202440 Are your watertight doors watertight?

26 Jun 2024 MARS

During a safety walkaround on a vessel it was observed that several type C watertight doors (doors that must remain closed at all times and opened only when personnel pass through them) were routinely kept open while underway. It was expressly indicated in the vessel’s procedures that these doors must remain closed while at sea.

A review of similar cases on two other fleet vessels found that watertight doors were left open after the regular engine room walk around, as this was a regular activity and there was ‘no point to open and close [them] each time.’ It was also found that some crew were not aware of the relevant SOLAS and SMS requirements or the importance of keeping type C watertight doors closed at sea in case of emergency.


Lessons learned

  • Watertight doors are critical elements in preventing the ingress of water from one compartment to another during flooding or accidents. The seaworthiness of the vessel depends on their proper use.
  • As with many safety critical elements on a vessel, acceptance of procedures such as keeping type C watertight doors closed by crew is dependent on the safety leadership of senior officers and the Master.