Safe Return to
Steel pipes other than those carrying flammable liquids and passing through (not serving) spaces affected by a fire casualty may be considered to remain operational provided they are of substantial thickness (reference can be made to ICLL 66 regulation 22(3), as interpreted by IACS UI LL36/Rev. 2 paragraph (b)) or "A-60" insulated ("A-60" class insulation approved in accordance with resolution A.754 (18) for bulkheads or decks may be used for this purpose). In both cases the pipes should be adequately supported.
In order to be considered as remaining operational after a fire casualty, steel pipes should be joined by welding otherwise mechanical joints should be tested according to IACS UR P22.214.171.124.6 fire test or equivalent to the satisfaction of the Administration.
Temperature increase of liquids carried may need to be considered, and measures taken where necessary, so that the performance and purpose of the affected systems can be maintained as intended after the casualty has occurred.
Plastic pipes can be considered to remain operational after a fire casualty if tested to resolution A.753(18), Level 1.
Safe Return to
Fire-resistant cables complying with standards IEC 60331-1 and IEC 60331-2 (see also IACS UR E15) passing through (not serving) spaces may be considered to remain operational after a fire casualty provided they have no connections, joints and equipment connected to them, etc., within the space affected by the casualty.
Installation of these cables should be made to support their survival in a fire casualty and during fire fighting efforts.
An electrical balance should be submitted for each of the following return to port scenarios:
- minimum electrical-generating capacity available; and
- any other scenario of reduced power that would cause any essential system to run at reduced capacity due to lack of electrical generating capacity.
In connection with the above, all essential systems and their auxiliaries and systems needed to support safe areas should be accounted according to their use in these particular conditions.
Emergency generator, fitted for compliance with SOLAS regulation II-1/42, may be used to meet the requirements on safe return to port and ship's orderly evacuation and abandonment providing that its ability to supply emergency services as referred to in SOLAS regulation II-1/42.2, is not impaired (e.g., the availability of fuel needed for providing those services listed in regulation II-1/42 should be maintained). In the evaluation of the emergency generator capacity, the most demanding condition between regulations II-1/42, II-2/21 and 22 may be considered.
Safe return to port
Electrical power should be available and sustainable for all essential services specified in SOLAS regulations II-2/21.4 and II-2/126.96.36.199, with due regard being paid to such services as may be operated simultaneously. The application of regulation II-2/21.4 requires that other systems (e.g., engine-room ventilation, lighting of spaces outside safe areas not affected by the casualty, etc.) remain operational to support the functionalities listed therein.
Propulsion machinery and auxiliary machinery essential for the propulsion of the ship should remain operable.
Following a fire casualty within the threshold, the ship should be able to maintain an adequate speed for sufficient time to permit the ship's planned safe return to port in sea and wind conditions acceptable to the Administration taking into account the intended area of operation. A minimum speed of 6 knots while heading into Beaufort 8 weather and corresponding sea conditions is recommended. Configuration for power generation and propulsion in the worst case scenario in terms of casualty cases should be verified during normal sea trials.
A steel shaft line including relevant bearings passing through a space affected by a flooding or a fire casualty (see also interpretation 11), may be considered operational if it is enclosed in a watertight and "A" class tunnel or alternatively if:
- in the flooding case it can be shown that it can operate under water; and
- in the fire case it is protected by a dedicated water spray system capable of delivering not less than 5 l/m2/min on the protected area or equivalent.
Manual control at local positions can be accepted provided adequate communication and emergency lighting are arranged and it is demonstrated that the loss of any control and monitoring system does not prevent or impair any such manual/local control of the propulsion and electrical power generation systems (including, but may not be limited to, engines, electric motors, fuel system, etc.). Consideration should be given to the provision of machinery alarms when operating in that manner.
Steering systems and steering-control systems
When documenting that steering system is operable the following should be taken into consideration:
- local control of remaining steering system is acceptable provided adequate communication and emergency lighting are arranged;
- emergency means of steering, e.g., azimuth thrusters, pump jets, rudder, propellers, may be considered; and
- in general, tunnel thrusters should not be considered adequate for emergency steering.
Equipment essential for navigation, position fixing and detection of risk of collision should be available. The ship should be capable of displaying the proper light configuration in compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea in force.
Systems for fill, transfer and service of fuel oil
Systems for internal fill transfer and service of fuel oil should be capable of fuel transfer to active propulsion and power generation equipment.
