Passenger Vessel Safety (3)

This report should be read in conjunction with “Passenger Vessel Safety (1) and (2)


CHIRP has received several reports regarding both domestic and international passenger vessels outlining failings in safety  management.

What the Reporter told us (3):

On passage between the mainland and an island aboard a domestic passenger vessel, no safety briefing was provided although  the  public-address  system  was  used  by  tour guides to broadcast information of general interest in five languages. Time on passage was approximately 50 minutes. On  the  return  passage  on  a  similar  company  vessel, no safety briefing was provided.

The only exit marked with an “EXIT” sign on the middle deck was at the aft end. Doors located towards the bow on this deck were not marked and were not seen to be used. The deck plan of this vessel, according to  the  company website, depicts these doors as being capable of use, each opening onto an exterior  passage.

Railings on the gangway, once lowered to enable passengers  to  board  and  to  disembark, left  a  significant gap to the fixed railings at the stern of the vessel. When schoolchildren were seen to walk across this area, a crew member standing on the deck extended an arm to ensure that there was no gap between the rails, but this protection was not provided for adult passengers.

The mooring eye, placed over fittings on the quay, had  a hook attached that might be viewed as a trip hazard for passengers waiting their turn to  board.

It is suggested that the company’s Safety Management System might usefully consider:

  • Requiring safety briefings to be broadcast on all passages.
  • Reviewing the emergency exit plan for all vessels to ensure that doors capable and intended to be used for this purpose are marked with “EXIT” signs.
  • Devising an  effective  means  of  bridging  gaps  between the  gangway  and  fixed  rails  –  a  barrier  that  can  simply and quickly be put into place and removed – to prevent passengers  and  crew  from  falling  through  these  gaps with the associated risks of injury and/or drowning. Crew members  were  observed  not  to  be  wearing  life jackets.
  • Reviewing their policy for ensuring that methods employed to moor company vessels do not create trip hazards.




CHIRP Comment:

Having established that  the  vessels  had  no  IMO number, CHIRP concluded that they  fell  under domestic legislation. CHIRP wrote to both the vessel managers and flag  state  but  neither  responded,  which is indicative of safety management and cultural failings   at a local and national level – the perfectly reasonable concerns of the reporter could easily  be  addressed  if they chose to do  so.



Report Ends.