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Old 06 May 2007, 15:18   #101
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Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
Risk assesments are subjective.

I would suggest that you could equally well assess the risk as follows:

RISK - passenger falls overboard.

LIKLIHOOD - low: provided responsible driving style employed, and reasonable wave heights being encountered. All passengers are seated on jockey seats in the centre of a large boat (not on tubes). No previous history (I assume) of MoB from this vessel. MoB's not perceived as actually being a common occurance on commercial RIBs with jockey seats opperated responsibly.

IMPACT - potential loss of life especially for non swimmer (therefore ensure lifejackets are available and signage clear to that effect). Given the high manouverability of the craft, and the location of all passengers in front of the crew it is likely that any MoB could be quickly and successfully recovered without serious consequences.


I am not saying that this is the correct analysis of risk - but it if I was on the jury I could be convinced!
Fair point, but if I was running the boat (and when I am running our boats) I'm just very risk averse - although I suppose you could argue that I'm not as most sensible people are heading back in when we're usually heading out...
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Old 07 May 2007, 04:31   #102
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Originally Posted by richyrich
1. If the chap who runs the boat employed someone to go on the boat with him they would have to wear a life jacket. If they helmed, they (and maybe he), would have to wear a kill cord. Why? Because employer would be obliged to do risk assessment and inevitably risk of employee being thrown from boat would be highest risk factor, reduced to minimum by these steps.

Quote:
Polwart

No thats a typical lawyers approach to risk assesment!

In reality he is only required to take "action" to address any 'real' risk - not every possible eventuality. There are thousands and thousands of commerical rib trips made every year. I doubt that if the boat is being driven in a "controlled" fashion that the "skipper" has ever been ejected from a large boat like this fitted with jockey seats - when opperating in sheltered waters. [
With the greatest respect the logical extension of your argument is that the risks are so small that no one should ever wear a lifejacket whilst ribbing, providing skipper is experienced and drives in a controlled fashion! It's the other bugger who worries me.

Every reputable commercial rib operator requires its staff to wear lifejackets - look at every harbourmaster's launch. (Though pre obligatory risk assessments many didn't). I quite accept r/a has to be sensible, but the risk of hitting submerged hazards or (and we've all seen the video) being thrown due to turning too sharply, (or tripple fatality in Scotland last year due to "catastrophic steering failure") in high speed open sea operation is hardly fanciful.
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Old 07 May 2007, 05:43   #103
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Originally Posted by richyrich View Post
I quite accept r/a has to be sensible, but the risk of hitting submerged hazards or (and we've all seen the video) being thrown due to turning too sharply, (or tripple fatality in Scotland last year due to "catastrophic steering failure") in high speed open sea operation is hardly fanciful.
Richy - by driven responsibly - I meant e.g. that if the occupants were not wearing lifejackets the helm would be unlikely to make high speed turns.

Hitting submerged hazards is a reasonable risk to flag up - but in good weather - in some areas of water (I don't know Lulworth) it is relatively unlikely and again may be considered low risk. I can't remember hearing of anyone being ejected from a rib after hitting a container or other partially floating hazard. Certainly people have been thrown out after hitting rocks/sandbanks. The operator, with local knowledge of the water, the hazards, the tides etc can assess that risk. If he makes the same journey every day and is well away from any underwater obstruction it is unlikely one will suddenly appear! This is why the R/A should be tailored to the situation and not some "generic" - everyone on every rib must wear a lifejacket.

I accept that mechanical failure of the steering system can result in you being thrown overboard. The correct mitigation of that risk is not simply wearing a life jacket - it is to ensure good maintainence of the system (the route cause of the fatal accident in Loch Lomond was poor maintainance of the hydraulic steering - although life jackets may have saved them.) [For your information there were 2 fatalities NOT 3 (the third person was not 'ejected' from the craft and therefore survived) and the accident happened in early 2005 not - last year.]

