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Old 28 May 2013, 08:42   #1
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commercial law on life jackets

recently i paid for a short trip on a rib for myself my wife and 2 1/2 year old.
prior to paying for the 10 min sea trip I asked if they had life jackets for all of us (as no one appeared to be wearing them including the Helm)
they said they had so i got on, I then asked the helm, he said yes if i really wanted them, i confirmed again i did, he said there under the seat and set off before we had got them on.

after all the press about safety, I was amazed to see them taking out children and even babies with no life jackets on!

what is the law on this?

not sure if the helm was wearing a kill chord?
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Old 28 May 2013, 10:22   #2
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Hi there,

Where was this? it sounds very familiar.
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Old 28 May 2013, 10:25   #3
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There is no regulation that I'm aware of that states passengers MUST wear lifejackets, although a risk assessment for something like a RIB "ride" would deem it necessary. As far as I know, under MGN280 the wearing of lifejackets is only mentioned for single working. As long as the required number are carried, there is no requirement for people to wear them. It does however state that the killcord should be worn.

All of that said, I think any skipper with a grain of sense would refuse to take a small child out unless it was wearing a lifejacket or was in a lifecot.
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Old 28 May 2013, 10:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xs 400 View Post
recently i paid for a short trip on a rib for myself my wife and 2 1/2 year old.
prior to paying for the 10 min sea trip I asked if they had life jackets for all of us (as no one appeared to be wearing them including the Helm)
they said they had so i got on, I then asked the helm, he said yes if i really wanted them, i confirmed again i did, he said there under the seat and set off before we had got them on.

after all the press about safety, I was amazed to see them taking out children and even babies with no life jackets on!

what is the law on this?

not sure if the helm was wearing a kill chord?
Assuming the baot was coded for commercial work the rules certainly in the UK come under MGN 280 but these are recommendations. From memory it requires the LJs to be aboard for all persons and 10% additional as spares ( so coded for 12- carry 14). No requirement to be worn butthey have to be inspected weekly and serviced annually. Some insurance companies place a rider that customers and crew must wear them.

Personnaly you wont get on our boats without one we fit and check and it stays on. Everyone to their own!
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Old 30 May 2013, 02:40   #5
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I find it shocking that this is the case.

A commercial operator does not have a legal duty of care to his passengers, no law?

this is in my opinion complacent, an accident waiting to happen.

babies and small children with NO life jackets???????

I have read several MAIB reports recently and none of the people involved EXPECTED to go into the water, they were ejected very quickly.

why do we have to wait for a death, to do something about it?
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Old 30 May 2013, 03:57   #6
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I strongly suspect a commercial operator DOES have a legal duty of care to his passengers, in the same way he has a duty of care to his employees under the H&S at work act.

I wouldn't want to be the commercial who has an accident with a boatload who aren't wearing LJ's. A mass ejection is unlikely to result in everyone being recovered.
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Old 30 May 2013, 04:23   #7
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Ian is correct, there is no absolute requirement to go to sea with a life jacket being worn.
However, I would have thought a Risk Assessment of any commercial operation would have flagged this up. There are operators out there with life jackets with no crutch straps either.

I would have concerns over taking a child under the age of 6 on a RIB trip. I know some operators have no minimum age or as low as 2.

Ultimately, the customer has the right to walk away if unhappy prior to departure

Steve
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Old 30 May 2013, 05:07   #8
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Ultimately, the customer has the right to walk away if unhappy prior to departure

Steve
I agree with you on this, i'm not in any commercial stuff, just like to feel i'm a stickler for safety.

My first thought on having the right to walk away is, Yes they do, but it's walking away from what?

Most folk have no clue on the dangers or consequences, and are lulled into a false sense of security by seeing everyone else not bother and enjoying themself.
Rather then give them the once upon a time on incidents and possibillities, Get them in the proper PPE.

Now if they're are not happy, feel free to walk away. IMO
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Old 30 May 2013, 05:32   #9
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I see what your saying, but

I walked up to the guy selling the tickets, before I paid I asked the question,
I got on the boat I asked again, I was made to feel like I was being a pain in the arse...............if at any time they said no, I would of got off straight away........WHY?

because I have been ribbing for several years, PB2 trained, follow ribnet, read MAIB reports, listening to advice on here, I'm in education, taking kids outward bound that I personally risk asses.

so I make an educated view and risk asses for myself.

In the 3hours (13 trips of av 12 people ) I sat on that beach we were the only ones wearing life jackets.

1.Were they able to make that risk assessment, did the other 156 people have that experience ?
2. Should, when they are paying for a trip, have to risk asses for themselves?
3. I'm sure the law would say in the event of a death, that they should, not only have them on board they should...
MIN be offered when you got on board, and be shown how to operate them?
4. And with kids under 5 mandatory life jackets must be worn?
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Old 30 May 2013, 07:42   #10
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The reason they don't put lifejackets on their customers is that it would take longer to fit them than the trip duration. So 15-20 minutes of faffing about and 10 minutes on the trip. Lifejacket use would mean much fewer trips and higher prices. The public love cheap!

