Education Tours Safety Policy
Bristol Ferry Boat Safety Statement
All the passenger boats operated by the Bristol Community Ferry Boats Ltd (BCFB) are licensed to operate as such by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency – The Government Authority which controls the operation of all passenger vessels operating in UK Navigable Waters. We also comply with relevant health and safety regulations, including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
All our vessels are categorised as Class Five Passenger Ships and as such must be surveyed every 12 months to ensure that they are seaworthy and are equipped with the safety equipment laid down by the licence. The passenger-operating license is clearly displayed on each vessel.
Our boats are checked for mechanical or other faults by every skipper before every voyage and preventative maintenance is carried out by our own experienced team.
All our boats are skippered (driven) by fully trained and qualified skippers who hold MCA Boat Master Licences. This means that they must have passed an exam which includes a practical test as well as assuring an MCA Inspector that they are conversant with Rules of Navigation and various local quirks relating to boat operation within Bristol City Harbour.
The Skippers all hold Marine VHF Radio operating certificates and all the boats are in touch by Radio with other vessels and the Harbour Master.
BCFB’s crew undergo a rigorous training programme developed by the Company and delivered by our Training Officer. The training includes First Aid qualifications, sea survival, basic mechanics and rescue procedures that are updated and reviewed regularly. We take passenger safety very seriously.
Crew are taught how to safely tie up boats, help passengers on and off the vessels, be vigilant to any possible passenger dangers and to use the safety equipment on board. Crew and skippers are only then employed if the company Training Officer is satisfied with their standard of competency.
Our boats carry the regulation life rafts or floats and life rings, first aid kits and firefighting equipment.
BCFB operate its regular services and chartered boats with the agreement of the Harbour Master within the City Docks area. His staff are kept fully in touch with our operation to ensure that all public passenger vessels are being operated safely.
If you wish to inspect our boats at any time or discuss safety matters further please contact:
Roisin Tobin-Brooke, General Manager of Bristol Community Ferry Boats Ltd - Tel: 0117 927 3416
Safety is naturally paramount to us whilst school children and members of the public are on our boats. With respect to the safety and comfort of all our passengers we would like to draw your attention to the following:
- All of our boats are under the strict controls of the Marine Coastguard Agency and are issued with licenses on an annual basis to take passengers. We also comply with relevant health and safety regulations, including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
- We carry all the relevant lifesaving appliances and firefighting equipment. Our crew are regularly trained and practiced in the use of this equipment.
- Each boat is staffed by one skipper and one crew. At the start of every trip a safety announcement will be made. Crew will ensure that every passenger can hear the announcement, and that instructions are adhered to.
- Our crew are trained in first aid, and there is a first aid kit on board every boat.
- Please check the weather and wear appropriate clothing. Although the boats used for school visits are all equipped with an indoor cabin, children will be exposed when boarding and disembarking. Sturdy footwear is particularly important, waterproofs in the rain, and sunscreen, hats and long sleeves will protect your group from burning in hot weather.
- The boats used for school visits are equipped with flushing or chemical toilets. If there is no running water, sanitizer gel is provided for hand washing.
- One of our boats is equipped with wheelchair access. Crew are trained to operate this.
- All the boats have £20,000,000 public liability insurance.
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