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Old 15 September 2010, 07:35   #1
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Has health and safety taken over too much?

Whilst no one can really argue over the benefits of kill cords, life jackets, epirbs etc there are many threads on here where many including me have passed judgement or commented on situations where things have happened, which in essence are very rare considering the number of boaters out there. Arguably the main calls for the RNLI are either, run out of fuel, or engine broke from bad fuel. (I'm making a sweeping presumption there, perhaps others could clarify that)

I can't help but think there is some overkill in certain cases.

For example, my old man has been on dories, sub 35ft yachts and fishing boats since a baby off anglesey generally just on inshore waters, so nothing adventurous at all, not even round the island.

He saw me, my wife and two couples from the pub preparing on the jetty to do a 7 mile trip up the menai straits last year in our new boat for a couple of hours of seal watching and fishing. He laughed to himself and commented to me on return how times change, but have accidents actually reduced? I was there on a flat calm day with perfect weather checking all had a jacket in the bag in case it went cold/rained, all had life jackets on, we had enough fuel should a force 7 come in and we may use 10L per mile to return the 7 mile trip never more than 800m from shore, kill cord attached, VHF on with GPS talking to it, safety briefing to all getting on board how to use the boat in case i went in, vhf use, MOB button, kill cord explanation, points to note on the boat etc etc All very PB2 as I'd just done it and was also talking them through the new toy is suppose. It took 20 mins just to set off.

As he said, in the 80's he, my mum and another couple often with 3 kids would leave the jetty, sometimes merry, with a few rods, bouyancy aids for the kids, no kill cord (I never knew of them until we bought a rib when i was 20, though the dory probably had the switch), no radio, no gps, no epirb, no waterproofs, perhaps a fleece to compliment the shorts and tshirt, which undoubtedly would be given to a child when it got chilly. The engine was unreliable and would often break down and a wire brush used on the plugs while drifting for a mile or so towards the bridges. No one ever worried, it just seemed to be how it was.

Many others in the area who are local to water and been on it for life don't use kill cords on dorys or in any of the ski craft/leisure craft to this day. Many fisherman convincingly argue against life jackets etc

Obviously commercial boys have a responsibility to paying customers and of course we have responsibility for friends we take out. Indeed if undertaking a long journey in weather we know is changeable etc, precautions need to be taken, but it has gone very judgemental and PC when anything goes wrong on some of the shorter runs.

My point is, have some of us gone too far for what is perhaps in many occasions just a wee trip by the shore, easily done in a sib, where not much danger could occur. Bit like the fully kitted out snorkeling, off roading discovery with winch and knobbly tyres to do the school run.
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Old 15 September 2010, 07:35   #2
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lunch hour in work on my own.
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Old 15 September 2010, 08:01   #3
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Thats some rant HumberP4VWL.....I wouldnt trust the Disco on the school run tho
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Old 15 September 2010, 08:08   #4
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sure, you can get overkill.

Your boat is not set up for the couple of miles up the straights tho is it? Its set up for silly weather off the bar, and round the island,and beyond.

Yes im sure you dont need all the gear for running from The gazelle to PD but you got it, so you may as well take it.

Of course if you dont feel you need it all, ill take it off your hands
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Old 15 September 2010, 08:17   #5
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We used to burn 'witches' , think the world was flat, and have drum brakes on the front of out cars , and RNLI crews used to row ! - but as times change would we go back to doing that stuff now ?

Always a risk in everything we do (especially on boats) , but thats part of the attraction.

If all we had was 'old' stuff we wouldn't think twice, but now all this 'safe' stuff is about its unlikely to hurt you by not using it ?

What was Baden Powell on about with ...'Be Prepared' - it just means more preparation now !

Yes you do get H&S overkill - ie cant change a lightbulb as people haven't been 'trained' - but dont start me on that !
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Old 15 September 2010, 08:56   #6
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it's good to rant! Better out than in.

I did work experience for the national trust, the ranger asked me to spend all day cutting nettles from saplings. I saw the strimmer in the shed and having our own on the the farm thought great. Oh no, he said, you aren't trained and assessed on that. It was a long day with a scythe!
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Old 15 September 2010, 08:58   #7
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Thats some rant HumberP4VWL.....I wouldnt trust the Disco on the school run tho
LR as reliable as an opti with chafed wire!
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Old 15 September 2010, 09:04   #8
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sure, you can get overkill.

Your boat is not set up for the couple of miles up the straights tho is it? Its set up for silly weather off the bar, and round the island,and beyond.

Yes im sure you dont need all the gear for running from The gazelle to PD but you got it, so you may as well take it.

Of course if you dont feel you need it all, ill take it off your hands
True, it's overkill for the retired olds. But he's happy that in the knowledge that if it handles the bar etc in bad weather,he's safe on the days he goes out. Equipment is overkill for him, though I do try and encourage him to use killcord these days.

Plus I'm loving it and enjoying going further afield. Especially next year when baby has settled and mate gets his LR station wagon. Let you know if we don't need the gear!
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Old 15 September 2010, 09:42   #9
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Health ahd Safety - I LOVE it!

We all are happy to slate H+S legislation, but it is there for a good reason :

1) Imagine falling overboard with waterproofs and wellies on with no life jacket. There is a high chance of drowning.
2) Imagine how much of an idiot you would feel if you fell overboard when hitting a big wave in your RIB and non of your crew could rescue you because you hadn't showed them where the emergency kill cord was.
3) You will feel an even bigger idiot if you fell overboard with only you on the boat, only to watch the boat happily drive into the distance because you didn't have the kill cord on.
4) How irritated would your crew be if they all caught hypothermia after your engine broke down and you had to spend the night in an open boat with no warm clothing.
5) You would be amazed at how difficult it is to attact the attention of other boat users without a set of flares or a VHF radio. If you send up a flare at dusk you will generally alert the coastguard. If you wave you hands and shout, you generally will not.
6) Just think what your crew would say to you when you run out of fuel and you tell them that you haven't bought a cheeky little gallon of get me home petrol with you.
7) How about the responce from your crew when your engine breaks down and you tell them it always breaks down and is very unreliable.
8) Then there is the conversation with the coastguard using your VHF (If you had bought it with you) when they ask for your position and you don't know. Somewhere off the coast of England is not going to help them.

If it was down to me I would not allow anyone to skipper a boat without having a credible qualification, such as Powerboat Level 2. I'd make the pesky jetskiers do it too. THEN you would see less deaths at sea and less unnecessary RNLI call outs.
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Old 15 September 2010, 10:01   #10
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nice rant, I love them.

Can't argue with any of that really.

Anyone know the most common reason for rnli call out and what % of calls it makes up?
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