Designated Person Ashore (DPA)

Annual Leave/Short Term Cover for Emergency Response

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Company Security Officer (CSO)

Annual Leave/Short Term Cover for Emergency Response

MORE INFO

ISM/ISPS Company Annual Audits

Yacht and Management Office

MORE INFO

Formal crew ‘Risk Assessment Training’

COSWP Format

MORE INFO

Ships Security Plans

Construction to Flag State Approval

MORE INFO

Ships Security Assessments

Construction to Flag State Approval

MORE INFO

Ships Security Plan

Annual Review

MORE INFO

Ships Security Full crew Drills and Exercises

Annual Review

MORE INFO

Work Place Drug Testing of Yacht Crew – Saliva and Urine Testing

Saliva and Urine Testing

MORE INFO

Superyacht Security Advice

Armed/Unarmed

MORE INFO

Independent ‘Third Party’ Work Place Mediation

(Conflict Resolution)

MORE INFO

View full descriptions below

Designated Person Ashore (DPA)

Annual Leave/Short Term Cover for Emergency Response

The purpose of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code is to provide an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.

The objectives if the ISM Code is to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury or loss of life, and avoidance of damage to the environment, in particular to the marine environment and to property.

The 12 regulations of Part ‘A’ of the code set out a number of requirements that companies must follow in order to remain compliant under the terms of the Code. Many of the regulations refer to Safety, Pollution, Accidents, Emergency Preparedness and Company responsibilities with section 4 defining the role of the Designated Person Ashore (DPA).

The DPA has a key role under the ISM code with each company holding a Document of Compliance (DOC) being required to appoint a DPA under Regulation 4 of the code.

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Annual Leave/Short Term Cover for Emergency Response
Regulation 4 of the ISM Code defines the role as follows:
To ensure the safe operation of each ship and to provide a link between the Company and those on board, every company, as appropriate, should designate a person having direct access to the highest level of management. The responsibility and authority of the designated person should include monitoring the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of each ship and to ensure that adequate resources and shore-based support are applied, as required
Regulation 8.3 of the code – Emergency Preparedness – States;
The Safety Management System (SMS) should provide measures ensuring that the company’s organisation can respond at all time to hazards, accidents and emergency situations involving its ships.

Many companies operate with one qualified and certified DPA who by definition of their role will play a key part in the company’s Emergency Response’ organisation. This means that in order for companies to meet their legal requirement under the ISM Code the DPA should be available to respond to any incident involving the vessels 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

For a DPA to have a ‘Work Life Balance’ there is no doubt that at some point they will take annual leave, sometimes abroad, or require weekends off for weddings or family occasions. During these periods the management company must assess as to whether they are meeting their formal requirement to provide ‘Emergency Cover’ for the vessels that they are managing.

It is also most likely that one of the condition of coverage stipulated within the yachts P&I insurance is that the Management Company is to provide an emergency point of contact for the full duration of the insurance cover.

In order to ensure that the formal coverage required under the ISM Code is provided is to utilise the services of an experienced, qualified and certified DPA on a temporary basis to provide formal ‘Emergency’ cover during the company’s DPA temporary absence.
Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to provide temporary DPA Cover at: info@solasyachts.com

Company Security Officer (CSO)

Annual Leave/Short Term Cover for Emergency Response

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

In essence, the Code takes the approach that ensuring the security of ships and port facilities is a risk management activity and that, to determine what security measures are appropriate, an assessment of the risks must be made in each particular case.

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Under section 11 of the ISPS Code shipping companies shall designate a Company Security Officer. A person designated as the CSO may act as the CSO for one or more ship depending on the types of ships the company operates, provided it is clearly identified for which ships this person is responsible.

Within Yacht Management companies the responsibility for the security of the yacht rests with the CSO. Working together with the Ships Security officer (SSO) and with the Port Facilities Security Officers (PFSO) at the port/Marina facilities used by their yachts, the CSO plays a central and essential role in the implementation of the Maritime Security measures. It is their responsibility to ensure that each of the yachts under their management meets the requirements of the Maritime Security measures.

On security matters the CSO is the main point of contact with both their Yachts and the administration. (Flag State). CSOs can be the officers within companies who are directly notified of changes in security level for onward transmission to their yachts.

Each person performing the duties of a CSO should be able to satisfactorily demonstrate the competencies listed in Appendix 4.2 of the ‘Guide to Maritime Security and ISPS Code’. Persons who have satisfactorily completed a training course for CSOs which is recognised by the ‘Flag State’ should be considered to have met this requirement.

