USCG Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE) has issued the latest edition of its newsletter referring to the top five deficiency areas found on cruise vessels.
USCG CSNCOE aims to share the most common deficiencies found so that owners, operators, and other involved parties can take proactive steps to identify and correct non-compliant conditions of safety and environmental stewardship, before Port State Control action is necessary.
The five deficiency areas identified are as follows:
1. Fire Screen Doors not Operating Properly
Fire screen doors were found to have damage to the sequencing bars, damage to the doors themselves or not closing properly. (Either too fast or too slow or were not latching completely). 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/188.8.131.52.5
2. Impeding Means of Escape
Corridors, doors and hatches in areas designated as escape routes were found to be either partially or completely blocked. Doors in some instances were locked, without the ability to defeat the lock, preventing passage in the direction of escape. 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/13.3.2
3. Water Tight Doors
Doors were found with missing portions of gaskets, hydraulic oil leaking, inoperable audible alarm, or the means of indication that show at all remote operating positions were found to be in a fault condition. 74 SOLAS (14), II-1/13
4. Fire Suppression Systems
Various deficiencies were found in fire suppression systems. Sprinkler heads/water mist nozzles were found painted over, damaged, or completely missing. Other issues included failed couplings. 74 SOLAS (14) CH. II-2/14.1.1
5. Improper Utilization of Categorized Spaces
There were several deficiencies issued regarding improper use of spaces. Space is at a premium on cruise ships. Because of this, sometimes crews store combustible materials in spaces that do not have the adequate fire protection and suppression systems in the event of a fire. 74 SOLAS (14), II-2/184.108.40.206.2
These five items are not all inclusive and in no way cover the entire scope of deficiencies found during Foreign Passenger Vessel examinations. However, it is important to note that the industry as a whole has improved to the point where the remaining top 5 issues, of our normally top 10 list, were identified so infrequently that it didn’t warrant inclusion.
Vessel representatives are reminded that if any system on board the vessel is not in good working condition, the crew should take the necessary actions to remedy the situation in accordance with their Safety Management System (SMS). A record of any actions taken should be maintained as evidence that the SMS is being used effectively in conjunction with all routine maintenance.