Recommendation M94-27

Reassessment of the response to Marine Safety Recommendation M94-27

High speed craft – Operational guidelines and training

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Background

In the morning of 06 February 1992, the high speed catamaran passenger ferry Royal Vancouver and the British Columbia Ferry Corporation vehicle/passenger ferry Queen of Saanich collided head-on off Georgina Point at the northern entrance to Active Pass, British Columbia. The Royal Vancouver was extensively damaged and 19 passengers and four crew members on board were injured. The bow doors of the Queen of Saanich were also damaged.

The Board concluded its investigation and released report M92W1012 on 9 November 1994.

Board Recommendation M94-27 (November 1994)

The crews of high-speed craft must possess the knowledge, qualifications and training consistent with the special features of high-speed craft and that operational guidelines must provide for a safe environment. Therefore, the Board recommended that:

The Department of Transport establish specific training requirements and qualifications for the certification of personnel to operate high-speed passenger vessels.
TSB Recommendation M94-27

Transport Canada's response to Recommendation M94-27 (February 1995)

The Minister of Transport agrees with the recommendation. The HSC Code deals with all aspects of ships such as the Royal Vancouver. Amongst other things, it specifically addresses crew qualifications and makes requirements similar to those contained in the recommendation. CCG plans to give effect to the HSC Code, first by means of a Board decision and then by regulations, and will make use of the system of type-specific qualification requirement which has been developed for the certification of air cushion vehicle crews.

Board assessment of the response to recommendation M94-27 (May 1995)

In May 1994, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft (the Code); the Code will come into effect in 1996. The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is planning to incorporate the Code in Canadian regulations; in the interim, the code will be implemented by the Board of Steamship Inspection decision.

The response refers extensively to the implementation of the new IMO Code of Safety for High Speed Craft to address the Board's recommendation. Staff communication with CCG officials following the response confirms that CCG is proceeding with its plan to incorporate the Code in Canadian regulations.

Given that the deficiencies identified by the Board's recommendations can be dealt with by implementation of the Code, the response is considered Satisfactory Intent.

Transport Canada's response to Recommendation M94-27 (April 2000)

Transport Canada (TC) has implemented the HSC Code through a decision of the Board of Steamship Inspection, as is permitted under the Canada Shipping Act. A TC Working Group was previously established to review the HSC Code and recommend any alterations required to address Canadian operating conditions/requirements. TC Marine Safety is now satisfied that the HSC Code addresses the regulatory requirements to ensure the safety of the ship, its crew and passengers.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (September 2004)

As of April 2000, Transport Canada implemented the HSC Code through a decision of the Board of Steamship Inspection. The Code addresses type rating certification and it is intended that masters and crew of high-speed craft will be treated identically. However, high speed craft engaged in domestic voyages are not required to comply with the Code but may do so.

The response is considered Satisfactory in Part.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (December 2005)

No substantial change to address the safety deficiency since the last reassessment.

Transport Canada's response to recommendation M94-27 (November 2006)

TC's update, dated November 2006, provided no new information to address the safety deficiency.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (November 2006)

TC's activity update of November 2006 provides no further information than what is contained in its original response and subsequent updates. It is noted the proposed new Marine Personnel Regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on 18 November, 2006. The proposed new regulations define a “high-speed craft” as capable of an operating speed of at least 25 knots and that is built in accordance with the requirements of the HSC Code.

It is proposed that the new regulations will require high-speed craft type rating certificates for masters and any other officer who may be called upon to have the conduct of the craft. The type rating certificates will specific to the craft and the route on which it operates. The proposed action, if fully implemented, will substantially reduce the deficiency.

Therefore, the assessment is assigned Satisfactory Intent.

