The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT), has concluded its public consultation on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGNs) intended to advise owners, managing agents and skippers on areas of consideration when looking at safety at sea.

The RYA contributed a significant response to the latest MCA consultation on the yacht and powerboat safety at sea MGNs, which was carried out between 20 June 2019 and 18 July 2019. Further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-yacht-and-powerboat-safety-at-sea.

In addition to a comprehensive response from the RYA, on behalf of its 112,000 members and the wider recreational boating community, a further 100 consultation responses were received from across the UK. Of these, nine were from representative bodies, representing groups of several vessel owners or end users.

The questions that were posed in the consultation, together with a summary of the consultee comments on them and the government responses to the consultee comments, can be found at gov.uk.

The MCA has now considered the comments received during the consultation and reviewed the original proposals in the light of these comments and will publish the final MGNs later this month [August 2019].

RYA Director of External Affairs Howard Pridding comments: “Our response to the consultation reflected our members’ concerns that the MCA were looking to regulate recreational boating and that the MGNs would prevent people from undertaking maintenance work on their own boats.

“We have been pleased with the constructive dialogue that we have had with MCA officials on this consultation and that many of the points that we made have been taken on board. The final versions of the MGNs clearly state that they are providing generic good practice safety advice and that they are non-mandatory for pleasure vessels.

“The RYA has a strong track record in providing safety advice to recreational boaters and we are working closely with the MCA to do this in respect of the non-mandatory guidance and advice contained within these MGNs.”

Bas Edmonds, MCA Regulatory Delivery Officer – Ship Standards, added: “We received a significant number of comments to the consultation, which helped shape the final MGNs and we would like to thank the RYA for their constructive input throughout this process.”

Visit the RYA online safety hub at www.rya.org.uk/go/safety for a wealth of practical advice and safety ‘top tips’ covering a vast array of boating activities.