Tag Archives: SOLAS

The Safety of Navigation- what is in SOLAS Chapter V?

After many months of exploring ship Certification this blog will now return to some bridge watch keeping related topics. So for those studying for officer of the watch, Mates, and Masters this will be well worth following. For those studying for engineering tickets the keep an eye on the topics for I am sure I will wander off into non-navigation subjects along the way.

Why is SOLAS V  a ‘must read’ for bridge watchkeepers?

If you are a bridge watchkeeper and have the time to read any one part of SOLAS, then this chapter should be it. Within its many regulations are many directly relevant to the keeping of a safe navigational watch.

The chapter is even more useful when used as a starting point for further study; as a framework to hang other knowledge on.

This series of posts will do just that, use some of the more important regulations as a starting point of an exploration of The Safety of Navigation.

What ships does SOLAS V apply to?

The chapter applies to all ships on all voyages, except:

  • Warships, naval auxiliaries and other ships owned or operated by a Contracting Government and used only on government non-commercial service. However, such vessels are  encouraged to act in a manner consistent, so far as reasonable and practicable, with the chapter.
  • Vessels in the Great Lakes and connected waters when navigating west of Quebec.

Flag states can decide how much of the chapter applies to the following vesses:

  • Ships operating solely in waters landward of the baselines which are established in accordance with international law.
  • Ships below 150 gross tonnage engaged on any voyage
  • Ships below 500 gross tonnage not engaged on international voyages
  • Fishing vessels

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Chapter V>

The contents of SOLAS Chapter V

The Regulations

  • Regulation 1 -Application
  • Regulation 2 -Definitions
  • Regulation 3 -Exemptions and Equivalents
  • Regulation 4 -Navigational Warnings
  • Regulation 5 -Meteorological services and warnings
  • Regulation 6 -Ice Patrol Service
  • Regulation 7 -Search and rescue services
  • Regulation 8 -Life-saving signals
  • Regulation 9 -Hydrographic Services
  • Regulation 10 -Ships’ Routeing
  • Regulation 11 -Ship Reporting Systems
  • Regulation 12 -Vessel Traffic Services
  • Regulation 13 -Establishment and operation of aids to navigation
  • Regulation 14 -Ships’ manning
  • Regulation 15 -Principles relating to bridge design, design and arrangement of navigational systems and equipment and bridge procedures
  • Regulation 16 -Maintenance of Equipment
  • Regulation 17 -Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Regulation 18 -Approval, surveys and performance standards of navigational systems and equipment and voyage data recorder
  • Regulation 19 -Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment
  • Regulation 19-1 -Long Range Identification and Tracking of Ships
  • Regulation 20 -Voyage data recorders
  • Regulation 21 -International Code of Signals
  • Regulation 22 -Navigation bridge visibility
  • Regulation 23 -Pilot transfer arrangements
  • Regulation 24 -Use of heading and/or track control systems
  • Regulation 25 -Operation of main source of electrical power and steering gear
  • Regulation 26 -Steering gear: Testing and drills
  • Regulation 27 -Nautical charts and nautical publications
  • Regulation 28-Records of navigational activities and daily reporting
  • Regulation 29 -Life-saving signals to be used by ships, aircraft or persons in distress
  • Regulation 30 -Operational limitations
  • Regulation 31 -Danger Messages
  • Regulation 32 -Information required in danger messages
  • Regulation 33 -Distress Situations: Obligations and procedures
  • Regulation 34 -Safe navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations
  • Regulation 34-1 -Master’s Discretion
  • Regulation 35 -Misuse of distress signals

The Really Handy Study Guides

Navsregs publishes a range of revision guides for Mariners..

These are all available in the Kindle Format, and cover the Collision Regulations, semananship and Certification.

Click here to learn more>

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What is in SOLAS Chapter XI?

This blog will now take a pause in its exploration of ship’scertificates.  But before it moves on to the next topic here is a very quick post on an eclectic chapter in SOLAS.

Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety

SOLAS Chapter XI is a mixture of assorted Regulations, some covering safety, and some security. Hidden within this Chapter are some important Regulations that may be expected to be contained in other parts of SOLAS.

