Your PCA membership updates and news April 2018
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The loss of four lives aboard the Yacht  Cheeki Rafiki in May 2014
The PCA have had a representative monitoring this trial over recent months following the previous trial last  year where the jury could not reach a verdict on the manslaughter charges. At the first trail the managing agent of the yacht was found guilty of 2 offences under the Shipping Act.
The  trial against Douglas Innes the director of Stormforce Coaching as it was before going into receivership has been ongoing since March this year at Winchester Crown Court . Mr Innes was charged with four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence .
On 25th April 2018 the jury returned not guilty verdicts on 4 manslaughter by gross negligence. The Jury had been out for 5 full days before the verdict was given. The findings of guilt from the first trial will be sentenced next month.

Issues were raised during the second trial about the legislation around MGN280. 

After the verdicts Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) chief executive Sir Alan Massey warned of the dangers of failing to maintain vessel safety, said the organisation will have to 'look hard' at its 'regulatory environment' and expressed sympathy for the bereaved relatives.

He said the MCA had carried out 'a thorough and extensive' three year investigation into the circumstances of the loss of the Cheeki Rafiki.

He described it as 'a horrific and tragic incident' which still has a 'devastating' impact on their families.

Sir Alan said: 'The sea can be an extremely hostile place. You must make sure your vessel is safe in strict accordance with its certification.

'You must make sure it is properly maintained and fit to be at sea - you could otherwise find yourself facing serious charges in court.'

In response to the jury's concerns about MGN280, the guidance note which governs the basic construction and operation of certain small vessels, he said: 'They have made some recommendations. We are going to follow those up. Of course, if we need to review or even amend the terms of that guidance notice, we will.'

He added the MCA now needs to 'look and ask ourselves 'is there enough legal force in these regulations as they stand to be able to follow through cases of non-compliance?'


After the AGM we are in the process of rebuilding a new website, One way to ensure you are listed as it is launched is to renew your membership.  Graeme Sign has been sending our the annual membership renewals . Please try and finalise these payments as soon as possible to free up Graeme's time and to allow us to relaunch the new website.


Vessel at Sea inspections

The above image is an operator off the French Coast getting an at Sea Inspection 

As we hope all members are aware we have an Memorandum of Understanding with the MCA on at Sea Inspections for boats recognised as being PCA members ( flag flying?). The agreement can be found in the members downloads area here

We would be keen to hear if any operators have been inspected recently, were you carrying the PCA inspection folder?
If inspected, what were the issues? What areas could we improve on? Let us know here on email



Increased demand for beacon registry services.

The UK beacon registry continues to experience very high demand for its beacon registry services. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has explained that this is due to the rapid increase in the ownership of Personal Locator Beacons (406 MHz distress beacons) – which is highly beneficial for search and rescue by both marine and aviation communities. 

The MCA acknowledges that it is a priority for the beacon registry staff to place critical data into the internationally accessible beacon database. Other nations beacon registries are also experiencing high demand and they too are suffering delays in data input.

The current online form sends the data in an email to the team who then manually type in the information.  The MCA’s IT branch is currently working on an improved system including a customer interface allowing direct input by customers to input and update their own records. This will alleviate the waiting times by allowing the team to simply verify entries.

Registration is not necessary for a 406 MHz beacon to raise an alert

The registration of beacon owner details is a clerical necessity which provides HM Coastguard with details of ownership and contact details. However the registration process is not essential for a beacon’s use nor critical to initiate a search and rescue response. 

If a user activates their beacon, it will be detected by the satellite system and the alert will be sent to HM Coastguard who can then initiate a response. Registration is not required to enable the beacon work. The only information HM Coastguard might not have is who the beacon belongs to. This information is clearly useful which is why the MCA encourages everyone to register their 406 MHz beacons so that HM Coastguard can contact the registered user or their families more quickly. However, registration is not vital for locating a beacon if it goes off.  The MCA has told the RYA that it wants to reassure people that if the worst happens and they have to use their beacon, a search and rescue plan will be put into operation, even if their beacon registration hasn’t gone through. 

The MCA understands that there may be some frustration for people waiting for their registrations to be finalised but the UK beacon registry team continues to work to complete each individual application as soon as they can.

Brexit: transition agreement is good news for Britain’s boaters, but unanswered questions about the final deal remain

The UK and EU negotiating teams have now reached a joint-position on the shape of the UK’s transition / implementation period, to take place before the long-term, ‘end state’ relationship comes into effect.

Lasting from the expiry of the Article 50 period on 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020, this interim arrangement will see the UK’s current terms of EU membership continue, though without formal UK representation in the EU institutions and agreement that the UK will be able to sign (though not implement) trade deals with non-EU countries. Agreement to these terms was granted by EU heads of government at last week’s European Council meeting.

This is good news for boaters and those in the marine industry who feared a ‘cliff-edge’ ending to current arrangements next spring.

More can be read here from the RYA-

The Merchant Shipping (Boatmasters'Qualifications, Crewe and Hours of Work) Regulations 2015 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into effect from 25 May 2018. 
This is data protection regulation that the PCA needs to be thoroughly prepared for. Our data handling procedures have been reviewed and will continue to be monitored. 

We are putting together a GDPR policy, privacy and cookie policy for the PCA. Presently as you log onto our website the cookie policy is displayed for people to agree before continuing.  As the website is rebuilt with our new SEO managers we will add the new policies.

You need to act now and have started the process before the Act actually goes live. It surrounds PERSONAL DATA and SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA. It is very unlikely that any of us don't have such data. Even your accident book is likely to be seen as Sensitive personal Data and certainly contact information will be personal data.  CCTV? Do you take images of your clients for social media? You will need their permission to use this now, Don't just assume through your privacy notices, it needs to be a positive action by them to agree to it.

You may need to register with
This website is the place to go to follow the basics 12 steps you need to take.


Are you all sure that you have the correct First Aid training for working commercially? We have been reminded of the requirements for First Aid and it means crew and skippers:-
Commercial endorsement Applicants
On vessels certified under the UK’s Small Commercial Vessel Codes of Practice up to category 2 area of operation the minimum first aid qualification required is the RYA First Aid, STCW Elementary First Aid or Sea Fish first aid. If an individual is responsible for the first aid on board the first aid course must cover the use of Category C medical stores as detailed in MSN 1768 (M+F). The RYA First Aid course is the preferred option as the use of Category C medical stores forms part of the syllabus.

Applications for new or renewed commercial endorsements will be asked to sign a declaration confirming that they understand their responsibility with regard to maintaining valid medical fitness, first aid and radio operators certificates and that they may need higher level certification subject to the nature of the vessel on which they work.

The PCA fully support this register of coded charter vessels and is part of your membership

Dont forget to keep using social media, it's free and we use it to promote your business too
The Team,
Website Communications
Charters Association,
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