MCA amends its Code of Safe Working Practices

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published an updated version of the ‘Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers’. The amendments give advice on improving health and safety of seafarers, primarily for those on board UK registered ships. But surveyors should also take note.

The Code provides guidance on safe working practices for the many and numerous situations that occur on ships.

However, it should not be considered a comprehensive guide to safety and its advice should always be considered in conjunction with the Continue reading “MCA amends its Code of Safe Working Practices”

MCA issues MGN 578 about conducting overside work on yachts and other vessels

MGN 578 has been released by the UK MCA
MGN 578 has been released by the UK MCA

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency has published a Marine Guidance Note – MGN 578 – about the use of equipment while undertaking work on commercial yachts, small commercial vessels and loadline vessels.

The aim of Marine Guidance Note MGN 578 is to provide guidance on the use of “rail and trolley” and similar systems while conducting overside work on yachts and other vessels. The key points are the following:

– To ensure that new systems comply with the current BS/EN Standards,
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Risks of using non SOLAS or non-pyrotechnic distress flares highlighted in new MCA MIN

The UK MCA has released a marine notice, MIN 542, which highlights the specific risks of using non SOLAS or non-pyrotechnic distress flares, for example Electronic Visual Distress Signals (EVDS).

To be effective, distress signals need to be internationally recognised. Not all EVDS provide a distress signal listed in COLREGS Annex IV (such as SOS), and the MCA knows of no EVDS device which is compliant with the SOLAS technical performance standards for distress flares. Consequently, the international carriage requirements do not recognise EVDS and the UK national carriage requirements have not been amended to formally recognise them either.

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MCA releases a bulletin about a quality issue with fire doors

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has released a bulletin to notify vessel operators and surveyors that a quality issue has been discovered relating to fire doors manufactured by COSMO Co Ltd.

The MCA makes reference to an advice letter issued by the manufacturer, which urges particular attention of doors rated A-60, A-0 and B-15. Following an internal investigation, it was found that some delivered and installed doors have some insulation missing from part of the door fitment. As a result of the missing missing insulation, the doors do not comply with their type approval certification.

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Effectiveness of lifejackets called into question by MAIB report on the foundering of fishing vessel Louisa

Photograph of Louisa recovery
Photograph of Louisa recovery

Early on 9 April 2016, the fishing vessel Louisa foundered, with the loss of three lives, while anchored close to the shore in Mingulay Bay in the Outer Hebrides.

The skipper and crew, who had been working long hours before anchoring late the previous evening, had woken suddenly as the vessel was sinking rapidly by the bow. They were able to escape to the aft deck, activate the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), and to don lifejackets. However, they were unable to inflate the liferaft as they abandoned the vessel.

Continue reading “Effectiveness of lifejackets called into question by MAIB report on the foundering of fishing vessel Louisa”