Dirección del CHAT

El Blog no se hace responsable por las opiniones emitidas en este espacio. Los comentarios aquí publicados son responsabilidad de quién los escribe.

viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013

Safety warning after change to maritime law

Safety warning after change to maritime law

PASSENGERS and crew are being put at risk by changes to maritime law that have relaxed rules governing who can pilot ships, it has been claimed.

CONCERNS: A change in the law means junior crew members who have passed a test may now be responsible for piloting ships.
CONCERNS: A change in the law means junior crew members who have passed a test may now be responsible for piloting ships.
Glasgow city councillor Bailie Dr Nina Baker, who previously worked as a deck hand on oil tankers in the 1970s, warned accidents could become more common, increasing the risk of injuries to passengers or environmental harmful spills if boats run aground coming into harbour.

Contextual targeting label:
Two separate groundings occurred off the coast of Scotland this week.
On Monday, luxury cruise ship the Serenissima ran aground in Oban Bay off the west coast of Scotland after entering the town's harbour on the wrong side of a warning buoy. No-one on board was hurt and an inspection did not pick up any pollution.
On the same day, another ship, the Vos Protector, ran aground in Fraserburgh harbour in the north-east of Scotland.
Dr Baker said such events were more likely in future following a change in UK law on April 25 that relaxed the rules around pilotage exemption, despite opposition from the parliamentary Transport Committee and maritime campaigners.
It means that, in certain circumstances, other crew members are allowed to guide a ship in and out of ports and harbours without a professional pilot being on board.
Dr Baker said: "The recent incident where a cruise took a wrong turn and went aground near Oban serves to illustrate how easily and frequently navigational errors can arise in unfamiliar waters.
"Such incidents are of course particularly worrying in the case of vessels carrying passengers. The risk to public life and limb is only too obvious, to say nothing of the risk to the brave women and men of the RNLI called out to assist.
"The general public should be aware that the recently approved Section 2 of the Marine Navigation Act 2013, contrary to much advice from the seafaring professions, reduces the standard of qualification required of people who pilot ships, including all ferries, into and out of the ports and harbours of the United Kingdom.
"As a former deck officer myself, I find it very worrying that anything should be done which reduces rather than increases the qualifications of those entrusted with public safety."
The pilotage exemption allows seafarers journeying in and out of a harbour every day to take a test with the local pilot authority which, if passed, exempts them from having to employ a professional pilot on board.
The exemption could previously only apply to the ship's master or first mate – a senior crew member – and was seen as a way of eliminating red tape for businesses such as pleasure boat operators.
However, fears have been raised after eligibility was downgraded to "any deck officer" – meaning junior crew members with little experience could be responsible for piloting a ship.
Dr Baker, a Scottish Greens councillor for the Anderston/City ward in Glasgow, added: "It could be anybody on the boat. It could be somebody taking just an oral exam with their local pilot authority and not actually having much experience at all, if any."
In March, Westminster's Transport Committee warned the change could jeopardise safety.
Committee chairwoman Louise Ellman MP said: "Marine pilots play a vital role in keeping our ports safe. The message we received from marine pilots was the same as we have heard from coastguards – they feel that the [Department for Transport] does not understand what they do, and pursues a light touch approach to regulation that undermines vital safety issues."
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "The Marine Navigation Act did not change the high standards of skills and knowledge required by recipients of Pilotage Exemption Certificates. It merely recognised that those with the required levels were prevented from applying for a certificate simply because of their job title."

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You've done a formidable job and our
entire community will be grateful to you.

my website: vegas bail bonds