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Maritime Safety Administration

In accordance with the Maritime Traffic Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China, and the marine environment Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, Maritime Safety Administration of the People’s Republic of China (China MSA) under the Ministry of Transport takes the responsibilities of maritime safety, security, prevention of pollution from ships, and protection of seafarers’ rights.

In terms of resources and personnel, Lyle J. Goldstein reports that the MSA appears to be the most influential among China’s civil maritime agencies. While the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) is remarkably transparent, the other, smaller organizations are less accessible and therefore less well understood. The only dragon that competes in power and prestige with the Maritime Police of the Border Control Department (BCD) is the Maritime Safety Administration of the Chinese Ministry of Transportation. In terms of manpower, the MSA has twice as many personnel as the BCD—about twenty thousand—approximately half of the aggregate of the five maritime enforcement agencies. MSA cutters are unarmed — a clear distinction from the USCG and other coast guards around the world. The launching of the fairly large cutter Haixun 31 (three thousand tons) in 2004 seems to have heralded a turn toward oceangoing rescue vessels.

The main responsibilities of China MSA include:

  1. Draft and implement guidance, policies, regulations and technological codes and standards in national water safety supervision, marine pollution prevention, facilities check, navigational aids, and other relevant fields of transportation;
  2. Comprehensively supervise water safety and prevent marine pollution. Inspect the ship's safety conditions and safety management system of water transport enterprises; investigate and handle water traffic accidents, marine pollution from vessels and water transport violation cases; implement the safety management in respective transport industries;
  3. Responsible for the administration of ship and off-shore facilities check, as well as of ships' navigability and technologies; supervise the statutory survey and certification for ships and off-shore facilities; check the qualifications of ship survey organizations and marine surveyors, approve and supervise the resident representative offices of foreign ship survey organizations within the territory of China; in charge of Chinese flag ships' registration, certification, survey and certificate endorsement; control foreign flag ships' entry and exit in Chinese ports and waters; conduct safety supervision over ships carrying dangerous goods and other goods;
  4. Administer seafarers and pilots' training, examination and certification. Check and supervise the qualification and quality system of training institutions for seafarers and pilots; responsible for the management of seafarers' documents.
  5. Enforce and implement the laws, regulations and standards related to national ocean management, marine environmental protection, marine traffic safety, navigation safeguard, ships and marine facility inspection; to implement bilateral and multilateral treaties and to establish, supervise and enforce particular rules under the local situation.
  6. In charge of the registration of international and national vessels and responsible for auditing and issuing work of operational handbook and documentation required; responsible for the management of foreign-flagged vessel in the jurisdiction area and dealing with the applications of foreign-flagged vessels (including Hong Kong and Macao) entering non-open ports and waters within the area, and submitting to the leadership according to the regulations and procedures for approval.
  7. Under the authorization, to draw up the qualification standards of ships examination, piloting organization and shipping management company; in charge of the training institution qualifications of seafarers and pilots, as well as the quality system verification and surveillance; to guide and manage the implementation of relevant laws, regulations and international conventions by ship owners and operators.
  8. In charge of the competence training,examination and certification of seafarers, pilots, magnetic compass adjusters and staff working on the sea equipments; to conduct the management of seafarers' service book and seamen's entry & exit certificates; responsible for professional and special training for seafarers as well as their examination and certification.
  9. Take charge of the organization, direction and coordination of the disposal and investigation of the serious water traffic accident and the major pollution accident; take control of the ship anti-typhoon activities and the marine search and rescue; investigation and handling of the marine traffic accident, pollution accident and marine traffic offense. Be responsible for the routine work of Shandong Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.
  10. Taking port states supervision, security inspection, port control of both international and local navigation vessels, enforced-piloting inspection, safety supervision on vessels carrying dangerous goods and other goods, berthing safety supervision and vessel pollution prevention supervision.
  11. Conducting the coastal states' control, sea area patrol, navigational environment and order maintaining; verifying the work on and under waters and classifying the waters into anchorages and safety areas; in charge of the approval of port coastline use,navigation warning and notices announcement.
  12. Under the authorization, in charge of the inspection work of vessels and marine equipments within the stipulated area.
  13. Take charge of the construction and management of the public navigation marks both on main line and major coastal ports.
  14. Take charge of the marine safety communication within the jurisdiction area.
  15. Take charge of the layout, infrastructure, finance, capital asserts, dues collection, human resources, wage, technique equipment, scientific education, administrative affairs, Party job, audit, inspection and supervision, security, mental civilization construction, propagandism and so on.

The China Maritime Safety Administration (CMSA) was authorized in 2000 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to issue worldwide- accepted sailor certificates. Therefore, Chinese sailors with the certificates are qualified to sail all over the world, said the official. In 1995, the IMO amended the treaty of international standards for the training of sailors and the issuing of sailing certificates in order to further ensure maritime safety. China was among the first group of countries to submit implementation reports to the IMO, and the first country to pass the inspection. The authorization by the IMO is expected to help intensify the competitiveness of China's shipping companies and sailors on the international market.

