Safety changes mean the in­dus­try is now ‘un­recog­nis­able’ from 1987

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - THE HERALD -

AT­TI­TUDES to ferry safety have un­der­gone sweep­ing changes in the 20 years since the Her­ald tragedy. The in­dus­try is now un­recog­nis­able from that which al­lowed the Her­ald to put to sea with her bow doors open. That is the view of the Bri­tish Cham­ber of Ship­ping, which rep­re­sents ship own­ers and com­pa­nies. In the UK, the reg­u­la­tory author­ity is the Mar­itime and Coast­guard Agency, which en­sures that all UK flagged ves­sels meet both UK and in­ter­na­tional reg­u­la­tions. The Euro­pean Union also placed re­spon­si­bil­i­ties on port states to en­sure that be­fore fer­ries en­ter ser­vice on a spe­cific route, the two states have in­spected the ves­sel and con­firmed it meets all the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions. Sev­eral ad­di­tional reg­u­la­tions were also in­tro­duced to en­hance safety on Ro-ro fer­ries, ei­ther as a di­rect re­sult of the Her­ald, or as a re­sult of an over­all re­view of safety. Th­ese in­clude ex­am­in­ing sta­bil­ity stan­dards for ex­ist­ing Ro-ro fer­ries and pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about a ship’s sta­bil­ity re­quire­ments. Pos­i­tive re­port­ing and log­ging of the clo­sure of load­ing doors be­fore a ship leaves berth now take place, rather than a Mas­ter as­sum­ing this has been taken care of.


And in 1989 a load­ing and sta­bil­ity as­sess­ment of all Ro-ro fer­ries was car­ried out. In­ter­na­tional mea­sures fur­ther in­creased the sta­bil­ity of fer­ries and pro­vided im­proved life­sav­ing equip­ment and the pro­vi­sion of fast res­cue boats. A spokesman for the Bri­tish Cham­ber of Ship­ping, said: “Since the tragedy, the at­ti­tudes of the in­dus­try have un­der­gone a ma­jor re­assess­ment with pre­vi­ously ac­cepted stan­dards and phi­los­o­phy be­ing ques­tioned. “The changes have made sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to the fun­da­men­tal safety both in terms of hard­ware and the man­age­ment of risk of th­ese in­valu­able ves­sels.”

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