PRS Seeks Strong Comeback, Stresses Safety

A large number of high profile tragedies over the last decade — despite the marine industry's overall good record for the safe transport of materials and people — have resulted in the loss of many lives and ships. Even in the face of increasing technology and training, the industry is oftentimes humbled by the power of the sea.

The reasons these tragedies happen are diverse, from human error to equipment faltering. However, another type that is equally insidious is structural failure, which has been identified as a significant reason for the loss of some types of ship, particularly older bulk carriers and tankers.

To minimize deterioration of a ship's structure throughout its whole lifetime, information on the ship's condition - as variously noted by class, ship owner, crew, administration, PSC, insurers, etc.

— needs to be recorded and accumulated in a single, ship-based logbook.

The concept of this new, integrated method of tracking a ship's condition — which PRS has dubbed Consolidated Supervision System (CSS) — will create the basis for a single-source, centrally maintained record of relevant information.

Under the proposed system each vessel will carry a CSS Record Book to be issued by and registered with PRS.

Observations relating to the hull structure and equipment condition, as made by the ship's crew and all other parties working on or inspecting the vessel, will be entered in the CSS Record Book to provide a single, central reference point for the accumulated information.

The system foresees that minor repairs may be considered as an element of the on-going maintenance process, provided that such repairs are carried out by appropriately qualified crew members and in accordance with approved procedures.

PRS proposes to develop and introduce a new tool to meet the needs of CSS. Provisionally called "frame technology" (FT), this will be planned individually for each ship applying and approved for CSS entry, and will be delivered approximately one year after the date of introducing the system. The FT instrument will contain information on particulars concerning design, structural areas requiring special attention, guidelines for inspections, permissible corrosion diminution of structural elements, as well as PRS accepted repair technology (diagrams, materials, welding sequence, etc.) to be applied by the crew. Crew training will be provided as an integral part of the FT-system implementation, with "hands on" training undertaken on board the ship by PRS surveyor-instructors. It will cover the Owner Officers-supervisors (e.g. Chief Engineer, Chief Mate, etc.) appointed by the Owner, as well as the crew members (fitters) who may obtain authorization to perform specified repairs (as prescribed and detailed in a ship's FT).

Circle 79 on Reader Service Card

Other stories from November 2000 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.