NWSF News & Updates July ’13

HM Coastguard sees an increase in incidents during July’s Summer sun
HM Coastguard has seen a 23% increase in incidents in the past month, as many take the opportunity to enjoy the summer sunshine along the UK coastline.
It’s not only swimmers in difficulty that HM Coastguard has recently dealt with. Other emergencies or calls for assistance include medical evacuations, mechanical problems with small boats, divers in difficulty, people stuck in mud, cliff falls and people cut off by the tide. Peter Dymond, Chief Coastguard, says:
“From 15th June to 16th July this year, HM Coastguard dealt with 2,859 incidents. An increase of 668 compared to the same period in 2012”.
Read the full story: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=CF4D1BD60000244C&m=7&y=2013

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published its ‘Annual Report for 2012’.
Covers Leisure, Merchant, and Fishing vessel accident investigations by the MAIB. Includes full investigations, report publications, recommendations and statistics
One leisure investigation of note: Lion (No 4/2012) Reflex 38 yacht Fatal man overboard 14.5 miles south of Selsey, 18th Jun 2011.
Download the 2012 report: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/MAIBAnnualReport_2012.pdf

Leisure centre operator sentenced after child drowning
The operator of an Essex leisure centre has been ordered to pay more than £190,000 in fines and costs after a seven year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool. Michelle Gellard, from East London, died after she went swimming with a number of other children at the Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon on 14th June 2008 after attending a judo competition.
Bedfordshire-based Leisure Connection Ltd, which operates the pool, was prosecuted under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 on the 18th July by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE); after an investigation into the death identified serious failings with lifeguard cover.
The HSE investigation concluded that Leisure Connection Ltd failed over a period of time to ensure that sufficient, suitably positioned lifeguards were always on poolside duty to ensure the safety of pool users. The Blackwater leisure centre was not compliant with its own procedures, and the procedures in place at the site were inadequate.

Leisure Connection Ltd, of Potton House, Wyboston Lakes, Great North Road, Wyboston, Bedfordshire, was fined £90,000 with costs of £101,663 after admitting breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 3 of the HASAW Act places general duties on employers and the self-employed towards people other than their employees.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Antonina Drury said: “In this case, Michelle Gellard was robbed of her chances of rescue and survival by Leisure Connection’s failures.Evidence emerged in the course on the investigation that Leisure Connection failed to identify and address the fact that the amount of life guarding it was paying its staff to provide at Blackwater Leisure Centre was noticeably less than the amount it knew was required for full and safe operation of the pool.”
More on this article: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-e-02613.htm

Boat Safety Scheme issues gas warning to boaters and 10 key gas safety points
The Boat Safety Scheme is urging boaters to avoid using portable gas camping stoves, lamps and heaters on board boats because of the risks of explosions, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. The alert for this summer follows yet another gas stove explosion, this time in the close confines of a tent on a North Wales campsite. The two young people inside were taken to hospital with facial burns, very similar to when two boaters were severely injured in an explosion on a boat on the Norfolk Broads in 2010.
Such equipment is designed for use in open air and is not suitable for use in the limited space of a boat cabin, where both explosions and carbon monoxide would have disastrous consequences.
Any boater deciding to use portable gas appliances need to be completely familiar with the correct and safe way of operation – from taking out of its storage case to fitting new fuel canisters. These are the 10 key safety points that can help to keep boat crews safe:
1. Only use portable appliances onshore
2. Stow any canisters, (used or unused) and any appliance (if it has a canister inserted), in a self-draining gas locker, or on open deck where any escaping gas can flow overboard.
3. Be familiar with the operating instructions before use
4. Before you start, check the appliance’s condition, if the gas canister seal looks damaged, or if the appliances/ gas canister is extremely rusty and deteriorated, do not use it
5. To avoid gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning check that all equipment has been correctly assembled before turning it on
6. Never attempt to fit a new canister to an appliance when aboard, wait until you are onshore.
7. Before fitting a canister, put out all open flames and smoking materials
8. Ensure that you have the correct type of gas canister for your appliance and that it is being inserted in the right place and in the right way
9. If you smell or hear gas leaking before attempting to light an appliance, don’t use it
10. If any gas is leaking, ensure that it is being dispersed in free air well away from the boat or any sparks or other sources of ignition
Read more on the Canal & rivers Trust website: http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/news/boat-safety-scheme-issues-gas-warning-to-boaters

