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The Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship Construction: Ships of Classes III to VI(A)) Regulations 1998

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15.  In this Part “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.

Closure of hull openings and openings in watertight bulkheads

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

(a)sidescuttles which can be opened and which are situated below the bulkhead deck;

(b)deadlights of any sidescuttles which are situated below the bulkhead deck 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

(c)gangway and cargo-loading doors below the bulkhead deck.

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

(3) 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.

(4) Both the watertight cover and the automatic non-return valve of any overboard discharge having its inboard opening below the margin line shall be kept closed and secured when such device is not in use.

Marking of valves, doors and mechanisms

17.  All doors, valves and mechanisms 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

18.—(1) All deadlights which are accessible, all watertight doors, all valves and closing mechanisms of scuppers and the devices referred to in regulation 16(4) 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 more than seven days.

(2) All closing appliances and devices referred to in regulation 16(1) and (4) shall be inspected by a person appointed by the master for that purpose before the ship proceeds on any voyage.

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

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


19.  Suitable notices and signs shall be provided on, or in the vicinity of, all the closing appliances referred to in regulation 16 to indicate, as necessary, the procedures for operating the appliances, the purpose of the controls and any precautions to be observed.

Entries to be recorded

20.  Entries shall be made in a book retained on board to record the following—

(1) the times of the last closing, before the ship proceeds on any voyage, of the closing appliances referred to in regulation 16(1) and of the next opening of such closing appliances;

(2) the times when the portable plates referred to in regulation 16(3) are fitted in place and the times of any removal and replacement of such plates whilst the ship is on any voyage; and

(3) 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.

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