Question for Experts!
This is a debate going on in another forum - from Captains on Superyachts who have tenders - sometimes several tenders/ ribs. I believe there are forum members on Ribnet who could probably offer some good advice! Here is the debate - I will post back informed opinion to the other site.
Tender Driving - Darkness
While no one, least of all Management Companies, want to accept liability/responsibility for anything these days, it being easier to blame us non corporate types and while the MCA can and do initiate prosecutions I thought I would get to the bottom of the matter of crew without RYA Yachtmaster, 500t, etc tickets but with RYA PB2 certs. driving tenders during darkness as can and does happen. My desire to know stems from the fact that during my recent Advanced PB training I became aware of certain failings in the PB 2 and then I read that the RYA's chief examiner is quoted is saying that it (Superyacht Tender Operators ....), ''Is not a replacement for PB 2 but a step up''. If the PB 2 is a driving license permitting or licensing driving in darkness then of course Richard Falk is correct in his summing up but if it isn't .......... ? The Advanced specifically includes, 'Day and Night'. There is no night (darkness) component in the PB2 so in determining that the PB 2 does not permit - from a legal or liability perspective - driving a tender with guests in darkness then the new course would be, I submit, a replacement if it is a license for driving during darkness.
The RYA could not or would not give me an answer to this simple question so in November I approached the MCA, our REAL extraterritorial legislators and police. I have just received a reply but it referred to cruise ships so I tried again. This is the latest reply:-
''If the tender is coded, it is quite clear under MGN 280 that the limits of the Power Boat level 2 certificate would be three miles from a designated departure point. However, this three mile limit to sea may be reduced to daylight if the craft has no navigation lights.
If the tender is not coded, it becomes part of the ships equipment and will either be covered by the LSA regulations or the safety management system in place on the ship and the procedures it contains. There is an overarching requirement that the Master has a duty of care for both the passengers and crew of his vessel. It would be difficult to argue that the Master had not fulfilled that requirement if the operator of the tender had a certificate that would allow that person to take a 24 metre coded vessel at any time of the day to sea at a distance of three miles. However, interpretation of the legislation in cases like this where the situation is not clearly defined are not really the remit of civil servants; it is for the courts.''
I interpret, ''may be reduced to daylight if the craft has no navigation lights'', as meaning that the PB 2 is an accepted 'darkness license' subject to the three mile .... . The second para. however, leaves me at a loss: if the PB 2 is such a license why does the MCA allude in the case of a non coded tender to recourse to our/a legal system to arrive at a decision/set precedent? Either the PB 2 does permit legal/non questionable tender driving at night or it doesn't?
- "No matter how big the sea may be, sometimes two ships meet".