Vessel DocumentationCoast Guard Safety Alerts

Don’t let UNPREPARED SAFTEY EQUIPMENT determine your fate!

Recently while performing several Port State Control examinations Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads inspectors discovered numerous SABRE Emergency Escape Breath Devices (EEBD) / Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) in an unprepared status. The “Quick Fire” functionality that puts the EEBD into operation when the bag is opened up and hood is worn was not in its “Primed” state. Such a circumstance can have fatal consequences when time is of the essence to escape a hazardous atmosphere.

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When purchased or returned from servicing this equipment will have a small removable label viewable through a window on the bag that states “QUICK-FIRE NOT PRIMED ANTI-TAMPER DEVICE AND FITTING INSTRUCTIONS INSIDE.” The unit is not ready. Once delivered to a vessel a technician or competent ship’s employee should have opened the bottom left corner flap, attached the “Quick Fire” cord and removed the label. The device will operate correctly and begin to supply air to the hood when the flap is properly connected and later opened.

With the concern that insufficient preparation of critical life saving equipment could contribute to unintended fatalities, the Coast Guard strongly recommends that owners and operators of vessels using this or similar devices carefully inspect their own EEBDs/ELSAs ensuring they are ready for use.

Routinely confirm that all other safety and firefighting equipment, systems and components are maintained and serviced as per applicable requirements and ready for proper operation.

During your inspection of this equipment be aware of the information presented in the attachments regarding counterfeit EEBDs. This issue was reported as a USCG Safety Alert in 2008 and in 2011 reported as a Marine Safety Forum Safety Flash.

This safety alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement. Developed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis. For questions or concerns please email hqs-pf-fldr-cg-inv@uscg.mil.