Jump to content

Boat Safety


Recommended Posts

In light of the publication of the MAIB report we understand that discussions around the subject of Boat Safety may be beneficial.

However for various reasons we will make it clear right now that specifics from the MAIB report are not to be discussed. (any posts after this one that do so refer will be removed)

out of respect for the families involved (including children)and the hire yard and employees and everyone else involved, we feel that discussing the report in detail might be detrimental to their well being.

the thread after that incident ran for 26 pages, and ended up being locked due to many controversial and confrontational posts.

Please bear in mind these discussions are on the open forum accessible to all (including those involved).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I understand the instructions fully, as this report is published in the public domain.  It is also almost 2 years since the accident itself.  If they can post comments in the EDP I don't see the difference here.

What concerns me are aspects of the accident which would also concern members with private boats and should be discussed on a Broads forum, concerned with boat safety.  For me, these are :

1/. The safe procedure for changing over dual station Morse controls and the interlocking attachments which can be installed on them.

2/. The need for all boats to have a recognised skipper.

3/. The need for visual and audible communication between helm positions, when more than one person is driving the boat.

4/. My first comments on the design of the aft deck on some modern boats were made on the forum well before the accident, and are still valid.

I have to go out this afternoon but will post some more info about Morse controls this evening.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My initial thought regarding this report is that, once again, it has to find someone to blame.  This is probably due to the compensation culture that we now live with and the ultimate need to find someone to point a finger at.

What we cannot ever do is mitigate against all accidents.  Some are due to plain stupidity and however safe the boats become and however much pre hire training is carried out, there will always be the potential for a pillock to ignore what he or she has been told.  As an example, when we were on our trial run on Norfolk Lady, prior to purchasing her, we’d just passed Cockshoot Dyke when three craft passed us, all abreast, with members of the crews jumping between the boats.

As we’ve said before (and I’m not intimidating that the accident concerned that was investigated by the MIAB was due to stupidity), there is always the opportunity for something to happen, because you can’t teach stupid.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Mouldy said:

My initial thought regarding this report is that, once again, it has to find someone to blame.  This is probably due to the compensation culture that we now live with and the ultimate need to find someone to point a finger at.

In which case I suggest you read the report again and more specifically it's aims, and the purposes it cannot be used for. In fact I copy the very last line of the report for you.

Safety recommendations shall in no case create a presumption of blame or liability

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, OldBerkshireBoy said:

Even Sky news quoted the report in full and did an accurate report on the incident so I tend to agree with Vaughans first paragraph above.

It's hard to disagree with it, but any constructive dialogue on this thread is going to be like constantly walking on egg shells, and any criticism of the hire boat industry is only going to provoke outrage, and its hard to talk about boat safety without involving the hire boat industry.

To make long well thought out constructive contributions to a thread which lets face it, it will only be a case of when, not if, it gets locked seems to be a waste of time, so in the words of Dragons Den!!!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the avoidance of doubt,

I have discussed and agreed with the moderation team that a general discussion about boat safety would be useful and informative.

Vaughan's topics listed above are a useful start.

What is not acceptable is picking apart and commenting on the MAIB report. It is less than two years since the incident and those involved in the aftermath do not want to read everybody's own analysis.

 I am sure we can all contribute constructively without try to apportion blame, (we are not a court of law) or resorting to name calling.

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Meantime said:

In which case I suggest you read the report again and more specifically it's aims, and the purposes it cannot be used for. In fact I copy the very last line of the report for you.

Safety recommendations shall in no case create a presumption of blame or liability

I suspect however, the ambulance chasing lawyers will dispute that and be saving the report around in court very soon..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, TheQ said:

I suspect however, the ambulance chasing lawyers will dispute that and be saving the report around in court very soon..

Then I suggest they read the note on the second page of the report.

"NOTE
This report is not written with litigation in mind and, pursuant to Regulation 14(14) of the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012, shall be inadmissible in any judicial proceedings whose purpose, or one of whose purposes is to attribute or apportion liability or blame."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work in live lane motorway situations and one of top lessons I live with is that complacency kills. 
I see too many people treat water as friendly when it’s a very good con artist. 
water is not our natural element and avoiding it our goal. 
I think we sell our past time as peaceful and relaxing and it is most off the time. Except when it isn’t 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will make but one comment. Like Vaughan, Peter and a number of others we all had concerns with open transom boats.

