NWSF News & Updates

Boating & Watersports Participation Surges to Highest Level Since 2007
Participation rates in core boating and watersports activities surged in 2013 according to research released by by BMF, MCA, RNLI, RYA, BCU and MMO.
A total of 3.5 million adults (7.1% of the population) took to the water across a number of activities including power boating, sailing, canal boating and rowing/skulling.
This reflects an increase of 23% in the number of participants from 2012 when 2.8 million adults, took part in at least one of the activities. Within this total, canoeing and kayaking in particular proved popular, recording an all-time high of 1.5 million adults (3% of the population). Read more: http://www.britishmarine.co.uk/news__press/press_article.aspx?ArticleId=4282
Water sport safety information from the NWSF: http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/advice.asp

Neknominate ‘game’ leads to a false emergency call
After receiving reports from that a teenager was threatening to jump into the rough seas, Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre sent the Redcar RNLI Lifeboat to Saltburn Pier. When the teams on scene couldn’t find the teenager further investigations revealed that he was at home. He had posted his intention to jump from the Pier on social media. Humber Coastguard Watch Manager Bev Allen said;
“If you have been drinking, your judgement will be impaired and you will be more likely to be overcome by the cold, dark sea. Your acceptance of the dare is highly likely to be life threatening. Alcohol is a contributory factor in a significant number of coastal drownings every year. Alcohol and sea water really don’t mix” http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=96B5848B506AE7DC&m=2&y=2014

National Watersports Month
The British Marine Federation (BMF) and strategic partners the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoe Union (BCU) and British Rowing are working together on a new initiative, to encourage the nation to get on the water this coming May.
National Watersports Month will focus on promoting events across the country providing a variety of boating and watersports activities. Sailing, windsurfing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, inland waterway cruising events and more will be taking place – to find out more and to get involved visit: http://www.watersportsmonth.co.uk
Water sport safety information from the NWSF: http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/advice.asp

MAIB Safety Bulletin 1/2014 – Eshcol
Carbon monoxide poisoning on board the scallop-dredger Eshcol in Whitby, North Yorkshire resulting in two fatalities. Read the report: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Safety%20Bulletin%201_2014.pdf

MAIB Safety Bulletin 2/2014 – ECC Topaz
MAIB Safety Bulletin on the fire and subsequent foundering of workboat ECC Topaz 11nm east of Lowestoft on 14 January 2014, was published on 26 February 2014. http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Safety%20Bulletin%202_2014.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 6/2014: Sirena Seaways
MAIB Report on the investigation of Sirena Seaways’s heavy contact with the berth at Harwich International Port on 22 June 2013. Download report: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/SirenaSeaways.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 7/2014 Prospect
MAIB Report on the investigation of the fv Prospect grounding on Skibby Baas and foundering in the North entrance to Lerwick Harbour, Shetlands Islands.Read more: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Prospect.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 8/2014 Danio
MAIB’s investigation into the grounding of the general cargo vessel Danio in the Farne Islands nature reserve, off the east coast of England. Read more: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Danio.pdf

Advertisements

NWSF NEWS & Updates

‘Turn around, don’t drown’
More than half (54%) of UK drivers would endanger themselves and their vehicles by driving through moving flood water; according to a joint Environment Agency and AA survey. The research also revealed that more than a quarter (27%) of respondents would drive through moving flood water deeper than 30cm, (which is enough to move a car). The EA and the AA strongly advise not entering flood water that is moving or water more than 10cm deep.
Last year, the second wettest on record in the UK, claimed the lives of several motorists. In the same period, the AA rescued almost 9,000 vehicles that had driven through or were stuck in flood water, with an estimated insurance bill of more than £34 million. The survey found that:

  • more than two-fifths (42%) of drivers would blindly follow the vehicle in front if it had crossed a flooded road successfully;
  • the equivalent of 680,000 drivers would ignore a ‘road closed’ warning sign and drive down a flooded road rather than take a short detour – this is dangerous, an offence and insurers could reject any flood damage claim;
  • people aged between 55 and 64 are most likely to risk driving through the deepest flowing flood water (up to 34cm);
    men would attempt to drive through deeper water (up to 34cm) than women (up to 27cm):
  • and those living in North East England would attempt to drive through deeper water (up to 34cm) than anywhere else in the UK.

