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Old 24 March 2011, 05:09   #21
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Risk Assessments, MGN etc

All sectors of small commercial vessels in the Oban and other western ansd northern area are showing concern re MGN 280 22.9.1.2
We are people in the front line. I offer RIB trips, others are coded sailing charter yachts, small passenger ferries, RYA yacht teaching establishments. It is not just RIBs who are seeking justification for the change.

We are to advise our passengers, we should have on board. These are the words of the code and the interpretation from the MCA and RYA.

Some of the potential issues for RIB trips
We have to stand at the top of the jetty and 'advise' our customers who purchase a ticket as passing trade that they should have a drysuit, immersion suit or floatation suit. Certainly the customer won't have one
the 'advice' immediately indicates to the customer (who may not be from a sea background) potential risk We admitted there is but we belive this is well managed.
The customer will expect the operator to provide suitable equipment - a suit per person per trip as a floatation suit really needs cleaning after each use if they are to be used by others. There are practicality and hygiene issues.
What of the sizes for the 5 year old on a sunny day wishing to go out and see the seals? We just issue waterproofs and take something in the locker whilst parents get a floatation suit?
What of the disabled person with independent seated balance who wishes to go for a 'gentle cruise' with family. In the event of abandonment they would never get in a suit.

The general view from many sectors of the small commercial boat operators in our area are that these changes to the regulations are wrong.
The debate about the word should on providing these garments could eventually be interpreted as must (perhaps lead by insurers)

There is growing opoosition here.

As a point of interest, yesterday's sea temperatures around the UK did not reach 10 degrees apart from west coast of Ireland. Did anyone who was out on the water yesterday advise their general customers that they should be wearing drysuit, immersion suit or other suitable garment? We have all been working to MGN 280 Harmonised code even theough technically its not statute.

I have tried to copy the temp chart to this post and failed but I can supply

If you believe we have a justifiable case do please write to Mark Towl at Mark.Towl@mcga.gov.uk
If you are an RYA member/teaching establishment also write to Richard.Falk@rya.org.uk
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Old 24 March 2011, 07:10   #22
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I have a dozen immersion suits and have kitted 12 passengers out with them on really cold days. But what a pain, it has taken nearly an hour at times to get everyone kitted out buckled up and ready even before we set foot on a boat.

As Tony says cleaning is an issue, if a "sweater" wears one even once(no offence intended to the smelly amongst us) they are pungent. To clean ours you have to put them in the machine and wash them one at a time, then take them out, turn them inside out and wash them again, then do an extrta rinse cycle again, then take them out turn them the right way out, do a rinse cycle on that side. It takes hours for one suit.

As for simply being required to carry them, whats the point? If someone falls off are we going to say, "excuse me just pop back on the boat get your suit on then you can nip back into the water) Nonsense!
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Old 24 March 2011, 15:46   #23
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I checked today and yesterday which were between 16-18 air temp, so the hottest days on the Solent so far this year, yet SEA TEMP was only 8.5- (below the new proposal of 10) so these proposals will affect everyone operating commercial craft and also RYA training centres.
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Old 24 March 2011, 16:12   #24
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Whilst I have not commented on here, I do think the proposals are not viable and therefore sent a detailed letter to Mark.
It would impact on even the established operators, included those on the Thames for example
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Old 24 March 2011, 16:35   #25
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I was intrigued as to what the existing codes say...

...the wording is almost identical... except the Yellow and Blue Codes say "high latitudes" rather than <10deg C.

...but the brown code already says <10degC.

The red code doesn't seem to mention personal equipment.
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Old 26 March 2011, 02:17   #26
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Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
I was intrigued as to what the existing codes say...

...the wording is almost identical... except the Yellow and Blue Codes say "high latitudes" rather than <10deg C.

...but the brown code already says <10degC.

The red code doesn't seem to mention personal equipment.
so really the rules already apply they haven't been enforced.
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Old 26 March 2011, 03:34   #27
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The rules have been sensibly applied

Most small commercial passenger vessels operate under yellow code. Blue code is sail training, brown code is workboat, red code is 3/15 miles from Nominated point of departure.
As Polwart states
Red Code there were no regulations re cold water clothing so they are affected.
Brown code the regulations for 10 deg were stated but never applied
Yellow and blue code the regulations clearly stated in higher latitudes. What the MCA are trying to do is define higher latitudes as a water temperature of 10 deg or below. Many believe 10 deg is inappropriate, requires review and anyway there has been no clear demonstration that entering the water as opposed to a liferaft has been a regular occurence..

Any cynics out there?
The MCA are changing the regulations to 10 deg which in particular will affect those of us north of the border. REASON - as MCA are to close Coastguard station particularly up north (Shetland, Stornoway and Clyde) they have risk assessed that our rescue times will now be considerably slower Those co ordinating from either Belfast or Liverpool may not have the local knowledge so we have to survive longer ourselves. Someone could end up in the water. The MCA are passing the responsibility to increase survival time firmly into the lap of the operator.

Please don't respond to the above but many operators are frustrated by the lack of the MCA to correspond and debate with the industry.
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Old 26 March 2011, 04:57   #28
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Originally Posted by Tony Hill View Post
Any cynics out there?
The MCA are changing the regulations to 10 deg which in particular will affect those of us north of the border. REASON - as MCA are to close Coastguard station particularly up north (Shetland, Stornoway and Clyde) they have risk assessed that our rescue times will now be considerably slower Those co ordinating from either Belfast or Liverpool may not have the local knowledge so we have to survive longer ourselves. Someone could end up in the water. The MCA are passing the responsibility to increase survival time firmly into the lap of the operator.
Tony, I don't think so, does MGN 280 not long pre-date the proposed MRCC amalgamations? in fact back to a previous government and prior to talk of cuts? But then I also don't buy into the argument that rescue times will be significantly slower coordinated from Belfast or Liverpool rather than Greenock.
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Old 26 March 2011, 07:40   #29
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I was just winding people up

Don't be concerned, those of us out on the water daily are more than happy that rescue times will not be longer, our experience when CG closed the Oban office and moved everything to Clyde was the guys on the VHF did not recognise or know where some of the places were. We see this happening again however with modern push button stuff the human element is virtually removed from a rescue.

People are also locally trying to fight the closures but if you read the coastguard survey form we estimate there was no choice as to whether these stations would close.
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Old 26 March 2011, 10:33   #30
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Quote:
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The MCA are passing the responsibility to increase survival time firmly into the lap of the operator.
... and where better for that responsibility to rest? Seems to me that the protection of the passengers is the primary requirement of the operator

Quote:
however with modern push button stuff the human element is virtually removed from a rescue.
Not buying that at all, Tony. Try telling the lifeboat and the helicopter crews that the human element has been virtually removed from a rescue.
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