Statutory alert: New SOLAS requirements for damage control drills on board passenger ships
Applicability: All SOLAS certificated passenger ships
The IMO has introduced a new regulation to SOLAS – Chapter II-1, Regulation 19-1, ‘Damage control drills for passenger ships’ – which will enter into force on 1 January 2020 and will apply to all passenger ships.
This regulation requires that those crew members who have damage control responsibilities participate in a drill at least every three months. Each drill must include the relevant crew members reporting to stations and preparing for their duties, as detailed on the muster list.
If fitted, the onboard damage stability computer should be used to conduct assessments of the simulated damage, and a communications link should be established to any shore-based support. The activation, however, of this shore-based support is only required in one such drill per year.
Further requirements for each drill include the operation of watertight doors and bilge pumps, as well as demonstrating proficient use of the flooding detection system and any cross-flooding arrangements.