Applicability: All shipowners and managers

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a safety bulletin highlighting the issue of operational readiness of local application water spray systems which are required to function automatically. During port state control (PSC) inspections, the USCG are increasingly finding systems which are incapable of automatic operation (a requirement for unmanned machinery spaces) due to incorrectly set valves or the system being placed in a manual operating mode.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has also issued Technical Alert No. 13-08 regarding PSC detentions due to local application water spray systems being defective or not readily available for use. The Alert warns against deliberate deactivation of fire-fighting and fire prevention systems without due cause. It also requests all owners, managers and masters of Bahamian ships to ensure that all fire-fighting and fire prevention equipment is kept in good order and readily available for use, as required by SOLAS regulation II-2/14.

The BMA has requested their recognised organisations to report to them any instances of systems not available for immediate use or of crew members being unfamiliar with systems. The BMA could, in such instances, suspend the Certificate of Registry (i.e., enforce a flag state detention).

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