I thought I would let you know that on a recent crossing on a cross channel ferry there was no ’emergency procedures’ announcement whatsoever. We sailed blissfully on. When I mentioned this to the friends I was visiting, they confirmed that this was regularly the case when they crossed from time to time.
Maybe I’m way out of date and it is not a statutory requirement any more, in which case tell me to go away but as the boat was full of children and the elderly and infirm etc., in fact the usual sort of passenger mix, it seemed a bit casual to me.
The Nautical Institute received this report, as it was a hazardous occurrence and not an incident, as part of the joint exercise between CHIRP and their own MARS programme, it was agreed CHIRP should follow up the report with the ferry operators.
CHIRP contacted the ferry operator; they replied by advising their company has an exceptional safety record and manages its affairs in strict conformity not only with prevailing legislation but also its own strict operating procedures, which in many areas exceed legal requirements. They were disturbed by this apparent breach of their prescribed procedures. They reacted by issuing a fleet wide memorandum reconfirming to all officers the need to comply with standard procedures. They stated the need for compliance with Safety at Sea Convention (SOLAS), but also staff need to demonstrate to their passengers their compliance with SOLAS through the routine announcement of safety procedures in the event of an emergency.
The ferry operator reacted in a positive manner to CHIRP’s notification to them.