The NWA is the Trade Association for the owners and operators of workboats, mainly built under the MCA Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Small Workboats – the “Workboat Code”.
The Association is run by a committee of members and employs a Secretary who represents the NWA at various government and industry bodies and carries out the administration work for the Association.
The main function of the NWA is to act as the liaison and focal point with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) – from its beginnings twenty years ago the Association has worked closely with the MCA – providing a significant amount of practical guidance and constructive criticism in the formulation of the original Workboat Code which came into force in 1998. It is testament to the good work done by the founding members in drawing up the ‘Code’ with the MCA that it has stood the test of time – and is only now undergoing a major revision to keep it current with the ever-developing Workboat industry.
We have also worked closely with the Seafarers Standards branch of the MCA to establish sensible, practical manning levels for workboats and more recently in creating specific qualifications for Workboat Crews. – Several years ago we were heavily involved developing the Master <200GT (Code Vessel) Certificate of Competency and more recently the Master <500GT (Workboat) CoC which is now available. Both of these are unlimited STCW qualifications allowing the holders to act as Master of workboats operating world-wide. We are currently working to finalise a suite of 'Small Vessel Engineer' qualifications which will be applicable to Workboats.
Forthcoming Master, Less 500GT Specialist Workboat Modules planned at both JPMA Hoylake and Stream Marine, Glasgow
In a case of last of the Old Year and first of the New - we can report that Perth Harbour and Topbond Plc joined the NWA towards the end of 2016 and Riverside Thames Ltd, the tug and barge subsidiary of Cory Environmental have now joined us this week.
The NWA has developed this towage good practice guide at the request of the MCA to underpin and expand on the principles for safe towage as outlined in the towage section of the revised Workboat Code which is due for publication shortly.