Transport Canada's response to Recommendation M94-27 (June 2008)

TC's update, dated June 2008, indicated that the Marine Personnel Regulations (Section 258) require operators to have a HSC Type Rating Certificate to operate high-speed craft. The requirement for HSC does not apply in respect of HSC engaged on near coastal voyage class 2 or a sheltered water voyage that has a maximum operating speed of 25 knots or less.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (September 2008)

The Marine Personnel Regulations require the master, and any officer having an operational role on the high-speed craft that may be called on to operate the craft, to have a HSC Type Rating Certificate applicable to the type of craft and its route. The requirement does not apply to high-speed craft engaged in a sheltered waters voyage or near coastal voyage, Class 2, where the craft has a maximum operating speed of 25 knots or less. However, only those passenger vessels meeting the requirements of the HSC Codes are deemed to be high speed craft for the purposes of the Marine Personnel Regulations.

There is no indication TC will require vessels capable of operating at high speeds, other than those built in accordance with the HSC Codes, to comply with provisions similar to those contained in the HSC Codes.

No substantial change to the reassessment of November 2006. The response continues to be considered Satisfactory Intent.

Transport Canada's response to Recommendation M94-27 (November 2009)

TC's update, dated November 2009, indicated that the Marine Personnel Regulations requires operators to have an HSC Type Rating Certificate to operate high-speed craft. This requirement does not apply in respect of HSC engaged on a near coastal voyage class 2 or a sheltered water voyage that has a maximum operating speed of 25 knots or less. No further update will be provided.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (July 2010)

Although the requirement for an HSC Type Rating Certificate does not apply in respect of an HSC engaged on a near coastal voyage class 2 or a sheltered water voyage that has a maximum operating speed of 25 knots or less, given the costs associated with operating passenger vessels capable of operating at high speeds, there are fewer vessels in service today and the safety risk is considered low. The assessment of the response, therefore, remains Satisfactory Intent.

Consequently the Board assigned the deficiency file Inactive status.

Transport Canada's update concerning Recommendation M94-27 (December 2014)

TC's update of November 2009 is an accurate reflection of our current position. It is also important to note that currently in Canada there is only one vessel certified as a high-speed passenger vessel.

Consequently, on 1 April 2015, the Board assigned this deficiency file Active status.

Transport Canada's response to Recommendation M94-27 (December 2015)

The information provided is still accurate. Only one vessel is certified in Canada as a High-Speed passenger vessel. This vessel is currently operating at a speed of 22 knots. Note that this vessel respect HSC Code 1994 version.

Board reassessment of the response to Recommendation M94-27 (March 2016)

Since the recommendation was issued, some 20 years ago, there have been only two occurrences (M04L0105 and M09W0147) involving high-speed passenger vessels. Both of these vessels were capable of travelling at speeds in excess of 30 knots but were not required to comply with the IMO International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (the HSC Code) because they were on domestic voyages or services. The TSB could not determine how many other passenger-carrying vessels capable of operating as a high-speed craft as per the HSC Code criteria may be in operation.

TC reported that no high-speed craft carrying passengers are registered as high-speed craft in Canada. There are, however, 10 vessels that were constructed to the standards of high-speed craft and are capable of carrying passengers either commercially or for transport. Of the 10 vessels, 9 are Canadian Coast Guard vessels built to the HSC Code, which includes one built under the DSC Code. The lone passenger vessel which was built to the HSC Code is now registered as a "passenger vessel". There may be other vessels in Canada that meet the criteria of a high-speed craft but are not registered as such.

If a vessel is registered as a high-speed craft, it will be inspected and the crew certified as such because TC has adopted the HSC Code as the standard. However, none of these 10 vessels are registered as high-speed craft and therefore are not inspected or the crew certified according to the HSC Code. Moreover, all but 3 are delegated to Class. There have been no reported instances of passenger injury on a vessel built to the HSC Code. The risk is therefore assessed as low based on the number of people these vessels would carry. Given the risk is low, the reassessment of this recommendation is changed to Fully Satisfactory.

Next TSB action (March 2016)

This deficiency file is Closed.