Investigations from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch have highlighted the importance of drills when dealing with emergencies.
Fishing vessels of all sizes are required to conduct regular drills. Drills are however the response to an emergency and as Man Overboard is still the biggest cause of fatalities from Fishing Vessels, preventing Man overboard from occurring is the best option.
It is mandatory that emergency drills be carried out regularly and preferably monthly on all United Kingdom fishing vessels and a record of these drills should be kept. An entry should be made if one of these drills has been missed along with a reason why. An emergency drill should also be carried out when a new crew member joins the vessel.
The following is guidance for musters and drills both for regular practice and for being witnessed during inspections and surveys.
The drill should refresh basic safety training and add an element of the reality of working as part of a team on board their own vessel. In witnessing a safe and effective drill, it is important that as many of the regular crew are present as possible.
Drills cannot replace the written risk assessment but are a vital part of the necessary control measures within that risk assessment. It is essential that all crew members undertake drills and play their part in the safe day to day running of the vessel.