Contents of the Chapter

  • Regulation 1 – Authorization of Recognized Organizations
  • Regulation 2 – Enhanced Surveys
  • Regulation 3 – Ship Identification Number
  • Regulation 3-1 – Company and Registered Owner Identification Number
  •  Regulation 4 – Port State Control on Operational Requirements 
  •  Regulation 5 – Continuous Synopsis Record
  •  Regulation 6 – Additional Requirements for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents 
  •  Regulation 7 – Atmosphere Testing Instrument for Enclosed Spaces

    What useful information can be found in these regulations?

    Regulation 2  contains the additional hull survey requirements for bulk carriers and oil tankers.This Regulation mandates the requirement to comply with the ESP code.

    Regulation 3 contains the requirements to display  the vessels IMO number.

    Regulation 5 contains the requirements to hold a CSR.

    Regulation 7 contains the requirement to hold portable atmosphere testing equipment.

    To find SOLAS and other conventions on Amazon, click here>

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    The Maritime Conventions

    dscf3338SOLAS, MARPOL and beyond

    A Handy Revision Guide to the Conventions

    Throughout this series of posts on Ship Certification various International Conventions have often been referred to. Therefore this is good time to create a summary of the the Key conventions.  To keep things simple, I have ordered and categorised them in the same manner as the certification posts.

    The IMO conventions

    The majority of the conventions, but not all, are produced by the IMO.

    Identifying the ship


    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)     

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982

    “The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole.”

    The issues covered by the Convention include:

    • Territorial seas
    • Innocent passage
    • Transit passage through straits
    • Exclusive economic zones  (EEZ)
    • Continental shelf exploitation
    • Freedoms of the high sea
    • Marine pollution responsibilities
    • Disputes

    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.

    Defining the shipwpid-wp-1437630402998.jpeg

    International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage Convention)

    This Convention introduced an universal tonnage measurement system. The Convention provides for gross and net tonnages, both of which are calculated independently.

    Gross tonnage and net tonnage

    The Convention meant a transition from the traditionally used terms gross register tons (grt) and net register tons (nrt) to gross tonnage(GT) and net tonnage (NT).

    Some definitions from the Convention

    “(4) “gross tonnage” means the measure of the overall size of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;

    (5) “net tonnage” means the measure of the useful capacity of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;”

    International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Loadlinesmodified by the 1988 Protocol relating thereto, as amended (Load Lines Convention)

    “It has long been recognized that limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded make a significant contribution to her safety. These limits are given in the form of freeboards, which constitute, besides external weathertight and watertight integrity, the main objective of the Convention.” IMO website

    Contents of the convention

    Annex I

    • Chapter I – General
    • Chapter II – Conditions of assignment of freeboard
    • Chapter III – Freeboards
    • Chapter IV – Special requirements for ships assigned timber freeboards

    Annex II covers Zones, areas and seasonal periods

    Annex III contains certificates, including the International Load Line Certificate

    Managing the vessel

    The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certificationwpid-157765645208.jpg
    and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978

    International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers entered into force in 1984. The main purpose of the Convention is to promote safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

    The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

    The STCW regulations are supported by sections by the STCW Code. The Convention contains basic requirements which are then enlarged upon and explained in the Code.

    Part A of the Code is mandatory. The minimum standards of competence required for seagoing personnel are given in detail in a series of tables.

    Part B of the Code contains recommended guidance which is intended to help implement the Convention.

    ILO Maritime Labour Convention, (MLC 2006) – As amended by the 2014DSCF3260 Amendment (MLC)

    The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (“MLC, 2006”) establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers working on ships flying the flags of ratifying countries. It is widely known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,”

    The convention is an international labour Convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

    Keeping the ship safe

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974img_20151119_111728.jpg

    “The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. The first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929, the third in 1948, and the fourth in 1960. The 1974 version includes the tacit acceptance procedure – which provides that an amendment shall enter into force on a specified date unless, before that date, objections to the amendment are received from an agreed number of Parties.” IMO Website

    The 1974 Convention has been updated and amended on numerous occasions. The Convention in force today is sometimes referred to as SOLAS, 1974, as amended.

    Keeping the seas clean

    The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from wpid-10152154002370209.jpgShips, 1973 (MARPOL)

    MARPOL is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

    The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO.  MARPOL has been updated by amendments over the years.

    The convention currently includes six technical Annexes.

    International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention)aquariamcircleedited

    The Convention aims to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments. It enters into force on 8 September 2017.

    Under the Convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate.

    International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention)

    The Convention prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems.

