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Minutes from the PYA Sea Changes Forum for Engineering and Deck

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Minutes of the Sea Changes Forum for Engineering and Deck, held in the IHO offices, Monaco, on Thursday 24/9/15.


16:32 Andrew Schofield (AS) opened the meeting by introducing David Wyatt (DW) of the IHO. DW welcomed attendees, asked for “phones to silent”, and gave brief evacuation instructions.

John Wyborn (JW) took the chair for Part I, covering changes in Engineering qualifications, and a new awareness of professionalism in our industry. The four speakers for this session were introduced: Roger Towner (RT) from the MCA, Lars Lippuner from Warsash Maritime Academy, Michelle Richmond from the IET, and David Lisley from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

RT began by announcing that he had zero option on the use of swear words, and that Kenneth was monitoring him. He confirmed that the new MSN 1859, issued early this year by MCA, is up to date, and contains only a few changes relating to Yacht Engineering Certificates. The Manila Amendments, which are now in force, will impact on 01/01/17, a date which RT asked a few attendees to reiterate on the spot. Failure by an Engineer to complete a High Voltage course by that date will lead a negative endorsement of the holder’s CoC, limiting it to yachts of less than 1000 Kw.

The MCA put Manila 2010 into the HELM O and HELM M requirements for UK CoCs only. These requirements apply only to UK certification.

1/1/17 will also see the entry into force of refresher training: PST, PSC and RB, basic fire prevention and firefighting, and advanced firefighting. Also fast rescue craft where applicable.

There will be a risk of detention by PSC or UK FSC if CoCs are not physically on board and up-to-date. RT referred again to MSN 1859 for details, and repeated his warning of the risk of detention for non-compliance.

A Medical Care Certificate must also be on board and in date for the Master and Medical Officer under EU Flag law.

The Y1, Y2, Y3 and Y4 system of certification will remain in place, but a new alternative route is now opening for Engineers’ certification. It will apply to tugs, fishing vessels, work boats, large yachts and some coasting vessels, allowing transfer between the sectors. Details are to be released soon, and the arrangements will come into force next year. Transfer arrangements for the present Y1 have yet to worked out.

There will be no yacht version of the ETO certificate. If the position of ETO is created on board, the position must be included on the Safe Manning Document and the incumbent must hold a ETO CoC.

The MCA envisages CPD courses as a route for officers to move up and move on.

Lars Lippuner (LL) stated that the ETO (also referred to as METO), under the Manila Amendments, is an unlimited Certificate.

MSN 1860 includes two routes to certification, including transitional options. “Unlimited Engineering” is confusing the field. The classical route is a Merchant navy cadetship. Under new options, sea service in very large yachts may be accepted. The MCA will accept service as a Y Engineer.

As the yacht route and cadet route differ in practiced skills and tuition, Y Engineers will need a minimum of 15 weeks in a workshop in order to cross over.
As the traditional “Deep Sea” certificates have a HND equivalence and can lead on to a B.Eng. degree, it will be easier to explain to shore employers the significance of a “traditional” MN qualification.

All Engineer officers do require a Medical First Aid certificate.

Recognized maritime studies qualifications may lead to some reduction in qualifying sea time for a CoC.

Michelle Richmond took the microphone to announce plans for professional recognition to differentiate Engineers, in collaboration with PYA. The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has 63,000 members in Europe. The reason for the initiative to extend professional status is that it provides a benchmark and level of recognition. This allows a level of confidence and trust in the holders of professional awards. Potential career advantage is thus an incentive for CPD.

There are 4 registration categories with the IET. Experiential background may help towards selection. The process will be kept under constant peer review. The IET and PYA will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the scheme.
David Loosley from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMAREST) spoke next. He showed a short film to introduce the work of IMAREST, which has over 15,000 members and 50 branches worldwide.

RT then resumed, to emphasize that ETO and watchkeeping Engineer are two separate CoCs.

Regarding STCW refresher courses, there are two options, a 2 and ½ day course or a 3 and ½ day course. The former allows self-certification, but RT pointed out that although STCW does allow some drills to be done at sea, some aspects of safety drills such as launching, inflating and boarding a liferaft are generally impracticable on board. The MCA does not have the resources to check on self-certification, so it is left one’s conscience.

RT noted that AEC 1 and AEC 2 were pushed for very strongly by the workboat sector.

JW stated that it is a big leap from AEC to Y4, but grounding in AEC will help.

The IET has a website available for advice to Engineers on specific issues.

As a MSN is linked to a Statutory Instrument, it is more legally binding than a MGN.

The AEG qualification has proved popular with deck and some interior crew.

RAH asked RT from the floor what will be the position for post-1/1/17 renewal of certificates which holders of older versions of CoCs may never have needed previously. RT responded that the MCA had considered the situation of the dinosaurs, and that completion of the three day refresher course would be accepted in their cases as covering all requirements for CoC renewal.

AS closed this session by thanking the sponsors, panelists, IHO and the attendees. The session ended at 17:45.


Session 2- DECK

18:15 AS opened the session by introducing the panel, noting that two of them were still en route from the airport.

David Wyatt, Deputy Director of the IHO, made a brief statement of welcome, and went on to give a brief overview of the history of the IHO. He remarked that the Moon and Mars are better mapped than our Southern Ocean.

