The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission has deemed it expedient to provide recommendations, which are proposals of actions which could contribute to preventing similar accidents in the future.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the operator of the yacht Down North, DIK Mariusz Nawrot company, in case of deciding to return the yacht to service, should select an appropriate register into which the yacht would be entered (flag state) and an appropriate mode of yacht operation, ensuring meeting of the flag state requirements in the scope of safety, construction and equipment.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the organizer of maritime sail-training cruises, Navigare Yacht Club company, takes all efforts to ensure due diligence in checking that the yachts to be used for cruise purposes hold valid safety documents, in line with obligations made by the organizer in statements included in the agreements signed with the cruise participants.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the minister competent for maritime economy should implement the amendments in the Act of 11 August 2011 on maritime safety (Journal of Laws of 2016, item 281), which will enable performing the on-board verifications and inspections by controllers of the port state control (PSC) on foreign sea-going yachts mooring in Polish ports, for which the status related to their mode of operation (commercial or recreational) is unknown or raises justified doubts. The Commission proposes implementation of the following amendments to the provisions of the Act:
1) Article 33(1)(5):
a) Clause 5 should have the following wording: “5) commercial yachts chartered for remuneration without manning, subject to Article 110(2a)” or
b) repeal Paragraph 1(5);
2) After Article 35, add Article 35a in the following wording: „Article 35a. 1. Foreign sea-going yachts mooring in the Polish ports may be controlled by the port state carried out by the controlling authority.
2. Foreign sea-going yacht raising justified doubts whether it is a recreational or commercial yacht, is subject to on board verification.
3. When performing the on board verification, the controllers of port state control follow the applicable guidelines of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding”.
In addition, the Commission put under consideration of the minister competent for maritime economy to allocate additional funds for the SAR Service for training of the MRCK and the MPCK inspectors that will allow to increase skills of persons employed in these centres and to complete the necessary courses in specialized foreign centres.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the SAR Operational Director supervising the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Gdynia should:
1) expedite the development and implementation of the procedure ensuring that the Centre duty inspectors will remember, at each phone report from another MRCC, to request information in writing on the reported event and will use all available sources of information, including publicly available Internet services, to verify the received reports and assess the actual situation (position) of the vessel in distress based on its name and AIS signal;
2) request the entities managing the systems supporting the search and rescue operations (SWIBŻ and SARCASS) to adjust the systems used in the Centre and to provide them with functions facilitating searching of information on the position and particulars of the vessel in distress based on incomplete data within the period of at least 48 hours backwards;
3) promote training the users of the systems supporting the search and rescue operations in techniques of using the functions facilitating checking data and correctness of the position of the vessel in danger, including its navigation history (archive) and from information derived from the radar VTS sensor of the iMARE VTS system of the National Maritime Safety System (KSBM);
4) ensure effective reporting of any deficiencies in the systems supporting the search and rescue operations to their managing and supervising entities to ensure resolving of such deficiencies.
The Commission additionally proposes considering development in the future of a general policy for recruitment of operational inspector candidates (including e.g. initial requirements, preparatory courses), among others to avoid employing at this position persons without due knowledge of English language.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the Directors of Maritime Offices in Gdynia, Słupsk and Szczecin draw the attention of the subordinated harbour masters, in which the foreign flagged sea-going vessels moor, to the need of more thorough checks of registration and safety documents of yachts by the officers of the harbour master’s office. In the case of finding irregularities or raising justified doubts as to the yacht status (whether it is a commercial or a recreational one), this fact should be reported to the nearest controller of the port state control or the PSC coordinator in Gdynia.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the Port State Control officers perform the inspection and verify the status of the yacht Down North navigating under the Canadian flag and conducting commercial activity in the Polish territorial waters, at the nearest mooring of the yacht in a Polish port.
The Commission recommends that the PSC inspectors use the right laid down in the Paris MoU guidelines – Eligibility of Yachts to Port State Control – to determine whether the foreign yacht moored in the port is subject to a PSC inspection despite lack of information on the yacht in the THETIS information system.
The Commission recommends that determination of the status of a yacht which is unknown or to which there are justified doubts, should be performed in line with these guidelines and that further proceeding should follow the Paris MoU provisions.
The Commission recommends that a closer cooperation should be established between the PSC and harbour master’s offices in the scope of determining the status of yachts raising justified doubts as to their status (commercial or recreational).
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the Minister competent for physical culture should include into the scope of certification examination for the Yacht Skipper license the issues related to yacht stability in a way ensuring that the skipper will be capable to use typical stability information documents issued for the yacht.
Yachts of length exceeding 15 m may navigate in all maritime waters under command of persons holding the Yacht Skipper license. Such vessels are subject to technical inspection. Upon inspection performed by a recognized organization or an authorized official body, those yachts receive the document confirming the yacht’s technical capacity for sailing. Many yachts, including some commercial yachts, have the ‘Information on Stability’ document on board, containing the stability data related to basic loading conditions and other guidance information for the skipper’s assessment of proper navigation, thus increasing safety of skipper and the crew. The yacht skipper should have basic knowledge and skills sufficient for practical use of information on stability provided by classification societies according to valid standards and common practices.
The State Marine Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the company Escort Sp. z o.o., Szczecin, carrying out the maintenance service of radio communication equipment, follow the recommendations of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) presented in the circular MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.1 during performance of annual testing of EPIRBs of the COSPAS-SARSAT system. The Test Protocol Form should include all recommended annual testing items indicated in the circular and duly recorded performance or non-performance of the individual items of the test.