‘Tragically people die because they’ve taken risks and attempted to drive through flood water. Flood water is dangerous, dirty and it can carry disease. If there is widespread flooding in your area then don’t travel and if a road is closed then turn around and make a detour. It is tempting to think you’re safe from the dangers of floodwater in some big vehicles like 4x4s and vans, but the fact is, that you aren’t’ said Adele Needham for the Environment Agency. The EA in the South West has been trialing hi-tech signs at three blackspots in the West Country, where drivers have previously been rescued after becoming trapped by floodwater. The lights were introduced as part of a ‘Think Don’t Sink’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of flooded roads. The lights, that are similar in size to standard speed limit signs, are linked by telemetry to nearby watercourses and immediately start flashing when water levels reach the point where a road has flooded. The word ‘Flood’ is clearly visible to approaching drivers. Signs are positioned either side of a flooding blackspot at the point where motorists can chose an alternative route and avoid being trapped in their vehicle. Often they are in Rapid Response Catchments where conditions can change quickly following heavy rain and water levels rise with little warning. To find out if you are at risk and to sign up for free flood warnings go to:
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/default.aspx or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

Coastal safety and Coastguard safety messages

The Coastguard remind dog owners not to put themselves in danger
Humber Coastguard is again urging dog owners not to put themselves at risk by trying to save their pet. The warning comes after the rescue of a pitbull terrier that jumped into the water at Seaham Pier, County Durham. Graham Dawson, Watch Manager at Humber Coastguard, said:
“The owner was worried about her pet and told emergency services that she was going to enter the water to try to rescue her dog. This is something we strongly advise against, as you are likely to get into difficulty yourself. We find that most dogs manage to get themselves back to shore safe and well, but some owners do not. We’d also encourage owners to keep their pets on a lead. But if they do enter the water or fall down a cliff edge, please call 999 straight away and ask for the Coastguard.” Read more: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=B3C4D8D51D7608DE&m=12&y=2013

A joint appeal from the Police and Coastguard: ‘Do not enter the sea during bad weather’.
Devon and Cornwall Police with Her Majesty’s Coastguard are appealing to local residents and visitors to the Devon and Cornwall region not to enter the sea during the bad weather. A police spokesperson said: “There are people who enjoy swimming in all weathers as well as those who may underestimate the danger a rough sea can pose. During the current bad weather, we would like to appeal to people not to put themselves, and emergency personnel who might have to turn out to rescue them, in unnecessary danger.”
HM Coastguard advises that those who enjoy walking on beaches and rocky areas stay away from the surf line during this period of extreme weather and ensure that children and pets do likewise. Large waves can easily take people by surprise and the force of the waves is significant. Dogs should be kept on leads if walking along cliff tops.
In an emergency at the coast, do not put yourself in danger by entering the water or climbing cliffs but call 999 and request the Coastguard. http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=B3C4D8D51D7608DE&m=12&y=2013

Huber Coastguard urge anglers to name their fishing gear
After having coordinated a search for an angler who left valuable fishing gear unattended on a jetty at Ness Point, Lowestoft, the Coastguard urge anglers to name their fishing gear. The search involved four lifeboats, one Police helicopter and a Coastguard Rescue Team. The angler concerned had gone home to collect his medication and then got held up. Graham Dawson, Humber Coastguard watch manager says:
“We take all reports of possible missing persons at sea very seriously, with the recent bad weather and floods we have been extremely busy and if this angler had clearly named his fishing equipment we could have contacted him and saved the time and effort of the resources involved in today’s search effort.”
http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=B6F7449E1E8B3FEC&m=1&y=2014

