The title says it all, but since CHIRP continues to receive a steady stream of reports on this subject, we feel justified to keep publishing them.
What the reporter told us:
While conducting on board crew fire training it was noted that two crew of a yacht berthed nearby were working along the outboard (port) side of the yacht, high above the waterline and without protective or appropriate safety equipment. Whilst one of the two crew members (aft in the picture) might possibly have had a harness attached to the rail above their heads, the other person (fwd. in the picture) certainly did not and was only holding on with his left hand. Neither appeared to be wearing life jackets.
There have been too many incidents within the superyacht industry, and it is almost the ‘norm’ on a vast number of yachts for crew to proceed aloft or outboard without wearing even the most basic of safety equipment. Indeed, within 2 minutes of spotting this incident another vessel berthed close by had someone walking over the top deck hard canopy around the mast without any harness or lifejacket. Unfortunately, despite deaths occurring, these incidents will continue to happen with no actions being taken by chief officers, captains, management or flag states. It appears all ‘too difficult’ to put on a safety harness and lifejacket, or for designers and builders to provide vessels with the appropriate means by which crew can attach themselves to specifically designed rails. Perhaps owners find them unattractive and aesthetically unappealing.
CHIRP engaged with the reporter and whilst there was no additional information about this specific incident a wide-ranging conversation took place regarding the difficulty of engaging with the yacht and superyacht sector. The reporter suggested that CHIRP contact the PYA (Professional Yachting Association) to establish an engagement. Sadly, although CHIRP did try, the PYA declined to engage.
Why do crew put themselves in harm’s way like this? Why don’t the captains and chief officers stop this type of behaviour? Why do the managers and owners allow this kind of behaviour on their yachts – surely there is a duty of care to look after the safety and wellbeing of their employees?