As with the DPA many companies operate with one qualified and certified CSO who by definition of their role will play a key part in the company’s ‘Emergency Response’ organisation. This means that in order for companies to meet their legal requirement under the ISPS Code and SOLAS the CSO should be available to respond to any incident involving the vessels 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

 

For a CSO to have a ‘Work Life Balance’ there is no doubt that at some point they will take annual leave, sometimes abroad, or require weekends off for weddings or family occasions. During these periods the management company must assess as to whether they are meeting their formal requirement to provide ‘Emergency Cover’ for the vessels that they are managing.

A certain way to ensure the formal coverage required under the ISPS Code is to utilise the services of an experienced, qualified and certified CSO on a temporary basis to provide formal ‘Emergency’ cover during the company’s CSO temporary absence.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to provide temporary CSO Cover at: info@solasyachts.com

ISM/ISPS Company Annual Audits

Yacht and Management Office

As directed by the ISM Code there is a formal requirement for companies to carry out internal audits and management reviews of their office and the yachts that they manage at least annually.  Formal procedures for this should be included within the company policies and procedures and the Safety Management System. (SMS).

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The ISM Code Regulation 12.1 states:

“The company should carry out internal safety audits on board and ashore at regular intervals not exceeding twelve months to verify whether safety and pollution-prevention activities comply with the Safety Management System. In exceptional circumstances, this interval may be exceeded by not more than three months.”

Although many companies carry out their own ‘Internal Audits’ the ISM Code recommends that they should be carried out by an independent party to ensure total impartiality by the auditor.

The ISM Code Regulation 12.5 states:

“Personnel carrying out audits should be independent of the areas being audited unless this is impracticable due to the size and nature of the company”

Having carried out ‘Company Internal Audits’ on vessels ranging from a 148,528gt Cruise liner to a 550gt yacht ‘SOLAS Yachts’ is competent in carrying out independent audits on behalf of Management Companies and provide a professional and impartial written report.

The written report will be in a ‘Narrative’ format and will include both ISM and ISPS findings including Non-Conformities and Observations allowing the management Company to react accordingly

In addition to the Yachts there is also a requirement to internal safety audits of the shore management office to ensure that company policies and procedures are reviewed and understood by those staff employed.

Evidence that both the annual Yacht and Management Office internal audits have been carried out will be checked by the Administration (Flag State) as part of the annual Document of Compliance (DOC) review.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange a Yacht of Management Office ‘Internal Audit’ at: info@solasyachts.com

Formal Crew ‘Risk Assessment Training’

COSWP Format

Employers are required to ensure the Health and Safety of workers and other persons as far as possible by the application of certain principles, including the evaluation of unavoidable risks and the taking of action to reduce them.

Specifically, employers are required to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to health and safety for workers arising in the normal course of their activities or duties.

Regulation of occupational Health and Safety onboard a yacht is of course not new.  Existing safety measures may already provide a high level of safety for crew and guests.  Well established procedures, inspections by Flag States and the use of ‘Permits to Work’ which control safety conditions will contribute to the identification of Hazards and measures for safe working.

However, what is new is the explicit requirement in regulation for employers to adopt the ‘Risk Assessment’ approach to occupational Health and Safety.  This means that ALL work activities should be considered from a Risk Assessment standpoint.

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A ‘Risk Assessment’ is intended to be a careful examination of what, in the nature of operations, could cause harm, so that decisions can be made as to whether enough precautions have been taken or whether more could be done to prevent harm.

A formal ‘Risk Assessment’ is the first stage in producing ‘Operating Procedures’ and ‘Checklists’ which, as directed by the ISM Code, is the responsibility of the Company.

ISM Code Regulation 7 states:

“The Company should establish procedures, plans and instructions, including checklists as appropriate, for key shipboard operations concerning the safety of the personnel, ship and protection of the environment. The various tasks should be defined and assigned to qualified personnel.”

 

The normal procedure is a 3 stage process;

  • Stage 1 – The Company provides a ‘Generic’ set of Risk Assessments covering all the normal operations: – Anchoring – Bunkering – Rescue Boat Launch/Recovery – Working aloft etc…..
  • Stage 2 – The Yacht (Crew) use the company provided risk assessments as a baseline template and amend them so that they become ‘Yacht Specific’ using the actual equipment.
  • Stage 3 – The ‘Control Measures’ identified by the crew to mitigate any identified risk during the ‘Risk Assessment’ process becomes the ‘Checklist’ and ‘Operating Procedures’ for that specific evolution.

