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Old 02 May 2014, 03:08   #1
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Kill cords in cabin RIB

As operators of fully enclosed cabin RIBs whether diesel or outboard powered we have come across the issue the issue that the skipper must wear a kill cord at all times whilst operating the vessel?
Our current operating procedures are
Cabin RIBs - due to the close confinement of the cabin it is impossible for the skipper to fall overboard therefore the skipper is not required to wear the kill cord provided.

This is now being questioned following the incident at Salcombe last year.
I am struggling to find something official to support this as a procedure.

Can anyone help me find a suitable document?
Have other commercial operators of full cabin RIBs been required to wear kill cords on all occasions?

Tony
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Old 02 May 2014, 03:26   #2
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That's an interesting point.
I can't help with your original request but isn't there a case to be argued for having some sort of fail safe to shut down in the event the skipper is incapacitated?
I presume the vessels have fixed action throttle controls.
Maybe lengthy kill cords are not ideal in the confines of a small cabin but perhaps something is still required?
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Old 02 May 2014, 03:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Hill View Post
This is now being questioned following the incident at Salcombe last year.
The incident which didn't involve a cabin!

This may be of some use to you:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/oan_703_v._final.pdf

See footnote 8 on p1. The implication is that if required to be used on open boats the MAY not on cabin boats.

Of course whilst a risk assessment should not suggest you could be thrown overboard from within a fully enclosed cabin - there is plenty of solid structure to hit and so it might be prudent (at least in rough conditions when short manned) to consider the risk that the skipper is knocked out or incapacitated through injury.
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Old 02 May 2014, 04:31   #4
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While you may have trouble finding a document that says you do not require to be wearing a killcord at all times, the other party will have trouble finding a document that says you DO!

If I were in your position I would take the following steps:

1. Ascertain if local commercial operators of planing hardboats with full cabins use killcords. If not, I'd ask the person who is demanding that you do: "What makes me different?"

2. On a diesel cabin RIB - I would produce the Engine Manufacturer's Manual that (almost certainly) will give dire warning about the effects of stopping a diesel engine via a "power off". I would point out that killcords often get pulled accidentally and a big diesel could take time to get up and running again.

3. I would approach the manufacturer/s of such craft and ask them about the number of killswitch devices fitted to their products recently (very few to none is the answer) and I would include this data in any argument I was making.

4. I would fit an Emergency Stop button to my panel (or refer to existing) to cover situations where a crash stop MIGHT be required - maybe an MOB in a bow-on landing situation or the skipper suddenly becoming unwell.

5. Lastly, if all else failed, I would make wearing one part of my Operating Procedure but only while the boat was on the plane. I would fight it's use in displacement mode tooth and nail, as it is counter productive and IMO, increases the chance of a problem occurring.

6. All the above notwithstanding, if it was in Ireland, we would simply fit a killswitch and then not use it when no-one was looking
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Old 02 May 2014, 05:07   #5
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Well now that is an argument. We have always fitted kill cords on our cabin ribs and insert a paragraph about them in the boat manual. If an operator chooses not to wear it then that is up to him and he alone is then responsible for his actions.

I have attached a photo showing the console of one of the Parker 1000 Baltic cabin RIBS which supplied to a client in the Middle East.
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Old 02 May 2014, 06:22   #6
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Well now that is an argument. We have always fitted kill cords on our cabin ribs and insert a paragraph about them in the boat manual. If an operator chooses not to wear it then that is up to him and he alone is then responsible for his actions.
Option #6 then?
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Old 02 May 2014, 06:59   #7
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Having thought about this a bit more - I think I would ensure that I had a maximum operating speed* specified in my operating manual. If you have a huge RIB capable of 35kts (and Tony has several ) then I could understand the concern that a helm might get knocked down in a "bump". In reality, doing say 25kts while seated in a captain's chair, the risk is almost non-existent. Equally, if the driver suffers some some of "episode" then they will likely remain in the chair and the killcord will not be deployed. It's a can of worms.

BTW, Nice cabin Andre - twin outboards or diesels?

*RIBs in Ireland are capped at 25kts while working passengers.
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Old 02 May 2014, 07:17   #8
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Willk, Twin Mercury Verado 300. Nobody wants diesel in the Middle East
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Old 02 May 2014, 10:31   #9
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Fasten the kill cord to the cabin door, if you get thrown out of the cabin as you go through the door it stops the engine.
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Old 02 May 2014, 11:49   #10
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Isn't there some risk of 'falling away' from the helm - leaving the motor revving away while you roll around the floor trying to get back your feet to re-take control ?

