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Watertight doors as an additional safety measure for the ship

Watertight doors are often marketed as an additional safety measure for the ship, but it should be remembered that the bulkheads where the doors are fitted are required to be watertight. Any door or opening in such a bulkhead is thus a weakness in the watertight integrity of that bulkhead.

There must be clear instructions on board for how to operate and make use of the doors. The procedures must be consistent. There should be no difference between the procedures of the vessel's ISM code, instructions from management, captain's orders, instructions posted at the doors and on the bridge etc.

Crewmembers must be trained and should be warned about how the doors will react if in bridge control. There should be a clear understanding that when the alarm is sounding and the light is flashing when opening a door on location, the door is in bridge control and the door will then close automatically when releasing the operating handle

To distinguish this dangerous situation from the use of the door in normal mode "Local control", it is not recommended tohave an alarm for door movements in "Local control" mode. Awareness should also be raised to the fact that if a fault to the door system should occur, the door will close as if it was in bridge control.



The requirement that no person shall transit a power-operated door when it is moving must be enforced. Speed of door movements should not be tampered with by personnel on board thinking doors close too slowly. For electrical doors, it is difficult to change the speed, but it is far easier on hydraulically operated doors. A suggestion would be to seal the setting of the hydraulic pressure and to cover the installation.




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