Response to marine safety recommendations – Caledonian

From Transport Canada

On March 13, 2017, Transport Canada (TC) released this response to Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) investigation report on the 2015 accident in Nootka Sound, British Columbia. That accident involved the fishing vessel Caledonian. The TSB report included five safety recommendations, four of which were for consideration by TC.

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Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommendation M16-01

“The Department of Transport establish standards for all new and existing large fishing vessels to ensure that the stability information is adequate and readily available to the crew.”

Transport Canada response to recommendation M16-01

Transport Canada (TC) agrees in part with this recommendation; however disagrees with this recommendation’s use of the term ‘standards.’

Standards are detailed materials of a technical nature incorporated by reference into regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001). This is described in subsection 32(4) of the CSA 2001 for internally produced standards. For new and existing large fishing vessels, requirements that adequate stability information be readily available for the crew are already established in the Large Fishing Vessel Regulations (LFVIR), and the stability standards these vessels are to meet are found in STAB 4 of TP 7301. Therefore, the establishment of new standards is redundant as it is incumbent on vessel owners/authorized representatives to fulfill their current obligations.

The FV Caledonian was subject to the LFVIR. Every large fishing vessel built on or after March 2, 1967 must meet the requirements of Section 9 of the LFVIR, specifically:

  • A large fishing vessel must undergo an inclining experiment in the presence of and to the satisfaction of a marine safety inspector;
  • The owner of the vessel must provide a stability booklet to be placed on board the vessel for the Master to use;
  • Existing large fishing vessels which undergo modifications that affect the vessel stability are required to re-submit new stability information; and
  • It is the responsibility of the authorized representative that the stability booklet be kept up to date and accurately reflect the current configuration and operations of the vessel.

For the fishing vessel Caledonian, there was a discrepancy between the vessel’s stability information and the actual operations and configuration of the vessel (lightship weight increase, tanks, net drum and trawl configuration changes and reduced freeboard). This may have been avoided had the recommendation in Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) 01/2008 Fishing Vessel Safety: Record of Modifications, been followed by the vessel’s authorized representative (AR).

Part 4 of the CSA 2001, Section 106(1) states, “The authorized representative of a Canadian vessel shall:

  1. ensure that the vessel and its machinery and equipment meet the requirements of the regulations made under this Part;
  2. develop procedures for the safe operation of the vessel and for dealing with emergencies; and
  3. ensure that the crew and passengers receive safety training.”

To remind vessel operators of these responsibilities, increase awareness, and foster compliance, TC will review and reissue SSB 01/2008. This bulletin will be updated and include emphasis on the importance of having accurate stability information and operational procedures. The revised bulletin will be sent before the end of 2017.

During any inspection conducted in accordance with requirements of the LFVIR, an inspector may review the vessels stability information and require ARs to comply with any observed nonconformities. Therefore:

  • TC, when providing instructional information to inspectors/surveyors as part of its training program, will place renewed emphasis on this aspect of vessel inspection. This renewed training program will take place before the coming into force of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations, on July 13, 2017.
  • In addition, a Flagstatenet instruction to inspectors/surveyors will be issued regarding the review of the Fishing Vessel Modification History (as detailed in SSB 01/2008) as part of the TC procedure for inspecting and monitoring fishing vessels. The Flagstatenet will be sent before the end of 2017.

The above initiatives will be taken in addition to several others already undertaken by TC to ensure fishing vessel owners understand the importance of stability. These include:

  • A stability component was introduced in 2002 into the Marine Certification Regulations for Fishing Masters, First Class, Second Class and Third Class and in 2007 into the Marine Personnel Regulations for Fishing Masters, Fourth Class in examinations for all fishing vessels master certification to help end-users understand information around stability booklets.
  • TC issued Ship Safety Bulletin 01/2008 “Fishing Vessel Safety – Record of Modifications” to communicate to owners and masters of commercial fishing vessels the importance of keeping track of modifications over time and when they should request advise from a marine consultant.
  • TC supports industry led education and awareness activities aimed at improving safety onboard commercial fishing vessels.
  • TC supports and encourages work by industry associations that emphasize improvement in the safety culture by taking “ownership” of stability issues, such as Fish Safe (British Columbia), Fisheries Safety Association (Nova Scotia); the Fish Harvesting Safety Association (Newfoundland and Labrador) and the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (distance learning for Fishing Master 4, stability simulator).