    Annex I of the Convention states that all ships shall not apply or re-apply organotins compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling systems.

    International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention)

    The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers

    International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (CLC Convention)

    The Convention covers those who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships. The Convention places the liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged.

    The Convention applies to seagoing vessels carrying oil in bulk as cargo, but only ships carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil are required to maintain insurance in respect of oil pollution damage.

    Other Conventions

    Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGs)

    The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009caribillemillnarrow

    The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

    Its regulations cover:

    • The design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling
    • The operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner
    • The establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements

    Ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship.

    International Convention on Salvage

    The Convention replaced the 1910 convention on the law of salvage which incorporated the “‘no cure, no pay” principle. The 1989 Convention added a provision for an enhanced salvage award taking into account the skill and efforts of the salvors in preventing or minimizing damage to the environment.

    International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR)

    The 1979 Convention was aimed at developing an international SAR plan, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea will be co-ordinated by a SAR organization and, when necessary, by co-operation between neighbouring SAR organizations.

    As this series on Certification  draws to a close this post will no doubt be ‘tweaked’ and expanded, and may form the basis of its own page on spawn more pots….maybe. Meanwhile the next certificate is awaiting exploring.

    For Information about the Really Handy Range of Revision Books for Mariners, Click here>

     A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification (part 1) has just been added to the range. More to follow shortly in the series.

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    ​SOLAS  Chapter VI-Safety of Cargoes


    SOLAS Chapter VI – Carriage of Cargoes and Oil Fuels

    Click for SOLAS on Amazon

    What does it cover?

    Before this blog dives into the realms of grain cargoes certification it will have a quick look at the contents of SOLAS Chapter VI.  A quick look that may be useful in hunting  for cargo related legislation.

    Contents of Chapter VI

    Part A – General Provisions

    • Regulation 1 – Application
    • Regulating 1-1 – Definitions
    • Regulation 1-2 – Requirements for the Carriage of Solid Bulk Cargoes other than Grain
    • Regulation 2 – Cargo Information
    • Regulation 3 – Oxygen Analysis and Gas Detection Equipment
    • Regulation 4 – The Use of Pesticides in Ships
    • Regulation 5 – Stowage and Securing
    • Regulation 5-1 – Material Safety Data Sheets
    • Regulation 5-2 – Prohibition of the Blending of Bulk Liquid Cargoes and Production Processes during Sea Voyages

    Part B – Special Provisions for Solid Bulk Cargoes

    • Regulation 6 – Acceptability for Shipment
    • Regulation 7 – Loading, Unloading and Stowage of Solid Bulk Cargoes

    Part C – Carriage of Grain

    • Regulation 8 – Definitions
    • Regulation 9 – Requirements for Cargo Ships Carrying Grain

    Some recommended links on cargo safety

    The next post will move on to explore the certification associated with Regulation 9, the carriage of grain.

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    Document of compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods

    WharfsDocument of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form

    Why is it required?

    SOLAS II-2 Regulation 19  – Carriage of Dangerous Goods

    Click here for the IMO page on dangerous goods>

    4 Document of compliance

    “The Administration shall provide the ship with an appropriate document as evidence of compliance of construction and equipment with the requirements of this regulation. Certification for dangerous goods, except solid dangerous goods in bulk, is not required for those cargoes specified as class 6.2 and 7 and dangerous goods in limited quantities and excepted quantities.”

    What ships require the document?

    • Passenger ships constructed on or after 1 September 1984
    • All other ships of 500 tons or over constructed on or after 1 September 1984
    • All other ships of under 500 tons constructed on or after 1 February 1992

    Which are intended, or which have cargo spaces which are intended for the carriage of dangerous goods on international voyages.

    How long is it valid?

    Cargo ship: Not more than 5 years and should not be extended beyond the expiry date of the valid Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate.

    Passenger ship: One year and should not be extended beyond the expiry date of the valid Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.

    What surveys are required?

    Surveys required on cargo ships:

    • An Initial Survey
    • An Annual Survey, in conjunction with SEC or SCV survey,
    • A Renewal Survey

    Passenger ships:

    • An Initial Survey
    • A Renewal Survey, in conjunction with the passanger ship survey

    See the UK  Instruction to surveyors MSIS 23 chapter 9

    What information is contained on the Document of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form?

