The COVID-19 pandemic last year challenged maritime inspectors’ ability to screen the safety of the domestic fleet and increased the Coast Guard’s reliance on remote inspection techniques in the short term, according to the flag state’s annual inspection report.

“The past year presented us with unprecedented challenges worldwide. No part of daily life or industry has been spared the direct effects of COVID-19, including maritime trade, “US Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, Rear Adm. Richard V. Timme, said in the report. “From increased consumer demand and scarcity of supply to passenger reductions and complications with crew changes, it is more evident than ever that the maritime transportation system is of vital importance to the global economy.”

The U.S.-flagged fleet comprised 19,398 vessels last year, with Coast Guard naval inspectors making 18,414 inspections. COVID-19 Precautions and Impacts Driven the Number of …

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