VA has defined "the waters offshore" in the above regulation as duty in the river estuaries, internal waterways, and immediate waters off shore. Viet Nam This definition precludes "blue-water navy" ships that operated well off-shore such as aircraft carriers, etc. To be eligible for Service-Connected Compensation benefits based on AO exposure for ships operating in coastal waters, a claimant has to prove that he or she actually was assigned to a particular ship known to have operated in the coastal water areas.
The VA provides a list of these ships here: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp
The VA has just added twenty-two (22) ships to the official list of those presumed exposed to AO. To check for your ship, access the list at the link above and look for your ship. If you served on that ship during the periods shown, you are presumed to have been exposed to AO and any of the fourteen (14) AO-related medical conditions that may have manifested are considered Service-Connected.
If you have more questions about "brown water navy) service, just give us a call.