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CRT to create regional teams to improve customer service and engage with local communities

Richard Parry, CRT CEO (pictured right)
Richard Parry, CRT CEO (pictured right)

Canal & River Trust will move resource from its centrally based roles into its six regional customer-facing teams to improve customer service and engage with local communities.

The changes will be made as part of the trust’s waterways and well being strategy and will see operational management roles adapted to meet the requirements of the new regions.

Richard Parry, CEO, commented: “The Trust has been repositioning as a charity for the waterways and well being, with a new structure that has seen us move from ten waterways to six larger regions, with some activities previously managed centrally now devolved to these regional teams, and a reduction in senior manager numbers overall.

“The intention is to re-design roles to meet what the Trust needs for the future rather than to remove these posts from the organisation entirely.”

He said operations roles will be focused on how to deliver great customer service for boaters, towpath users and visitors to the trust’s attraction. There will also be “greater capacity to react and respond to the needs of the local waterway and surrounding communities.”

The changes affect approximately 240 colleagues, whose existing roles are now ‘at risk’. Those affected include professional, supervisory and management roles. Waterway operatives, team leaders and volunteer leaders are not affected by the changes.

During the consultation period with our trade unions, which will commence next week, those affected will have the opportunity to discuss their aspirations and preferred outcomes.

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Environment Agency set to increase boat charges

The EA is the second largest navigation authority in the UK and is responsible for more than 1,000km of navigable waterways.
The EA is the second largest navigation authority in the UK and is responsible for more than 1,000km of navigable waterways.

The Environment Agency is to increase the cost of boat registrations on its waterways from 2019 which it says will help ensure a sustainable service and cover maintenance.

It said that the new charges for 2019-21 will be invested in waterways enjoyed by around 29,000 boat users, helping to meet the shortfall between the cost of running the service and the income currently generated from annual boat registrations.

“We realise an increase in charges is never welcome news but it is essential to keep the levels of service and maintenance which boaters tell us is needed,” said Mark Ormrod, EA national manager for navigation.

“In addition, we are exploring new income streams to make our service even better and to spread the cost among everybody who benefits from our waterways.”

Charge increases
Across the EA’s waterways, the majority of boats (98%) are used for private pleasure. For these users, annual boat registrations will increase by between £6 and £100 over two years depending on the size and type of boat, although specific costs vary by location.

The Environment Agency is the second largest navigation authority in the UK and is responsible for more than 1,000km of navigable waterways, which include the non-tidal River Thames, River Great Ouse, River Nene and Upper Medway Navigation.

It is estimated the charge increases will bring in an additional £930,000 by 2021.

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Clipper Ventures embarks on expansion plan in China

Zhang Xiaodong and William Ward OBE celebrate the launch of Clipper Ventures Chinese division Photo: Clipper Ventures
Zhang Xiaodong and William Ward OBE celebrate the launch of Clipper Ventures Chinese division Photo: Clipper Ventures

Clipper Ventures has announced the biggest expansion in its 23 year history with the opening of a new division in China.

The company, organiser of the Round the World Yacht Race, hopes that Clipper China will become the industry leader in the development of offshore training and sailing events in the country.

Together with running its own academies, the new division will build its own one-design keelboats and offshore racing yacht fleets under the aegis of British naval architect Tony Castro Design.

Announcing the news at the first China Sailing Cities forum in Beijing, William Ward OBE, chief executive and co-founder (together with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston) of Clipper Ventures, said: “Interest in sailing in China has never been higher. China has featured on the Clipper race route for the past 14 years. Out of over 40 nationalities of crew, China is now our third highest represented.”

The creation of the new division follows the meeting earlier this year between Clipper Ventures, the GREAT Britain campaign and the yachting associations of China and the UK. This meeting, held during the Clipper 2017-2018 race’s stopover in Qingdao, saw all parties committing to help make China a world sailing force.

Madam Zhang Xiaodong, president of the China Yachting Association (CYA), said: “The Clipper race is the most well-known offshore sailing brand in China with the UK respected for its long-standing sailing heritage.”

“The CYA expects to see over 400 yacht clubs with more than 150,000 sailing participants by 2021, an increase of 150 per cent on the current level,” she added.

Clipper China aims to open its first academy and launch the first yachts in its one-design fleet next year.

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AMSA has reported seven serious marine incidents in October

AMSA has published a list of the most serious incidents that occurred during October
AMSA has published a list of the most serious incidents that occurred during October

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) informed that a total of forty five domestic commercial vessel incidents were reported in the month of October. Of these, seven were categorised as serious.