Marine guidance note 446 (M): The Rescue Boat Code (Code of Practice for Open Rescue Boats of less than 15 metres in length).
This Code is published as being representative of industry best practice of those inshore rescue boats operating in United Kingdom waters. This Marine Guidance Note reminds users of the operational requirements in the ‘Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code’ – for towing vessels operating from a beach or harbour, and encourages use of the same guidelines for towing operations taking place on inland lakes. The Rescue Boat Code covers both the use of the rescue boat for rescue purposes and also the work of the boat in support of those rescue boat activities, such as training, trials and ancillary publicity and fundraising for the rescue boat organisation.
This Marine Guidance Note introduces the MCA publication, The Rescue Boat Code (The Code of Practice for Open Rescue Boats of Less Than 15 Metres in Length), which offers a more appropriate standard, on a voluntary basis, to rescue boat organisations for their inshore rescue boats; that might otherwise be subject to the Small Commercial Vessel and
Pilot Boats Code (SCV Code, published as MGN 280). HMCG Declared Facilities that are less than 15 m in length are required to meet this Code. The Code does not apply to rescue boats carried on ships as part of their Life Saving Appliances required under SOLAS or national regulations. Download the Rescue Boat Code: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/466.pdf

Port Security Regulations 2009: consultation on proposed amendments
Minor amendments to the Port Security Regulations 2009 are proposed to add clarity and align the regulations more with the directive – This consultation closes on 11 September 2013
The Port Security Regulations 2009 bring into force Directive 2005/65/EC, a legislative act of the European Parliament about enhancing port security. Minor amendments are proposed which add clarity and bring the regulations more in line with the directive. Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/port-security-regulations-2009-consultation-on-proposed-amendments

Celebrate 60 years of search and rescue
The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset is celebrating 60 years of Royal Navy helicopter search and rescue with a summer exhibition. In 1953, the Royal Navy took delivery of its first Westland Dragonfly aircraft to form dedicated search and rescue squadrons and units around the UK.
At the heart of the display will be the Sea King flown by Prince Andrew in the Falklands Conflict, which was used to conduct a rescue mission during the campaign, and a Dragonfly, the small helicopter which began the rich tapestry of lifesaving and heritage. Young visitors can really get a feel for what it is like to be a rescue hero, with flight overalls and helmets to try on, and they can experience what it might feel like to await rescue at sea by trying out a life raft. Visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum website for further information about this exhibition and the museum’s other summer highlights. The exhibition runs until 5th September.

Navigation Advisory Group

The Canal & River Trust has announced the appointments to the Navigation Advisory Group, which will provide expert advice about boating and navigation matters. Huddersfield Narrow Canal, copyright Andy Tidy:
“Maintaining and encouraging use of the waterways by boats is at the heart of the Trust’s work and we’re delighted with the support and enthusiasm that the members of the advisory group have shown.”

Street View comes to the Nation’s canal network

Two wonders of Britain’s historic canal network are now available to view around the globe thanks to a partnership between the Canal & River Trust and Google. Google Street View of the Llangollen Canal. The aim is that people from far and wide will be able to admire a large part of the country’s canalside heritage. The Caen Hill Lock Flight and the Grade I listed World Heritage Site around Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in North Wales are among the first sections of Britain’s canal network to feature on Google’s Street View. The two Georgian engineering marvels, which played an important role in the world’s first Industrial Revolution, are already experienced in person by thousands of boaters and towpath visitors each year. Now, through Street View, they form part of the British landmarks and countryside available to view online. Read more on the CRT website…

The Canal and River Trust launches new ‘friend’ initiative

The Canal & River Trust has announced details of a new ‘Friends’ initiative with a number of celebrities amongst the first to show their support for the new charity ahead of its launch later this summer. Distinguished British actor David Suchet CBE, popular television presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff, journalist and television presenter John Craven and renowned Actor Timothy West CBE have all agreed to become the first ‘Friends’ of the charity.

The Canal & River Trust has been born!

