The Director of Maritime Safety and Standards at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency says that exceptional times need exceptional measures. Katy Ware, who is also the UK’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization says that the industry should be assured that the MCA will do all it can to help during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Survey and inspection activity of ships is currently suspended, however the MCA has put in place a number of measures to make sure that shipping of freight and other vital lifelines will continue. And it has offered guidance and advice to seafarers and shipowners at a time of uncertainty to help.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published MIN 612, a marine information notice which sets out the policy of the MCA with respect to UK Vessels which are prevented from arranging the relevant surveys, inspections and audits required for compliance with the appropriate Statutory Instruments due to the current pandemic.
In MIN 612 the MCA sets out contingency plans to mitigate disruption to essential statutory activities during the current pandemic. The aim of the notice is to provide a basis for the continued operation of UK vessels during this time.
At 0930 on 7 December 2017, the skippered charter yacht Tyger of London departed San Sebastian, La Gomera, bound for Marina San Miguel, Tenerife, with four paying passengers acting as crew on board.
At about 1700, 1 nautical mile south of Punta Rasca, the crew heard a loud bang. Tyger of London immediately heeled to starboard, capsized and inverted. The crew released their lifelines, fell from the cockpit into the water and their lifejackets automatically inflated. One crew member was briefly trapped below the yacht but managed to swim clear.
The MCA have released a public consultation exercise about the amendments to the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Carcinogens and Mutagens) Regulations 2007.
“The changes add to and amend workplace exposure limits on a number of carcinogens. In addition, the Regulations require an employer to continue offering health surveillance where a seafarer or worker has been exposed to a carcinogen and a medical practitioner recommends health surveillance should continue beyond the end of their employment.”