    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters:
    • Port of registry
    • Ship type
    • IMO Number (if applicable)
    • Schedule 1: A table of the dangerous goods approved for carriage and their stowage locations
    • Schedule 2 A of list the special requirements for this ship to carry dangerous goods

    Click here for IMO MSC.1/Circ.1266 Carriage of dangerous goods>

    imdg-code-coverWhat does the Document of Compliance Certify?

    • That the construction and equipment have been found to comply with the provisions of regulation II-2/19 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended.
    • That the ship is suitable for the carriage of those classes of dangerous goods as specified in the appendix subject that any provisions in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes Code for individual substances, materials or articles area also being complied with.

    What are Dangerous goods?

     Dangerous goods are those substances and articles, carried as cargo, which are listed or classified in the latest edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

    Which dangerous goods do not require a document of compliance?

    Classe 6.2 Infectious substances

    Class 7 Radioactive substancesimdg-7


    Carriage of dangerous goods in Limited Quantities.

    What are limited quantities?

    Limited Quantities are small amounts of some dangerous goods that can be carried on a vessel not holding a Document of compliance. In Section 18 of the General Introduction to the IMDG states on limited quantities:

    “The applicable quantity limit for the inner packaging or article is specified for each substance in column 7a of the dangerous Goods list of chapter 3.2. In addition, the quantity “0” has been indicated in the column for each entry not permitted to be transported in accordance with this chapter”

    Therefore, in order to determine is a small quantity of dangerous goods can be carried without at Document of Compliance the IMDG code must be referrred to.

     Schedule 1

    This schedule contains simple layout diagram of a ship and a table. The table has along its vertical axis numbers corresponding to the holds and cargo spaces on the  layout, and the dangerous goods classifications down the vertical.


    Schedule 1 from UK MGN 36- Click here to view>

    The boxes of the table are filled in with letter codes that signify what goods are permitted in those spaces.

    P = Packaged Goods Permitted

    A = Packaged & Bulk Permitted

    X = Not Permitted




    Schedule 2

    This states what is required  requirements specified below are necessary for compliance with National and International Regulations. For example the UK schedule 2 in MGN 36 lists:

    • Immediate availability of water
    • Quantity of water
    • Water spray system
    • Cargo space flooding
    • Electrical arrangements
    • Fire detection system
    • Power ventilation
    • Bilge pumping
    • Protective clothing
    • Fans
    • Breathing apparatus
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Insulation

    The next post in this series will pause briefly to look at the IMDG code.  








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    Voyage data recorder systems-Certificate of Compliance

    wpid-wp-1442585512060.jpegVDR Certificate of Compliance

    A Handy Revision Guide

    Another equipment related certificate, this time to the maritime equivalent to an aircraft’s ‘Black box’. 

    Why is the Certificate of Compliance required?

    SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 18

    “The voyage data recorder system, including all sensors, shall be subjected to an annual performance test. The test shall be conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility to verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data. In addition, tests and inspections shall be conducted to determine the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid location. A copy of the certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, shall be retained on board the ship.”

    Click here for Chapter V on the UK MCA website>

    Which ships are required to carry a VDR or S-DVR?

    SOLAS Chapter V Safety of Navigation Regulation 20- Voyage Data Recordersvdrimo

    Click here for the IMO website on VDRs>


    • Passenger ships
    • Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002


    Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upward when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a simplified voyage data recorder

    When must the performance test be carried out?

    Annually within the following windows:

    The maximum period between checks of the VDR is 15 months for Passenger vessels and 18 months for Cargo vessels.

    What is contained on the certificate?vdrform

    Reference  IMO MSC.1/Circ.1222

    Ship’s Details

    • Ship’s Name
    • Flag
    • IMO Number
    • Date Keel laid
    • Gross Tonnage

    Voyage Data Recorder Details

    • Manufacturer
    • Modelvdr2
    • System Serial Number
    • Software version number
    • Date Fitted

    Inspection Details

    • Name person conducting testing
    • Company
    • Inspection Date
    • Inspection Location
      • Pre-existing Alarms
      • Power Supply Alarm Check
      • Reserve Power Source Check
      • Reserve Power Source shut down Check
      • Battery Expiry Dates
      • Acoustic Beacon Test
      • Physical Condition of Equipment Inspect Equipment and Record Condition
      • Interfaces: Operation and recording
      • Change or Repair of Sensors

    Manufacturer’s Analysis

    Observations and additional manufacturer’s requirements

    What is a S-VDR?