Systems for fill,
transfer and service
of fuel oil
Systems for internal fill, transfer and service of:
- other flammable hydrocarbons; or
- any fluid that may be flammable or dangerous if heated to a very high temperature (both within the pipe and on going through pumps, orifices or other equipment), should not be considered operational within spaces affected by a fire casualty.
between the bridge,
damage control teams,
and as required for
passenger and crew
Internal communications should be achieved by any effective portable or fixed means of communications. However, portable equipment may be accepted provided that repeater system or equivalent remains operational after the casualty and charging capability is available in more than one MVZ.
between the bridge,
damage control teams,
and as required for
passenger and crew
PA systems, arranged as general alarm systems, should remain operational in the MVZs not affected by the casualty.
The ship should be capable of communicating via the GMDSS or the VHF Marine and Air Band distress frequencies, even if the main GMDSS equipment is lost.
Automatic start of remaining pumps may not be necessarily required (manual local start may be accepted after a casualty). The system should be so arranged that SOLAS regulation II-2/10.2.1.5.1 is fulfilled in all other Main Vertical Zones of the ship not affected by the casualty. Isolating valves should be arranged as appropriate. The remaining part of the affected deck in a Main Vertical Zone may be served from hydrants of adjacent zone or water tight compartment. Fire hoses may be extended for fire-fighting within the affected Main Vertical Zone; however, for complying with this requirement, two lengths of hoses from each hydrant may be accepted.
When a gaseous based system located outside the protected space is the sole fixed fire-extinguishing system as defined in regulations II-2/10.4.1 and 10.7.1 and it is designed to protect more than one space:
- there should be enough capacity to protect the two largest spaces;
- where the application of the fire casualty threshold leads to the loss of the storage room due to fire in an adjacent space, there should be two rooms, not being lost by the result of the same casualty, each holding a quantity of gas, capable of protecting the largest space; and
- the system should be so arranged that a casualty in one protected space does not impair the operation of the
system in another protected space.
When a gaseous based system located outside the protected space is the sole fixed fire-extinguishing system as defined in regulations II-2/10.4.1 and 10.7.1 and it is designed to protect a single space, where the application of the fire casualty threshold leads to the loss of the storage room due to fire in an adjacent space, there should be two rooms, not being lost by the result of the same casualty, each holding the quantity of gas required for the protected space.
Sprinkler or equivalent fixed fire-extinguishing systems may be considered to be lost only in spaces directly affected by the fire casualty and in other spaces that are protected by the same section (i.e. are controlled by the same section valve) provided each section should not serve more than one deck area in one MVZ. However, all levels of a stairway enclosure may be protected by the same section.
Section valves (as referred to in FSS Code, chapter 8, paragraph 188.8.131.52) located within the space affected by the fire casualty should be considered to be not operational unless they are suitably fire rated or fire protected (e.g., contained within a solely dedicated enclosure having "A" class boundaries, or protected by a water nozzle, etc.).
Equivalent water based fire-extinguishing systems intended for the protection of machinery spaces (total flooding, as referred to in MSC/Circ.1165, as amended) should be so designed that in case of loss of any section valve it would still be possible to supply the entire system at the required performance, except where another fixed fire-extinguishing system is provided for the protection of such spaces (e.g., gaseous based systems). Duplication, fire protection of valves (e.g., contained within a solely dedicated enclosure having "A" class boundaries, or protected by a water nozzle, etc.), fire rated valves1 or location of valves in spaces as identified by interpretation 11 may be considered.
* Reference may be made to IACS UR P184.108.40.206.6.
Indication of activated sections in the continuously manned central control station for sprinkler or equivalent fixed fire-extinguishing systems, located outside the Main Vertical Zone, where the space affected by the casualty is located, should continue to function after a fire or flooding casualty.
Arrangement of piping distribution for sprinkler systems or equivalent, or for water based fixed fire-extinguishing systems for machinery spaces, may include isolation valves, to ensure the system can be reconfigured as to remain operational after a casualty, which should be kept to a minimum, clearly marked and easily accessible. Valves whose uncorrected status may jeopardize the operation of the system under normal condition should be provided with status indication in the continuously manned control station.
When sprinkler or equivalent water based fixed fire-extinguishing systems include one or more emergency feed, risers, connection, or other emergency means to comply with this regulation, then hydraulic calculations (as referred to in the FSS Code, chapter 8, paragraph 220.127.116.11) should take this into account.
