The latest update of the Large Yacht Code was presented last night in a panel discussion with training professionals at the annual Professional Yachting Association event.
In general, the LY3 incorporates the new STCW rules as well as the Maritime Labour Convention that are coming into effect in the next few years. It applies to all UK- and Red Ensign-registered vessels and the crew who sail upon them, and several of the largest yacht registries follow the code as well.
For seafarers, the changes include:
l A shortened refresher course (two and a half days) for all four of the certificates that must now be updated every five years (STCW, lifeboat, basic firefighting and advanced firefighting). The candidate must sign a waiver that some basic skills were conducted at sea, including searching accommodations in your breathing apparatus.
l A new written exam for celestial navigation at the chief mate level. No course is required, but the subject will be tested in the exam sequence.
l ECDIS certification for deck officers; without it, certificates will carry a negative endorsement that reads “not for use on ECDIS-equipped ships”.
l A high voltage course for engineers on ships where the distribution board has more than 1 kilovolt. Without it, certificates will have a negative endorsement.
“In the future, merchant seaman will have this course worked into their training,” said Roger Towner, registrar general and chief examiner, MCA.
l HELM (human element leadership and management) training. OOW candidates need one course; managers need a second course. Existing credential holders do not need this training, Towner said.
Though the STCW changes don’t go into effect until 2017, the UK has passed legislation to implement the new STCW beginning July 1. So new courses and systems must be in place by then. Enforcement begins in 2017.
And despite the fact that the 3,000-ton limit on the building of vessels has been lifted in the LY3, it remains intact for qualifications. In order to operate a vessel larger than 3,000 tons or that carries more than 12 passengers, mariners must still obtain an unlimited certificate, Towner said.
For vessels, LY3 changes include:
l updated safety on overside working rails;
l creation of a standard for underwater lights;
l requiring that rescue boats not reside and their launching not occur forward of the collision bulkhead
l requiring the carriage of oversize and infant life jackets
l increasing reserve power on the GMDSS from one hour to three
l a “substantial equivalent” to meet the accommodations requirements of the MLC (on vessels whose keel is laid after Aug. 20, 2013)
MGN 456 announces the new LY3; compliance will be required once the MSN is issued.
“We’d like to see it adapted as the benchmark for the industry,” said Paul Coley, assistant director – ship standards with the MCA.
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today Monaco, a daily produced by The Triton. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.