    A Simplified Voyage Data Recorder.This  is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident

    Items to be record on Voyage Data Recorder

    Reference IMO Performance Standard (Res. A.861(20))


    • Date & time
    • Ship’s position
    • Speed (through water or over ground)
    • Heading
    • Bridge Audio
    • Comms audioimg_20160915_132855_hdr_kindlephoto-117081169.jpg
    • Radar data- post display selection
    •  Water depth
    •  Main alarms
    •  Rudder order & response
    • Engine order & response
    • Telegraphs, controls and thrusters
    •  Hull openings status
    •  Watertight & fire door status
    •  Acceleration & hull stresses- when fitted
    •  Wind speed & direction-when fitted


    • Date and time
    • Ship’s position m
    • Speed (Through the water or over the ground)
    •  Heading
    •  Bridge Audio
    • Communications audio  VHF communications
    • Radar data
    • AIS Data  AIS to be recorded if it is impossible to record radar data. If radar is recorded AIS may be recorded as an additional source of information

    Some VDR links

    GMDSS Users Handbook on Amazon

    This book by Denise Bréhaut is is available in both paperback and Kindle editions, with a good discount for the electronic edition.  It has 4* reviews on Amazon , with some stating it is perfect accompaniment to the GMDSS qualifications. There have been some reviews claiming that the book is in need of an update, so have a look at the reviews, and judge which elements of the system you may have to top up your reading  with.  Click here to see the book on Amazon>

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    The Passenger Ship Safety Certificate- A handy guide


    Safe structure, Safe equipment and safe radio equipment for passenger ships

    The three key aspects of SOLAS ship safety are covered by one certificate, the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC).

    What form has to be attached to the PSSC?

    Record of Equipment for Passenger Ship Safety (Form P)

    What information can be found on the certificate?

    Particulars of ship

    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    •  Port of registry
    •  Gross tonnage
    • Sea areas in which ship is certified to operate (regulation IV/2)
    • IMO Number


    • Date of building contract
    • Date on which keel was laid or ship was at similar stage of construction
    • Date of delivery
    • Date on which work for a conversion or an alteration or modification of a major character was commenced (where applicable)

    Assigned subdivision  load lines

    A passenger ship may have alternative loadlines, dependent on its mode of operation. These are designated P1, P2  etc.

    “A ship intended for alternating modes of operation may, if the owners desire, have one or more additional load lines assigned and marked to correspond with the subdivision draughts which the Administration may approve for the alternative service configurations.” SOLAS II-1 18


    What does it certify?

    •  That  the  ship  has  been  surveyed  in  accordance  with  the  requirements  of  regulation  I/7  of  the Convention.
      • That the survey showed that: the ship complied with the requirements of the Convention as regards:
      • The  structure,  main  and  auxiliary  machinery,  boilers  and  other  pressure  vessels; the  watertight  subdivision  arrangements  and  details
      • The  ship  complied  with  the  requirements  of SOLAS as  regards  structural  fire protection, fire safety systems and appliances and fire control plans
      • The  life-saving  appliances  and  the  equipment  of  the  lifeboats,  liferafts  and  rescue  boats  were provided in accordance with the requirements of SOLAS
      • The  ship  was  provided  with  a  line-throwing  appliance  and  radio  installations  used  in life-saving appliances in accordance with the requirements of SOLAS
      • The ship complied with the requirements of the SOLAS as regards radio installations;
      • The  functioning  of  the  radio  installations  used  in  life-saving  appliances  complied  with  the requirements of SOLAS
      • The  ship  complied  with  the  requirements  of  SOLAS  as  regards shipborne navigational equipment, means of embarkation for pilots and nautical publications
      • The  ship  was  provided  with  lights,  shapes,  means  of  making  sound  signals  and  distress signals,  in  accordance  with  the  requirements  of  the Convention  and  the  International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
      • In all other respects the ship complied with the relevant requirements of SOLAS

    How often must the ship be surveyed?

    Unlike cargo ships, passanger ships require annual renewal surveys.

    • An initial survey before the ship is put in service
    • A renewal survey once every 12 months
    • Additional surveys, as occasion arisesHandyBooks

    To learn more about ‘The Really Handy’ range of study aids for OOW examinations- click here>


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    SOLAS where to look


      A quick handy guide to the SOLAS Chapters


    As a quick pause in the certificates handy guides here is a quick handy guide to the SOLAS chapters. SOLAS is the top level legislation for the majority of the Maritime safety  related subjects so knowing what it contains in ‘big handfuls’ is useful knowledge.

