By David Robinson
A strong warning for yacht crew to be knowledgeable about all aspects of Port State Control issues was given out by captain Roger Towner, assistant director at the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency(MCA), at Quaynote’s The Future for Captains & Crew conference held in Palma last week.
“Yachts are becoming of much more interest to Port State Control and if officers or crew cannot provide the answers required then yachts may be detained until the answers can be provided. I am sure that owners and charter guests will not appreciate yachts being detained” he said.
He also raise the issue of the quality of some examinations and certificates being marketed to crew. He highlighted particular qualifications promoted by one Belgian company and a 5,000 tonne licence being marketed in Belize. “The UK MCA will not accept such qualifications,” he warned.
This theme was supported in other sessions from captain John Hafner of International Registries Inc which works with the Marshall Islands Registry and John Wyborn, from Bluewater, which is heavily involved with yacht crew training. The requirements of STCW and changes being made were covered in a presentation from Lars Lippuner, the business development director of Warsash Superyacht Academy.
Another session from Joey Meen, director of training & certification at the Professional Yachting Association(PYA). She provided a full insight into the PYA’s GUEST programme which covers interior crew training.
Other specialist sessions dealt with fire onboard yachts; superyacht crew recruitment and a panel discussing the duty of care. The latter focused on the responsibilities of owners and managers to captains and crew. Apart from Towner and Wyborn, this panel which was led by Ken Hickling, included Alison Rentoul from the Crew Coach, and Tony Nicholson of Medaire.
Steve Monk from Da Gama Maritime emphasised the fire training and practices that should be applied by crew onboard. He also gave some frightening examples of bad onboard practices in respect of fire equipment and illustrated his presentation with photos of fires that have affected a number of superyachts.
The one-day conference which was chaired by Norma Trease, director of Salamanca Marine, also included a series of round table sessions. These addressed such areas as:
MLC in relation to superyachts
The changes in matriculation tax and the impact of Spanish Chartering
What steps do captains and crew need to take to ensure yacht security?
How to network for career success
Superyacht Business was the official media partner of the event which attracted some 70 delegates.