AMSA has published a list of the most serious incidents that occurred during October:
– A deck hand was bitten by sea snake while bringing in the nets. He could not be revived by emergency services.
– Vessel anchor rope become entangled in the propeller, damaging the rudder and seizing the motor, leaving the vessel disabled.
– A 10m yacht sank with 400 litres of diesel on-board. Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Australia assisted in the rescue of the crew.
– Vessel grounded causing damage to chain locker. A hull inspection revealed damage to the hull and bow stem.
– Collision between two vessels causing damage to roof and liferaft of one vessel. It was believed no one was at the helm of the other vessel at the time of the incident. Water police were notified.
– A crew member shut off the fuel, pulled the incorrect handle and released CO2 into engine Bay area. No injuries reported.
– A snorkeler was pulled from the water after becoming unresponsive and unconscious due to a medical event.

During September, AMSA announced that it has a steady increase in incident reports, from 1721 reports in 2013, to 3017 reports in 2017, which represents a 75% increase over a five-year period. From 1 January to 30 June 2018, AMSA received 1611 incident reports.

Incident reporting includes two simple steps for AMSA:
– Submit incident alert: As soon as possible and within 4 hours after becoming aware of the incident, submit Form 18—Incident alert. The alerts inform AMSA that a serious event has occurred.
– Submit incident report: Within 72 hours after becoming aware of the incident, submit Form 19— Incident report. The incident report provides detailed information about the incident, in particular the measures put in place to prevent re-occurrence.

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European Maritime Safety Agency published an overview of maritime casualties in 2018

Photo credit: EMSA
Photo credit: EMSA

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has published its annual review of maritime casualties. It has reported a total of 3,301 incidents through 2017. The report reveals that the number of very serious casualties has continuously decreased since 2014 with 74 reported in 2017. A total of 61 people were injured and 61 ships were lost. During the 2011-2017 period, 405 accidents led to a total of 683 lives lost, which represents a decreasing trend.

The report contains statistics on marine casualties and incidents that: involve ships flying a flag of one of the EU Member States; occur within EU Member States’ territorial sea and internal waters as defined in UNCLOS; or involve other substantial interests of the EU Member States.

Key points
– With 3301 occurrences reported in 2017, the total number of occurrences recorded in EMCIP has grown to over 20,000. This amounts to an average of 3315 casualties per year over the past four years.
– The number of very serious casualties has continuously decreased since 2014 with 74 reported in 2017. A similar improvement was noted for the number of ships lost, with 12 reports as compared with 41 in 2014.
– During the 2011-2017 period, 405 accidents led to a total of 683 lives lost, which represents a significant decrease since 2015. Crew have been the most affected category of victims with 555 fatalities.
– In 2017, there were 1018 injured persons reported. This number has remained relatively steady since 2014, at around 1000 per year. Again, crew represent the main category of persons injured at sea (5,329 during the 2011-2017 period).

Casualties per ship type
– During the 2011-2017 period, general cargo ships were the main category involved (42.5%), followed by passenger ships (22.6%). While the number of cargo ships and service ships stabilised and the number of passenger ships and other ships slightly decreased in 2017, a continued increase was noted in relation to fishing vessels.
– More than 1500 cargo ships were involved in accidents that resulted in 25 fatalities in 2017, the lowest number since the EU legislation is in place.
– With a total of almost 120, fishing vessels remains the category of ship with the highest number of ships lost over the 2011-2017 period. However, the number of fishing vessels lost dropped from 21 to six in two years’ time. – Moreover, there was a decrease from 60 to 13 lives lost in 2017.
– Almost half of the casualties that occurred onboard a passenger vessel involved ferries. While no ships were lost in 2017, the number of fatalities has also continued to decrease with less than five fatalities.
– No service ships were lost in 2017. While the number of fatalities remained identical, fewer injuries were reported.
– 200 ‘other types’ of ships have been involved in a marine accident. Despite the limited number of such ships, this resulted in an increase in fatalities and injuries, mainly on leisure boats with engines or sails.

Casualties per cause
– Half of the casualties were related to issues of a navigational nature, such as contacts, grounding/stranding and collision. As concerns occupational accidents, 40% were attributed to the slipping, stumbling and falling of persons.
– The combination of collision (23.2%) contact (16.3%), and grounding/ stranding (16.6%) shows that navigational casualties represent 53.1% of all casualties with ships. They also represent 37.8% of all occurrences. 11?952 casualties with a ship involve a single casualty event. 2?055 casualties with a ship have more than one casualty event.
– Human error represented 58% of accidental events and 70% of accidental events had shipboard operations as a contributing factor.
– EU Member State investigation bodies have launched 1070 investigations over the 2011-2017 period and almost 900 reports have been published. Among the 2,000 safety recommendations issued, 40% were related to operational practices, and in particular to safe working practices. Half of the safety recommendations were addressed to the shipping companies and the positive response rate was around 50%.

Click for access to the 175-page report

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