A life jacket is PPE and therefore should be the last resort in mitigating risk. The correct approach is to prevent the person being thrown overboard in the first place. There are a number of factors which might contribute to that e.g.:

* driving style
* driver training
* passenger briefing
* position of passengers on boat
* type of seating
* maintainence of steering systems
* awareness of underwater hazards
* weather conditions
* design of boat (internal 'freeboard', beam, length etc)

I will once again say that I am not advocating the absense or not wearing of lifejackets on pleasure or commercial ribs. I am simply trying to point out that if you avoid the MoB in the first place then the need is much reduced. Not requiring someone to wear a L/J does not mean that a risk assessment has not been completed.

The chances of entering the water are probably far greater when boarding/alighting the rib. Yet I know that some commercial operators wait until the passengers are on board before issuing L/Js and retrieve them before they alight.

I find it interesting that in the RIB world it is the "de facto" standard (which I myself follow - and would insist on anyone on my tiny RBB doing too).
Yet within the "yachting" community it is very much abnormal - except in bad weather, etc. Some of these people must be operating commerically - yet their R/A don't seem to have resulted in a "must wear l/j" mentality. People walk about yachts (so slips/trips risk resulting in MoB much higher). Racing yachts (some of which have paid crew/skippers) often don't have "safety fences" - and even people sitting on the gunwhale don't seem to wear L/Js. Similarly with fishing fleets.

Considering the "pleasure trip/sight seeing/wildlife tour" market - and other than RIBs - I would say it is unusual to see the wearing of L/Js by passengers.

Finally - I suspect that a lot of the harbour masters (etc) risk assesments requiring L/Js are largely to cover the risks in boarding/alighting and deck working.
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Old 07 May 2007, 06:25   #104
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I see your point Polwart.

I do know Lulworth-it's part of my normal stamping ground and it can be quite....."interesting" depending on wind direction. It's rarely 'flat' calm-there's always a small swell.

Personally though, my risk assessment would go like this (an yes, I know this isn't a proper risk assessment)

I'm advertising fast rib rides to numpty grockles and fractious kids who don't have a clue. If I don't go fast they'll complain and business will suffer-but they are still quite likely to get up and arse about without warning even when told not to.
Sods law says it'll be twisted by a lawyer into being my fault that the numpty grockle couldn't stop their kid jumping overboard during a tantrum and sinking like a stone.

Solution-make wearing a lifejacket mandatory on my boat.
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Old 07 May 2007, 07:08   #105
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I see your point Polwart.

I do know Lulworth-it's part of my normal stamping ground and it can be quite....."interesting" depending on wind direction. It's rarely 'flat' calm-there's always a small swell.

Personally though, my risk assessment would go like this (an yes, I know this isn't a proper risk assessment)

I'm advertising fast rib rides to numpty grockles and fractious kids who don't have a clue. If I don't go fast they'll complain and business will suffer-but they are still quite likely to get up and arse about without warning even when told not to.
Sods law says it'll be twisted by a lawyer into being my fault that the numpty grockle couldn't stop their kid jumping overboard during a tantrum and sinking like a stone.

Solution-make wearing a lifejacket mandatory on my boat.

Absolutely makes sense to me... ...and given that he has the L/Js present I don't really see why he doesn't bother (if he is trying to sell "exciting" rides it would help create the "feeling of potential risk").

I have no idea how people (the public) actually behave when on a fast rib ride... ... but if "mischief" is normal - it would certainly increase the argument for wearing them.
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Old 07 May 2007, 07:18   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
I have no idea how people (the public) actually behave when on a fast rib ride... ... but if "mischief" is normal - it would certainly increase the argument for wearing them.
Generally people sit down, and hang on - in two years I've had one Japanese tourist stand up to take photos - but that's it.

The problem is that you can interpret the MCA Coding regs in many ways - and as the MCA bloke pointed out - anyway MGN280 is only 'guidelines' - not actually rules as such.

SO - this guy may have done his own risk assessment, and decided that the risks are small enough that he has decided not to do it. His decision.

