The IMO’s SOLAS addition, which will apply to all cruse ships – Chapter II-1, Regulation 19-1, ‘Damage control drills for passenger ships’ – will enter into force on 1st January, 2020.
This regulation requires that crew members who have damage control responsibilities participate in a drill at least every three months. Each drill must include the relevant crew members reporting to stations and preparing for their duties, as detailed on the muster list.
If fitted, the on board damage stability computer should be used to conduct assessments of the simulated damage, and a communications link should be established to any shore-based support. The activation, however, of this shore-based support is only required in one such drill per year.
Further requirements for each drill include the operation of watertight doors and bilge pumps, as well as demonstrating proficient use of the flooding detection system and any cross-flooding arrangements.
The changes to SOLAS Chapter II-1 are detailed in Resolution MSC.421(98), adopted on 15th June, 2017.