Making all commercial vessels unsinkable would be the ultimate solution, but this is too expensive and / or impractical for all but the smallest of craft.
New vessel standard buoys requirements for stability after flooding
The National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) has released for public comment a new draft safety standard to reduce the effects of flooding on a commercial vessel.
The National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) C6B – Buoyancy and Stability after Flooding replaces and consolidates the relevant parts of USL Code Sections 5, 7,8,10 and 18, thus responding to newer technologies and removing the piecemeal nature of the current requirements.
NMSC’s Acting CEO John Henry said the draft takes account of developments in relevant International standards that have occurred in the last 20 years and considers the approaches taken for domestic vessels overseas.
“Most vessels are already required to be provided with buoyancy or bulkheads that help to keep the vessel afloat in the event of an incident but the draft standard addresses specific safety requirements such as reducing the risk of water entering the vessel due to swamping by waves or a breach of the hull caused by grounding – or even the risk of water entering the vehicle deck in a closed Ro-Ro* space,” Mr Henry said.
“Making all commercial vessels unsinkable would be the ultimate solution, but this is too expensive and/or impractical for all but the smallest of craft,” he said.
“So, the standard has to find the right balance between a vessel’s capacity to withstand flooding and its commercial viability – taking into account factors such as the number of passengers and its area of operation”.
In summary the draft proposes requirements to:
• minimise the likelihood of sudden or progressive capsize or foundering and prevent excessive angles of heel or trim; and
• provide a more performance-based approach and a consistent benchmark for determining initial and ongoing compliance
Have your say
The draft standard for NSCV C6B – Buoyancy and Stability after Flooding and its accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) can be downloaded directly from the NMSC website at http://www.nmsc.gov.au/yoursay_2.html.
Alternatively, to obtain a hard copy, stakeholders can call 02 9247 2124. Comments close on 19 December 2008.