In 1951, China's State Council approved the founding of the People's Salvage Company, the predecessor of China Rescue & Salvage (CRS). Deaths of 282 people on board a capsized ferry in Bohai Bay off Yantai, Shandong Province in 1999, prompted creation of a strong national emergency response team. By 2003 the rescue force had purchased a number of modern rescue vessels and helicopters. By 2008 CRS had almost ten thousand employees, including 80% technical professionals, divers and crew and operates over 180 vessels of various types, 10 helicopters (including hired) and one fixed-wing rescue craft. 21 rescue bases, seven air fields and 77 patrol areas were set up throughout the maritime districts. CRS has under its jurisdiction the Beihai, Donghai, Shanghai and Guangzhou salvage bureaus, related flying services, Wah Tak Marine Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Ocean Engineering Corporation.

China Rescue and Salvage (CRS) is now China’s only national professional maritime rescue and salvage force. Its primary responsibilities are the response to marine accidents on Chinese waters, including life-saving, salvage of vessels and property, wreck removal, fire-fighting, spill clean-up, etc. It also undertakes such important missions as the safeguarding of marine transport and exploitation of marine resources, and the fulfillment of state obligations on behalf of the Chinese government as stipulated by international conventions and bilateral maritime agreements. As an important part of China's national emergency response system,CRS demonstrates the government's ruling philopshophy of "putting people first" and "valuing life" to build a harmonious society.

After 60 years of relentless efforts, and especially after the sweeping organizational reform in 2003 which successfully separated its life-saving and property salvage functions, CRS has embarked on a unique development road of Chinese characteristics, with a comprehensive three “three-in –one” organizational, functional, and developmental structure, capable of responding to all sorts of maritime accidents. The "Three Three-in-one” setup is namely an organizational structure that is made up of ship rescue teams, property salvage teams and air rescue teams, a responsibility composition that includes life-saving, salvage of property, and protection of marine environment, and a functional makeup that consists of helicopter capabilities in air, fast response capacities on water, and diving and salvage abilities underwater.

At the end of Eleventh Five-Year Plan [2016-2020] period, CRS plans to establish a comprehensive joint rescue system of sea and air. We will make available 4 rescue helicopter contingents, 7 rescue stations and 12 rescue helicopters in the 3 sea areas of Beihai, Donghai and Nanhai; allocate 22 rescue tugboats that are newly built for every Rescue Bureaus; introduce well-equipped fast lifeboats to 18 coastal rescue bases; build a batch of engineering vessels which can meet the needs of modern rescue & salvage and import the technologically-advanced equipments to match up the formers; meanwhile, we will set a goal for the build-up of the pilot, diver and life guard personnel.

The vessels of the China Maritime Safety Administration and China Rescue & Salvage are basically commercial design Offshore Support Vessels with racing stripes, though there is considerable variation in the design of the racing stripe. In the early 1960s, President Kennedy wanted to improve "the visual identification" of the United States, both domestically and internationally. The red “Slash” or “Racing Stripe” was recommended as a symbol that would easily distinguish the Coast Guard from other government agencies. It could also be easily applied to ships, boats, aircraft, and vehicles and used in other printed forms. The “slash” is a wide red bar to the right of a narrow blue bar, both canted at 64°. Centered on the red bar is the traditional Coast Guard emblem. This “racing stripe" was adopted on April 6, 1967. Other Coast Guards around the world followed with their own distinctive markings.

Exploration for and production of oil and gas reserves underlying the oceans of the world are performed from offshore drilling facilities which usually are located some distance from the adjacent shore line. The drilling facility may be a tower erected on the sea floor and extending to a work platform above the water surface, or the drilling facility may be a floating platform. The floating platform may be either of the drillship type or of the semi-submersible type; in either event, the facility is located for long periods, perhaps even permanently, offshore often at substantial distances from the nearest available port or supply location.

Specialized offshore support vessels have been developed to logistically support offshore drilling facilities. A typical offshore supply vessel has a distinctive profile, with a high bow and forecastle for good seakeeping in rough weather, and a low afterdeck and stern to facilitate loading and unloading at sea. An example of a special purpose vessel is a crew boat which is designed to ferry personnel to and from offshore drilling facilities. An example of a multifunction design compromise offshore support vessel is a work boat which, at various times in its life, is called upon to transport tubular goods such as drill pipes or production casing to the offshore drilling facility, or to transport food or dry or liquid bulk goods and supplies to the drilling facility, or to serve as an anchor-handling boat in connection with the initial positioning and mooring of a floating offshore drilling facility. The bridge and accommodation quarters are positioned in the forward section of the vessel. When unloading/loading at the offshore installation the support vessels are backed towards the platform, so that the stern section of the support vessel is closest to the platform. This has been the traditional design of support vessels for as long as support vessels have been used in connection with offshore installations. The bridge and accommodation quarters are located in a part of the vessel which experience large movements due to weather influence which makes the working environment quite uncomfortable.

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Page last modified: 03-04-2014 15:30:32 ZULU