UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency issues new rules covering passenger vessel safety

Passenger vessels on the River Thames (Representative photo only)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has worked on The Ship Safety – Merchant Shipping (Safety Standards for Passenger Ships on Domestic Voyages) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (“Grandfather Rights”), which implements the new rules.

Among a number of new safety regulations such as carrying lifesaving equipment, fire detection and powered pumps, ships will have to comply with damage stability rules – also known as survivability – which will make sure that in the event of an accident, vessels can stay afloat long enough for all passengers to be evacuated.

The MCA said these regulations are being implemented to prevent the repeat of accidents such as the Marchioness disaster on the River Thames in 1989, where 51 people died.

The resulting inquiries and recommendations have underpinned the development of maritime safety legislation to improve the safety of all passengers throughout the country, the agency added.

Operators have at least two years from the legislation coming into force to comply with the new regulations.

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