The end result is that the yacht has a full set of ‘Yacht Specific’ Risk Assessments, Checklists and Operating Procedures.

The potential ‘Weak Link’ is that a vast majority of Yacht Crew are not trained or given instruction on how to carry out a formal ‘Risk Assessment’. There is guidance in Chapter 1 of the ‘Code of Safe Working Practise’ (COSWP) which explains the procedure but there is no substitute for actual physical instruction.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange for crew/management office staff to receive formal guidance how to conduct a ‘Risk Assessment’ leading to the construction of ‘Checklists’ and ‘Operating Procedures’ at: info@solasyachts.com

Ships Security Plans

Construction to Flag State Approval

Those yachts that are required to be commercially compliant (Available for charter), or assume ‘Voluntary compliance’ are required to hold an International Ships Security Certificate (ISSC).  To obtain the ISSC the yacht is required to have a ‘Ships Security Assessment’ (SSA) followed by a Flag State (Administration) approved ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) which must make provision for the three maritime security levels. (MARSEC) 1, 2 & 3.

When the SSP or its amendment is submitted for Flag Approval is must be accompanied by the SSA on which the plan or amendment was based.

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The ‘Ships Security Plan’ should contain, as a minimum, the following;

  • Restricted areas and measures for the prevention of unauthorised access to them;
  • Measures and equipment for the prevention of unauthorised access to the yacht, including boarding of the yacht when in port, at sea or at anchor;
  • Procedures for responding to security threats or breaches of security, including provisions for maintaining critical operations of the yacht or yacht/port interface;
  • The minimum operational and physical security measures the yacht shall take at all times, when operating at Security level 1;
  • The additional or intensified security measures the yacht can take when moving to Security Level 2 and Security level 3;
  • Procedures for evacuation in case of security threats or breaches of security;
  • Procedures for training, drills and exercises associated with the SSP;
  • Procedures for the periodic review of the plan and updating;
  • The Ships Security Officer (SSO and Company Security Officer (CSO) 24 Hour contact details;
  • Procedures to ensure the inspection, testing, calibration and maintenance or any security equipment onboard;
  • Procedures, instructions and guidance on SSAS usage, including the testing, activation, deactivation, resetting and limitation of false alerts;
  • The organisational structure of security for the yacht;
  • The communication systems to allow effeftive continuous communication within the yacht and between the yacht and others, including port facilities

 

And

 

  • The specific roles and functions that crew members will adopt on changes of security levels

The ISPS Code states; “Due to considerations of conflict of interest, personnel conducting the internal audits of the security measures specified in the SSP or evaluating their implementation are required to be independent of the measures being audited unless this is impracticable due to the size or nature of the Management Company”.

 

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange for a ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) to be developed and constructed up to ‘Flag State’ approval either during the ‘New Build’ registration process or during the annual review of the ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) at: info@solasyachts.com

Ships Security Assessments

Construction to Flag State Approval

To enable a yacht to be ‘Commercially Compliant’ they must be in possession of an ‘International Ships Security Certificate’ (ISSC) which is presented once the yachts ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) has been approved and letter of acceptance issued.

Before an SSP can be constructed and submitted to the Flag State for approval a ‘Ships Security Assessment’ (SSA) must be carried out.  The SSA is an essential and integral part of the process of developing and updating the Ships Security Plan.

The Company Security Officer (CSO) should ensure that the SSA is carried out by persons with appropriate skills to evaluate the security of the yacht.

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The SSA shall include an ‘on-scene’ security survey and, at least, the following elements;

  • Identification of existing security measures, procedures and operations
  • Identification and evaluation of key shipboard operations that it is important to protect
  • Identification of possible threats to the key shipboard operations and the likelihood of their occurrence, in order to establish and prioritise security measures
  • Identification of weaknesses, including human factors, in the infrastructure, policies and procedures
  • The SSA shall be documented, reviewed, accepted band retained by the Company

 

Flag States are responsible for providing guidance to CSOs on the security risks that their ships may face on voyages, having regard to the ship type, the sea areas in which the ship operates, and the ports and port facilities that is uses.

