Tragic accident leads to new regs for boat hire on Norfolk Broads

The Broads Authority has voted in the British Marine Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme as mandatory licensing requirement following the tragic accident involving hire boat Diamond Emblem 1, which resulted in one fatality.

Following the release of the MAIB’s report investigating the fatality onboard hire boat Diamond Emblem 1 on the Norfolk Broads in August 2020, recommendations were made to make the British Marine / VisitEngland Quality Accredited Boatyard (QAB) scheme a requirement of the Broads Authority’s hire boat and hire operators licensing provisions.

Developed to support hire boat operators, the industry-lead QAB scheme has been running for over eight years and provides an independent audit of a company’s procedures and processes. It indicates that hire boat operators are committed to quality and provides recognition for their operations.

At the Broads Authority meeting held on 13 May, it was agreed that from 1 April 2023, the scheme would be adopted to sit alongside their own internal inspection regime.

“Following last week’s announcement, we look forward to working closely with the Broads Authority to aid the smooth implementation of the scheme into their existing processes,” commented Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine.

“We recognise that safety is paramount, and we should be continually reviewing and ensuring the processes and checks are in place to keep people safe when out on the water. We welcome the recognition of the QAB scheme as an industry leading quality assurance scheme and hope that its inclusion in the Broads licensing requirements will provide additional safety to those out on the water.”

In support of the Broads Authority’s decision, British Marine has decided to give access to its Hire Boat Code Course to non-members of hire boat operations on the Broads.

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