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

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.

 

The Met Office Watersports Survey

The Met office http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service, and currently provides forecasts for around 450 beaches around the UK, with hourly updates.

The Met Office is recognised as one of the world’s most accurate forecasters, using more than 10 million weather observations a day to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings a day. These are delivered to a huge range of customers from the Government, to businesses, the general public, armed forces, and other organisations. More information on the Met Office: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us 

This is a web based survey of the Great British public, and is aiming to ascertain the potential requirements for a new weather information service aimed at leisure/ marine/ sports participants.

The survey will test the types of weather and sea the conditions that are viewed as important or those can affect the participants of different activities, shaping how, when and the way that the Met Office provide information.

Working with partners such as the RNLI, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Plymouth University the Met Office will use the information to develop new content that improves safety, for example forecasting whether there is an increased risk of a rip current at a site, under particular weather conditions.

To find out more, or to take part in the survey please go to: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/watersports-survey

HM Coastguard remind divers to stop! Beware of decompression sickness

After two divers suffered decompression sickness this afternoon following rapid ascents, HM Coastguard would like to remind all divers of the importance of regular stops as they come to the surface.

Although separate incidents, both divers were treated and had to be rushed to hyperbaric chambers. H.M Coastguard advises that dives requiring decompression stops should be planned beforehand and taken. Any diver who has missed planned decompression stops could suffer from decompression illness.

Divers are also advised to make sure they are adequately qualified and experienced for the diving they plan to undertake, with a close eye on weather and sea conditions. Their personal fitness is a top priority for safe diving and they should be familiar with new or different gear before planning deep dives. If you are operating a dive boat check do a radio check with the Coastguard before heading out tell the Coastguard your planned destination and expected return time. If one of your divers has a problem contact the Coastguard straightaway. Read more on the MCA website…

Net hazard warning

Divers have been advised not to dive on the Scylla due to a 150ft net currently entangled on the wreck. The National Marine Aquarium has issued a warning to divers thinking of diving at the Scylla reef site off Plymouth of the presence of a 150ft monofilament gill net covering a large part of the reef making dive conditions extremely dangerous. The Aquarium is strongly advising against any dives over the reef until the situation has been sorted.

Read more on the BSAC website…

Coastguard modernisation proposals confirmed

Plans to modernise the Coastguard have been confirmed by Shipping Minister Mike Penning. The proposals, which were announced for consultation in July, will make the Coastguard better coordinated, more resilient to the challenges of the future and will increase the number of regular coastguard officers working in coastal communities, who provide leadership and support to the volunteers of the Coastguard Rescue Service.

The plans – which will modernise how rescues are coordinated and do not affect the services which go out to perform rescues -will create a nationally networked system of Coastguard coordination centres comprising:

  • One Maritime Operations Centre, to be established in Fareham, Hants, with a back-up facility at the existing Dover coordination centre, both operating on a 24 hour basis; and
  • Eight Coastguard Centres, all operated on a 24 hour basis, located at Falmouth, Milford Haven, Holyhead, Belfast, Stornoway, Shetland, Aberdeen and Humber. The station at London is also retained.

Mike Penning said: “After many years of uncertainty, these reforms provide a clear plan for the future of Her Majesty’s Coastguard. They will deliver a resilient and fully networked national rescue coordination service. They will make much better use of the talents and skills of our Coastguards and will provide more interesting and rewarding work with better pay”. Read more on the MCA website…

Coastguard remind leisure boat users to be prepared

Following three separate incidents within an hour of each other the Coastguard have reminded leisure boat users to be better prepared when putting to sea, reiterating safety measures.

Remember to:

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Get trained – knowledge of your activity is essential
  • Carry some means of calling for help
  • Check your engine and fuel
  • Check the weather and tide conditions before heading out
  • Tell others where you are going.

Read more on the MCA website…

The new BSAC Snorkeler training programme

The 31st October is the official launch date for BSAC’s new Snorkeler Training Programme for branches.  Bringing all the current training materials up-to-date, with new training packs, Instructor Manual and resources, the BSAC Snorkeler Training Programme will enable even more BSAC clubs to provide snorkel training and bring more young people and families into BSAC

Read more on the BSAC website…