Now, I have sailed offshore on open transom racing yachts. In many respects they can be safer. With a crew "clipping on" as you exit the companion way, they are not going out the back! And if you take a Green One at the next rise the cockpit empties in seconds.

But this is The Broads! However, Water is always a danger. A rear door open to a tiny rear deck and no guard rails! To quote the immortal words " an accident waiting to happen. 

I can see a scenario with this type of boat where Mum and dad after a family bbq have put the kids to bed and have opened another bottle. They are on a hard earned holiday after all. At 0500 a little fellow wakes up, Mum and Dad out to the world... he or she on their adventure holiday open that rear door! Enough said. Well maybe not. GY yacht station, Reedham, at mud weight in minutes a perfect family holiday is a tragedy.

I don't understand where this design type has originated, a desire to copy Super Yacht look for marketing? For heavens sake this is not The Med, whos going to dive off the back?

Is it ease of access? Then have a platform with a conventional transom with a door in it.

One day these boats will pass into private hands, and with Breydon closed to hire boats one will set off in a wind over tide situation and that rear door will be open! It will take very few over the back to put that vessel in real danger as water enters the accommodation.

In the words of Forrest Gump:- " that's all I have to say about that "

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes the rear access steps have always been a concern, one slip going up or down and there is only the water to land in/ on.

as for trial runs, I guess everyone assesses the hirers capability differently, for exampe I am sure that a certain yard the wrong side of potter heigham bridge let you loose, but then they will be carefully watching your boat handling skills as you approach the bridge to pick up the yard pilot to take you through, handling skills when unsupervised probably give more away than any supervised trial run, and there arent a lot of obstacles en route to the bridge from their yard. the talk through of the boat is pretty thorough.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a safety concern about probably the best practice to avoid drowning and yet noticeably the least well observed. Life jackets! I am a good case in point. Mine is within easy reach of the helm as are my crew's and my dog's but they are very rarely worn.

There is a strange compulsion to believe other people should wear them but I'm always careful so it's OK. I am in fact, the sort of person that I would call a fool... I am also a non swimmer!

Is there an argument for an actual law requiring the use life jackets? No doubt it would be unpopular but would eventually catch on with the occasional shout of "life jacket" from Rangers. Just as we perhaps resisted compulsory car seat belts at first but now wouldn't dream of driving without one.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I said I would not comment, but really Grendel, surely, upstream of the bridge is the Right side.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Ray said:

I have a safety concern about probably the best practice to avoid drowning and yet noticeably the least well observed. Life jackets! I am a good case in point. Mine is within easy reach of the helm as are my crew's and my dog's but they are very rarely worn.

There is a strange compulsion to believe other people should wear them but I'm always careful so it's OK. I am in fact, the sort of person that I would call a fool... I am also a non swimmer!

Is there an argument for an actual law requiring the use life jackets? No doubt it would be unpopular but would eventually catch on with the occasional shout of "life jacket" from Rangers. Just as we perhaps resisted compulsory car seat belts at first but now wouldn't dream of driving without one.

In the work situation there is legislation about putting oneself and or others in danger. But leisure wise I don't know how you could. Entering the sea for a swim, free climbing, etc etc.

When I was offshore single handed I always clipped on religously. But never wore a lifejacket, because if you go over mid ocean and the boat is on SSG you will experience the ultimate nightmare of your sanctuary sailing away from you. A lifejacket only prolongs that agony.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Ray said:

 

Is there an argument for an actual law requiring the use life jackets? No doubt it would be unpopular but would eventually catch on with the occasional shout of "life jacket" from Rangers. Just as we perhaps resisted compulsory car seat belts at first but now wouldn't dream of driving without one.

While there are many good and probably essential recommendations here it will be interesting to see how many are  actually implemented, another point is who will enforce them as retrospective legislation is very hard to bring about and we all know the BA have very limited legal powers as well.

Fred

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Ray said:

Life jackets! I am a good case in point. Mine is within easy reach of the helm as are my crew's and my dog's but they are very rarely worn.

There is a strange compulsion to believe other people should wear them but I'm always careful so it's OK. I am in fact, the sort of person that I would call a fool

I'm single handed most of the time, on one or 2 occasions I've nearly cast off a mooring thinking I'll be fine without a life jacket but gave myself a mental slap and put it on!  I've taken wearing it whenever I'm under weigh as you never know what situation is looming around the corner.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, NeilB said:

I'm single handed most of the time, on one or 2 occasions I've nearly cast off a mooring thinking I'll be fine without a life jacket but gave myself a mental slap and put it on!  I've taken wearing it whenever I'm under weigh as you never know what situation is looming around the corner.