The Maritime Security Measures specify that a report of an up-to-date SSA should accompany, or be reflected in SSPs submitted for Flag approval or when amendments to an approved plan are submitted.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange a ‘Ships Security Assessment’ (SSA) to be carried out either during the ‘New Build’ registration process or during the annual review of the ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) at: info@solasyachts.com

Ships Security Plan

Annual Review

Ships Security Plans (SSPs) should establish internal audit procedures to be followed by a company or yacht to ensure the continued effectiveness of the SSP.

This should be reviewed annually and more frequently in response to incidents such as:

  • Changes to the yachts operations, ownership and structure;
  • After an unsuccessful drill or exercise;
  • After a security incident or threat involving the yacht;
  • Completion of a review of the Ships Security Assessment (SSA);
  • When an internal audit or inspection by the Flag State has identified failings in the ships security organisation and operations, calling in to question the continuing relevance of the approved SSP;

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Amendment of an approved SSP would also involve a review of the ships SSA

 

The ISPS Code states; “Due to considerations of conflict of interest, personnel conducting the internal audits of the security measures specified in the SSP or evaluating their implementation are required to be independent of the measures being audited unless this is impracticable due to the size or nature of the Management Company”.

There is a likelihood that during Flag State or Port State Control inspections that the SSP will be checked to ensure that it is ‘In-Date’ for review with evidence that the review has been carried out by a competent and certified individual.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange a formal review of the Yachts ‘Ships Security Plan’ (SSP) at: info@solasyachts.com

Ships Security Full crew Drills and Exercises

Annual Review

Both the ISM and ISPS Codes place a heavy reliance on ‘Crew Training’ with constant references throughout both codes regarding training.

Regular drills and exercises should be carried out to confirm that the checklists and operating procedures are still relevant and to ensure that all crew involved remain competent in the task that they are executing.

Many Flag States define how often certain ‘Drills and Exercises’ take place which should be documented in the yachts ‘Training Log’.

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Both the ISM and ISPS Codes place a heavy reliance on ‘Crew Training’ with constant references throughout both codes regarding training.

One of the main objectives of the ISM Code (1.2.2.3) states;

“Continuously improve safety management skills or personnel ashore and aboard ships, including preparing for emergencies related both to safety and environmental protection”

Regulation 6.6 states;

“The company should establish and maintain procedures for identifying any training which may be required in support of the safety Management System and ensure that training is provided for all personnel concerned”.

Regulation 8.2 states;

“The company should establish programmes for drills and exercises to prepare for emergency actions”

Prior to an operation or evolution being carried out a full Risk Assessment should have been carried out by a competent person who identifies any potential hazards or risks to the crew or environment. The measures identified to mitigate any identified risks should form the ‘Checklist’ and ultimately the ‘Operating Procedures’.

Regular drills and exercises should be carried out to confirm that the checklists and operating procedures are still relevant and to ensure that all crew involved remain competent in the task that they are executing.

Many Flag States define how often certain ‘Drills and Exercises’ take place which should be documented in the yachts ‘Training Log’.

The results of ALL drills and exercises should be recorded with both good and bad points documented. Those areas identified as ‘below standard’ should be readdressed as soon as possible by conducting concentrated drills until a satisfactory result is achieved.

It is difficult for crew to assess the effectiveness of a drill and identify any potential risks if they are actively involved. A ‘Third party Observer’ will be much better placed to observe all aspects of the Drill or Exercise and provide and objective assessment once the drill is complete.

It is more likely that a third party observer will identify any potential hazards while taking a holistic view covering the operational aspect of the drill including the Command, Control and Leadership of the operation.

Many operations have out of date checklists and procedures which should be reviewed on completion of each operation, drill or exercise.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange Safety related drills or exercises at: info@solasyachts.com

Work Place Drug Testing of Yacht Crew – Saliva and Urine Testing

Saliva and Urine Testing

Almost every ‘White List’ Flag State, Management Company policy, Captains Standing Orders and Seafarers Employment Agreement (Contract) clearly states that under the terms of their employment the crew are governed by a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy regarding the misuse of controlled drugs.

