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Coast Guard lists top cruise ship deficiencies

Jun 28, 2017 09:52 AM

The low number of detentions continues to reflect the strong safety culture in the sector, the USCG says

Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE):

(WASHINGTON) — International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.1052(2) defines detention as an “intervention action taken by the port state when the condition of the ship or its crew does not correspond substantially with the applicable conventions to ensure that the ship will not sail until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to the ship or persons on board, or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment whether or not such action will affect the normal schedule of the departure of the ship.”

In accordance with the Marine Safety Manual Vol II/Chapter D and IMO Resolution A.1052(2), the U.S. Coast Guard will treat passenger vessels, with regard to determining if a vessel should be detained, no differently than they would treat any other foreign-flagged vessel. In calendar year 2016, the Coast Guard reported to the IMO 103 vessel detentions (all vessel types). This is a decrease from 202 detentions in 2015. In 2016, the Coast Guard conducted 294 cruise ship examinations and 1 percent received a detention.

This low percentage continues to show the strong safety culture in the cruise line industry. In order to further improve safety awareness, here are the areas where deficiencies led to the detentions on cruise ships; it may not have been one individual deficiency, but a combination of deficiencies:

• Life rafts with the painter incorrectly fastened to the hydrostatic release unit, preventing proper float free operation. SOLAS (14) III/13.4.2 & LSA 4.1.6.1
• All sliding fire doors on deck three were unable to open and two fire screen doors on deck five were unable to close during transitional power test. SOLAS (2014) II-2/9.4.1.1.5
• Emergency generator was unable to automatically assume load. SOLAS (14) II-1/42.3.1.2
• Engine room watertight door unable to open by electrical power. SOLAS (14) II-1/13.7.1.3
• Rescue boat was unable to maintain idle speed without throttle assistance. SOLAS (14) III/21.2 & LSA 4.4.6

Top five deficiencies

The purpose of this article is to share the most common deficiencies found so that owners, operators, and other involved parties can take proactive steps to identify and correct non-compliant conditions of safety and environmental stewardship, before Port State Control action is necessary. The top
five deficiency areas found on cruise vessels are:

• Fire screen doors not operating properly — Fire screen doors were found to have damage to the sequencing bars, damage to the doors themselves or not closing properly (either too fast or too slow or were not latching completely). 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/9.4.1.1.5
• Impeding means of escape — Corridors, doors and hatches in areas designated as escape routes were found to be either partially or completely blocked. Doors in some instances were locked, without the ability to defeat the lock, preventing passage in the direction of escape. 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/13.3.2
• Low location lighting — Low location lighting or photoluminescent tape was found to be missing or inoperable. 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/13.3.2.5
• Fire suppression systems — Various deficiencies were found in fire suppression systems. Sprinkler heads/water mist nozzles were found, damaged, or completely missing. Other issues included failed couplings. 74 SOLAS (14) CH. II-2/14.1.1
• Piping insulation — There were several deficiencies issued for leaking piping systems, which led to fuel soaked insulation lagging. 74 SOLAS (14), II-1/26.1

These five items are not all inclusive and in no way cover the entire scope of deficiencies found during foreign passenger vessel examinations. It should be noted that deficiencies with watertight doors and categorization of spaces dropped out of the top five, though there were still deficiencies issued in these areas. Vessel representatives are reminded that if any system on board the vessel is not in good working condition, the crew should take the necessary actions to remedy the situation in accordance with their safety management system (SMS). A record of any action taken should be maintained as evidence that the SMS is being used effectively in conjunction with all routine maintenance.

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