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The Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship Construction: Ships of Classes I, II and II(A)) Regulations 1998

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20.  In this Part the following expressions have the following meanings respectively—

“locked” means secured by a device which prevents unauthorised operation;

“restricted visibility” means any condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, snow, rainstorms, sandstorms or any other similar causes;

“a closing appliance” shall be deemed to be below the margin line if the sill of the opening with which it is associated is below that line.

Means of closing openings in watertight bulkheads and operating sliding watertight doors

21.—(1) Every door fitted to an opening in a watertight bulkhead shall comply with the specifications set out in either Section 3 or 4 of Schedule 4 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1698 (M), as appropriate.

(2) In ships constructed before 1st February 1992, doors not complying with Section 3 of Schedule 4 of Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1698 (M) shall be closed before each voyage commences, and shall be kept closed during navigation; the time of opening such doors in port and of closing them before the ship leaves port shall be entered in the log-book.

Closure of hull openings, watertight doors, openings in watertight bulkheads

22.—(1) The following closing appliances are to be securely closed before the ship proceeds on any voyage and are to be kept closed until the ship has been secured at a berth or anchorage—

(a)watertight doors below the margin line fitted in bulkheads which are required to be watertight and which separate cargo spaces;

(b)sidescuttles which can be opened and which are situated below the margin line;

(c)deadlights of any sidescuttles which are situated below the margin line and which—

(i)will not be accessible whilst the ship is at sea; or

(ii)are situated in spaces appropriated for use sometimes for the carriage of cargo and sometimes for use by passengers, while such spaces are being used for the carriage of cargo; and

(d)gangway and cargo loading doors below the margin line.

(2) No closing appliance described in paragraph (1) shall be considered as being securely closed unless it is locked.

(3) Watertight doors below the bulkhead deck fitted in bulkheads which are required to be watertight, other than those doors described in paragraph (1), shall be kept closed whilst the ship is on any voyage except—

(a)when opened in accordance with the procedures laid down in written operational instructions;

(b)when opened for the purpose of drill required by regulation 24; or

(c)when any such door is opened on the express authority of the master for a specific purpose, for no longer than a specific period of time and on condition that all other watertight doors below the margin line, except those opened in accordance with the provisions of sub-paragraph (a), are closed during that period.

(4) The operational instructions referred to in paragraph (3)(a) shall be kept on board the ship at all times in the custody of the master.

(5) Any watertight door which may be opened in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (3) shall be kept clear of obstructions which might prevent its rapid closure.

(6) Notwithstanding the requirements of this regulation, in an emergency situation the master may authorise the opening or closing of any watertight door, provided he is satisfied that such action is essential for the overall safety of the ship.

(7) Every portable plate closing an opening below the bulkhead deck in any portion of the internal structure of the ship which is required to be watertight shall be fitted in place before the ship proceeds on any voyage and shall be kept in place, except in case of urgent necessity, until the ship has been secured at a berth or anchorage. In replacing any such plate all reasonable precautions shall be taken to ensure that the joints are watertight.

(8) Both the watertight cover and the automatic non-return valve of a chute or other similar device on the ship having its inboard opening below the margin line shall be kept closed and secured when such device is not in use.

Marking of doors, mechanisms and valves

23.  In every ship constructed on or after 25th May 1980 all doors, mechanisms and valves connected with the damage control and watertight integrity of the ship shall be suitably marked to ensure that they may be properly used to provide maximum safety.

Drills and inspections

24.—(1) All deadlights which are accessible, all watertight doors to which regulation 22(3) applies, all valves and closing mechanisms of scuppers and the devices referred to in regulation 22(8) shall be opened and closed for purposes of drill—

(a)at intervals of not more than seven days; and

(b)immediately before the ship proceeds to sea if the ship is intended to remain at sea for a period of time of more than seven days.

(2) All watertight doors fitted in bulkheads required to be watertight which may be opened for the working of the ship in accordance with the requirements of regulation 22(3) shall be opened and closed for the purpose of drill once in every period of 24 hours.

(3) All closing appliances and devices referred to in regulation 22(1), (2) and (8) shall be inspected by a person appointed by the master for that purpose—

(a)before the ship proceeds on any voyage; and

(b)at intervals of not more than seven days if the ship is intended to remain at sea for a period of more than seven days, except when they are not accessible.

(4) The following closing appliances and mechanisms are to be inspected at intervals of not more than seven days by a person appointed for that purpose either generally or on any particular occasion by the master—

(a)all watertight doors other than those of the type described in regulation 22(1);

(b)all mechanisms, indicators and warning devices connected with such doors;

(c)all valves, the closing of which is necessary to make watertight any compartment below the margin line; and

(d)all valves, the operation of which is necessary for the efficient operation of damage-control cross-connections.

(5) Suitable notices and signs shall be provided on, or in the vicinity of, all the closing appliances referred to in paragraph (4) to indicate, as necessary, the procedures for operating the appliances, the purpose of the controls and any precautions to be observed.


25.  All members of the crew who would have occasion to use any watertight doors shall be instructed in the safe operation of watertight doors. In addition written instructions on the safe operation of the doors, given in easily understood terms and illustrated wherever possible, shall be available to all members of the crew. Such instructions shall be based upon the operational instructions referred to in regulation 22(3)(a).

Entries in official log book

26.  Entries shall be made in the official log book recording the following—

(a)the times of the last closing, before the ship proceeds on any voyage, of the watertight doors and other closing appliances referred to in regulation 22(1) and of the next opening of such doors and closing appliances;

(b)the times of the opening and closing of any watertight door pursuant to regulation 22(3)(c);

(c)the times when the portable plates referred to in regulation 22(7) are fitted in place and the times of any removal and replacement of such plates whilst the ship is on any voyage;

(d)the occasions on which drills are held and inspections made in compliance with these Regulations and whether or not the closing appliances and devices to which any such drill or inspection relates are in good working order when the drill or inspection takes place; and

(e)the occasions upon which the valves referred to in regulation 15(4) are operated.

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