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Taking the ‘Cayman Island Shipping Registry’ (CISR) as an example; their latest ‘Shipping Notice’ regarding the misuse of controlled drugs states the following;

  • The Cayman Islands “Misuse of Drugs Law (1999 Revision)” applies both within the territory of the Cayman Islands and onboard all Cayman Islands ships. Penalties for offences under this Law are severe and include unlimited fines and life imprisonment.
  • In addition, for offences committed onboard ships, this law includes provisions for the seizure and forfeiture of the ship itself.
  • Ships are also subject to the local laws of countries being visited. Many countries impose capital sentences for some drug related offences.
  • Under the “Misuse of Drugs Law” it is an offence to import, export, produce, sell purchase, supply, distribute, possess or possess with intent to supply any of the controlled drugs listed in the schedules to the Law.
  • It is also an offence to possess “drug paraphernalia” or certain “substances useful for manufacturing controlled drugs”.

 

In addition the owner and / or master of a Cayman Islands ship would also be guilty of an offence if they knowingly allowed any of the above offences to be committed onboard the ship.

 

Section 4 of the shipping notice gives further directives by stating;

“Instigate a thorough program of drug testing onboard. Include drug testing as part of the pre-employment process.”

 

Recent amendments to the STCW, the manila amendments, Section B-V111/1 recommends that in order to identify drug and alcohol abuse, screening programmes should be implemented for all whose duties involve designated safety, prevention of pollution and security duties to prevent alcohol and drugs from impairing the ability of crew. These guidelines came into force 1 January 2012 and by adopting them, it is hoped that drug and alcohol abuse will be minimised and where it is identified, it will be before rather than after an incident has occurred.

It is commendable that organisations promulgate a robust ‘Drug Policy’ that is clearly defined but what formal steps are taken to ensure that the policy is being adhered to?

One of the most effective ways is for Management companies to introduce ‘Random Drug Testing’ to the crew onboard the yachts that they are responsible for.  There is an element of fear throughout the industry that by introducing a random drug testing policy they are indicating that their yachts have a drug problem.

This is not the case as the existence of a regulated ‘Random Drug Testing’ program does not necessarily mean that problems exist. Rather, that activities and programmes are being implemented to promote health and safety and to prevent harm and the occurrence of hazardous situations. Successful prevention efforts are “pro-active” rather than “re-active” and indicate a high level of ‘Duty of Care’ by the management company and at the same time acting as a deterrent to those crew that may be considering drug use.

After formal training SOLAS Yachts have been certified by ‘UK Drug Testing’ to carry out ‘In place Drug Testing’ using both the Saliva or Urine testing method.  Dependent on which testing method is used the following ‘Controlled Drugs’ would be detected;

Oral Fluid (Saliva) Urine
Drug Name

Street Name

Detection

Times

Drug Name

Street Name

Detection Times
1 Marijuana

Cannabis, Puff, Split, Hash

14-24hrs 1 Marijuana

Cannabis, Puff, Split, Hash

Casual: 2-14 days Heavy: up to 30 days
2 Cocaine

Coke, Crack, Charlie

24-48hrs 2 Cocaine

Coke, Crack, Charlie

2-5 days
3 Opiates

Heroin, Smack, Gear

7-21hrs 3 Opiates

Heroin, Smack, Gear

2-5 days
4 Methamphetamine

Glass, ICE, Meth

up to 72 hrs 4 Methamphetamine

Glass, ICE, Meth

2-6 days
5 Amphetamine

Speed, AMPH, Whizz

up to 72 hrs 5 Amphetamine

Speed, AMPH, Whizz

2-6 days
6 Benzodiazepines

Benzos, Rohypnol, Roofies

up to 72 hrs 6 Benzodiazepines

Benzos, Rohypnol, Roofies

2-6 days
7 Methadone

Dolly, Red Rock, 

12-24hrs 7 Methadone

Dolly, Red Rock

3-8 days
8 Barbituates

Barbs,Downers

up to 72 hrs 8 Barbituates

Barbs, Downers

3-8 days
9 Buprenorphine

Subutex

up to 72 hrs 9 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – Ecstasy, E’s 2-6 days
10 Oxycodone

Prescription Drug

up to 72 hrs 10 Tricyclic antidepressants

TCA

6 -10 days
11 PCP

Angel Dust, Peace Pill

12-24hrs  
12 Alcohol Above 0.02%

BAC

 

All drug testing kits used by SOLAS Yachts are CE Marked and FDA approved and provides fast onsite Saliva/Urine Drug Screening that is over 99% accurate with the results remaining strictly confidential between SOLAS Yachts and the client.

