H.A. de Rooy
13 May 1997
With regard to the statutory surveys for which you have been authorized I wish to draw your attention to the following items.
A Document of Authorization for the carriage of grain is issued by the Shipping Inspectorate (NSI). In the process of issuing this document NSI is assessing the stability data and the associated plans.
The surveys of the grain fittings on board are performed by NSI at first issue of the Safety (Construction) Certificate and when this certificate is renewed.
As the annual and intermediate surveys for endorsement of the Safety (Construction) Certificate are performed by class, the survey of the grain fittings shall be part of these surveys.
Recently the validity of the Document of Authorization has been limited to 5 years. The document has an annex for the endorsements.
In due course all Documents of Authorization without an expiry date will be replaced.
Lire saving appliances
Experiencies during surveys and an increasing number of accidents, or near accidents with survival craft are a matter of great concern for NSI.
The poor maintenance of the life saving equipment and the lack of training of the crew in operating the equipment are the main reasons.
As the annual and most of the periodical surveys of the lire saving equipment are performed by class, I herewith request you to pay special attention to the technical state and operational readiness of the LSA equipment and to the proficiendy of the crew in handling this equipment.
The proficiency of the crew and the operational readiness shall be checked by lowering at least one lifeboat to embarkation deck but preferable into the water. Demonstration of the proper functioning of the release system is a must.
Special attention shall be paid to the "on load/off load" release systems.
According to the Netherlands requirements a ship equipped with liferafts of the davit launched type shall carry out an operational test (inflate and lower the liferaft by and with the crew) at least once a year.
The exercise may be carried out with an identical liferaft from a servicestation.
A free-fall boat shall be "launched at least once every 6 months with its assigned crew aboard. If the ship has arrangements for a so called "simulated drop" the period may be extended to 12 months. A letter of NSI, approving a equivalent means of training, shall be on board.
In deciding whether the above mentioned operations are needed a check of the log book and the general impression of the equipment and crew, shall be taken into consideration as well.
HEAD SHIPPING INSPECTORATE,
Head Merchant Shipping Department dep.l,