Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code
2 How to use this Code
2.1 It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that a vessel is properly maintained, equipped and manned so that it can be operated safely. This Code aims to set out best practice for vessel standards, equipment and operation, as determined by the Working Group and through public consultation, for different areas of operation.
2.2 The primary aim in developing the Code has been to establish standards of safety and protection for all on board, particularly passengers. The level of safety it sets out to achieve is considered to be in line with the current expectations of the general public. The Code relates especially to the construction of a vessel, its machinery, equipment and stability, and to the correct operation of a vessel so that safety standards are maintained.
2.3 Local variations
2.4 Individual discretion
2.5 Determining factors
1. area of operation, and likely weather conditions;
2. the ready availability of dedicated emergency rescue (this should not assume the availability of public rescue services or the RNLI);
3. operations wholly within sight of the supervising body and means of emergency rescue;
4. seasonal operations only, such as between 1 April and 31 October or some lesser period, or daytime operations only, in non-flood river flow conditions;
5. vessels operating in close proximity to one another, and equipped to provide efficient safety back-up to each other in an emergency;
6. the provision or wearing of additional (special) individual personal survival equipment or clothing which will protect lives in an emergency;
7. enhanced communications between the vessel(s), and a constantly-attended shore base with readily available emergency rescue craft at the base;
8. the nature of the sport or pleasure activity involves very low risk of participants accidentally entering the water or causing the vessel to capsize;
9. inherent safety of the vessel by design, test and experience;
10. the ratio of suitably trained crew to other persons onboard;
11. enhanced provisions for distress alert and rescue;
12. means provided for "dry" evacuation from a vessel in emergency situations.
1. ensure safety on board for passengers and crew;
2. prevent human injury and loss of life, damage to property or the environment;
3. comply with applicable regulations and rules; and
4. keep documentary evidence of risk assessments and the safety procedures in place.
Guidance is at Annex 4.
2.7 Other local requirements
2.8 Licensable activities
If alcohol is provided on board, then in addition someone responsible for the premises must hold a personal licence issued under the Licensing Act 2003. Further information is available from the Department of Culture Media and Sport website www.culture.gov.uk and from the relevant Licensing Authority, which will publish a statement of its licensing policy.
2.9 Where a vessel is certificated or licensed under a local licensing regime for passenger carrying vessels which lay down different standards for the vessel in operation, this code may be used as additional guidance to the operator.