Only half of the world’s coastal states are IHO members (cp. ILO and IHO membership).

The IHO is currently studying the practicality of crowd source bathymetry. While there is now a general standardization of data presented on charts and in nautical publications, less than 10% of the seas are charted to modern hydrographic standards.

Consideration is being given to how crowd source data can be applied. “White Rose of Drachs” has been involved in a trial study. The PYA is the industry voice with the IHO, and DW appealed for greater involvement from the yachting sector.

Joey Meen (JM) responded with thanks to DW and voiced PYA support for the work of the IHO. She then reintroduced RT, with an appreciation of the work done by the MCA.

RT opened by saying that he will be repeating some information from the first session. In the last 12 months MSN 1858 has introduced some changes in deck qualifications for yacht crew. MSN 1856 has done the same for Merchant Navy crew.

As from 1/1/17, non-possession of an ECDIS qualification will lead to a negative endorsement on a deck CoC, which would disqualify the holder from service in an ECDIS equipped vessel.

The UK requirements for HELM training in relation to Manila are UK specific, and are not retrospective.

All officer candidates will be required to have completed EDH certification more than 18 months before issuance of a CoC. This has come about at industry request, because academic qualifications have tended to supercede practical skills.

There was a reminder about refresher training and the risk of detention for non-compliance.

Celestial navigation will be an exam requirement , Short Method accepted. A prep course will not be mandatory but RT said it would be a good idea.

The former allowance of up to 14 days stand-by time at the end of a voyage will be changed, due to past abuse. In future stand-by time may not exceed the number of days on the previous voyage.

RT noted that Deep Sea “cheats” are prosecuted regarding false statements. The same principle applies to all applications fort sea service attestation via the PYA. The MCA needs to tighten their own checks and will look to PYA to implement.

JM introduced Lars who presented some tables of statistics regarding exam results. He drew particular attention to the pass rate of 71% across the board in the 382 exams held in the past 12 months.

Next speaker was Richard Falk, RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner.

RF informed us that there have already been over 250 candidates for the RYA Tender Operator course, introduced last year at industry request. Crew need to be encouraged to take the course.

A current hot topic is the “Code of practice for water sports on board superyachts”. It is intended to provide guidance for onboard procedures, leading to better protection for owners and guests. It is a set of guiding principles based on years of collective experience.

The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore is a pre-requisite for an OOW CoC. The requirement for 1250 sea miles is a problem for many candidates. It was noted that Deep Sea cadets are not required to have 1250 sea miles sea service in small boats.

Nonetheless the requirement will remain, as the RYA does hold a practical exam. However, there is an alternative, which is the Yachtmaster Coastal. This requires only 800 miles, of which 200 miles can be logged in boats of less than 24 metres LOA. The 5-day practical course counts as 100 miles per day. The other 100 miles can be accumulated in yacht tenders if properly logged and recorded. The limitation to this route is that it cannot be extended to the 200 Tonne Coastal Yachtmaster.

It is time to review the Task Record Book (TRB) for large yachts. The Merchant Navy cadets need to keep a Work Book, which in future will be incorporated into the TRB.

Two weeks ago the UK government published a Growth Study, in relation to which the MCA will encourage CPD to add value to seafarers’ employability.
There are still questions rather than answers. There will be free updates on the PYA and RYA websites after 12/9/15.

Preventable deaths are still occurring, as illustrated by recent incidents. Kill cords are too often ignored or forgotten, even by expert and professional tender operators.

More details regarding alternative pathways to MCA qualifications will be promulgated shortly. RT interjected that the MCA will accept IYT equivalents for the same purpose.

JM next introduced Richard Skinner (RS) from the security company Allmode.

RS addressed what are the latest issues for yacht security. He noted that most of the Mediterranean littoral is a high risk area for terrorism. He asked the room to imagine the scenario if the Tunisia terrorist attack of 26/6/15 were to be repeated in a marina environment.

Besides terrorism, threats to safe navigation include the current wave of migration and associated organized crime.

Somali piracy has been almost eradicated by the use of armed guards on transiting ships. There has been a recent increase in criminal attacks on vessels in SE Asia.

Other security topics to be aware of are crew safety ashore; cyber security; and the advent of drones.

We were given four recommendations:

Train beyond compliance
Seek expert advice
Increase situational awareness
Plan and prepare effectively

JW then introduced the two latecomer panelists. First was Guy Platten (GP), CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping (CoS), an organization which JW urged all yachting companies to join.

GP gave an overview of membership, then addressed common causes and issues shared by the yachting and other sectors of the maritime world, particularly career development and job opportunities. In light of the UK’s leading role in the maritime world, superyachts should get more involved via the CoS.

Next speaker was Kevin Slade (KS), Chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB). KS sketched the background to the MNTB, and gave an overview of its operations, noting particularly its involvement with the Maritime Skills Alliance. He concluded by stating that the MNTB is looking ahead to satisfy the maritime industry’s needs in 2025.

As a closing question, John W asked the panel “How to get more women at sea?”

MNTB responded that there is a MNTB programme “Inspiring Women”

JM then expressed thanks to the panel and sponsors. Andrew closed, with a call to action to join the PYA.

The session ended at 20:12 with attendees and panelists invited to adjourn to the terrace for drinks and snacks.

Captain Rod Hatch

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