I was asked by a friend of many years standing to join him and others to transfer his yacht to a new base some days away. The trip was uneventful, but the only jarring feature was the presence of two Life Buoy Lights which spent the entire trip hanging in the saloon. I did comment on the point during the first evening (“Should those things not be attached to the lifebuoys for the crossing?”) but without any acknowledgement. I probably should have been more forceful about this, but as the ‘junior boy’ I did not want to push the point.
However it might be worth reiterating the point that safety equipment in its shore stowage might as well be ashore.
Thanks to the reporter for raising this. Although the non-conformity could easily be rectified by moving the lights to their proper positions, it does highlight some general challenges to improving safety at sea whether we are on a yacht or a large ship:
- Do we comply with safety rules and best practice? Having the lifebuoy lights hanging in the saloon does not represent best practice!!!
- Are we developing a safety culture in which everyone is aware of hazards and thinks about the precautions to mitigate the risks? In this case, what was the precaution had someone fallen over-board at night?
- As individuals, do we intervene if we see a hazard or unsafe situation? The reporter recognises this – “I probably should have been more forceful about this”. This takes us neatly back to the editorial on page 1!!!