When a ‘Work-Place Drugs test’ is carried out it sends a clear and strong message to all of the yachts and crew under the direct management of the company that they take the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy very seriously and even hearing that another yacht under their management has been tested act as an excellent deterrent.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange ‘Work Place’ Drug Testing at: info@solasyachts.com

Superyacht Security Advice

Armed/Unarmed

With a 35 year military background and recently as the General Manager of a ‘Superyacht Security’ service provider SOLAS Yachts is well placed to provide relevant guidance regarding the provision of ‘Armed or Unarmed’ security to superyacht clients.

SOLAS Yachts has contributed to and has published articles in the following ‘Superyacht Related’ publications;

  • Boat International
  • Dockwalk
  • Onboard Online
  • Yachting Pages
  • The Superyacht Report
  • Trident
  • Guest speaker at ‘Young Professionals in Yachting’

 

Security is not just about ‘Somali Pirates’ operating in the Indian Ocean. In recent years the number of actual attacks on merchant and superyacht shipping has diminished from the height of the issue in 2009/2010. In fact no vessel has been successfully boarded in the area since 2012.

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The greater threat to a superyacht is from the ‘Criminal Element’ found in any port around the world.

A large yacht can be an attractive target to criminals based on a number of factors;

  • High probability of expensive ‘removable’ items held onboard – Art work, Jewellery, Crew possessions
  • Untrained crew not fully security conscious
  • Relatively easy access – Particularly at anchor – Swim platform, low freeboard, many glass doors
  • Visit remote places at distance from local emergency services – Police, Coastguard
  • Potential for large amounts of cash held in the Captains safe
  • Unsecure ports or marinas
  • Small number of crew remaining onboard when off charter

 

 

SOLAS Yachts are able to carry out a ‘Security Risk Assessment’ of the yacht and provide advice to the Client on a suitable method of increasing the security awareness of the yacht and decreasing the likelihood of the yacht becoming a potential target

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you require guidance or advice on security related issues at: info@solasyachts.com

Independent ‘Third Party’ Work Place Mediation

(Conflict Resolution)

Workplace mediation provides a positive opportunity for people to resolve practical problems and interpersonal issues. It is cost and time efficient producing sustainable solutions. Mediation reduces the damage, costs and risks of escalation. Mediation repairs the relationship for the parties involved and restores a healthier environment for all around who are affected by the fallout from the conflict.

We specialise in workplace mediation, resolving issues such as:

  • Allegations of bullying and harassment
  • Personality clash
  • Line management tensions
  • Grievances in response to management style on performance management
  • Attitude, communication and behavioural issues
  • Change management and restructure
  • Perceived discrimination and cultural conflicts.

Mediation offers a confidential opportunity to raise issues in private with an impartial independent third party. We can assist in engaging reluctant parties or managing a process where there is a conflict of interest. We have experience of whistle-blower mediation and bring clarity of thought on ethical issues, cultural conflicts and risk issues.

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Every crew member should be aware of their co-worker’s comfort zone. If anyone on the crew has tendencies to talk about their sexual conquests or to tell off colour jokes, everyone involved should listen to words of protest and watch the body language given off by less than receptive crew members. Be considerate of a negative attitude toward a sexual conversation. Be instrumental in creating an atmosphere of respect and dignity toward all whether you are the Owner, the Captain, the fourth Stewardess, or a deck hand.

Harassment takes place when a person suffers behaviour that affects their dignity because of their sex, marital status, gender reassignment, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion of belief. It is the feelings of the person who is offended by the unwanted attention that count.

The superyacht industry differs greatly from others in that it is not officially protected by any sort of union, yachts don’t have designated human resources departments aboard and legal jurisdictions vary.

The issue of sexual harassment is an emotionally loaded one because it is so personal and intense, involving both sex and power. It is also, on many occasions, completely subjective insofar as what might be a fun, flirtatious remark to one crewmember, may be construed as being sexually charged or discriminating to another.

Conclusion

Due to the nature of the working environment, multi-national crews, age group of employees and periods of separation from home there will be ‘issues’ onboard the yacht.  The common reaction is to dismiss one of those involved which can upset crew cohesion and in addition prove costly due to the requirement to hire a replacement, sometimes at very short notice.

It is in everybody’s interest to deal with the situation as quickly and appropriately as possible, preferably by a trained professional who is not involved with the working dynamics of the yacht.

Contact SOLAS Yachts for further information should you wish to arrange ‘Independent ‘Third Party’ mediation’ onboard a yacht with a view to resolving the issues at the lowest level possible: info@solasyachts.com

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