Code of practice for UK fishing vessel safety set for implementation from October 2019

Enforced via Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) certification, the new code is called the Marine Safety Notice (MSN) 1871 Construction and stipulates the legal requirement for small fishing vessels with an overall length of over 10m to carry an automatic GNSS (GPS) EPIRB. It replaces the existing MSN 1813 on this subject.

The main changes from MSN 1813 in the new code MSN 1871 are:

– Liferafts required on open vessels of 7m registered length (L) to less than 15m (LOA) and decked vessels of 7m (L) to less than 10m (L), to come into force on 23 October 2019 for existing vessels only, new vessels must comply immediately;

– Vessels built prior to 16 July 2007 newly entering the fishing industry must have a certifying authority survey prior to registration and MCA inspections of the vessel are required at change of ownership;

– Emergency drills are now required;

– Radar reflectors are now to be fitted to all vessels;

– Bilge alarms required for open vessels (7m (L) -15m length overall (LOA));

– Certificates to be issued for small fishing vessels;

– Substantial modifications, fitting of new gear or changes to the mode of fishing to be approved by MCA prior to work taking place;

– EPIRBs with a built-in GPS receiver capable of transmitting the position to a satellite are required all vessels of 10m (L) and over. Vessels less than 10m may have PLBs with a GPS receiver for each crew member or an EPIRB with a built-in GPS receiver. EPIRB and PLB requirements to come into force on 23 October 2019 for existing vessels only, new vessels must comply immediately;

– Stability requirements for new or significantly modified vessels of 12m (L) – 15m (LOA);

– Carbon monoxide monitors for vessels with enclosed spaces which contains a fired cooking or heating appliance or where engine exhausts penetrate those spaces. The code strongly recommends fishermen wear personal flotation devices;

– The code also provides guidance for owners and skippers of vessels of less than 12m on how to assess the stability of their vessel.

Click to read MSN 1817 in full: MSN 1871

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