Marine Notice No 41 of 2020

The DTTS has issued Marine Notice No. 41 of 2020 to all Fishing Vessel Owners/Operators, Skippers, Fishers, and Seafarers

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has issued a notice to all Fishing Vessel Owners/Operators, Skippers, Fishers, and Seafarers.

The Notice is in relation to a recent report published by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into an incident involving the FV Dillon Owen off Ardglass Harbour, Northern Ireland at Phennick Point.

The Department wishes to highlight the following to all concerned in the Fishing Industry:

Voyage planning and executing a voyage

The Department wishes to highlight to all concerned in the Fishing Industry the importance of ensuring all navigation is planned in detail from berth to berth, with contingency plans in place.

Owners and relevant crew members need to familiarize themselves with the vessel including its anchoring arrangements and any limitations of the anchoring equipment.

Owners and masters are reminded that an efficient navigational watch shall be maintained throughout the voyage in line with the Basic Principles to be observed in keeping a Navigational Watch on Board Fishing Vessels as set out IMO Resolution A.484  (XII).

Situational awareness, with regard to navigation shall be maintained at all  times.  All

voyages are to be planned using the most up to date nautical publications and approved admiralty charts and / or ECDIS. Plotters, where fitted are not to be used for navigation.

When entering and leaving port all navigational equipment shall be tested and operational and this should be recorded.

Crew shall be called in good time prior to entering a harbour with extra look outs posted. 

Anchor(s) shall be ready for immediate use.

Radars shall be set to an appropriate scale and consideration given to the use of Parallel Indexing where appropriate.

Contingency planning, procedures and drills

The  Department also wishes to highlight to all  concerned in the Fishing Industry the necessity to develop contingency plans and procedures, to conduct emergency exercise drills, including preparing for a grounding event or collision incident and unexpected loss of propulsion or electrical power.

For further information on drills please consult Marine Notice No. 40 of 2018.

In order to make any drill effective they should, over a period of time, cover all the various types of situations a vessel may be involved  in.  

This  incident  highlights the need for drill scenarios to include the following emergency scenarios: collision, grounding or stranding and associated damage control measures; engine  breakdown, black out, emergency anchoring to prevent drifting onto a leeshore.

The overall objective of drills is to breed familiarity with a vessel and its  safety equipment.

The Department wishes to remind all concerned in the Fishing Industry of the existing requirements under the Merchant Shipping (Musters) (Fishing  Vessels) Regulations 1993 S.I. No. 48 of 1993 and Merchant Shipping (Safety of fishing Vessels)  (15-24 metres) Regulations 2007 S.I. No 640 of 2007.

These regulations require the Skippers of Fishing Vessels to draw up muster lists for their vessels and exercise the crews of their vessels in the use of lifesaving appliances and fire fighting appliances carried on their vessels.

The full report may be obtained from the website of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board at


Brian J McMullin Solicitors
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