Inland, inshore, absolutely, 100% correct.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this could be applied to hire boats but - workshop machines have a clearly marked stop button which is always (as far as I am aware) red. New machines also have guards which, if not in place, interrupt the elecrical circuit.

Could there be some kind of wire mesh guard or other visual indicator to show which helm position is active?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes quite easily, a light indication of which helm is in control, also it would be quite easy to make it possible to assume control at either position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, floydraser said:

I'm not sure if this could be applied to hire boats but - workshop machines have a clearly marked stop button which is always (as far as I am aware) red. New machines also have guards which, if not in place, interrupt the elecrical circuit.

Could there be some kind of wire mesh guard or other visual indicator to show which helm position is active?

Vaughan will know better than me but I believe there already are safety features available, whether or not they are fitted currently I wouldn't know, while not making individual implications I think anyone about regularly will know from observation there is a considerable difference in handover procedures between different yards and maybe this is a major consideration.

Fred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Meantime said:

and any criticism of the hire boat industry is only going to provoke outrage, and its hard to talk about boat safety without involving the hire boat industry.

Meantime, I am not singling you out personally by quoting you!   There is bound to be criticism of the boatyards and it might come from me as well!  There are clearly lessons to be learned and I hope they will be the right ones, rather than just another overload of documentation and boxes to tick.  The report says that changes have already been made to handover procedure but I don't know what these are.  I shall have to phone some friends!

I have been very closely involved in boat safety all of my career, especially as chairman of the technical committee of Blakes, when we were actually writing the first Broads regulations.  Long before the BSS, but they were certainly the ancestors of the BSS.  It is well known by those involved in safety, that in almost all industries, safety regulations have only been put in place due to lessons learned after accidents.

So I hope the hire industry "take aboard" whatever there may be to learn from this latest, but thankfully extremely rare, accident.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, rightsaidfred said:

Vaughan will know better than me but I believe there already are safety features available, whether or not they are fitted currently I wouldn't know,

Yes, I said I would talk about Morse controls.

First thing to appreciate is that single lever controls have been with us ever since hydraulic gearboxes made them possible.  Morse have always put safety features in them that are designed to prevent the sort of confusion that we see in this case.  But we also know sadly, that the very best of safety features can sometimes be defeated by circumstances.

There are two types of control: The top mount, (as in this case), means that when in neutral you can pull the whole lever out sideways in order to rev up the engine when starting. This feature has to exist as some old engines will not start without revving up.  You may also want some revs for charging batteries when moored up.  Problem with the top mount is that you can grab the handle a bit sideways when in a hurry (or panic) and pull out the whole lever, so when you pull it  astern you are not actually engaging the gear, just revving the engine.  The side mount control is perhaps safer here, as you have to physically pull out a button to disengage the gears.

The thing about Morse dual controls is that they can only be used in one place at one time.  The actual change-over, however, is only effected on the gear cables, but not on the throttle cables.  There are two separate junction boxes and the throttle one is arranged so that one cable is in neutral, which allows the other one to "rev up". It is possible however, to disengage the gear on the box not in use, and moving that lever will then rev the engine up further. This could also mean that you then cannot slow down the engine on the box which is "in use".  This can only happen, however, if the lever on the box not in use, has been deliberately dis-engaged.

The report talks about an indication of which box is in use and this already exists, as an optional extra.  It is a small dashboard panel with red and green lights, shaped like arrows, which point up or down to indicate which box is engaged.

There is also an electric interlock on the most modern boxes, which prevents the engine being started unless both controls are in neutral. The report mentions that they had an engine failure prior to the accident and then could not re-start. This probably had something to do with the interlock, which has in fact proved too complicated and confusing and in most cases they are dis-connected by the boatyard.  Starting in gear is very rare and not a problem, as you are moored up at the time and will soon notice!

There is no Morse control that I know, which can be worked from both stations at once  but there is another system used well by Locaboat (I forget the name of it) which has both levers connected by a bicycle chain running over pulleys, with the bottom lever connected to the engine by morse cables in the normal way. So both levers move together and can be controlled from either place.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.