NWSF News & Updates September ’13

BSAC’s Annual Incident Report 2013 deadline is fast approaching
The closing date for incident submissions for BSAC’s Annual Incident Report is 14th October 2013. Every year, BSAC compiles a comprehensive Annual Incident Report to aid diver safety by sharing information and allowing all divers to learn from the reports of others. The reporting year runs from 1st October to 30th September each year to fit with both the diving season and to allow compilation of the report in time for publication. It is important that all reports are submitted as soon as possible in order to be included in this year’s report and so we would remind all members to submit reports for any incidents, occurring between 1st October 2012 and 30th September 2013, by Monday 14th October. The report will be presented by BSAC’s Safety Adviser Brian Cumming at the BSAC Diving Conference at the NEC on Saturday, 26th October. Read more or report an incident: http://www.bsac.com/page.asp?section=1046&sectionTitle=Incident+Reporting

#SAVEWAVE: A Wave of support that put RNLI rescue stories in front of 1.8M people
The RNLI’s #SAVEWAVE campaign has been running during the summer months. A simple idea of allowing the RNLI to post stories over your Twitter/ Facebook profiles to your followers has created a campaign that reached 1.8 million people. Over the 7 week period, the RNLI posted the week’s most dramatic rescues across social media on behalf of the 6,000 strong campaign’s supporters. #SaveWave, has quickly helped build awareness of the RNLI’s lifesaving work. RNLI volunteers rescue, on average 150 people every week. See the #SAVEWAVE video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAONhO4aZXQ&feature=youtu.be
More ways to support the RNLI: http://rnli.org/howtosupportus/Pages/How-to-support-us.aspx

Before you book your next dive holiday, check out BSAC Trip Reports
Malta, Gozo, Orkney Islands and Marsa Shagra are the latest dive destinations to be covered by the BSAC Trip Reports, written and submitted by travelling divers and now available online. An invaluable port of call if you are starting to plan your next big dive trip, the reports are part of the BSAC Trip report service, which hosts hundreds of first-hand dive holiday accounts, both in the UK and worldwide. Written by BSAC members, Trip Reports provide uncensored testimonies on the best – and not so great – holiday experiences to help you make up your mind. Check out the Trip Reports section where you will also find guidance on how to submit your own holiday report.
Trip Reports: http://www.bsac.com/news.asp?itemid=13313&itemTitle=Before+you+book+your+next+dive+holiday%2C+check+out+BSAC+Trip+Reports&section=56&sectionTitle=News&month=9&year=2013

Swansea and Stirling’s elite swimming centres under threat
British Swimming has given the strongest indication yet that centres of excellence in Swansea and Stirling could lose their International Training Centre (ITC) status.
The sport suffered a £4,000,000 funding cut after winning just three of their five targeted medals at London 2012. The centres at Loughborough and Bath are believed to be safe. British Swimming has been investigating ways of reducing operating costs since suffering the funding cut. The sport had operated five ITCs in the build up to London 2012, but the one at Stockport was axed in February. Talks with representatives from both threatened centres are on-going, but those from Swansea will meet with British Swimming officials for a crucial meeting about their situation next week.
Scottish Swimming says it is working hard with British Swimming and is in constant dialogue with their counterparts over the future of the centre in Stirling. It stresses that, while the review is underway, preparations for Scottish swimmers using the facility at Stirling will not be affected and it is business as usual. Read the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/wales/23962233

MPs to debate Coastguard’s report
Westminster Hall debate: The Coastguard, Emergency towing vessels and the Maritime incident response group – Follow up. The Westminster Hall debate will be on Thursday 17th October in Westminster Hall at 13.30. The debate will discuss the Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2012-13.
Having secured changes to the Government’s original proposals, saving some stations from closure and keeping all remaining stations as 24-hour operations, the Coastguard service report, receiving worrying information about the impact of recent reforms.
The report focuses on changes to the Coastguard Service, and draws considerable attention to the problems of; low morale and the loss of experienced staff with exemplary local knowledge – which came through station closure and amalgamation. The report will be the subject of the first debate of the afternoon, before a debate on a report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news/coastguards—wh-debate/

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.

