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Web Alert: At sea, always be prepared for the unexpected

03 December 2018

The Standard Club has worked with the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) for three years to promote safety at sea and accident prevention, through the creation of video bulletins highlighting hazardous incidents and giving advice for minimising the risks.

The last video of 2018 is hosted at the National Maritime Operations Centre near Fareham, from where coastguard operations all around the UK are coordinated. The staff at the centre have first-hand experience of incidents occurring at sea due to complacency and an unpreparedness for the unexpected.

This experience seems to be lacking in the first near-miss examples, of professional and leisure fishermen maintaining the ship or recovering fishing equipment without wearing personal floatation devices or having a means of self-recovery if they fall overboard.

The second report shows crew cleaning yachts wearing inappropriate clothing for the task, no harness and again without a personal floatation device, despite standing on a soapy surface which could cause them to slip.

All of these near-misses demonstrate a careless attitude to personal safety, and it is fortunate that a major incident did not occur. The CHIRP maritime advisory board has issued some simple advice for seafarers to avoid putting themselves in such hazardous positions.

The third report is on the important issue of chart accuracy. The reporter had experienced a number of cancelled (out of date) charts in yacht chandleries which other seafarers may have purchased unaware. All seafarers should check the charts they buy, for both accidental and fraudulent inaccuracies.

The bulletin is available here. Read more on the other bulletins in the series here.

In each of these cases, an individual has chosen to raise and report on issues that may have caused an incident in the future. Reports can be submitted confidentially at