In an increasingly fast-paced and hectic world, our wonderful canals and rivers in England and Wales remind us of a time gone by and give us a unique place to reconnect with people, nature and history and we’re here to protect them. The Canal & River Trust hopes to inspire and motivate everyone who cares about our canals and rivers to get involved with their future. It’s an idea that’s been many years in the making and involved countless dedicated people, all of whom had a vision that canals and rivers will be looked after so that future generations can enjoy them. Read more on the new Canal & River Trust website…

Major corporations pledge

Three major organisations are today (19th June 2012) announcing pledges of support for the new Canal & River Trust, which will become the guardian of the nation’s 2,000-miles of wildlife-rich canals and river banks next month.

£1m of funding is being pledged to the Trust thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Google is encouraging people to discover and enjoy the wildlife along their local waterway by literally putting towpaths on the map – Google Maps. And a partnership with The Co-operative Bank will offer the 10.5 million people who already enjoy or live on the waterways the option of supporting the conservation work of new Trust through everyday banking products. Read more on the British Waterways website…

British Waterways and the Angling Trust warn of weir pool dangers

Ahead of the main fishing season British Waterways (BW) and the Angling Trust are reminding anglers of the dangers posed by fishing in weir pools. The advice follows a tragic incident in January in which one angler died after he and a friend got into difficulties when their aluminium boat was dragged under the water at Cromwell Weir on the River Trent. Since the incident British Waterways has worked in partnership with local fishing clubs and the Angling Trust to review safety at Cromwell. BW has agreed to install additional signage at the site and is planning to install a siren system enabling the lock keeper to warn boats in the danger area immediately below the weir. Now the two organisations are advising that, whenever fishing on rivers, anglers take extra care to ensure that they go home unharmed at the end of the day. In particular anglers are strongly urged to follow the advice of signage on site to avoid areas, both on land and on the water, which have been identified as presenting potential safety hazards.
Sean McGinley, Waterway Manager for the East Midlands explains; “The incident at Cromwell Weir earlier this year was deeply saddening and nobody within the angling community wants to see it happen again. Our advice is very simple; when fishing on the river, pay attention to the signage on site and keep away from areas where possible safety hazards have been identified. “It’s also worth speaking to the relevant local angling club – they are great sources of local knowledge on where to get the best catches and any areas where particular care is needed. By taking these simple steps anglers can really enjoy the fantastic angling on the river whilst, most importantly, going home safely at the end of the day.”
David Kent, Director of the Angling Trust said; “There are fantastic opportunities for angling on canals and rivers throughout the country but we need to make sure that anglers are reminded of simple, common sense measures that they can take to reduce the occasional risks that are involved with any activity involving water.”
A list of Angling Trust member clubs can be found at http://www.anglingtrust.net with details of how to join. Read more on the British Waterways website…

Canal & River Trust appoints heritage committee

The Canal & River Trust, the charity that will become the guardian of British Waterways’ 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales in 2012, has confirmed appointments to a new committee that will help to protect the heritage of the waterways.
The Canal & River Trust will be responsible for the third largest collection of listed buildings in the UK and the committee of nine people, chaired by former Chairman of English Heritage, Sir Neil Cossons, will provide valuable advice and support on heritage and conservation issues. Read more on the British Waterways website…

Come and explore the secret history of your local West Midlands Canal

Local residents are invited to delve into the history of West Midlands’ 200 year old canal network and find out why the waterways in this area are so special.
The Canal & River Trust, the new waterways charity taking over responsibility of the local canals and rivers from British Waterways, are supporting a series of canal heritage walks which will allow local people to discover the secrets and mysteries of their local black country canal. The volunteer led walks, taking place between the 29 April and the 30 May, will allow visitors to take in a number of canals in the West Midlands including those around Birmingham, Walsall, Dudley, Kidderminster and Stourport. As well as being able to explore and find out more about these historic waterways local people will also be able to visit a pumping station and view a lime kiln – both of which were important to the waterways during the canal building era. Read more on the British Waterways website…

Canal & River Trust welcomes charity registration

The Charity Commission has confirmed the registration of the Canal & River Trust under registration number 1146792. The news means that the fledgling Trust, which already has a Board of Trustees, a governing Council and, in HRH The Prince of Wales, a Royal Patron, is now legally permitted and will soon be ready to raise charitable income to support its objectives. Read more on the British Waterways website…