NWSF News & Updates June ’13

HRH The Duke of Cambrige, calls for school swimming to be accessible for all children
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge and patron of the English Schools Swimming Association, has recorded a short video calling for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools.
The video has been released following the largest ever investigation into school swimming by the ASA that revealed more than half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided. This equates to 1.1 million children that are unable to be safe in and around water

“The ASA has a belief – a vision, which I share – that every child has the right to learn to swim” – His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.
In the video he goes onto say: “Swimming is unique – it is the only sport that can save lives – which is why I’m so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools. The ability to swim changes lives – it brings huge joy and it can keep us fit and healthy. But above all, it can keep us safe, which is why I’m pleased to lend my support to this campaign.”

The ASA, for their report entitled “Learning the Lesson – the future of school swimming”, surveyed 3,501 schools on how many of their children have attained Key Stage 2 swimming requirements. It found that half of children aged seven to eleven cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum.

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said “The ASA’s vision is that that every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign.
“I am in no doubt that this support will help drive awareness around the importance of swimming, a life saving skill, being accessible to every child in primary school.”
Download a copy of the ASA Learning the Lesson: The Future of School Swimming 2013 Census: 2013 School Swimming Census
This report is about a belief – a vision – that every child has the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. It is about mapping – on an unprecedented scale – the reality of school swimming in 2013 and using that insight to learn lessons and help to safeguard its future.
Read the full article: http://www.swimming.org/asa/news/school-swimming/hrh-the-duke-of-cambridge-records-video-message-outlining-importance-of-tea/17289/
Watch the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs7kBpGm8GM&feature=youtu.be

Fishing vessel firm showed “blatant disregard for safety”
A fishing vessel company and its two directors have been ordered to pay nearly £150,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to several breaches of maritime safety regulations. TN Trawlers Ltd and directors, Thomas Iain Nicholson and Christopher John Nicholson, were prosecuted after a number of defects were found on vessels owned by the firm.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspected the Olivia Jean in the port of Shoreham in November 2009 and detained the vessel due to a number of defects, including an out of date Intermediate Survey and Radio Survey. In addition, no crew qualifications or safety training details were available. After being released, the vessel travelled to the Netherlands for a refit and survey but in January 2010, it was again inspected by the MCA and further defects were identified, including unauthorised additions and modifications to the vessel. According to the MCA, there were also concerns about the condition of other parts of the vessel where maintenance was described as “very poor”.

An investigation by the MCA Enforcement Unit was launched, which highlighted other problems, including the vessel carrying more deck cargo than permitted in its stability information. In November 2009 the Philomena and Georgelou N were observed by the Channel Navigation Information Service failing to cross the south west lane of the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme at right angles, contrary to regulations designed to avoid collisions. The Philomena was later inspected by the MCA and 27 defects were discovered leading to the vessel being detained.

The Georgelou N was inspected after becoming grounded in the River Mersey following mechanical failure in April 2011. The MCA identified problems with crew certification and numbers onboard being more than permitted by the amount of safety equipment. A further inspection in July 2011 highlighted problems with crew certification, safety training and the Intermediate Survey for the vessels safety certificate was overdue. The vessel Tobrach N was also detained after the MCA found that it had been to sea despite its safety certificate having expired two months previously. The company and directors were ordered to pay a total of £147,465 in fines and costs. His Honour Judge Ralls QC said: “The numbers of injuries and deaths at sea are concerning”.

The likelihood of death is greater than in the agricultural or construction industry. Fishing vessels operate in a harsh and uncompromising environment. Great care needs to be taken in that vessels are in a safe condition at all times.
“It is the owner’s responsibility to those that they employ.” Captain Jeremy Smart, Head of Enforcement for the MCA, said: “TN Trawlers and its directors failed to heed previous warnings and advice from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). The standard of care was far below what is expected, and the failings could have led to loss of life or serious injury. “This blatant disregard for safety standards is one of the worst that the MCA has come across in past years and we are pleased that this view has been supported by the sentence of the court. “The fishing industry is well known for its high levels of risk and dangers. Accordingly proper attention to health and safety matters is of the very highest importance in the industry and a few poorly managed vessels can give the industry a bad name. “We will not tolerate this behaviour where financial gain seems to be more important than the value of human life.”
Taken from: The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health journal.

