Real Journeys becomes South Island leader in safety

GRANT BRYANT
Last updated 05:00 12/07/2014
earnslaw
GRANT BRYANT/ Fairfax NZ

ACHIEVEMENT: Real Journeys CEO Richard Lauder and Maritime NZ CEO and director Keith Manch with Lake Wakatipu's 101-year-old steamer TSS Earnslaw, which is the first tourist vessel to achieve new Maritime NZ safety certification.

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The 1 million annual passengers cruising on Real Journeys' vessels now have extra safety assurances after the tourism giant became a South Island leader with new Maritime NZ certification.

The company's flagship vessel the TSS Earnslaw, which is approaching its 102nd birthday, was the first tourism vessel, the South Island's first, and the second overall vessel in the country to achieve new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) certification, designed to improve operator and vessel safety.

MOSS replaces the old safe ship management system, in which an operator was required to engage a third party to develop a safety system for their vessels. The new regime removes that requirement, placing the onus on the operator to develop a safety system covering not only their vessels, but their entire operation.

Maritime NZ chief executive and director Keith Manch said about 2000 commercial operators would be phased in to the system during the next four years.

Over time, MOSS would help increase safety and reduce the number of boating-related injuries and fatalities in both the commercial and tourism sectors.

Real Journeys chief executive Richard Lauder said achieving the South Island's first MOSS certification for the TSS Earnslaw was in keeping with the company's reputation as an industry leader in putting customer safety first.

"We take safety very seriously and endorse this new legislation as another safety assurance for the 1 million people who are guests across our fleet every year," he said. "We take those guests to some really great parts of the world, and are on the leading edge of safety, so MOSS is a positive change.

"It's great that the Earnslaw is pushing towards its 102nd birthday but is one of the first vessels in New Zealand to achieve the latest safe operating procedure."

Real Journeys has 23 vessels cruising Lake Wakatipu, Lake Te Anau and Fiordland and operates work boats and barges as well as a Foveaux Strait ferry.

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