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Fourth Class, a candidate must pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 1 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that include the practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Third Class, a candidate must successfully pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 2 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions and practical calculations based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that include practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

Both the SCS-1 and SCS-2 exams have ‘Small and Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations’ in their syllabus. Therefore, all four (FM1, FM2, FM3 & FM4) certificate holders are competent to find and use the required stability information to make appropriate decisions about their ship stability.

The Examination and Certification of Seafarers (TP 2293 EXTRACT)

Relevant section of syllabus for SCS-2 as well as SCS-1 exams:

Subject Knowledge required
Competence: Maintain vessel stability
Practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels Use of displacement and ton per inch/tonne per centimetre (TPI/TPC) scales to determine displacement from draft and vice versa; Understanding of data found in fishing vessels stability booklets; Use of pre-calculated operating conditions to ascertain adequate stability; Recognize situations where the vessel does not meet the pre-calculated operating conditions and ability to rectify the situation; Identify fish loading limits according to fuel, water, crew and provisions carried; Interpreting curves of statical stability; Effects of reduction in freeboard on stability and the dangers of overloading.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommendation M16-02

“The Department of Transport establish standards for all small fishing vessels that have had a stability assessment to ensure their stability information is adequate and readily available to the crew.”

Transport Canada response to recommendation M16-02

Transport Canada (TC) agrees in part with this recommendation; however, disagrees with this recommendation’s use of the term ‘standards’.

Standards are detailed materials of a technical nature incorporated by reference into regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001). This is described in subsection 32(4) of the CSA 2001 for internally produced standards.

The new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations will require all small fishing vessels to either have adequate stability or undergo a stability assessment and stability standards are referred to in these regulations. Therefore, the establishment of new standards is redundant as it is incumbent on vessel owners/Authorized Representatives (AR) to fulfill their current obligations.

As the Caledonian was a large fishing vessel (30.63m) and subject to the large fishing vessel Inspection regulations, this occurrence should not lead to recommendations for vessels subject to separate regulations and small fishing vessels requirements should not be at issue in this case.

To remind vessel operators of their responsibilities, increase awareness and foster compliance, TC will review and reissue SSB 01/2008. This bulletin will be updated and include emphasis on the importance of having accurate stability information and operational procedures. The revised bulletin will be sent before the end of 2017.

During any inspection conducted in accordance with requirements of the SFVIR, an inspector may review the vessels stability information and require ARs comply with any observed nonconformities. Therefore:

  • TC, when providing instructional information to inspectors/surveyors as part of its training program, will place renewed emphasis on this aspect of vessel inspection. This renewed training program will take place before the coming into force of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations, on July 13, 2017.
  • In addition, a Flagstatenet instruction to inspectors/surveyors will be issued regarding the review of the Fishing Vessel Modification History (as detailed in SSB 01/2008) as part of the TC procedure for inspecting and monitoring fishing vessels. The Flagstatenet will be sent before the end of 2017.

The above initiatives will be taken in addition to several others already undertaken by TC to ensure fishing vessel owners understand the importance of stability. These include:

  • A stability component was introduced in 2002 into the Marine Certification Regulations for Fishing Masters, First Class, Second Class and Third Class and in 2007 into the Marine Personnel Regulations for Fishing Masters, Fourth Class in examinations for all fishing vessels master certification to help end-users understand information around stability booklets.
  • TC issued Ship Safety Bulletin 01/2008 “Fishing Vessel Safety – Record of Modifications” to communicate to owners and masters of commercial fishing vessels the importance of keeping track of modifications over time and when they should request advise from a marine consultant.
  • TC supports industry led education and awareness activities aimed at improving safety onboard commercial fishing vessels.
  • TC supports and encourages work by industry associations that emphasize improvement in the safety culture by taking “ownership” of stability issues, such as Fish Safe (British Columbia), Fisheries Safety Association (Nova Scotia); the Fish Harvesting Safety Association (Newfoundland and Labrador) and the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (distance learning for Fishing Master 4, stability simulator).

