SOLAS V regulations
SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) V Regulations.
The Coxswain of the Dive Boat is an essential and integral part of any dive trip involving boats. In Nautical terms the Cox is deemed "Master before God" and their authority overrides that of the Dive Marshal on the day with regard to the safety of the boat and it's passengers.
It is therefor important that the Coxswain is suitably prepared for the activity in much the same way as the boat and the divers are prepared. This will include they are properly informed, have suitable training and experience and have made appropriate preparations.
|SOLAS V REGULATIONS|
On 1 July 2002, additional regulations came into force, which directly affected the pleasure boat user. These regulations are part of Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, otherwise known as SOLAS V.
Most of the SOLAS convention only applies to large commercial ships, but parts of Chapter V apply to small, privately-owned pleasure craft.
The regulations described apply to all club/member owned boats. Anyone involved in a boating accident and it is subsequently shown that the basic principles outlined below have not been applied, prosecution could follow.
The following is an extract from an MCA leaflet, which outlines the areas that need to be taken into account every time a vessel goes to sea.
Regulation V/34 'Safe Navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations', is a new regulation. It concerns prior-planning for your boating trip, more commonly known as voyage or passage planning. Voyage planning is basically common sense. As a pleasure boat user, you should particularly take into account the following points when planning a boating trip:
weather: before you go boating, check the weather forecast and get regular updates if you are planning to be out for any length of time.
tides: check the tidal predictions for your trip and ensure that they fit with what you are planning to do.
limitations of the vessel: consider whether your boat is up to the proposed trip and that you have sufficient safety equipment and stores with you.
crew: take into account the experience and physical ability of your crew. Crews suffering from cold, tiredness and seasickness won’t be able to do their job properly and could even result in an overburdened skipper.
navigational dangers: make sure you are familiar with any navigational dangers you may encounter during your boating trip. This generally means checking an up to date chart and a current pilot book or almanac.
contingency plan: always have a contingency plan should anything go wrong. Before you go, consider bolt holes and places where you can take refuge should conditions deteriorate or if you suffer an incident or injury. Bear in mind that your GPS set is vulnerable and could fail at the most inconvenient time. It is sensible and good practice to make sure you are not overreliant on your GPS set and that you can navigate yourself to safety without it, should it fail you.
information ashore: make sure that someone ashore knows your plans and knows what to do should they become concerned for your well being. The Coastguard Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme (commonly known as CG66) is also free and easy to join. The scheme aims to help the Coastguard to help you quickly should you get into trouble while boating. It could save your life.