Fishing safety resource
A new website offering information to fishermen on the location of subsea cables and renewable energy structures has been launched.

The Kingfisher Information Service – Offshore Renewable and Cable Awareness project (KIS-ORCA) is a joint initiative between Subsea Cables UK and Renewable UK and is being managed by the Kingfisher Information Service of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), which is a non-departmental public body whose mission is to support the seafood industry to work for a sustainable, profitable future. The KIS-ORCA website aims to offer free, accurate, up-to-date information to fishermen on the location of cables and renewable structures such as wind farms. As well as being available online, the positional information will also be supplied to fishermen on CD in a format compatible with their on-board fishing plotter systems by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations.

In addition to an interactive map, the website includes information on subsea cables, renewable energy, links to operators and safety advice on reducing the risks of fishing near cables and renewable energy structures, with emergency contact numbers. A range of awareness charts are also available to download. Matt Frow, manager of Kingfisher, said: “We recognise the concerns of the fishing industry around expanding offshore operations. We believe http://www.kis-orca.eu and the associated charts and plotter data, will provide fishermen with essential information to remain safe whilst undertaking their fishing activities. We will continue to work closely with all offshore industries to develop and improve the information that we provide to the fishing industry.”
Access the website at: http://www.kis-orca.eu.

Cross-party group calls for action to tackle school swimming
A cross-party group of MPs and peers is calling for the Government to tackle the concerning numbers of children unable to swim. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sport, chaired by Gerry Sutcliffe MP (and supported by umbrella body the Sport and Recreation Alliance), met in Parliament today to highlight the issue.
Group members including Baroness Grey-Thompson, Ian Austin MP, Andrew Bingham MP and Charlotte Leslie MP were present to show their support. It was an opportunity for David Sparkes, chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), to present the findings of its biggest ever investigation into school swimming. Figures show that more than half (51%) of children aged 7 to 11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided, despite the fact that swimming is a national curriculum requirement. Almost 45% of schools stated that the biggest barrier to delivering better quality school swimming was budget constraints. Where schools are achieving high attainment rates amongst their pupils it is attributed to better pupil to teacher ratios, longer lesson times and a higher number of lessons offered.
David Sparkes, chief executive of the ASA said: “Many young children engage in organised sport for the first time at school – and this is also when many will make their first visit to a swimming pool. Without school swimming we know that many children would not have the opportunity to learn this life-saving skill, or take part in one of the easiest and enjoyable forms of physical activity for young people. I welcomed the opportunity to our present our findings to the All Parliamentary Group for Sport today, as well as discuss how some of the insight can help safeguard its future. The ASA is keen to work with Government to ensure this vital national curriculum subject is delivered to a high standard”.

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “Being able to swim is a basic skill like running, catching and jumping – one of the core building blocks for a lifetime of activity. “If half of our seven- to 11-year-olds can’t swim, they are going to be cut off from a whole range of other activities from sailing, canoeing and rowing to water skiing, scuba diving and surfing. We need to start changing our approach to swimming and we welcome the political will we’ve seen today to try and put this into action.”

In response to the findings, APPG for Sport member Charlotte Leslie MP has tabled an early day motion, rallying MPs and Peers to sign up and get behind the cause. The motion is calling for closer OFSTED monitoring to ensure that primary schools provide more evidence and show greater commitment to their swimming programmes. The opportunity for the recently announced £150 million of ring-fenced spending for primary school sport to be used to improve these attainment levels will also be emphasised.

