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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information on NS Savannah?

The web site for the Nuclear Ship Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship, can be found here. In the coming weeks and months additional pages and links will be added, as well as an extensive photo gallery of historic and contemporary images, including many photographs of recent shipyard work.

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What does it mean to say a ship is “U.S. flag”?

U.S. flag means a ship is registered in the United States. Ships registered in the United States must meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements for safety. The company operating the ship must also meet citizenship requirements, and abide by the laws of the United States.

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What is the Ready Reserve Force?

The Ready Reserve Force (RRF) is a fleet of cargo ships, owned and maintained by the Maritime Administration and managed by commercial companies. The ships are used to support the deployment of U.S. military forces overseas and in national emergencies. More information can be found on the RRF portion of this web site.

Who is eligible for mariner veteran’s benefits?

Qualification eligibility and application instructions can be found at the National Maritime Center. There is a special web site for World War II Merchant Marine Veterans.

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Where do I obtain information on merchant mariner records?

Mariner records information can be obtained from the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC). The NMC is located at 100 Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404; phone 1-888-427-5662.

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Where do I find information on my local port authority?

There are 350+ port authorities, port commissions and navigation districts in America.  We suggest you contact your MARAD Gateway Director through the following link who will be able to provide you with the appropriate contacts.

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Where do I find information on Cargo Preference?

The Office of Cargo Preference’s primary focus is to promote and monitor the use of U.S.-flag vessels in the movement of cargo on international waters. The Cargo Preference program facilitates the shipping of U.S. Government-impelled cargo on U.S.-flag ships. More information can be found on the Cargo Preference pages of this web site.

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Where can I file a cruise line complaint?

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has limited jurisdiction over cruise vessels and operators. Primarily, the Commission ensures that cruise line operators who are embarking passengers from a United States port have evidence of financial responsibility to indemnify passengers in the event of nonperformance or casualty. Passengers are not covered by the Commission’s financial responsibility program if they did not embark from a United States port. Relations between the cruise lines and their customers, however, are contractual matters governed by the terms of the passenger ticket.

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How do I obtain information on boating safety?

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety educates the public on the prevention of accidents, injuries, and fatalities while boating. Information on boating safety course, safety tips, news, recalls, defects, and laws and regulations can be found at

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