A Matter Of Life and Death: Out-Of-The-Water Survival Craft

life raft in the water

To disability transportation advocates,

Your letters, and as many others as possible, are needed ASAP to the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on an important issue that is new to many of us: that U.S. Coast Guard rules require passenger vessels to maintain survival craft that keeps the individual’s body out of the water, not just afloat (think Titanic-like conditions). This is needed in particular by people with disabilities who may have difficulty holding on, as well as children, elderly people, etc. 

Our position is already present in existing law, since 2010. The requirement, passed by Congress, would go into effect next year. The industry is trying to change the law, due to the cost of the required survival craft. So, urge legislators to leave current protections in place, because out-of-the-water survival craft on vessels is a matter of life and death for us and our families!

We understand that passenger vessel trade associations are aggressively making their case against the current, stronger requirement, so letters are urgently needed to make our voices heard. See more about the issue below.

It’s fine if your letters are short. They can be based on the attached materials, or also fine if they simply echo the basic message stated above. Given the schedule information we have at this time, your letters must arrive ASAP, by Feb. 10 at the latest—and sooner might be more effective.

Please address your letter to: 

  • Representative Duncan Hunter, Chairperson, House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
  • Representative John Garamendi, Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation

… and e-mail it to: 

Please don’t e-mail them this alert, only your letter.

Once your letter is e-mailed, it’s fine to forward this alert to other disability advocates. Though please prioritize your efforts on e-mailing a letter, not just on forwarding the alert.

More about the issue:

  1. The attached White Paper (PDF) is a great summary of the issue, written by an ally we are working with who has a maritime background.
  2. Also attached is DREDF’s letter (PDF).

Thanks in advance for your quick action!
Marilyn Golden