Charlotte Leslie MP said: “As a youngster I spent hours ploughing up and down the pool in my bid to become an Olympic swimmer. Although I never made it to the Olympics, swimming has played a key role in making me who I am.
“For many young people schools will offer the first opportunity to learn to swim, and it’s vital that Head Teachers get the support and information they need to deliver this important life skill.”
Read the: Early Day Motion #160

News and Updates May ’13

Fisherman Launch new film titled – Lifejacket: A Fisherman’s Friend
Two Bridlington fishermen have made a short film to encourage their fellow fishermen to wear lifejackets whilst at sea. The two minute film, entitled "Lifejacket: a fisherman's friend" is available at
<
The decision to make the film came after a panel of experts concluded that 26 fishermen could still be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket when they were involved in an incident at sea (2007-11 figures). The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), were so alarmed by the new statistic that they put the idea of a short film forward to fishermen Dylan Silverwood and Christopher Stewart. They then made the film, with some help from FISG members.
"I wouldn't like to go to sea without a lifejacket", says salmon fisherman Dylan Silverwood. "When you hit the water, you start gasping like a fish, so unless you've got your lifejacket on, you could be in real difficulties. If you're a fisherman, please watch our little film and consider buying a lifejacket and using it whenever you set to sea. It really is quite easy to wear one – a lifejacket isn't heavy or cumbersome – and it could save your life."
This is the first in a series of films that fishermen will be making about buoyancy wear for different types of fishing.

Southwold Pier-to-Pub Swim: Dozens rescued from the sea
Dozens of people taking part in a charity sea swim off Suffolk had to be rescued after getting into difficulty.
More than 130 swimmers in Southwold had problems, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed. Four RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were involved from about 13:00 BST, after initial reports that up to 90 people were missing.
Two people were taken to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston with suspected hypothermia, the MCA spokeswoman added. The organisers of the race have not yet commented on the rescue operation.
The MCA spokeswoman said it was unclear how the swimmers got into trouble as weather conditions were fine, but the water was “very cold”. Some swimmers were rescued by lifeboat while a number of people swam to the shore themselves, she said.
Eyewitnesses spoke of exhausted swimmers coming out of the sea and being wrapped in towels, while a lifeboat hut close to the pier was turned into a makeshift emergency centre.
Organised by Active Outdoor Sport, the swim started north of the pier and was due to finish a mile down the coast. Read the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-22674418

Scrapping of HSE offshore division will undermine safety, survey finds
A survey released today of 5000 North Sea oil and gas workers has found that 75% believe the Governments decision to scrap the Health and Safety Executive’s offshore division will undermine offshore safety.
The survey, released by OilandGasPeople.com, also found 62% were worried that the scrapping of the unit would lead to another Piper Alpha disaster. The oil and gas workers questioned the timing of the decision to close the division two months before the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha Disaster. The setting up of the dedicated HSE offshore division was a key recommendation of Lord Cullen’s report into ways to prevent another disaster taking place. The decision also comes at a time when oil and gas workers are feeling more at risk. 72% believe that it is the worst possible time to close the Health and Safety Executive’s offshore division, given recent concerns over ageing platforms and closures of platforms due to safety issues, such as the recent leak at the Cormorant Alpha platform.

“While there is no doubt that safety on North Sea oil and gas rigs has improved immeasurable since Lord Cullen’s report into the Piper Alpha disaster, our survey clearly shows that rig workers are concerned by the timing of the decision to cut one of Lord Cullen’s key recommendations, in the year of the 25thanniversary of the disaster itself,” said Kevin Forbes, CEO of Oilandgaspeople.com.

“What’s more, the decision comes at a time when workers are feeling greater concern because of ageing platforms and recent leaks, such as on the Cormorant Alpha platform. It isn’t surprisingly that the combination of the cutting of the HSE dedicated offshore division and ageing platforms has left many offshore workers feeling more at risk,” he said.
Read the full story: http://www.oilandgaspeople.com/news/717/scrapping-of-hse-offshore-division-will-undermine-safety-survey-finds/

News and updates – March ’13

Search and rescue helicopter contract signed

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced this week (wb 25/03) that it has signed a contract with Bristow Helicopters Ltd to provide search and rescue helicopter services in the UK.  In his written statement to the House Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP said that the new £1.6 billion contract for search and rescue helicopter services will see the UK benefit from improved flying times and better coverage of high-risk areas.