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Fourth Class, a candidate must pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 1 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that include the practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Third Class, a candidate must successfully pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 2 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions and practical calculations based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that includes practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

Both the SCS-1 and SCS-2 exams have ‘Small and Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations’ in their syllabus.

Therefore, all four (FM1, FM2, FM3 & FM4) certificate holders are competent to find and use the required stability information to make appropriate decisions about their ship stability.

The Examination and Certification of Seafarers (TP 2293 EXTRACT)

Relevant section of syllabus for SCS-2 as well as SCS-1 exams:

Subject Knowledge required
Competence: Maintain vessel stability
Practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels Use of displacement and ton per inch / tonne per centimetre (TPI/TPC) scales to determine displacement from draft and vice versa; Understanding of data found in fishing vessels stability booklets; Use of pre-calculated operating conditions to ascertain adequate stability; Recognize situations where the vessel does not meet the pre-calculated operating conditions and ability to rectify the situation; Identify fish loading limits according to fuel, water, crew and provisions carried; Interpreting curves of statical stability; Effects of reduction in freeboard on stability and the dangers of overloading.

In addition, as part of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations, TC is developing guidelines in collaboration with the fishing industry on the topic of vessel stability and major modifications, which will reduce unsafe practices by encouraging best practices using an education and awareness approach.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommendation M16-03

“The Department of Transport require that all small fishing vessels undergo a stability assessment and establish standards to ensure that the stability information is adequate and readily available to the crew.”

Transport Canada response to recommendation M16-03

Transport Canada (TC) agrees in part with the recommendation; however, disagrees with this recommendation’s use of the term ‘standards’.

Standards are detailed materials of a technical nature incorporated by reference into regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001). This is described in subsection 32(4) of the CSA 2001 for internally produced standards.

As the Caledonian was a large fishing vessel and subject to the Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations, this occurrence should not lead to recommendations for vessels subject to separate regulations and small fishing vessels requirements should not be at issue in this case.

Nevertheless, TC disagrees that all small fishing vessels undergo a stability assessment. Previously issued TSB recommendations for small fishing vessels (M03-05 and M03-06) were addressed in new regulations coming into effect in July 2017. TC’s response to these recommendations was deemed to be fully satisfactory. An occurrence involving a large fishing vessel occurrence does not justify the issuance of renewed recommendations for small fishing vessels which have been satisfactorily addressed. The new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations will require all small fishing vessels to either have adequate stability or undergo a stability assessment and stability standards are referred to in these regulations. Therefore the establishment of new standards is not required as it is incumbent on vessel owners/Authorized Representatives (AR) to fulfill their obligations.

TC anticipates that these changes, developed through industry consultation, will have a positive impact.

The AR of a small fishing vessel is responsible for ensuring stability requirements are met. To remind vessel operators of their responsibilities, increase awareness and foster compliance TC will review and reissue SSB 01/2008. This bulletin can be updated to include more information concerning small fishing vessels and emphasize the importance of having accurate stability information and usable guides, and updating operational procedures to account for changes that may affect stability. The revised bulletin will be sent before the end of 2017.

During any inspection conducted in accordance with requirements of the SFVIR, an inspector may review the vessels stability information and require ARs comply with any observed nonconformities. Therefore:

  • TC, when providing instructional information to inspectors/surveyors as part of its training program, will place renewed emphasis on this aspect of vessel inspection. This renewed training program will take place before the coming into force of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations, on July 13, 2017.
  • In addition, a Flagstatenet instruction to inspectors/surveyors will be issued regarding the review of the Fishing Vessel Modification History (as detailed in SSB 01/2008) as part of the TC procedure for inspecting and monitoring fishing vessels. The Flagstatenet will be sent before the end of 2017.

The above initiatives will be taken in addition to several others already undertaken by TC to ensure fishing vessel owners understand the importance of stability. These include:

  • A stability component was introduced in 2002 into the Marine Certification Regulations for Fishing Masters, First Class, Second Class and Third Class and in 2007 into the Marine Personnel Regulations for Fishing Masters, Fourth Class in examinations for all fishing vessels master certification to help end-users understand information around stability booklets.
  • TC issued Ship Safety Bulletin 01/2008 “Fishing Vessel Safety – Record of Modifications” to communicate to owners and masters of commercial fishing vessels the importance of keeping track of modifications over time and when they should request advise from a marine consultant.
  • TC supports industry led education and awareness activities aimed at improving safety onboard commercial fishing vessels.
  • TC supports and encourages work by industry associations that emphasize improvement in the safety culture by taking “ownership” of stability issues, such as Fish Safe (British Columbia), Fisheries Safety Association (Nova Scotia); the Fish Harvesting Safety Association (Newfoundland and Labrador) and the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (distance learning for Fishing Master 4, stability simulator).