(Incidentally, there is a slow boat in the harbour where I operate which doesn't put life jackets on people - he's under the same coding rules as me for lifejackets - and the MCA are happy because the service, or its equivalent, has operated safely without incident for decades. The MCA, or their agent, has never asked me whether I put them on people - I just have to have them.)

I don't agree with Mr Lulworth - but if he has assessed his own risks, and he is happy, there is very little you can do. It's his business/head/reputation. The fact that it will impact the rest of us commercial users if anything does go wrong is unfortunate - but there isn't much we can do.

Clearly everyone on here thinks he is wrong (IF that's what he is doing) - but that doesn't mean that technically he is.

D...
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Old 07 May 2007, 07:49   #107
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I have no idea how people (the public) actually behave when on a fast rib ride... ... but if "mischief" is normal - it would certainly increase the argument for wearing them.

I look at it as "It's going to happen eventually".
In two years one idiot is pretty good going-IMO the general public are inherently stupid and will eventually astound you with their ingenuity in their quest to get crushed/dropped/drowned/run over/killed or mutilated in a strange and ingenious manner.

I've had someone crouch to walk under a full,swinging 8 tonne skip while it's being lifted.

I had once had to snatch an ex's kid from the road after he jumped in front of a bus during a tantrum.

I've had a mother push her pushchair under the trailer of an artic at traffic lights because she couldn't be arsed to walk round-and parents making their children walk under the truck when stationary with the engine running on many occasions.

Sixy had someone walk through the cones and across a sheet of steel that was being lifted by a tower crane.

Take a look at the post about the guy who tried to climb an outdrive while the boat was in gear, or the pic on here with kids sat with their feet in the water next to the prop.

Last week I was on the recieving end of a load of abuse for stopping some idiot school run mother ushering her kids UNDER A LOADED TAIL-LIFT THAT WAS BEING LOWERED!


It might be a selfish way of looking at it but I'd see making passengers wear lifejackets as protecting myself rather than them. People are stupid. If they really want to wander round in a daze then I'd rather make sure they die somewhere else apart from on my watch.
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Old 07 May 2007, 08:04   #108
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On a similar vein many people would consider it irresponsible to carry all your passengers sitting on the tubes with no other form of seating. Add in white water and extreme conditions and surely proper jockey seats become essential?

And yet Shaun White operated in far more extreme conditions than anyone else with no problem for many years. Eventually one of his boats capsized throwing all 12 passengers into the water. I suspect if they had all been sitting on jockey seats things could have been much worse. And yet how many commercial passenger RIBs do you see these days without seating?
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Old 07 May 2007, 09:49   #109
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So if you know him why haven't you got him on here to answer the countless criticisms ?
As I've said before...I don't know him and have never been to Lulworth Cove.

The rights and wrongs of what he is ALLEDGEDLY doing are debatable as you can no doubt see from this lively debate.

Actually my original objection was the posting of grainy photographs which really can't tell the full story, with the caption "cowboy" followed by torrents of abuse about his operation from certain people frequenting this forum.

The guy probably knew nothing of this debate and was therefore unable to raise a defence should he wish.

You Biggles refer to him as an "absolute pratt" on this public forum, but you hesitate to telephone him and make this comment to him directly.

Why not?
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Old 07 May 2007, 10:36   #110
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As I've said before...I don't know him and have never been to Lulworth Cove.

The rights and wrongs of what he is ALLEDGEDLY doing are debatable as you can no doubt see from this lively debate.

Actually my original objection was the posting of grainy photographs which really can't tell the full story, with the caption "cowboy" followed by torrents of abuse about his operation from certain people frequenting this forum.

The guy probably knew nothing of this debate and was therefore unable to raise a defence should he wish.

You Biggles refer to him as an "absolute pratt" on this public forum, but you hesitate to telephone him and make this comment to him directly.

Why not?

'Pratt', 'Cowboy', 'Idiot', 'Crazy', it all means the same. As said by numerous contributors on this thread. Should we all phone him up ?
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