Hirer Safety Review 2013

The UK’s inland waterway navigation authorities are inviting boat hire operators and other interested parties to participate in a general review of hirer safety, and especially to attend regional open forums for hire operators across the UK.

NR005.13 Hirer Safety Review 2013

The review, which is limited to self-drive, powered hire boats, with or without overnight accommodation, has the intention of striking an appropriate balance between the roles and responsibilities of the navigation authorities, hire operators and hirers in ensuring hirer safety.

The outcomes will influence the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) standards for hire boats, which were last reviewed in 2002, as well as ensure that safety-focussed licensing conditions for hire boat operators are proportionate.

The review is being administered through the support committees of the BSS started in July this year.

Vince Moran, Chair of the BSS Management Committee said:

‘I would encourage every hire boat operator to get involved and come along to one of our forums if possible.

‘You will hear about our interim review results and we would like you to share your valuable hirer safety experiences;

‘These are the key questions at the top of the review - How safe is hire-boating? What are the biggest risks? What, if anything, should we do to reduce them?

‘We aim to share the answers and get your input at the forums.’

The forums are taking place during early November in Coventry (7th), Oxford (11th), Wroxham (13th) and Leeds (14th).

By the end of the event, participants will have:

  • shared their knowledge and experience of hirer safety
  • had the opportunity to influence the BSS hire boat requirements and navigation authority hire boat licensing conditions relevant to hirer safety
  • helped to define the roles and responsibilities that the navigation authorities, hire operators and the hirers themselves have for safe boating

To find out more about the hirer safety review and, if you are a hire operator to find the link for the event booking form go to www.boatsafetyscheme.org/hirer-safety-review-2013 . Bookings should be made by Thursday 17 October.

Any hire operator who cannot make the events will have another opportunity to provide their views in an open public consultation on any proposed changes, planned for the Spring of 2014.

– ENDS –

Notes for editors:

The Hirer Safety Review 2013

An inland waterway navigation authority review of boat hirer safety is taking place concerning powered boats only. The review will cover hirer safety generally.

The hire trade and other stakeholders are being actively encouraged to participate at all stages.

The risk-review stage is being administered through the support committees of the BSS.

The current working group consists of: -

  • an inland navigation authorities representative (from the Broads Authority)
  • two Association of Pleasure Craft Operators representatives
  • a Broads Hire Boat Federation representative
  • two British Marine Federation Thames Valley Group representatives
  • a British Marine Federation executive representative
  • a Canal Boatbuilders Association representative
  • an Inland Waterways Association representative
  • a National Association Boat Owners representative
  • two experienced boat hirers
  • a BSS examiner/surveyor representative (from IMarEST)
  • the BSS Quality Assessor (an independent marine surveyor)
  • the BSS Manager

The review process has four distinct stages:

Stage 1: risk-review running until the end of 2013

NOTE: The stage 1 risk review is not a 'fundamental' review, it is looking at what has changed since the time a risk review was last carried out in 2007 in support of the MCA/BMF/AINA Code for the Design, Construction and Operation of Hire Boats, Part 1: Power driven boats (Hire Boat Code).

Stage 2: navigation authority proposal developed in early 2014

Stage 3: public consultation in Spring-Summer 2014

Stage 4: implementation Summer 2014-April 2015