The ISA has reviewed the recent report from the MCIB into the incident in Neptune Adventure Centre in 2011 (click here to view
) and would like to highlight the progress, spearheaded by the ISA, that has already been made with regards to the reported recommendations and has been presented at Government level.
The ISA began working with almost all of the National Governing Bodies (NGB) for adventure sports as well as representatives from both independent and VEC centres a few years ago on proposals for an industry lead approach to regulation of the sector. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in adventure sports in Ireland safely and with a very low number of incidents and serious accidents. These proposals are based on the following:
- The system should be non-statutory.
- A Code of Practice alone will not benefit providers and inspection and accreditation should form part of any accreditation system.
- An accreditation system should recognise, value and endorse relevant NGB standards.
- The accreditation system should encompass all providers on the island of Ireland.
- Accreditation should be based on standards of safety rather than quality.
The Minister for Sport is aware of the proposal and the ISA has met with the Department of Sport on the matter. In August of this year Tony Wright (ISA) and Karl Boyle (MCI) met with John Treacy from Irish Sports Council and won his support for the initiative.
The reason the ISA has been investing time in this project is:
- To try and avoid a government lead regulatory system which may be cumbersome, make little or no difference to safety and suppress the industry.
- To ensure any new centre accreditation system introduced ‘fits’ with the existing ISA system.
The ISA has also started a process of engaging with Met Eireann, the Irish Coast Guard and our affiliated organisations to develop a general understanding of what implications weather forecasts and weather warnings have on the provision of water sports at a local level. The ISA would be of the view that the decision on whether or not to run water sports activities should be made in by an appropriately qualified / experienced person using their experience and all of the information available to them.