Marine Recommendation M94-23

Reassessment of the Responses from Transport Canada to Marine Safety Recommendation M94-23

View report in PDF

You need a PDF reader to access this file; find out more on our help page.

Passenger Safety - Furnishing of Passenger Areas

Background

In the morning of 06 February 1992, the high speed catamaran passenger ferry Royal Vancouver and the British Columbia Ferry Corporation vehicle/passenger ferry Queen of Saanich collided head-on off Georgina Point at the northern entrance to Active Pass, British Columbia. The Royal Vancouver was extensively damaged and 19 passengers and 4 crew members on board were injured. The bow doors of the Queen of Saanich were also damaged.

The Board concluded its investigation and released report M92W1012 on 09 November 1994.

Board Recommendation M94-23 (09 November 1994)

In order to reduce the severity of injuries and to enhance the survivability to passengers on high-speed craft, the Board recommended that:

The Department of Transport establish safety standards for the furnishing and finishing of the passenger areas on high-speed craft.

M94-23

Response to M94-23 (02 February 1995)

The Minister of Transport agrees with the recommendation. Canadian Coast Guard is planning to incorporate the International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft (the HSC Code) in regulations for high speed craft. The HSC Code includes the recommended safety standards. The International Maritime Organization has prepared the "International Code for Safety for High Speed Craft" dealing with all aspects of ships such as the Royal Vancouver. This code has been approved by the Organization and will come into effect in 1996. Amendments to regulations to give the effect to the code will be undertaken by the Canadian Coast Guard and in the interim the Code will be implemented by the Board of Steamship Inspection decision.

Board Assessment of the Response to M94-23 (02 May 1995)

In May 1994, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft (the Code); the Code will come into effect in 1996. The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is planning to incorporate the Code in Canadian regulations; in the interim, the Code will be implemented by the Board of Steamship Inspection decision.

The response refers extensively to the implementation of the new IMO Code of Safety for High Speed Craft to address the Board's Recommendations. Staff communication with CCG officials following the response confirms that CCG is proceeding with its plan to incorporate the Code in Canadian regulations.

Given that the deficiencies identified by the Board's recommendation can be dealt with by implementation of the Code, the response is considered Satisfactory Intent.

Response to M94-23 (April 2000)

Transport Canada has implemented the HSC Code through a decision of the Board of Steamship Inspection, as is permitted under the Canada Shipping Act. A TC Working Group was previously established to review the HSC Code and recommend any alterations required to address Canadian operating conditions/requirements. TC Marine Safety is now satisfied that the HSC Code addresses the regulatory requirements to ensure the safety of the ship, its crew and passengers.

Board Reassessment of the Response to M94-23 (15 September 2004)

As of April 2000, Transport Canada implemented the HSC Code through a decision of the Board of Steamship Inspection. However, high speed craft engaged in domestic voyages are not required to comply with the Code but may do so. The Code may also be applied with Canadian modifications, as per Board Decision 5837.

The response is considered Satisfactory in Part.

Board Reassessment of the Response to M94-23 (07 December 2005)

No substantial change to the reassessment of 15 September 2004.

Next TSB Action (15 September 2004)

The TSB staff will monitor industry activity with respect to the risks associated with this recommendation.

Response to M94-23 (November 2006)

TC's update, dated November 2006, provided no new information to address the safety deficiency.

Board Reassessment of the Response to M94-23 (November 2006)

TC's activity update of November 2006 provides no further information than what is contained in its original response and subsequent updates. It is noted the proposed new Marine Personnel Regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on 18 November, 2006. The proposed new regulations define a "high-speed craft" as capable of an operating speed of at least 25 knots and that is built in accordance with the requirements of the HSC Code. However, there is no indication that TC will require vessels capable of operating at high speed but not built to the HSC Codes to apply the provisions that deal with furnishings and the finishing of the passengers areas. Such vessels may comply with the HSC Code, 1994, if they wish. The Code may also be applied with Canadian modifications, as per Board Decision 5837. The action taken will reduce but not substantially reduce or eliminate the deficiency.

Therefore, the assessment remains at Satisfactory in Part.

Next TSB Action (November 2006)

TSB staff will monitor the proposed actions.

Response to M94-23 (June 2008)

TC's update, dated June 2008, indicated that high-speed craft engaged in domestic voyages are not required to comply with the HSC Code but may do so voluntarily. Domestic operators may also apply the HSC Code with Canadian modifications, as per Board Decision 5837. TC will apply the HSC Code to high-speed craft engaged in domestic voyages as part of the proposed Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations and Standards. Pre-publication in Part I of the Canada Gazette is anticipated in Spring 2011.

Board Reassessment of the Response to M94-23 (September 2008)

No substantial change to the reassessment of November 2006. There is no indication TC will require vessels capable of operating at high speeds, other than those built in accordance with the HSC Codes, to comply with provisions similar to those contained in the HSC Codes.

Therefore, the assessment of the response remains at Satisfactory in Part.

Next TSB Action (September 2008)

TSB staff will monitor the proposed action.

Response to M94-23 (November 2009)

TC's response, dated November 2009, indicated that high-speed craft engaged in domestic voyages are not required to comply with the Code, but may do so voluntarily. The Code may also be applied with Canadian modifications, as per Board Decision 5837. TC will apply the HSC Code to high-speed craft engaged in domestic voyages as part of the proposed Vessel Construction Regulations. Pre-publication in Part I of the Canada Gazette is anticipated in fall 2011.

Follow-up information provided by TC in February 2010, indicated that proposed Vessel Construction Regulations are currently in development and it is too early to say what specific provisions or Canadian modifications may or may not apply. Specific provisions addressing the furnishing and finishing of the passenger areas are not included in the list of Canadian modifications as detailed in BD 5837.

The anticipated date for the pre-publication of the Vessel Construction Regulations in the Part I of the Canada Gazette is now March 2012.

Board Reassessment of the Response to M94-23 (28 July 2010)

It is anticipated that the proposed Vessel Constructions Regulations will replace a number of existing regulations and standards; including the Hull Construction Regulations, Marine Machinery Regulations, Hull Inspection Regulations, and the Ships Electrical Standard (TP 127). It is also anticipated that the proposed regulations will apply to vessels of more than 24 metres in length.

TC's update indicated that the HSC Code will apply to high speed craft engaged in domestic voyages as part of the proposed Vessel Construction Regulations, however there is uncertainty at this time as to whether those provisions of the HSC Code addressing the furnishing and finishing of the passenger areas will apply. On the other hand, given the costs associated with operating passenger vessels capable of operating at high speeds, there are fewer vessels in service today and the safety risk is considered low. The assessment of the response, therefore, remains at Satisfactory in Part.