Helicopters will be able to reach a larger area of the UK search and rescue region within one hour of take-off than is currently possible, and based on historic incident data it is estimated that there will be an overall improvement in flying times to incidents of around 20% (from 23 to 19 minutes).

Presently, approximately 70% of high and very high risk areas within the UK search and rescue region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract, approximately 85% of the same area would be reached within this timeframe.

The full statement from DFT can be found here.

Via RYA news.

Corporate manslaughter charge over death of 11-year-old girl

A watersports club in Middlesex has been charged with corporate manslaughter in relation to an incident in which an 11-year-old girl died after falling from a banana boat ride. Prince’s Sporting Club in Bedfont, Middlesex, has also been charged with an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Section 3 requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.

Mari-Simon Cronje died during a birthday celebration at the club on September 11, 2010, after falling from the banana boat and being struck by the boat that had been towing it. Elizabeth Joslin, specialist prosecutor in the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police and the Hounslow Environmental Health Department during their investigation into the tragic death of Mari-Simon Cronje. “I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd with both corporate manslaughter and an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.”

A director of the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd has been charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. An initial hearing took place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 19. The case has been referred to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on April 26. Via RoSPA journals

Merlin Attractions loses appeal following fall death conviction

Merlin Attractions Operations — a subsidiary of Madame Tussaud’s — was convicted of two healthy and safety offences in April this year following a seven-day trial, and was fined £350,000 plus £145,000 in costs.

The case followed the death of George Townley in December 2007, who suffered fatal head injuries after falling 14 feet from the castle’s Bear and Clarence Bridge.

Via HSW.

2011 WAID water related fatalities report released

Drowning and immersion deaths from accidents or natural causes across the UK in 2011 remained static with over 400 deaths.

The report from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) identified 407 water-related fatalities throughout 2011 with the majority – 219 (54 per cent) – taking place in inland waters including rivers, canals, lakes, streams, lochs, ponds and reservoirs. Data from the NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID) also shows that just over a quarter of deaths – 105 (26%) – happened at the coast or harbour, such as at beaches, marinas or docks.

You can read the blog, and access the report in full here.

 

Coastguard rescue two families cut off by tide in N.Yorkshire

Two families have been rescued from Primrose Valley beach after being cut off by the high tide last night. Humber Coastguard received a 999 call at 6.45pm from a local security guard, telling them that three adults and three children had gone out for a walk along the beach, but had become lost. They couldn’t find their way back in the dark and were cut off by the high tide.
After setting off flares to light up the area, the RNLI inshore lifeboat managed to locate one of the adults and two of the children and get them safely onboard. The other two adults and the other child were rescued by RAF Leconfield, and winched to the top of the cliff where the Filey Coastguard Rescue Team was waiting. They were all checked over by paramedics, and although cold they didn’t require any medical attention. Lynda Hillerby, Humber Coastguard Watch Officer, said:

“We strongly recommend you check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out. You should consider whether you could become cut off and do not take risks by going out in the dark. You should also make sure you’re wearing warm clothing and sturdy shoes or boots. If you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

MCA Marine Guidance Note MGN 452 (M): ELECTRICAL – Potential Hazards of Arc Flash Associated with High and Low Voltage Equipment

Notice to all Ship-owners, Ship Operators, Masters and Officers of Ships, Ship Designers, Shipbuilders and Manufacturers of Marine Electrical Equipment. This MGN highlights potential hazards of arc flash associated with high and low voltage electrical equipment onboard vessels.
Key Points:
– The best approach for electrical safety to prevent an arc flash incident is to only perform work on de-energised equipment that has been placed into an electrically safe condition.
– After control measures to reduce the risk of an arc flash have been investigated/ implemented, protective clothing and PPE requirements should be carefully selected.
– One of the major hazards associated with an arc flash is burn injury from the exposure to the thermal energy from an arc flash.
For more information go to the MCA website…
To download a printable version of this document please go to the MCA website…