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Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act 1932

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Openings in Watertight Bulkheads

(1) The number of openings in watertight bulkheads shall be reduced to the minimum compatible with the design and proper working of the ship; satisfactory means shall be provided for closing these openings. (2)—(a) Where pipes, scuppers, electric-light cables, &c, are carried through watertight subdivision bulkheads, arrangements shall be made to ensure the integrity of the watertightness of the bulkheads. (b) Sluice valves shall not be permitted in the watertight subdivision bulkheads. (3)—(a) No doors, manholes, or access openings are permitted—

(i) in the collision bulkhead below the margin line;

(ii) in watertight transverse bulkheads dividing a cargo space from an adjoining cargo space or from a permanent or reserve bunker, except as provided in paragraph (7). (b) The collision bulkhead may be pierced below the margin line by not more than one pipe for dealing with fluid in the fore peak tank, provided that the pipe is fitted with a screwdown valve capable of being operated from above the bulkhead deck, the valve chest being secured inside the fore peak to the collision bulkhead. (4)—(a) Watertight doors fitted in bulkheads between permanent and reserve bunkers, shall be always accessible, except as provided in sub-paragraph 9(b) for between deck bunker doors. (b) Satisfactory arrangements shall be made, by means of screens or otherwise, to prevent the coal from interfering with the closing of watertight bunker doors. (5) Within the machinery space and apart from bunker and shaft tunnel doors, not more than one door may be fitted in each main transverse bulkhead for intercommunication. These doors shall be located so as to have the sills as high as practicable. (6)—(a) The only types of watertight doors permissible are hinged doors, sliding doors, and doors of other equivalent patterns, excluding plate doors secured only by bolts. (b) A hinged door shall be fitted with catches workable from each side of the bulkhead. (c) A sliding door may have a horizontal or vertical motion. If required to be hand operated only, the gearing shall be capable of being worked at the door itself and also at an accessible position above the bulkhead deck. (d) If a door is required to be closed by dropping or by the action of a dropping weight, it shall be fitted with a suitable arrangement to regulate the closing movement, and the gearing shall be so arranged that the door can be released both at the door itself and at an accessible position above the bulkhead deck. Hand gear shall also be provided, so arranged as to operate at the door itself and above the bulkhead deck, and also, so that after being disengaged for dropping, it can be quickly re-engaged from either the upper or the lower position. (e) If a door is required to be power operated from a central control, the gearing shall be so arranged that the door can be operated by power also at the door itself. The arrangement shall be such that the door will close automatically if opened by the local control after being closed from the central control, and also such that any door can be kept closed by local arrangements, which will prevent that door from being opened from the central control. Such power operated doors shall be provided with hand gear, workable both at the door itself and from an accessible position above the bulkhead desk. (f) In all classes of doors indicators shall be fitted at all operating stations other than at the door itself, showing whether the door is opened or closed. (7)—(a) Hinged watertight doors in passenger, crew, and working spaces are only permitted above a deck, the underside of which, at its lowest point at side, is at least 7 feet (2-13 metres) above the deepest subdivision loadline, and they are not permitted in those spaces below such deck. (b) Hinged watertight doors of satisfactory construction may be fitted in bulkheads dividing cargo between decks spaces, in levels in which side cargo doors would be permitted under the provisions of Regulation X (11). These doors shall be closed before the voyage commences and shall be kept closed during the voyage, and the time of opening such doors in port and of closing them before the ship leaves port shall be entered in the official log book. Where it is proposed to fit such doors, the number and arrangements shall receive the special consideration of the Administration, and a statement shall be required from the owners certifying as to the absolute necessity of such doors. (8) All other watertight doors shall be sliding doors. (9)—(a) When any watertight doors which may be sometimes opened at sea, excluding those at the entrances of tunnels, are fitted in the main transverse watertight bulkheads at such a height that their sills are below the deepest subdivision loadline, the following rules shall apply :—

(i) When the number of such doors exceeds five all the watertight sliding doors shall be power operated and shall be capable of being simultaneously closed from a station situated on the bridge, simultaneous closing of these doors being preceded by a warning sound signal. (II) When the number of such doors does not exceed five—

(i) if the criterion numeral does not exceed 30, all the watertight sliding doors may be operated by hand only;

(ii) if the criterion numeral exceeds 30, but does not exceed 60, all the watertight sliding doors may be either dropping doors fitted with releasing and hand gear operated at the door and from above the bulkhead deck or doors operated by power;

(iii) if the criterion numeral exceeds 60, all the watertight sliding doors shall be operated by power. (b) If watertight doors which have sometimes to be open at sea for the purpose of trimming coal are fitted between bunkers in the between-decks below the bulkhead deck, these doors shall be operated by power. The opening and closing of these doors shall be recorded in the official log book. (c) When trunkways in connection with refrigerated cargo are carried through more than one main transverse watertight bulkhead, and the sills of the openings are less than 7 feet (2-13 metres) above the deepest subdivision loadline, the watertight doors at such openings shall be operated by power. (10) Portable plates on bulkheads shall not be permitted except in machinery spaces. Such plates shall always be in place before the ship leaves port, and shall not be removed at sea except in case of urgent necessity. The necessary precautions shall be taken in replacing them to ensure that the joints shall be watertight. (11) All watertight doors shall be kept closed during navigation except when necessarily opened for the working of the ship, and shall always be ready to be immediately closed. (12) Where trunkways or tunnels for access from crew's accommodation to the stokehold, for piping, or for any other purpose are carried through main transverse watertight bulkheads, they shall be watertight and in accordance with the requirements of Regulation XII. The access to at least one end of each such tunnel or trunkway, if used as a passage at sea, shall be through a trunk extending watertight to a height sufficient to permit access above the margin line. The access to the other end of the trunkway or tunnel may be through a watertight door of the type required by its location in the ship. Such trunkways or tunnels shall not extend through the first subdivision bulkhead abaft the collision bulkhead. Where it is proposed to fit tunnels or trunkways for forced draft, piercing main transverse watertight bulkheads, these shall receive the special consideration of the Administration. Regulation X

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