Keeping toy safe on the water

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency announced that over 5000 safety inspections and over 4000 surveys were carried out on UK and international ships, cruise liners, tankers, cargo ships, fishing boats and passenger vessels in 2013.

Survey and inspections are carried out to ensure that vessels are safe to set sail. Any structural defect, issue with communications or lifesaving equipment on board could mean the difference between life and death on the water.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) surveyors that carry out these inspections are trained to spot any issues, and are on hand to offer advice.

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Photo shows a survey of the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer in the UK, the Kingwear Castle, operated by Dartmouth Steam railway and River Boast Company. The Kingswear Castle passed the survey successfully.

In the most serious of cases, the MCA can detain vessels to stop them from sailing, until the necessary improvements are made.

Tony Heslop, Survey and Inspection Operations Manager for the South West, said: "The majority of owners and operators of passenger boats in the West Country are responsible. They work closely with us to ensure their vessels are in good working order and in turn look after the safety of their customers.

"In all, we look after around 700 vessels in the South West, carrying out surveys and inspections all year round as part of our work to save lives and improve safety."

Nick Dunn, from Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company, one of the operators the MCA work closely with, said: "We find the MCA in the South West to be particularly helpful; they have a good understanding of our business and are ready with sound help and advice. They provide an independent check on our equipment and crews, enabling us to operate with confidence and give our passengers an enjoyable and safe day out."

Source & Image Credit : UK MCA