Drills and Musters on all Fishing Vessels
Man Overboard Recovery Systems on Fishing Vessels
Notice No. 40 of 2018
Notice to all Fishing Vessel Owners, Skippers and Fishers
This Marine Notice supersedes Marine Notice No. 44 of 1999
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to highlight a report published by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the fatal incident involving FV Kerri Heather. The full report may be
obtained from the website of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board MCIB/268.
The Department wishes to remind all concerned in the Fishing Industry of the existing requirements under the Merchant Shipping (Musters) (Fishing Vessels) Regulations 1993 S.I. No. 48 of 1993 and Merchant Shipping (Safety of fishing Vessels) (15-24 metres) Regulations 2007 S.I. No 640 of 2007. These regulations require the Skippers of Fishing Vessels to draw up muster lists for their vessels and exercise the crews of their vessels in the
use of lifesaving appliances and fire fighting appliances
on their vessels. Existing requirements in relation to drills/musters for vessels under 15m are included in Chapter 8.9 of the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15m.
The Skipper of every Fishing Vessel
has overall responsibility for ensuring his/her
crew know the location of the lifesaving and fire fighting equipment on the vessel and are instructed, trained and drilled in the use of such equipment.
Drills involving Lifesaving Appliances should ensure that all
persons on board know:
· Where the lifejackets are stowed and how to don a lifejacket correctly. If lifejackets
are kept in a box, cupboard, locker or beneath
seats, etc. the outside of the space where lifejackets are kept, must be clearly labelled “Lifejackets”.
· How to get a life raft over the side and to ensure the painter is made fast before launching. Procedures for boarding the life raft must be clearly explained. A clear space must always
be kept on cluttered decks to ensure that life rafts can be launched
· How to launch a rescue boat(s). The crew should be clearly designated and
exercised regularly in the launching of rescue boats.
· How to use parachute flares. The crew’s attention should be drawn to the firing instructions which are printed on the sides of the flares. The place of stowage of the flares should be clearly marked.
· When and how to use line throwing apparatus, when carried, and the precautions to be taken when using this equipment.
Drills involving Fire Fighting equipment should ensure that all persons on board
· The different types of fire-extinguishers on board, where they are situated, the types of fires they can
be used on, and where the instruction for use
can be found.
· How to run out fire hoses, couple them up and use jet or spray nozzles. There should always be enough fire hoses on board to stretch from the deck to engine room or accommodation. Crews should also know how to start and run the emergency fire
pump, if fitted.
· How to use breathing apparatus, where it is carried.
· How to deal with the various kinds of fire which may occur.
· How to raise the alarm when a fire occurs rather than tackling it
· Stability considerations when using hoses, due to free
surface effect from water used in
· How to release CO2, Gas or other fire suppression medium and the precautions to take
before releasing of
In order to make any drill effective they should, over a period of time, cover all the various types of situation a vessel may
be involved in. Drills should include the following common emergency scenarios at least:
· collision with another vessel, donning of lifejackets and abandonment;
· collision with another vessel, donning of lifejacket
· fire on board, followed
by donning of lifejackets and abandonment;
· engine room fire;
· collision and fire followed by abandonment;
· running aground on
an unknown coastline;
· engine breakdown
and drifting onto a lee
· taking water on board and threat of sinking; and
· man overboard exercise & recovery.
The muster list prepared by the Skipper should allocate specific safety functions relating to lifesaving appliances duties
and their fire fighting duties to each person on board. In order that these duties can be clearly understood by all concerned they will need to be exercised by way of realistic drills. The overall objective of drills is to breed familiarity with
a vessel and
its safety equipment. On larger vessels of 16.5 metres and above drills must be held once
every two weeks and on smaller vessels at least once
The importance of safety drills cannot be over emphasised:
· frequent drills train
people to react in a co-ordinated manner when an emergency occurs;
· crew become familiar with safety equipment and know instinctively where
it is and
how to use it; and
· lives may be
saved including your own.
Duration of drills:
The length of any
drill will depend on the skill of the crew. If they know their vessel and its
equipment it will be a routine matter of donning lifejackets and practising a different
emergency scenario during each drill. On smaller vessels with limited equipment a drill should take no more than 10 minutes, on larger vessels with a lot
no more than 15-20 minutes.
Overall, the amount of time dedicated to drills compared other activities is minuscule. In an emergency situation it can, however, make the difference between life and death.
Man Overboard Recovery Systems on Fishing
The Department wishes to remind operators of the recommendations made
· That a man overboard recovery system be available on board. It is a requirement for all fishing vessels to have a means of recovering a person from the water. There are
several different manufacturers which provide various types of apparatus for recovering a person from the water.
· That all crew members are familiar with the operation of equipment that is carried on board for recovering a person from the water. For vessels greater than
15m in length, training in emergency procedures shall be carried out at intervals of not more than one month. This training shall be recorded in the logbook.
· Owners of all vessels have a legal obligation to operate their vessels in accordance with the law, and must make themselves aware of the regulations applicable. Owners and skippers should obtain and read the relevant Marine Notices available
on the Department’s website, www.dttas.gov.ie. In addition, the International Maritime Organization produces a booklet for purchase, which provides useful information,
entitled “Pocket Guide to Recovery Techniques”.
Irish Maritime Administration,
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leeson Lane, Dublin, D02TR60, Ireland.