Impact of Watertight Door Regulations on Ship Survivability
When demonstrating compliance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations, it is assumed that all watertight doors are closed and the related internal watertight subdivision is 100% effective. Unfortunately, casualty history indicates that this is not always the case. Contributing to this situation are provisions in the SOLAS regulations that permit some watertight doors to remain open or be open for extended periods of time during navigation under certain conditions. This paper provides background information on the SOLAS requirements for watertight doors and discusses whether this regulatory treatment is still appropriate for passenger ships of the future. Originally written in June 2011, an update is included to indicate the latest SOLAS regulatory developments as of June 2017.
KeywordsWatertight doors Damage stability Passenger ships SOLAS
The opinions expressed in this paper are only those of the author and do not represent those of the U.S. Coast Guard.