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New Jet Boat Rules Now In Force

Part 80 of the maritime rules, which affects the operation of commercial jet boats has recently come into force.

This new rule means that commercial jet boats operating at planing speeds on rivers, for example the Shotover Jet operation, are now required to have a certificate of compliance with a code of practice contained in Part 80, and to have a safe operational plan in place.

This rule came into force on 11 February this year, and operators were required to comply with it by 14 July 1999.

A safe operational plan is a scaled-down version of Safe Ship Management, which came into force for other commercial vessels last year. Safe Operational Plans are drawn up by a vessel's operator. SOPs include written records of a boat's maintenance and operating procedures.

They detail the conditions under which the boat or boats must operate and the conditions for carrying passengers. Pre-voyage and post-voyage checks and procedures for handling and reporting accidents will be covered in the plan.

Each owner will be required to have his or her SOP approved by an authorised person, and several authorised people have been appointed by the MSA. Their details can be obtained by contacting the Maritime Safety Authority in Wellington or at any of its district offices.

The MSA worked closely with the jet boating industry to establish the code of practice that incorporates appropriate safety guidelines.

Maritime Safety Authority Divisional Manager External Relations, Lindsay Sturt says the code of practice illustrates how the MSA and industry can work together for the good of all concerned.

"We have come a long way since this process began four years ago. Rather than imposing legislation on the industry, we have worked with jet boating businesses to get it right."

ENDS....

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