MGN 570 (F) Fishing Vessels: Emergency Drills

Notice to all owners, operators, managing agents, skippers and crew.


MGN 570 (F) FISHING VESSELS: Emergency Drills

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This note replaces MGN 430 (F) and should be read in conjunction with MGN 571 – preventing man overboard, MSN 1871 the code of practice for the safety of small fishing vessels, MSN 1872, the code of safe working practices for the construction and use of 15m length overall to less than 24m registered length vessels, and MSN 1873, the code of practice for the construction and safe operation of fishing vessels of 24m registered length and over.


This note provides guidance on scenarios for different types of emergency drills, which MCA surveyors may ask to see, sets out what the crew need to demonstrate and the key issues.

Quick rescue of man overboard is vital due to the dangers of cold water shock and hypothermia and the note sets out what to consider in order to be best prepared for such a situation. This note also sets out the conduct of checks that MCA surveyors will make regarding drills. Surveyors will:

  • witness emergency drills as part of the survey or inspection on the vessel or at any other time as deemed necessary by the MCA.
  • confirm that emergency drills (fire, collision/grounding, man overboard, abandon ship, anchoring) are practiced monthly and when a new crew member joins the vessel.
  • if practicable, and when there is no evidence that drills have been conducted and it is considered the crew are not trained for an emergency, ask vessels to proceed from the harbour to a safe anchorage to undertake anchoring drills. This increases the validity of the drill and provides a more challenging, realistic environment.

The note sets out the guidance on possible requirements of skippers and crew during emergencies which can be demonstrated during drills and musters. It should be noted that this guidance is generic and it is the owner, skipper and crew who should decide what steps are necessary and who should undertake them.

Published 23 October 2017