by Linda Straker
- Grenada will be legislating Code for Safety for small commercial vessels operating in the Caribbean
- Code to prescribe standards of construction and emergency equipment
- Code prepared for Caribbean with support of International Maritime Organisation
As part of public safety measures within the marine sector, Grenada will be legislating the regional 2017 “Code for Safety for small commercial vessels operating in the Caribbean.”
The aim of the code is to prescribe standards of construction and emergency equipment for small commercial vessels operating in the Caribbean region. The regulations are based on the United States Coast Guard Code of Federal Regulations 46 Sub-Chapter T (certification of small passenger vessels), which are regarded as equivalent to International Maritime Organsation (IMO) Convention requirements for such vessels, Sub-Chapter C (Uninspected vessels) and The United Kingdom Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats.
Health Minister Nikolas Steele disclosed on Tuesday during the post-cabinet briefing that measure, among other things, is to ensure that there is always a person in onboard a vessel who is trained in first aid as well as equipment that assists in provide in basic healthcare in the event of a healthcare emergency.
The announcement came after a female died from a heart attack which occurred while she was a passenger of a vessel which commutes between Grenada and Carriacou.
The code, which is available online at the websites in countries where it is enforced, was prepared for Caribbean countries with the support of the International Maritime Organisation. “The Code applies to vessels operating commercially, trading in the Caribbean Trading Area, which are 5 metres or more in length overall and less than 24 metres in length (L) and which, if carrying more than 12 passengers, operate within 20 miles of the nearest harbour or safe refuge, carry not more than 150 passengers and where overnight accommodation is provided, not more than 50 passengers overnight,” states the 181-page document.
Presently, the code shall not apply to fishing or pleasure vessels; a vessel holding a valid International Passenger Ship Safety Certificate issued under the provisions of the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS) or Caribbean Cargo Ship Safety Certificate as appropriate; a boat forming part of a vessels lifesaving equipment that is used to carry passengers only in emergencies or during emergency exercises.
Steele said that because the code does not apply to some type of vessels, the Attorney General’s chamber in Grenada will be making some adjustment to ensure that it covers some vessels that are not covered in the code.
Other vessels that the code do not applies are: a vessel of a foreign country, whose government has inspection laws approximating those of the code or through bilateral or multilateral agreement, which has on board a current valid safety certificate, certificate of inspection, or other certificates permitting the carrying of passengers, or cargo in the appropriate sea areas, issued by its government, unless there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the vessel or of its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of any of the certificates or is such that the vessel is not fit to proceed to sea without presenting an unreasonable threat to the safety of the vessel or its seafarers and passengers or the environment and small commercial vessels which carry 12 or less passengers holding a valid certificate issued under the provisions of a code specially designed for such vessels.