The Port Marine Safety Code (the “Code”) establishes a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety and aims to enhance safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and the environment.
The code is published by the Department for Transport and is the relevant Code of Practice that applies to the Commissioners as well as to all statutory harbour authorities and other marine facilities, berths and terminals in the UK. The Code identifies a number of tasks which harbour authorities should undertake in order to comply with the Code including reviewing and being aware of existing powers based on local and national legislation and advises that harbour authorities should seek additional powers if the existing powers are insufficient to meet their obligations to provide safe navigation.
The PMSC for Falmouth Harbour is organised as follows:
The Harbour must formally identify and designate the duty holder, whose members are individually and collectively accountable for compliance with the code, and their performance in ensuring safe marine operations in the harbour and its approaches.
The Falmouth Harbour Board of 7 commissioners, is the designated duty holder.
As part of the role, the Duty Holder should report compliance with the Code to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency every 3 years. Click here to see the Statement of Compliance issued to the MCA in Jan 2021.
A ‘designated person’ must be appointed to provide independent assurance about the operation of the marine safety management system. The designated person must have direct access to the duty holder. The Designated Person is also present in an overseeing role, and to field any questions from, or to communicate any concerns to the board. Falmouth Harbour’s Designated person is Gary Hartland.
Miles Featherstone, Falmouth Harbour’s Harbour Master is responsible for port marine safety in Falmouth Harbour Authority Areas as Head of Pilotage Operations and the port’s Pilot Exemption Certificate Scheme.
The 3 year plan to deliver marine safety is approved by the Board who will also set annual targets and performance indicators to measure progress towards delivering their objectives.
Harbour users have a responsibility to act safely and to avoid putting themselves or others at risk of harm. They are encouraged to report unsafe practices so that they can be investigated with the aim of preventing re-occurrence in future. Report an incident or unsafe practice.
To help the local harbour authorities identify changes in harbour uses including new recreational activities or practices, the Estuary Marine Safety Committee holds an annual meeting of advisory members where current trends are discussed. To find out more about the Safety Committee and its advisory members.