Local application systems need not to remain operational following a casualty unless they form part of a system for the protection of machinery spaces (total flooding, as referred to in MSC/Circ.1165, as amended).
Fire and smoke
Fire and smoke detection systems may be considered to be lost only in spaces directly affected by the fire casualty and in other spaces on the same deck that are part of the same section, as defined by the FSS Code, chapter 9, paragraph 2.4.1, provided that all other detectors remain operational in any other decks served by that section.
Bilge and ballast
The bilge and ballast pumping systems and all associated essential equipment should be operational in all spaces served by the systems and not directly affected by the casualty. Manual control at local positions may be accepted provided fixed or portable means of communication are available from those positions to the Safety Centre or the Engine Control room.
Indication to show whether each door is open or closed should be provided for any fire casualty not exceeding the casualty threshold except for those doors in the boundary of spaces directly affected by the casualty.
Flooding detection systems may be considered to be lost only in spaces directly affected by the fire casualty and in other spaces in the same compartment that are part of the same section provided that all other detectors remain operational in any other compartment served by that section.
When considering a fire casualty in a certain MVZ, only spaces within the casualty threshold are to be considered lost. Food, water and equipment for the support of the basic services to the safe areas, stored in spaces not directly affected by the fire casualty and belonging to the same MVZ, could be considered still available.
Safe areas could be a number of spaces distributed on board and should preferably be arranged in accommodation spaces. Sizing of safe areas where persons are accommodated could be based on the time needed for safe return to port operation. For safe return to port operations longer than 12 h a minimum space of 2 m² per person, calculated on the basis of the gross deck surface of the space(s) being considered, should be provided. For safe return to port operations shorter than 12 h a minimum space of 1 m² per person should be provided.
Safe areas, sanitation
As a minimum one toilet for every 50 persons or fraction should remain operational. Grey and black water can be disposed of into the sea, allowed by MARPOL (reference MARPOL Annex IV, regulation 3).
Safe areas, water
As a minimum 3 litres per person per day drinking water should be available. Additional water for food preparation and hygiene may need to be provided.
Safe areas, food
Food could be of any kind including dry food. Storage of food should be distributed as necessary, so that an access route is available from the safe areas.
Alternate space for
In addition to the ship's hospital or medical centre one or more locations on the ship should be provided which should:
- be in a different Fire Zone (from the hospital or primary medical centre);
- be easily accessible; and
- have lighting and power supply on the main and emergency source of electrical power.
Reference should also be made to MSC/Circ.1129.
Means of preventing
heat stress and
Definition of means for protection against heat stress and hypothermia should take into account external weather conditions, which may depend on area(s) of operation of the vessel. Casualty scenarios for which there is a reduction in ventilation or heating capacity should be identified and consequences assessed. The temperature within the internal safe areas should be maintained in the range of 10 to 30°, consideration being paid to the external temperature during expected operations.
Safe areas, light
Portable rechargeable battery operated lighting may be acceptable for use in spaces which are not covered by the ship's emergency lighting system. Adequate charging capability should be available for these lights. Supplementary lighting complying with regulation II-1/42-1 is also acceptable.
Ventilation volume should be available as a minimum of 4.5 m3/h per person.
Safe areas, other
systems vital to
This includes any system that the Administration determines is vital to damage control pertaining to fire or flooding.
Safe areas, access to
Means of access from safe areas to life-saving appliances should be provided from all safe areas in case of any casualty, either internally through areas unaffected by the fire or via external routes. External routes are considered to remain available also in the portion of the ship containing the MVZ where the casualty had occurred.
Electrical power should be available for the abandonment of the ship, including life-saving appliances and arrangements and the systems referred to in SOLAS regulation II-2/22.3.1, with due regard being paid to such services as may be operated simultaneously.
The fire main should remain operational in all main vertical zones not directly affected by the casualty. Water for fire-fighting purposes should be available to all areas of the ship.
A means should be available for communicating orders to fire-fighting and damage control teams and personnel in charge of evacuation and abandonment.
The ship should be capable of communicating via the GMDSS or the VHF Marine and Air Band distress frequencies even if the main GMDSS equipment is lost.
The bilge pumping system and all associated equipment essential for its operation should be available in all spaces not directly affected by the casualty.