Bloody bureaucracy/4 The scandal of Italian safety equipment


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JB_love-love-3-2“Speaking of bureaucracy, do we want to talk about Italy’s safety endowments?” So begins the latest email we just received regarding our summer campaign on Italy’s short-sighted bureaucracy.(click here)

The reader turns the spotlight on another all-Italian folly, that of the safety equipment prescribed for those flying the tricolor flag.

So we got our hands on it and here is our analysis, addressed by the reader. Let’s start with a general concept, why must there be as many as eight different categories? Here they are in detail:

1 – Streams, rivers and waterways.

2 – Within 300 meters from shore

3 – Within 1 mile from shore

4 – Within 3 miles of the coast

5 – Within 6 miles of the coast

6 – Within 12 miles of the coast

7 – Within 50 miles of the coast

8 – Without any limit

PS If you want to see the detail download the PDF

For you to understand how demented this classification into eight categories is, we need only take as an example how the categories are divided for those flying the French flag.

Do you know how many there are? TWO! The first division is for those sailing within six miles of the coast, the second for those sailing beyond six miles. Period. What do you think is the most logical classification? The French basically make a distinction, which is obvious, only between those who sail only close to the coast (within 6 miles) and those who make high seas sailings (beyond 6 miles).

If you want to better understand how much more sensible the endowments demanded by the French are, download the PDF here and then compare them with those in Italy. You will better understand that those of the transalpine cousins are logical and ours bureaucratic and obsolete.

Those who fly the Belgian flag make it even easier. Here if you want to take a look at the ones planned click here


Our reader then dwells on the inconsistencies in the substance of the endowments required by Italian regulations. It focuses on two macroscopic cases, the first aid kit and the phantom bell required for those sailing beyond 3 miles from the coast.

The case of the relief box, we have already debated. To sum up, since March for those sailing beyond 12 miles (sic!) unknown items such as Resuscitation flask, sphygmomanometer (by the way, do you know what that is? It’s one of those things for measuring blood pressure), phonendoscope, various manuals.

But the real gem of Italian safety equipment is the item “
signaling equipment
sound,” mandatory for those sailing from “within 3 miles” onward. In practice, therefore, necessary for any kind of navigation. An afterword specifies what “sound signaling devices” are. These are “For units having a length of more than 12 meters, a whistle and bell is also mandatory (the bell may be replaced by a portable sound device).”

400DISTRIBUZIONE_MARE20141216145948The bell? Perhaps the legislature was inspired by tales from the 17th century pirate and privateer epics when, in case of fog, the boatswain would order a large brass bell to be rung so as not to run the risk of collision with other ships, in the vicinity of the ports. But, the post also specifies that the bell can be replaced by a ” portable sound device.” Good thing.

And here one thinks that one just needs to get those gas horns that fans use during soccer games. And no. Not all gas trumpets fit. Only approved ones are deemed suitable. How do they differ from the others? In nothing but cost, which is at least three times as much as unapproved ones.



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