Safety Equipment

Recreational boats are entitled to navigation (within six miles and unlimited) on the basis of technical criteria. The legislation provides for these units that, in order to be commercialized, they shall possess safety criteria established by the Directive and they have to bear the CE label. Such uniformity of rules allows the free commercialization in all European Community Countries both for European Productions, and for those non-European producers who require and receive certification and CE label, adapted, indeed, to the Community legislation. The builders of recreational crafts from third-world countries shall, however, have a representative on the territory of the Community, in order to trade in the EC.

The quality of the product can be certified only by the institutions that are authorized in the Community to ensure the compliance of projects, production procedures and prototypes to the above Directive. The currently recognized institutions in Italy are: RINA, DNV Modulo Uno, the Giordano Institute of Bellaria, the ANCCP (National Agency Certifications Components and Products), the Udicer/Nautest from Riviera del Brenta and the Quality and Security Society from Salerno, but the builders, if they want, can also move through the EU countries and not and vice versa. In turn, the builders are committed to produce units in compliance with the certified prototypes are and authorized to affix the CE label.

Warning: CE units not registered before June 16, 1998 and bearing the navigation license can freely enter and leave both in EU and non-EU countries. The boats that during the holidays leave EU countries run the risk of not being able to return, since they are not provided of the CE label or of any certification or documents that connect them to their flag. In order to come back in EU waters without any trouble, it is recommended to ask to the customs office to certify that the vehicle is sailing for nautical tourism (with accurate description of the construction techniques). After the abolition of the certificate issued by the Government Authorities, the same is recommended for accessories and for the engine. Basically, all those part of new construction shall be CE marked. This certificate shall be carried on board, or the vehicle will be regarded as a new import without CE certification and should not be admitted in the EU area.

The new EU legislation, based on the accountability of the unit conductor provides four construction categories adopted according to the wind force and the wave height that unit is likely to face. It is responsibility of the skipper to use the boat within the limits of the design category assigned by the manufacturer.

The legislation provided for boats with CE labeling is different.

Law 50/71 is no longer the reference for the navigation qualification, but the Essential Safety Requirements according to the Legislative Decree 436/96 classifies units into four distinct categories with the letters A), B) , C) and D).

According to the code of boating, units with “CE label” (ships and boats), are allowed to navigate at any distance from the coast, as long as they respect limits of weather and sea conditions established for the category assigned by the manufacturer.

According the category they belong to, units of Class A can sail offshore without limits; those of Class B with winds up to force 8 and waves up to 4 m. high (rough sea); those in Class C with winds up to force 6 (fresh wind) and waves up to 2 m. high (slight sea); those in Class D for navigation in sheltered waters, with wind force 4 (moderate wind) and waves up to 0.3 m. high (smooth sea). Under the responsibility of the tenant, the unit should be used within the limits of the design category recommended by the manufacturer and listed in the “owner’s manual”.

Since the safety requirement of construction are commensurate with the design category of the vehicle, it is recommended to make sure before the departure to check the sea and weather conditions, forecasted in the next 12 hours, nonetheless the time required for a quick return into the port in cases of emergency or sudden weather conditions change. It should be taken into account that in the spirit of the new law also vessels can navigate any distance offshore, according to weather and conditions established for each category.

First of all, it’s appropriate to remember that the equipment and, more specifically, the safety equipment carried on board are no longer linked the approval of the unit, but to the distance from the coast where there the navigation is dispatched. One of the principles to remember is that the safety of navigation begins at the quay, even before the departure. The tenant is responsible for the location on board of the necessary equipment, in order to sail. In the range of 300 meters offshore, recreational boats can navigate without safety equipment, then, as you move away the means of rescue and safety equipments increase in relation to the distance from the coast. For the protection of recreational activities taking place onshore, in the coastline of 1,000 meters offshore, the speed of boats shall be limited to 10 knots.

Here are the safety equipment to carry on board. The oars, anchor, the cables, the boat-hook, the auxiliary steering gear, the bailer, etc. are not designated as mandatory tools, but they still are indispensable on board:

Rivers, streams and waterways navigation:

  1. lifejacket (one for each person on board);
  2. a lifebuoy with line.

No rescue or safety equipment are requested.

Note: Units (including boats) longer than 7 meters must show a black ball with a diameter of 60 cm when they are at anchor.

(a mile corresponds to 1,852 m):

  1. Life jackets (one for each person on board)
  2. a lifebuoy with line;

  Additional safety equipment are mandatory for units without CE Label (those with the CE label are already equipped and are listed in the owner’s manual):

  1. pump or other tool of exhaustion;
  2. fire fighting equipment – fire extinguishers

Notes:

1) The vessel must have on board only one fire extinguisher, regardless of the engine power;

2) The number of fire extinguishers and their extinguishing capacity are set out in the table attached to safety regulation no. 232/1994

Navigation within three miles of the coast:

  1. lifejackets (one for each person on board);
  2. a lifebuoy with line;
  3. a smoke buoy;
  4. two red light flares; Note: the smoke buoy and hand flares are valid for four years from the manufacturing date.
  5. prescribed navigation lights

Notes:

  1. a) for daily sailing up to 12 miles from the coast beacons can be replaced by a safety white light torch;
  2. b) a motor unit until 7.00 am and at speeds up to 7 knots may show a white light visible from all sides; if possible, it shall also show sidelights;
  3. c) on a sailing boat up to 20 meters, navigation lights can be combined in a single beacon fixed on the top or near the top of the mast, where they can be seen more easily.
  4. sound signaling devices (whistle);

Note: Units of length greater of 12m shall be equipped with whistle and bell (the bell can be replaced by a portable sound device (horn)).

