1) The various French maritime authorities have recently been carrying out intensive monitoring of marine activities in and around the waters off Cannes. They have been looking particularly at regulatory violations by tender and PWC operators. It seems to have escaped the notice of many small craft operators that when towing any kind of toy or skier in this area, there must be an observer in the towing craft, which must fly a bright orange pennant throughout the operation.
In one particularly egregious speeding offence between the Isles de Lerins, the owner of the large yacht concerned did not at first take the matter seriously, but then had his reportedly “supercilious” smile wiped off, and suddenly remembered his manners, when he was warned by the responding officer that he had the authority to banish the yacht forthwith from all French territorial waters.
2) In late June 2014 the PYA notified all members that the Paris MOU committee intended to carry out a port state Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) regarding Hours of Rest during the course of this year. Lesia Group’s John Cook has just provided an update, giving the dates for the CIC as being from September to November 2014, noting that these inspections will be carried out specifically because the MLC 2006 has entered into force. For all persons working in, managing or providing operational services to charter yachts, now is a very good time to make sure that on board records are being kept and are accurate.
3) The local Cote d’Azur authorities have been generally preoccupied by other issues than Schengen visa holders who actively look for yacht work while living ashore. But they have made some spot checks this year and sent home a few expired-visa holders or non-authorized job seekers. A Schengen visa does not permit the holder to seek employment. So “caveat emptor” when checking the visas of non-EU crew applicants.
4) Two weeks ago a jogger who was listening to music on his headphones was run down and seriously injured by a rattling diesel-powered tourist Train des Alpes which he never heard clanking its way towards him over steel rails. We all love music while we work, and there are no trains rattling around our decks, but we still would not like to lose any of our readers to a rhythm which drowns out a warning while they work.
About the author: Rod Hatch got bored with the academic world after three years as a Lecturer in Economics at a London Polytechnic, and ran away to sea for a year as deckhand in a 100' motor yacht. His yachting career has now spanned 45 years (including six years in commercial shipping) and he was one of the last few dinosaurs to be certificated in the UK as Master of a Home Trade Passenger Ship. Current special interests: MLC, 2006; and advocacy of CPD opportunities for yacht crew outside of their mandatory training courses.