Examples of typical Incidents Responded to by Waterwatch Crew Members People (none wearing lifejackets) pulled from the water after falling off vessels on the Broads. In one case the vessel concerned had steamed away oblivious to the fact that they had a crew member missing! Use of ladder fixed to the transom of boat to recover an elderly yachtsman who fell off the deck of his yacht into the river whilst hoisting sail. Then calling an ambulance Standing by to assist broken-down craft and escorting hire craft holed in a collision to the appropriate boat hire operator’s base. Alerting police and coastguards to incident involving theft of an expensive electric launch, subsequently recovered undamaged and miscreant arrested. Reporting to waterway authority several incidents of vessels speeding and/or helming without due care and attention causing a danger to other craft Towing grounded craft into deeper water to re-float. Standing by to assist Broads Authority Ranger’s launch to recover grounded hire cruiser.
Incident Report August 2022
Sunday 07-Aug-2022, 13.00 Location: Colman’s Slipway, Oulton Broad, NR33 9LQ The individual is a highly experienced boater who possesses detail knowledge of the risks of slipperiness, especially at this location, yet nevertheless was himself subject to an accident. Incident Description:– Having finished sailboat racing with Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club I returned from Broad to Slipway to retrieve my dinghy onto its trolley for parking in the WOBYC boat-park. In light wind I left my boat in the water to collect my trolley which I ran into the water, close to low water on a rising tide. Much of the following is 3rd-party report:– Before reaching my boat I suddenly and without warning slipped on the wet marine growth on the concrete of the launch-way, legs in the air and I am told I actually landed backwards on my head; I quickly lost consciousness and lay face-down in a pool of blood at my head on the concrete, body half-in the water. Several co-sailors helped pull me out of the water, recovery position etc, and I came-to after some minutes. Ambulance to A&E James Paget Hospital; assessed, treated for head-wound and released after 8hrs. Issues:– Marine growth is a very well-known issue to regular boaters especially summertime within sun-penetrating waters; occasional boaters or general public may be unaware of just how exceedingly slippery underwater surfaces (or occasionally drying surfaces as tide recedes) can become. During long hot sunny spells underwater growth is accelerated and evidences as a slippery ‘slime’ attached to any solid surfaces. For racing boats, such growth at moorings is an impediment to speed. For launch-ways such growth is a hazard to walkers approaching areas which are or may have been under water at HW, and extends under water. Slipways are of necessity at a significant slope; some of the ‘better’ ones may be smooth concrete; both issues adding to risk, while less well-kept locations in ‘rougher’ condition might actually be marginally safer to work on. This slipway is owned by East Suffolk Council (ESC) as a Public facility; ESC is acutely aware of slipperiness and has instituted a regime of occasional cleaning during the summer by Suffolk Fire & Rescue at convenient ad-hoc times when they conduct waterborne training at the site. In this case purely signage that, “Slipway may be Slippery”, were of absolutely no use since the individual was such an experienced and knowledgeable operator. Outcomes:– The casualty was lucky to have many colleagues in attendance, all returning at the same time from a forenoon’s racing. Had the individual been alone, out of normal hours, then landing unconscious in the water might have been catastrophic. Immediately following this incident ESC Harbourmaster reported the event internally and initiated a local enquiry, potentially for learning lessons; ESC is also now in touch with Suffolk F&R to determine their hose pressure settings and methodology in order perhaps to recommend more formal regime of cleaning. A more detailed incident follow-up is scheduled for next week. Report might be shared with BSMG if thought appropriate. Where vehicles reverse into the water to launch larger vessels from trailers there may be risk of them losing traction and consequent inability to extract themselves from the water. Seemingly only ever a problem during prolonged hot sunny spells when marine growth is accelerated.
Incident Report August 2020
A fatal accident, involving a person falling overboard from the motor cruiser Diamond Emblem 1, occurred at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station in August 2020 . This incident was fully investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the report published in May 2022 MAIBInvReport 5/2022 -Diamond Emblem 1 Although this incident involved a hire boat it is important that private boat owners are aware of the circumstances and learn from the relevant parts of the report. If they have not already done so , appropriate boat owners are recommended to consider the report and take such action as is necessary. There were eleven recommendations made but probably the most relevant to MNA Boat Club members are those regarding the importance of knowing you boat especially with respect to such things as dual control systems where the functions of switches and interlocks need to be known to relevant persons and clear labeling is advisable. Secure handholds and railings are important especially in the areas above the propeller. The importance of proper and secure storage of out of use mooring lines was also raised.
Diamond Emblem 1
Merchant Navy Association Boat Club