The US Coast Guard (USCG) Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE) has issued by way of a newsletter the top five deficiency areas it found on cruise vessels in 2016. Last year USCG reported 103 vessel detentions of all vessel types to IMO and conducted 294 cruise ship examinations, out of which 1% received a detention.
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 top five deficiency areas identified on cruise ships 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-2/126.96.36.199.5
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. Low location lighting
Low location lighting or photoluminescent tape was found to be missing or inoperable. 74 SOLAS (14) II-2/188.8.131.52
4. Fire suppression systems
Various deficiencies were found in fire suppression systems. Sprinkler heads/ water mist nozzles were found, damaged or completely missing. Other issues included failed couplings. 74 SOLAS (14) II-2/ 14.1.1
5. Piping insultation
There were several deficiencies issued for leaking piping systems, which led to fuel soaked insulation lagging. 74 SOLAS (14) II-1/26.1
USCG further notes that deficiencies with ‘Watertight Doors and Categorization of Spaces’ may have been dropped out of the top 5, however, there were still deficiencies issued in these areas. Therefore, USCG highlights 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 action taken should be maintained as evidence that the SMS is being used effectively in conjunction with all routine maintenance.