Safe Operational Plans (SOP)
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A Safe Operational Plan (SOP) provides a practical set of safety requirements to ensure that certain specialised operations or craft have appropriate safety systems.
The following vessels are eligible for a safe operational plan:
- Jet boats carrying passengers at planing speed on any river for hire or reward.
- Rafts carrying passengers on any river, for hire or reward.
- Hovercraft operating in New Zealand for hire or reward.
- Registered fishing vessels that are six metres or less in length, operating in enclosed waters, or not more than two miles from the New Zealand coast.
- Recreational dive vessels of six metres or less in length engaged solely in recreational diving, which do not proceed beyond enclosed waters, or more than five miles from a safe haven on the coast of New Zealand.
Getting a Safe Operational Plan
If your operation and your vessel meet the criteria for a Safe Operational Plan, contact an Authorised Person/Safety Auditor appropriate for your particular type of vessel. They will inspect, audit and approve your operation of behalf of the Director of Maritime New Zealand.
The detail in each Safe Operational Plan may be different reflecting local conditions and the individual circumstances of each operation.
Once approved, the operator is issued with a Certificate of Compliance. Each operation must undergo an annual Safe Operational Plan audit for their Certificate to remain valid. This ensures the Safe Operational Plan is properly maintained and that the operation continues to comply. Rafting operations must also comply with the Code of Practice for the Safety of Commercial Rafting.
Note that a vessel required to operate under a Safe Operational Plan cannot then be under a Safe Ship Management (SSM) system.
Contact a Maritime Officer for help with your operational and health and safety requirements.