Of courseinf your sitting in a nice seat its less likely - but as in most ribs if its not a sprung seat you stand up ( so can fall down/ over )

Happens in open boats sometimes...you end knocking around the transom end trying to get up .....?
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Old 02 May 2014, 12:05   #11
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Isn't there some risk of 'falling away' from the helm - leaving the motor revving away while you roll around the floor trying to get back your feet to re-take control ? ?
Again, I think this risk is closely related to the size and speed of the craft and the activity that it is engaged in. Tony is running 10-11m fully enclosed and seated cabin boats, conducting crew transfers and seafari trips. I doubt that he is wave hopping. At the speeds I THINK he operates at, I really can't see a driver being unseated. It's very different to thrill rides in an open rib (which Tony runs on other craft that I KNOW do have and use killcords. I think some common sense needs applying to his specific issue - which is how to continue NOT using a killcord in an enclosed cabin 10m RIB.
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Old 02 May 2014, 12:07   #12
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Tony's RIB:

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Old 02 May 2014, 13:03   #13
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[QUOTE=willk;615687]While you may have trouble finding a document that says you do not require to be wearing a killcord at all times, the other party will have trouble finding a document that says you DO!

If I were in your position I would take the following steps:

2. On a diesel cabin RIB - I would produce the Engine Manufacturer's Manual that (almost certainly) will give dire warning about the effects of stopping a diesel engine via a "power off". I would point out that killcords often get pulled accidentally and a big diesel could take time to get up and running again.


I would take this view as well, I wouldn't want to kill my diesels dead from 2500rpm, and I think I would want to see the document saying I had to,before loosing too much sleep over it, has a client actually said they require a Kill Cord Tony or is it an MCA issue ?
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Old 02 May 2014, 14:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM View Post
Isn't there some risk of 'falling away' from the helm - leaving the motor revving away while you roll around the floor trying to get back your feet to re-take control ?

Of courseinf your sitting in a nice seat its less likely - but as in most ribs if its not a sprung seat you stand up ( so can fall down/ over )

Happens in open boats sometimes...you end knocking around the transom end trying to get up .....?
if your risk assessment identified that risk as a serious possibility surely you would be considering seat belts to reduce the risk of injury anyway?
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Old 02 May 2014, 14:46   #15
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More thinking this is why there is some insistence on a kill cord...

As has been said its not racing time...:-)
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Old 02 May 2014, 15:31   #16
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if your risk assessment identified that risk as a serious possibility surely you would be considering seat belts to reduce the risk of injury anyway?
Already a coding requirement here on bench seats
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Old 02 May 2014, 15:43   #17
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Quote:
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if your risk assessment identified that risk as a serious possibility surely you would be considering seat belts to reduce the risk of injury anyway?
That's the route we've taken for our 11m Redbay. Our risk assessment doesn't require the killcord to be worn, but seat belts are fitted and will be worn when the skipper deems it necessary. Killcords are fitted and worn on all our boats where the helm position is out in the open
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Old 03 May 2014, 03:04   #18
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Thanks guys

As mentioned I would give a prize to anyone who could fall overboard from ourAs stated these boats are used in a 'commercial' sector and it is our firm belief that should the boat go airbourne, take a hard jolt then blame the skipper not the boat.
When we are operating the boats there is always a skipper and a crew aboard, we don't do single man operations. If it is rough we make the decision to send two skippers if available or a skipper and someone under skipper training.
If only there was such a thing as common sense. We operate twin outboards so because there is a kill cord fitted within the ignition system then we are getting the argument it is there so it has to be used stuff.

I will let you all know where this ends up
If you do come across any suitable official paperwork (RYA/MCA) then I would be grateful if you could get in contact

Tony
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Old 03 May 2014, 12:46   #19
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Kill cords in cabin RIB

Who is suggesting that you have to wear them, Tony? I've not seen anything (from any credible source) that says you do.

"It is there so it has to be used" doesn't make sense. We carry flares, liferafts etc etc, but don't expect to use them. If your car had cruise control, would they demand you use it?
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Old 03 May 2014, 16:10   #20
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I can't see the argument for not using it? Its been proven that accidents have serious consequences when they aren't worn and people can unexpectedly leave the helm position without falling out of the boat and still leave it out of control putting life at risk. I work full time as a skipper as well as instructor, inspector and examiner and wear it 100% of the time if the boat has one even for the shortest and slowest trip. If it interferes with what I'm trying to do I replan what I intend to do rather than carry on without it even for berthing etc. Manufacturers fit them as a safety device to prevent serious injury not as something to blow in the wind, secure the keys to the boat or cause an inconvenience when used correctly.
Here's one I found recently on an inspection fitted to a 10m cabin rib in the Italy. When questioned why it was like this 'it's so that the keys never get lost when we take them out of the boat'. It was promptly modified with a pair of scissors by myself. Click image for larger version

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