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Fourth Class, a candidate must pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 1 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that include the practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

As per the Marine Personnel Regulations, to obtain a Fishing Master, Third Class, a candidate must successfully pass Ship Construction and Stability, Level 2 as per the Examination and Certification of Seafarer syllabus TP 2293. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions and practical calculations based on a vessel’s stability data booklet that includes practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels. During the oral examination, candidates are also challenged on how to maintain stability and seaworthiness of the vessel.

Both the SCS-1 and SCS-2 exams have ‘Small and Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations’ in their syllabus.

Therefore, all four (FM1, FM2, FM3 & FM4) certificate holders are competent to find and use the required stability information to make appropriate decisions about their ship stability.

The Examination and Certification of Seafarers (TP 2293 EXTRACT)

Relevant section of syllabus for SCS-2 as well as SCS-1 exams:

Subject Knowledge required
Competence: Maintain vessel stability
Practical use of stability data supplied to fishing vessels Use of displacement and ton per inch / tonne per centimetre (TPI/TPC) scales to determine displacement from draft and vice versa; Understanding of data found in fishing vessels stability booklets; Use of pre-calculated operating conditions to ascertain adequate stability; Recognize situations where the vessel does not meet the pre-calculated operating conditions and ability to rectify the situation; Identify fish loading limits according to fuel, water, crew and provisions carried; Interpreting curves of statical stability; Effects of reduction in freeboard on stability and the dangers of overloading.

In addition, as part of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations, TC is developing guidelines in collaboration with the fishing industry on the topic of vessel stability and major modifications, which will reduce unsafe practices by encouraging best practices using an education and awareness approach.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommendation M16-05

“The Department of Transport require persons to wear suitable personal flotation devices at all times when on the deck of a commercial fishing vessel or when on board a commercial fishing vessel without a deck or deck structure and that the Department of Transport ensure programs are developed to confirm compliance.”

Transport Canada response to recommendation M16-05

Transport Canada (TC) disagrees with the recommendation to have prescriptive regulatory requirements for persons to wear personal flotation devices, and disagrees with the recommendation to have programs developed to ensure compliance.

TC promotes and encourages the wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs) or lifejackets through educational initiatives to increase awareness of their importance in reducing loss of life, and through continuing to work with stakeholders and industry on new standards for more wearable flotation devices. Such initiatives include:

  • Promoting and supporting innovative performance based standards for more wearable lifejackets. This initiative began with the development of the Canadian Lifejacket Standard, CGSB 65.7-2007, and continues with TC’s support of the new bi-national North American lifejacket standard, UL-12402, which will include increased design options for manufacturers to provide more comfortable and wearable devices.
  • Ship Safety Bulletin 06/2012, Wearing and Using Flotation Devices, Small Non-Pleasure Craft & Small Commercial Fishing Vessels which allows, in certain situations, the use of more wearable flotation devices in lieu of traditional lifejackets designed for ship abandonment. The Ship Safety Bulletin requires that where this option is used, personal flotation devices must be worn by crew on deck at all times.

TC has consulted extensively with the fishing industry and has determined that education and awareness on the wearing of PFD or lifejackets is the most effective approach and will result in a reduction of fatalities.

The TC compliance and inspection regime is established to verify regulatory compliance while vessels are in port. Only seafarers themselves can ensure compliance while vessels are at sea. It is the Authorized Representative's (AR) responsibility to develop safe operating procedures and confirm compliance on board the vessel. The new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations require that no person shall operate, or permit another person to operate, a fishing vessel in environmental conditions or circumstances that could jeopardize the safety of persons onboard unless a lifejacket or PFD is worn by all persons onboard, in the case of a fishing vessel that has no deck or deck structure, or by all persons on the deck or in the cockpit, in the case of a fishing vessel that has a deck or deck structure.

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