For the record, no-one will ever set foot on a small open boat of mine without a lifejacket on...
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Old 30 May 2013, 08:53   #11
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For the record, no-one will ever set foot on a small open boat of mine without a lifejacket on...
Ditto
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Old 30 May 2013, 09:07   #12
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For the record, no-one will ever set foot on a small open boat of mine without a lifejacket on...[/QUOTE]

ditto +1
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Old 30 May 2013, 10:45   #13
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Well I think your right to have questioned and requested LJ's, although it shouldn;t have been necessary as you should've all recieved a demo before departure, and offered if not made to wear the LJ's especially in the case of small sided craft.
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Old 30 May 2013, 10:50   #14
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So where was this ? Then we can pass ribnet judgement.............
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Old 30 May 2013, 10:55   #15
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The reason they don't put lifejackets on their customers is that it would take longer to fit them than the trip duration. So 15-20 minutes of faffing about and 10 minutes on the trip. Lifejacket use would mean much fewer trips and higher prices. The public love cheap!

.
Dont agree with that sentiment- another operator at Southsea sea front does short trips (15-20 mins) and issues lifejackets every time and also does a safety brief, this brief is slightly less than I do but covers everything needed for a short blast and very professional. (exhilaration boat rides)

Any operator as said who decides to just have LJs aboard as per requirement and does not issue them can be shown to be negligent if no LJ briefing is conducted. Take an aircraft, we dont wear LJs but we all gain a safety brief instruction on wearing them and where to find them.
In the case mentioned that started this I would hazard a guess nothing given on LJ fitting and use to non wearers?

250 has identified risk assessments and yes we have a full duty of care, in the event of an incident/report it would be hard to argue after the event I decided not to issue LJs because???
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Old 30 May 2013, 11:25   #16
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Dont agree with that sentiment- another operator at Southsea sea front does short trips (15-20 mins)
It's not really a sentiment. More a statement of fact. An outfit that provide 10 minute trips will have their turnabout time severely stretched if they issue lifejackets. 10 minute trips are popular because they're cheap and allow people to "go in a speedboat" for minimal outlay. On a 20 minute trip, the kitting up time is proportionally halved.

Personally I think taking PAX in a RIB without lifejackets worn is outrageous. You'd be fined for it here - totally illegal, even on a leisure boat.
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Old 30 May 2013, 12:28   #17
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It's not really a sentiment. More a statement of fact. An outfit that provide 10 minute trips will have their turnabout time severely stretched if they issue lifejackets. 10 minute trips are popular because they're cheap and allow people to "go in a speedboat" for minimal outlay. On a 20 minute trip, the kitting up time is proportionally halved.

Personally I think taking PAX in a RIB without lifejackets worn is outrageous. You'd be fined for it here - totally illegal, even on a leisure boat.
Understand what your saying as time saving, but I am on side with your second paragraph, most commercial insurance ask for LJs to be worn anyway.

As PeterM says where was this issue as I dont see our area having non wearing LJs on commercial operations. Without a doubt non wearing on a RIB can a disaster and cant see why anyone would go out on an open boat on the sea without one worn
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Old 06 June 2013, 15:05   #18
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where was it..........Lulworth Cove

no life jackets on passengers, even small children
no life jacket on helm
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Old 06 June 2013, 15:28   #19
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So while we can all pass RibNet judgement, who is the regulator of this and would it not be better to have the disucssion with them. They can either say "Well its not illegal so we cant force them" or they can say "Well they need to do a risk assessment" if its the former then we should be asking the regulator why its not illegal (as much as we are against legal controls for kill cords in leisure use I think most people would feel it different for a commercial setting) or if its the latter I'd be asking the regulator if they are satisified with the risk assessment.
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Old 06 June 2013, 15:50   #20
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A commercial operator does not have a legal duty of care to his passengers, no law?
Of course he does, but since he didn't eject any of his passengers into the water he's met his duty of care. Dumping passengers, especially toddlers into the water with or without lifejackets is unlikely to end well. I'd be a little anxious if the organisation put some arbitrary age limit on it.

He'll probably point to the fact he's run thousands of trips for loads of passengers and never harmed them. He'll also point to loads of other situations where people go afloat without lifejackets (e.g. most ferries). It might not be directly comparable but where do you draw the line. Compare to the boat off Wales which hit a rock recently, or boats which operate the Farne Islands etc...

If it was me running a typical rib type operation everyone would be L/Jacketed.

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where was it..........Lulworth Cove
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So while we can all pass RibNet judgement, who is the regulator of this and would it not be better to have the disucssion with them.
Well if you search some terms like Lulworth and Lifejacket I think you will find its been discussed before.
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