Bulletin No.: 06/1998

Date (Y-M-D): 1998-04-08

Subject: Responsibilities of Shipowners and Masters Respecting Maintenance of Weathertight Integrity of their Vessels

Preliminary investigations into the recent capsize and sinking of a small fishing vessel have revealed that two weathertight doors were both found to be lashed open. One door provided direct access below to the engine room, and the other into the accommodation space of an enclosed forecastle.

Shipowners and Masters of all classes of ships are reminded that protection of the weathertight integrity of a ship at all times is of paramount importance to the safety of the vessel and all persons onboard.

All exterior openings in weathertight structures and enclosures required to be fitted with appropriate closing appliances such as doors, hatches, manholes, deadlights etc., in accordance with regulations pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, are to be so provided that when closed, in any sea condition, water will not penetrate into the intact ship.

It is the Masters' responsibility to ensure that such closing appliances are closed at sea when necessary and make certain that openings that provide access from an open deck to accommodation, to working spaces within superstructures or to compartments within the main hull are closed tight immediately after general use and maintained closed during any circumstances whereby the safety of the vessel might be threatened.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. weatherlight
2. capsize
3. closing appliances
Gordon R. Taylor
(613) 998-0641
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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