  1. Sailor boats shall carry a conical signal that must be shown (with the top down) when they ships and yachts proceed simultaneously;

  Additional safety equipment are mandatory for units without CE Label (those with the CE label are already equipped)

  1. pump or other tool of exhaustion;
  2. fire fighting equipment – fire extinguishers

Notes:

1) The vessel must have on board only one fire extinguisher, regardless of the engine power;

2) The number of fire extinguishers and their extinguishing capacity are set out in the table attached to safety regulation no. 232/1994

1.The safety equipment required for navigation within 3 miles off the coast, and also:

  1. a light buoy;
  2. two smoke buoys (instead of one);
  3. two red light parachute rockets;
  1. the safety equipment required for navigation within 3 miles off the coast, and also:
  2. buoyant apparatus (for everyone on board). The old “atolls” that meet the requirements of LD 12/02/1977 are still valid);
  3. a light buoy;
  4. two smoke buoys;
  5. compass and relative deviation tables (tables are required only for boats but not for vessels);
  6. two rockets parachute red light;
  7. VHF equipment. With the installation of the apparatus the operating license is mandatory and on board there must be a certified RTF operator.
  1. liferaft (for all passengers);
  2. Life jackets (one for each person on board);
  3. lifebuoy with line;
  4. a light buoy;
  5. two smoke buoys;
  6. compass deviation and relative tables (for tables see previous note);
  7. a clock, a barometer, binocular;
  8. nautical charts of the area in which you are navigating and charting tools;
  9. three hand red lighted flares;
  10. three red lighted parachute flares;
  11. First Aid Kit (Table D – Ministry of Health Decree no. 279 of 1988);
  12. prescribed navigation lights

Notes:

  1. a) for daily sailing up to 12 miles from the coast beacons can be replaced by a safety white light torch;
  2. b) a motor unit until 7.00 am and at speeds up to 7 knots may show a white light visible from all sides; if possible, it shall also show sidelights;
  3. c) on a sailing boat up to 20 meters, navigation lights can be combined in a single beacon fixed on the top or near the top of the mast, where they can be seen more easily.
  4. sound signaling devices (whistle);
  5. radio positioning tool (Loran, GPS, etc.);
  6. VHF equipment. With the installation of the apparatus the operating license is mandatory and on board there must be a certified RTF operator;
  7. radar reflector;

17 Sailor boats shall carry a conical signal that must be shown (with the top down) when they ships and yachts proceed simultaneously;

  Additional safety equipment are mandatory for units without CE Label (those with the CE label are already equipped)

  1. pump or other tool of exhaustion;

19. fire fighting equipment – fire extinguishers

  1. The safety equipment provided for navigation within 50 miles off the coast, and also:
  2. three smoke buoys;
  3. four red lighted handfires;
  4. four red lighted parachute rockets;
  5. E.P.I.R.B. (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). No regulatory characteristics. There are two types of it: class A with a frequency of 406 MHz and Class B (small size) with a frequency of 243 MHz, and both with a light signal on 121.5 MHz frequency.

The individual and collective life-saving and safety equipment must respect the following requirements:

  1. Liferafts: in accordance with the Legislative Decree 12.8.2002 n. 219. Note: shall be reviewed every two years at stations authorized by the manufacturer.
  2. lifejackets (inflatable) in accordance with the LD 29.9.1999 n. 412; Note: shall be reviewed every two years at stations authorized by the manufacturer or authorized by the same.
  3. ring- or horseshoe-shaped lifebuoy: in compliance with LD 29.9.1999, n. 385;
  4. belts: in accordance with the Legislative Decree May 10, 1996 (the ones that carry the CE mark);
  5. radar reflectors: in accordance with the Legislative Decree 29.9.1999, n. 386;
  6. distress flares: in accordance with the Legislative Decree 29.9.1999, n. 387 (for rockets, hand flares and smoke signals the validity is 4 years from the date of manufacture);
  7. magnetic compasses: in accordance with the Legislative Decree 29.9.1999, n. 388 (for applicable charts, see section Security Certificate and related note on the navigation up to 12 miles offshore).

The security certificate is issued with the navigation license during the first registration by the competent office. With the reform of sailing , registers of recreational crafts are kept by Port Authorities, by Maritime District Offices as well as by former MTCT Provincial Offices authorized by the Minister. The Maritime Local Offices and their Delegations are no longer allowed to keep the records. The Security Regulation has not affected the validity of the Security Certificate. For new units in categories C and D, CE marked , and for those created under the Law 50/1971 for navigation up to 6 miles offshore, the security certificate lasts 10 years. For units with CE label of categories A and B and for those created under the Law 50/1971 the validity of the certificate lasts eight years. For both types of units the periodic examinations must be taken every five years.