    What is the full name for SOLAS?

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974solas

     Its aim is to promote safety of life at sea.

    When was it implemented?

    Adoption: 1 November 1974; entry into force: 25 May 1980

    Click here for the IMO SOLAS page>


    “The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. The first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929, the third in 1948, and the fourth in 1960. The 1974 version includes the tacit acceptance procedure – which provides that an amendment shall enter into force on a specified date unless, before that date, objections to the amendment are received from an agreed number of Parties.” IMO Website 2016

     Click here for a poster showing the link between the Titanic and SOLAS on the IMO website>


    The SOLAS chapters with a summary of some of their contents

    Chapter I – General Provisions

    • Surveys
    • Certification
    • Port state controlLoadlines

    Chapter II-1 – Construction: Structure, Subdivisions and Stability, Machinery and Electrical Installations

    • Subdivision
    • Pumping arrangements
    • Stability requirements
    • Essential systems

    Chapter II-2 – Construction: Fire Protection, Fire Detection and Fire img_20160915_072700_hdr.jpgExtinction

    • Fire zones
    • Fire boundaries
    • Fire detection
    • Means of escape
    • Access for fire-fighting
    • Fire extinguishing appliences

    Chapter III – Life-Saving Appliances

    • Lifeboatswp-1473672238644.jpg
    • Rescue boats
    • Lifejackets

    Chapter IV – Radiocommunications

    • GMDSS
    • EPIRBSimg_20160915_071815_kindlephoto-118812233.jpg
    • SARTS

    Chapter V – Safety of Navigation

    • Metrological services
    • Ice patrol services
    • Routeing Search and rescue
    • Distress
    • VDRs
    • AIS

    Chapter VI – Carriage of Cargoes and Oil Fuels

    • Stowage and securing of cargoimg_20160302_070228_pan.jpg

    Chapter VII – Dangerous Goods

    • Part A Dangerous goods in package form
    • Part B Dangerous chemicals in bulk
    • Part C    Liquefied gases in bulk

    Part D Radioactive substances

    Chapter VIII – Nuclear Ships

    Chapter IX – ISM

    • ISM code

    Chapter X – High-Speed Craft

    • HSC code

    Chapter XI-1 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety

    • Authorisation of organisations
    • Enhanced surveys
    • Ship identification numbers
    • Port state control

    Chapter XI-2 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security

    • ISPS codeWharfs
    • Ship alert system
    • Port facilities
    • Control of ships in port

    Chapter XII – Additional Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers

    • Structural requirements for bulk carriers

    Chapter XIII – Verification of Compliance

    • IMO member state audit schemewpid-wp-1440485717071.jpeg

    Chapter XIV-Safety measures for ships operating in polar waters

        • The Polar Code

    Click here for information about the Really Handy Revision guides>


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    SOLAS Form R-A handy guide to its contents

    Listing the radio equipment

    Attached to each Safety Radio Certificate for cargo ships should be a Form R, a form that lists the radio communications equipment held on board. This post is a quick guide to the contents of that form, contents that give an indication of the range of equipment covered by a cargo ship’s radio safety survey. 










    Particulars of ship  

    • Name
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • Minimum number of persons with required qualifications to operate the radio installations

    Details of radio facilities

    Primary systems 

    •  VHF radio installation
    • DSC encoder
    •  DSC watch receiver
    •   Radiotelephony
    • MF radio installation
    • DSC encoder
    • DSC watch receiver
    • Radiotelephony
    • MF/HF radio installation
    •  DSC encoder
    •  DSC watch receiver
    •  Radiotelephony
    •  Direct-printing telegraphy
    • Inmarsat ship earth station

    Facilities for reception of maritime safety information 

    • EGC receiver
    • NAVTEX receiver
    • HF direct-printing radiotelegraph receiver

    Secondary means of alerting

    • Satellite EPIRB
    •  Ship’s search and rescue locating device
    •  Radar search and rescue transponder (SART)
    • AIS search and rescue transmitter (AIS-SART)

    Methods used to  ensure  availability of  radio  facilities  (regulations  IV/15.6 and  15.7) 

    • Duplication  of  equipment
    • Shore-based  maintenance
    • At-sea maintenance capability


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