How do you improve safety on-board superyachts? Geoff Van Wyk explains..

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Ever larger superyachts demand greater care with embarking/disembarking people.
Ever larger superyachts demand greater care with embarking & disembarking people.

With 14 years as a MCA Y3 Chief Engineer, working on superyachts was a great experience given the camaraderie and the places visited. But the reality of the job is you’re there to ensure the safe running of a ship, the safety and wellbeing of the crew, the owners and, the often endless stream of guests.

For the crew, daily routine includes seemingly endless loading of supplies. Next comes the launch and recovery of a growing range of small craft such as tenders, RIBS, jet skis and the like from davits and sidebars comes nest. Now add the safe embarkation/disembarkation of owners and guests – which naturally demands the upmost care and attention, and you can see a lot of time is spent working over the side of the ship.  It’s here that we owe a duty of care not just for the safe movement of passengers but for the crew themselves.  A bad experience, or worst case, an injury to a guest or crew does not ogre well for any vessel.

The transfer of guests and accompanying crew, between ever larger superyachts and tenders is serious business. From my time on superyachts, tenders have to be launched, come rain or shine, and sometimes, come hell or high water.  So when the departure of an evening’s guests slips into the wee hours, diligence from the crew is paramount.  To assist, or more to the point, to manhandle guests in anything but perfect conditions and broad daylight requires both hands. Add a little swell to the occasion and a nervous guest, and the demands on crew increase greatly. This is where Harken’s TR31, Tight Radius System transforms the experience.

The TR31, a tight radius rail and trolley system, frees crew members to carry out tasks using both hands. Adjustable anchorage point means he or she is safely tethered to the vessel and free to move around without the risk of a fall. While adoption of TR31 by architects and shipyards is fast increasing, it can be retrofitted.  Fit for purpose, its trolleys are tested to 1200kg, twice the MCA requirement.  Load bearing is multidirectional and its compact profile means minimal intrusion on narrow decks or restricted work areas.  TR31 results in crew knowing they are safely tethered to the vessel and are able to carry out a range of duties.  The system excels at points where tenders are launched from side and aft tender bays and platforms of superyachts and from where crew and guest embark and disembark.

For more info on the TR31 fall restraint system Click here

To contact Geoff Van Wyk at Harken UK via LinkedIn click here