The IET has announced the release of the “On-Board Guide for Electrical Safety for Small Craft”, which was initiated by NABO and the production undertaken in consultation with representatives from many boating and related organisations.
Small craft have an ever-increasing amount of electrical equipment, systems, and associated power requirements. As a result, significantly more risks and safety concerns need to be considered in the design and testing of electrical installations on small recreational and commercial craft.
The IET’s new On-Board Guide provides practical advice on the design, installation, testing, commissioning, and maintenance of electrical installations on small recreational and commercial craft. It summarises the existing standards and directives relative to this sector and covers key areas such as electrical supplies (including batteries and AC power sources) as well as design guidance, cable requirements, electrical protection and testing.
To get your copy today email theiet.org/SmallCraft-NABO
The Marine Accident Investigation Board have published their accident investigation report into the double fatality on board the privately owned sports cruiser Emma Louise on 11 January 2022, highlighting the need for further work to raise awareness among pleasure craft users about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). You can read the report here:
All boats with accomodation and covered by the BSS are required to have at least one CO alarm. Have you got one and is it working? Every year around 10% of boats fail their exaimation just on this point.
Annual BSS report of incidents and accidents
This report covers incidents recorded over the year from 1st January to 31st December 2021. In total there were 70 incidents on the inland waterways. There were 28 fires and CO incidents. Of these, the cause of 16 incidents (57%) is unknown/not conclusive/to be confirmed. In nine of the 28 incidents, the boat was used intensively (i.e. for residential or extended use). Despite the high number of unreported causes of fires on boats, there are six recorded incidents involving solid-fuel stove fires, which makes these the single largest factor in known causes for 2021. A summary of the main findings in the report is:
David Fletcher explains the new Examination Check Procedures.
The BSS team members are on a campaign at the moment to improve the consistency and quality of the examinations. We are all familiar with the discussions about how my boat passed last time, so why has it failed now? These events do nothing to improve the confidence of boaters, and they don’t improve the confidence of the navigation authorities (NAs) either. They are worried. We should not forget that the BSS examination has only an incidental role in the boat owner’s safety (the so called ‘first party risk’). For NAs it is about making sure that all the boats they have licenced are not a danger to others. This in the NAs’ duty of care. The statistics show that a third of boats fail their BSS examinations. The actual number is probably higher, because some failure points are fixed at the time and are not recorded. It is not a good picture.
Every so often, something happens that brings home the dangers closely associated with our way of life and hobby. Preventing carbon monoxide (CO) accumulation has been in the forefront of the fight to make life on a boat safer, with compulsory CO meters, adequate ventilation and a programme to make boaters more aware of the dangers. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has just released the findings of an investigation into the deaths of two people on a cruiser in York, which makes sobering reading. The link to the full report is given below and I really would recommend that you read it, but the following is a short synopsis.
The summary from the MAIB is as follows:
‘At about 2000 on 4 December 2019, the bodies of two men were discovered in the cabin of the privately owned motor cruiser, Diversion, which was moored to a quay in the centre of York, England. The bodies were those of the boat owner and his friend, who had spent the previous evening in the city centre socialising with former work colleagues and were spending the night on board. Both men had died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The carbon monoxide had leaked into the cabin from the boat’s diesel-fuelled cabin heater exhaust.’
What we have been saying to our members