you have any questions, please contact us




Q & A time