Reporting Incidents Using CHIRPS


Despite the superyacht sector having no effective central safety reporting body, it does have an amazingly talented and knowledgeable workforce with sound professional opinions and views based on irreplaceable experiences, but extremely hampered without a central resource.

The superyacht industry is gripped with paranoia over confidentiality and this fact alone seems to stop many from reporting potentially dangerous situations which if highlighted might save lives but there is an organisation renowned for maintaining anonymity that could pave the way and make super yachting a safer place to work

CHIRP is the UK Confidential Reporting Programme for Aviation and Maritime It aims to contribute to the enhancement of aviation safety in the UK and maritime safety worldwide, by providing a totally independent confidential (not anonymous) reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with these industries

Now the organisation wants to reach out to the superyacht sector, to receive and circulate accident and incident reports using CHIRP.

Incident reporting programmes have proved to be valuable tools in the identification of safety related issues and the definition of corrective actions. In the specific case of incidents involving human error, the availability of an independent, voluntary, confidential reporting medium has provided valuable additional information to that available through formal or mandatory reporting systems.

Yacht Manager Adrian McCourt of Watkins Superyachts reports that he was at a commercial shipping industry meeting a few weeks ago when a fleet manager recounted a tragic story of tender sinking in calm weather. The incident unfolded so slowly that it was almost comical to watch.  Lifejacket-wearing crew and passengers slipped harmlessly into warm still water, it was even reported that laughter could be heard. Humour ended quickly when a suitcase suddenly achieved buoyancy and sprang to the surface, striking a young Officer under the chin and killing him instantly. Later, it transpired that another ship owner present had lost a crewmember several years earlier under identical circumstances at the same port.

The earlier incident happened on board a disinterested flag-of-convenience ship and was managed by a here-today gone-tomorrow manager who had neither desire nor ability to share this incident.

Had the more recent manager had that information, one wonders if there is a slim possibility that the young Officer may not have lost his life?

The point to be made here is to again encourage circulation of accident and incident reports.

Please think carefully next time you see a dangerous situation develop and report it for the good of others rather than turning your back on a situation that might result in some one dying

In reporting accidents, we often take the work of the UK MAIB for granted.  For those of you who read the useless French BeaMer report into the loss of Yogi, you will appreciate the value of the UK MAIB.

It’s just a shame their arrival on your doorstep is usually a bad day for someone. If they could investigate and circulate near misses and incidents with equal vigour, we’d all be a lot smarter.