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Displaying items by tag: Code of Practice

Canoeists, kayakers and relevant organisations are encouraged to review the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, following a recent report into the death of a kayaker on Lough Gill.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the lone kayaker was believed to have become separated from his Canadian canoe in bad weather on the Co Sligo lough in late January 2019.

The vessel had not grablines to aid recovery after the casualty had entered the water, the MCIB report said, adding that he may have been weighed down by his Wellington boots, and had only a mobile phone and no other means of signalling for help.

The report recommended a Marine Notice highlighting the requirements for kayaks and canoes as set out in Chapter 7 of the Code, and in particular the following:

  • Chapter 7, Section 7.1 (Training), page 84 of the Code: Undertake a recognised training course in the correct use of the specific type of canoe you wish to use.
  • Chapter 7, Section 7.2 (Prior to entering the water), pages 84 and 85 of the Code: Ensure that you carry a mobile phone or Marine VHF radio in a suitable watertight cover for use to summon assistance in emergency situations.
  • Check the hull is fitted with grab loops/towing lines.
  • Ensure that you are a competent swimmer and capable of surviving in the areas you operate.

The MCIB also recommends that canoeists and kayakers should ensure that they wear clothing and footwear that will not affect their chance of survival in the water.

In addition, Chapter 7 of the Code of Practice contains general information on personal safety equipment, sea kayaking, river kayaking and canoeing.

Part A of the Code outlines the legislative requirements that apply to all recreational craft or specific types or size of craft, and Part B contains recommended guidelines and best practice for the safe operation of a range of recreational craft including canoes and kayaks.

The Code of Practice is a free document and hard copies can be obtained on request, in both English and Irish, from the Maritime Safety Policy Division at
[email protected]

The Code and individual chapters of the Code are available to view or download from dttas.gov.ie and a list of updates to the 2017 edition of the Code is also available.

Marine Notice No 30 of 2020 is available to download below, as is Chapter 7 of the Code of Practice.

Published in Kayaking

Owners and users of a range of pleasure and recreational craft in Irish waters are reminded to keep up to date with the Code of Practice for their safe operation.

The Code highlights the importance of personal responsibility for all those who take to the water.

Each person must take maritime safety seriously, prepare and plan for a safe trip, behave responsibly on the water and be properly equipped so as to be able to respond to any incidents that may arise.

The Code is intended for use by owners, operators and users of all pleasure and recreational craft operating in Irish coastal and inland waters and certain Irish vessels operating offshore, including:

  • Sail and motor boats
  • Sailing dinghies
  • Personal watercraft (eg jet skis)
  • Powerboats
  • Canoes and kayaks
  • Rowing boats
  • Charter boats
  • Ski boats and dive boats
  • Windsurfers, stand-up paddleboard users and other non-powered craft

It contains information on legislative requirements, safe operation and advice on best practice when using a recreational craft.

The Code of Practice was most recently updated in late 2019. The free document is available to download from Gov.ie but hardcopies can be obtained on request, in both English and Irish, from the Maritime Safety Policy Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport at [email protected]

For more details on the Code, see Marine Notice No 27 of 2020, a PDF of which is attached below.

Published in Water Safety

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has issued an amendment related to stability requirements in the Code of Practice for Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15m length overall.

The Code of Practice is currently under review, and a revised version will issue later in the year. In the meantime, boat operators are advised in a new Marine Notice to note the change in procedure with regard to measure the stability of small fishing vessels, which will take effect immediately.

In essence, it clarifies that existing vessels (keels laid prior to 1 May 2004) undergoing both a roll test as described in Annex 1 and inclining experiment as per the provisions of Annex 7 for new vessels (after 1 May 2004), but are not required to comply with both tests.

Where the “strongly recommended” stability standards described in Annex 7 are not applied, then the vessel shall be subjected to a roll test as described in Annex 1, with the vessel in ‘normal departure port condition’ and typical ‘arrive port condition’.

Marine Notice No 23 of 2020 is available to download below.

Published in Fishing

The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport reminds water users of amendments to the 2017 edition of the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft.

The Code of Practice is a valuable source of information, advice and best practice operational guidance for owners, masters, operators and users of a range of pleasure and recreational craft operating in Irish coastal and inland waters.

The content of the Code is kept under review in order to ensure that it remains up to date. Since the publication of the latest edition in November 2017, a number of revisions and updates have been identified. A list of these updates is available to view at Gov.ie.

The Code of Practice is a free document and hardcopies can be obtained on request, in both English and Irish, from the Maritime Safety Policy Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport at [email protected]

Gov.ie and Safetyonthewater.ie also have the Code available to view or download.

For further information on the Code, see Marine Notice No 26 of 2019, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#MarineNotice - In response to recommendations by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), Marine Notice No 26 of 2015 has been issued to promote and highlight the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, as well as to underline the legal requirements in relation to the wearing and proper care of personal flotation devices, or PFDs.

It is the responsibility of owners and operators of recreational craft to ensure that a vessel is properly operated, maintained and equipped. The Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft assists with this responsibility by providing safety information on legislative requirements in a simple and user-friendly way, and by giving straightforward safety advice and guidance on best practice in relation to vessel standards, equipment and operation for different types of recreational craft and their areas of operation.

The code is available free of charge on request from the Maritime Safety Policy Division (email [email protected]) and is also available to view or download from www.safetyonthewater.ie or from the DTTAS website HERE.

Requirements for the use of PFDs, meanwhile, are detailed in Marine Notices No 45 of 2012 and No 39 of 2013 as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Water Safety

#Fishing - The Marine Institute is encouraging the agreement of a new code of practice for oyster fishing at Ballinakill Bay in Co Galway, which is set to lose its disease-free status.

Galway Bay FM reports that a single oyster out of 900 tested at the bay, near Letterfrack on the north-west coast of Connemara, tested positive for the Ostreid herpes virus two years ago as part of an EU-supported programme.

Though accounting for just 0.11% of the entire sample, the positive test is enough to strip the area of its clean status.

Senator Trevor O'Clochartaigh raised the issue in the Seanad last week, which prompted the Department of the Marine to confirm that the Marine Institute recommends a code of practice that would see the area's status eventually reinstated.

Published in Fishing

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended a ministerial review of stability standards for fishing vessels following its report into the death of a crab fisherman off Co Cork in January last year.

Gerry Hegarty drowned after a wave struck the crab boat Carraig An Iasc, which was fully loaded with crab pots at the time, causing it to capsize and sending its two-man crew into the water.

Hegarty, who was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or other buoyancy aid, got into difficulty while attempting to swim ashore with his crewmate and skipper James Fitzgerald, who subsequently raised the alarm.

Lifeboats from Ballycotton and Crosshaven, as well as Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, were tasked to the incident. Divers from Naval Service vessel LE Emer located the sunken crab boat but no body was found.

A coastguard search of the area continued over a number of days without success. Hegarty's body was eventually recovered on 17 February 2011 at Ringabella Strand in Co Cork.

The MCIB found it probable that the Carraig An Iasc encountered wind or wave action or a combination of both that caused the vessel to heel to an angle beyond which it was able to recover from its loaded condition. The vessel's Code of Practice Declaration of Compliance was valid until 15 July 2013.

The board noted that there have been "a number of incidents caused by overloading boats thus effecting stability", and recommended that the Minister for Transport reviews and revises the stability standards in the current Code of Practice to improve these standards.

It was also recommended that a safety notice be issued to all skippers and owners in the fishing fleet reminding them of their legal responsibility to ensure that all their crew wear PFDs or lifejackets while on deck.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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