New REG Yacht Code Emphasizes Crew Training in Handling Batteries
The new edition will come into force in July 2024 thus giving time to the industry to prepare. Just like the amended version of the 2019 Code, the updated code recommends minimum 2 crew be ‘adequately trained’ in battery equipment.
The Annex A of the Common Annexes of the Red Ensign Group Yacht Code provides guidelines and best practices for safety on battery-operated vessels and storage of small electric powered craft. With regards to the latter, the Annex makes a reference to the MGN 681 which emphasizes:
‘Whilst electric craft do not necessarily represent a greater fire risk than petrol craft, there are considerable differences in best practice for fire prevention, storage, fire detection and fire suppression of such craft, which should be considered when they are stored onboard. This guidance is provided for use where lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used as the source of electrical power.’
Needless to say, the issue of Li-ion battery-powered equipment onboard superyachts has drawn the attention of the whole industry including Seascope France and PYA who partnered up to bring a webinar on the topic. Seascope France is now offering a Lithium-ion Battery Safety Awareness course to help crew recognize potential dangers and act accordingly.
When it comes to safety onboard, proper crew training plays a crucial role, and this has been recognized by the REG Yacht Code as well:
‘Crew Training - it is recommended that at no time shall there be less than two persons on the vessel who are adequately trained and experienced in all battery equipment and procedures. In addition, all crew shall have an awareness of the vessel’s emergency procedures regarding the battery.’