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The Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ships of Classes IV, V, VI, & VI(A)-Bridge Visibility) Regulations 1992

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Citation of interpretation and application

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ships of Classes IV, V, VI, & VI(A)-Bridge Visibility) Regulations 1992 and shall come into force on 31st October 1992.

(2) In these Regulations the following expressions have the following meanings respectively unless the context otherwise requires:

“all round visibility” means visibility over a horizontal arc of 360 degs;

“dedicated lookout” means a person whose sole duty, while the ship is under way, is to maintain a lookout;

“enclosed passenger space” means any space to which passengers have access and which is, or may be, enclosed by fixed or moveable screens. It does not include a passenger deck fitted with a canopy provided there are no means, either temporary or permanent, to fit side and or end screens to the space;

“existing ship” means a ship which is not a new ship;

“new ship” means a ship the keel of which is laid, or which is at a similar stage of construction, on or after 31st October 1992; and for the purposes of this definition “a similar stage of construction” means the stage at which


construction identifiable with a particular ship begins and


assembly of that ship has commenced comprising at least 50 tonnes or one per cent of the estimated mass of all structural material whichever is the less;

“passenger deck” means any deck space to which passengers have access;

“passenger ship” means a ship carrying more than 12 passengers;

“ship`s length” means, in relation to any ship, the length of that ship;

“tidal waters” means any part of the sea and any part of a river within the ebb and flow of the tide at ordinary spring tides;

“wandering lead control” means a mobile controller from which an operator is able to steer the ship from any part of the wheelhouse and bridge wings as appropriate.

(3) These Regulations apply to all passenger ships of Classes IV, V, VI and VI(A) within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship Construction and Survey) Regulations 1984(1) operating in tidal waters: Provided that regulation 2(1) below does not apply to existing ships.

(4) Where a ship is managed by a person other than its owner (whether on behalf of the owner or some other person or on his own behalf), a reference in these Regulations to the owner shall be construed as including a reference to that person.

Visibility from the Bridge

2.—(1) The steering position shall be situated above all decked superstructures other than the wheelhouse (if any) in which it is situated.

(2) Subject to regulation 5 below, the steering position shall be so sited and any wheelhouse shall be so constructed as to provide the helmsman at the steering position with good all round visibility. The presence of a blind arc of visibility abaft the beam from the steering position shall not prevent visibility from being good all round visibility for the purposes of this regulation if the helmsman can, by moving horizontally within the permitted limits, obtain good visibility over the whole of that arc.

(3) Subject to regulation 5 below, the steering position shall be so sited and the wheelhouse so constructed that the helmsman at the steering position can, if necessary by moving across a level and unobstructed deck within the permitted limits,—

(a)see the surface of the water at a distance of not more than 2 ship`s lengths from the ship, over the arc from abeam on either side through right ahead, and

(b)in new ships, and where practicable in existing ships, see an object situated 4 metres above the surface of the water at a distance of 200 metres from the stern of the ship, over the arc from abeam on either side through right astern.

(4) In this regulation “the permitted limits” are,

(a)for a ship with a single steering position, up to 1 metre either side of the steering position, or

(b)for a ship with two steering positions within the wheelhouse, (or wings), between these two positions, or

(c)for a ship with a wandering lead control from side to side of the ship, or the maximum reach of the wandering lead if this is a lesser distance.

Sight lines

3.—(1) In determining whether the above requirements are met the helmsman shall be assumed to have a height of eye of 1675mm. above the deck at the steering position.

(2) Where a sight line, required to be clear to meet the above requirements, passes through an after facing window, that window shall be of not less than 450mm. depth (height) centered at 1675mm. above the deck at the steering position.

(3) No such sight line shall pass through any enclosed passenger space.

(4) In new ships, and where practicable in existing ships, any such sight line which passes over an open passenger deck shall be such that it would pass over the heads of any passengers occupying seats on that deck. Should the activities of standing passengers on these decks cause a serious obstruction to visibility from the steering position a dedicated lookout must be employed in such a manner as to overcome the effects of such obstruction.

Dedicated lookout

4.—(1) Where an existing ship does not comply fully with the requirements of regulation 2(2) or regulation 2(3)(b), or both, a dedicated lookout shall be provided at all times when the ship is under way.

(2) The dedicated lookout shall be positioned outside the passenger spaces. He shall be instructed by the master to keep a continuous lookout astern and in particular over the areas referred to in regulation 2(2) or 2(3)(b), or both, as the case may be, which the helmsman cannot see.

(3) The dedicated lookout may be in the wheelhouse, but if positioned outside the wheelhouse and remote from the helmsman he shall be provided with a wired telephone communication link to the helmsman.

Other lookout arrangements

5.  The requirements of regulation 2 and regulation 4 do not apply to ships which are operated with bridge manning levels which include a helmsman and an officer of the watch:Provided that in such case—

(i)the helmsman is able to see the water surface at no more than two ship`s lengths ahead and has an unobstructed view to 60 degrees on each bow; and

(ii)the officer of the watch is able to obtain a 360 degree arc of visibility by horizontal movement within the navigation work area.


6.—(1) Vertical framing between all windows in the wheelhouse shall be kept to a minimum and shall not be installed immediately forward of the steering position, or positions.

(2) The height of the lower edge of the forward facing windows of the wheelhouse shall be as low as practicable.

(3) The upper edge of the forward facing windows of the wheelhouse shall be high enough to allow a person at the steering position with height of eye of 1800mm. a clear forward view to at least 10 degs above the horizontal at height of eye level.

(4) Except on an existing ship the wheelhouse windows shall be inclined from the vertical plane, top out, at an angle of not less than 10 degs and not more than 25 degs, except in the way of access doors to the wheelhouse.

(5) Neither polarised nor tinted glass shall be used in any wheelhouse window.

(6) An adequate portion of the forward facing windows serving the helmsman shall be able to be maintained in a clear condition during conditions of spray and precipitation.


7.  The Secretary of State may grant, on such terms (if any) as he may specify exemptions from any provisions of these Regulations, and may alter or cancel any such exemption.


8.  If a ship to which these Regulations apply proceeds on any voyage or excursion without complying with the requirements of the Regulations, the owner and master shall each be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Transport


Minister of State,

Department of Transport

1st October 1992

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