Safety Aboard Alice

4Charter Safety Policy for the barge ‘Alice’

  1. ALICE carries passengers under an Exemption Certificate issued by the MCA.
  2. To qualify for an Exemption Certificate she has to pass an out of water survey and comply with the agreed safety standard issued by the joint committee of the Sailing Barge Association and the Association of Bargemen with approval of the MCA.
  3. Alice carries lifejackets and life rafts in accordance with the standard together with updated charts for the waters in which she sails, ship’s compass and hand bearing compass; a GPS Chart plotter, an echo sounder and leadline, DSC VHF radio and handheld set; flares; a Danbuoy; six lifebuoys; lifelines and stanchions around her gunwales; a 3.80 metre Rigid Inflatable as a work boat.
  4. She has a diesel salvage pump; electric and handheld pumps; fire extinguishers. No smoking is permitted below decks.
  5. The barge has fire extinguishers located as marked through out.. Emergency exits are signed fore and aft. The barge has a first aid kit.
  6. Passengers will be given a safety briefing as soon as reasonably practicable during a trip. Passengers must follow the orders of the crew in all matters relevant to safety.
  7. Thames sailing barges are traditional vessels designed in the 19th century with heavy gear and equipment some of which has a potential to cause injury. Care must be taken in the following areas:
    Winches and windless. The anchor chain is heavy and only the Skipper, Mate or third hand or other experienced crew or passengers under supervision should handle the anchor chain to drop the anchor. The windless, leeboard winches and main brail winch should only be operated under supervision. When operated as instructed risk of injury is minimal but no one with any history of back pain or heart problems or other condition should operate the windless. All winches have open cogs and pawls and care must be taken to avoid clothes becoming tangled with them or risk of falling or otherwise getting hands or fingers in contact with the winch when it is operating. Do not sit or stand on the windless or the anchor chain or winches.
    Main and fore horses. Do not sit on these or stand in a position where the sail may slide across the horse and strike you while the vessel is sailing. Never sit or stand on or around the main horse when the mainsail is set. Move quickly forward and aft when passing over the fore and main horse.
    Tripping hazards. Try to become familiar with the layout of the barge and be careful not to trip or catch your clothing in the gear. There are also items of gear that are greased or oily and can dirty your clothing. Always look where you are going and where you are putting your feet.
  8. No passenger may climb the rigging.
  9. No passenger should use any part of the equipment or machinery of the vessel unless supervised by a crew member and after receiving appropriate instruction and training.
  10. When a barge comes into moor it may be necessary to jump ashore or on to a buoy. Passengers must not do this unless authorised by the skipper or mate.
  11. We do not allow passengers to go swimming from the barge. Swimming from a beach at your own risk by strong swimmers maybe possible during a sailing trip however.
  12. Passengers should not go on deck at night alone.
  13. Male passengers must not urinate over the side of the barge and should use the facilities provided below.
  14. Passengers and crew must protect themselves from the danger of falling overboard by taking reasonable care at all time to move slowly along the deck, not to run or trip and always to hold on where possible and to avoid bumping in to other people or being knocked over by the ships gear. When the barge is sailing you should always walk along the windward deck. Lifelines and stanchions are fitted to reduce the risk of falling over the side but we cannot eliminate it. THE BEST PROTECTION AGAINST FALLING OVERBOARD IS THE CARE TAKEN BY INDIVIDUALS NOT TO DO SO. If the barge takes part in a barge match the lifelines may be removed while the barge is racing because in match conditions they can impede the operation of the gear. Passengers on matches must take extra care to avoid falling overboard.
  15. All passengers are advised to wear a life jacket while on deck when the vessel is underway. Non swimmers and all children aged 16 or under MUST do so. We do have children’s lifejackets onboard but any adult who brings a child on a charter or individual trip must ensure that the child brings and wears a properly sized and fitting lifejacket. The adult responsible for a child or young person must ensure that they have a working properly fitting 150N lifejacket that they bring with them UNLESS they fit a standard ADULT 150N Lifejacket (ie weigh 45kg or over). Adults who do not fit a standard adult lifejacket should also bring their own. Children of 7 years old or less must be harnessed to an adult on deck when underway.
  16. Passengers will not be permitted to use the barge RIB.
  17. Gas cylinders are stored in a safe compartment on deck. No smoking is permitted in the vicinity of gas cylinders. Smoking down below is not permitted. Gas stoves and the gas supply must be turned off after operation. Never leave a kettle or pot boiling unsupervised. Hot kettles or dishes must be handled carefully taking account of the movement of the ship. Gas detectors and smoke alarms are fitted.
  18. It is dangerous to consume excessive amounts of alcohol when you are sailing on any boat. While use of alcohol is allowed no one should consume excessive amounts of alcohol such as to make them unsteady on their feet and unable to take reasonable care for their own and other’s safety. In hot weather passengers should avoid using alcohol to quench their thirst because this can lead to getting unexpectedly drunk and having accidents. Similarly in rough conditions consumption of alcohol can cause seasickness. Use of non prescribed, illegal ‘recreational’ drugs of any sort is dangerous while sailing because it can effect your perception of danger.
  19. No passenger who exhibits signs of being drunk or under the influence of non prescribed or illegal drugs will be permitted to board the vessel. Any passenger who appears to be drunk or to have used illegal drugs while on board may be ordered not to leave the safety of their cabin and may also be ordered to leave the vessel by safe means as soon as possible in the interests of the safety and welfare of the vessel and her passengers and crew.
  20. All passengers and charterers must ensure that the company has their full name and address and contact details for their next of kin ashore so that they may be contacted in an emergency and the same information for all members of a charter party.
  21. Any passenger who suffers from a disability or illness that is relevant to safety including a heart condition, epilepsy, diabetes, a stroke or blackouts, vertigo or any other condition that could lead to any form of attack or collapse requiring medical attention or who is taking prescribed medication for any similar condition must inform the company of this before departure on a trip or charter.
  22. No one with any history of back pain or heart problems or other similar conditions should attempt to pull ropes or wind winches if to do so may aggravate those conditions or cause risk of injury.
  23. Charterers must ensure that the members of their party are aware of these safety rules before departure.
  24. Violent or threatening or abusive behaviour by any person towards any passenger or crew member will not be tolerated and any person who behaves or is believed to have behaved in this way will be required to leave the vessel by safe means as soon as possible.
  25. Passengers should listen to what they are told and follow the orders of the Skipper or mate in all safety matters. The safety of the ship and her passengers and crew is paramount.