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.
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.