International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974. is a convention that sets minimum standards for the construction, equipment, and operation of the ship known as “SOLAS Regulations”. The objective of the SOLAS Regulations is to achieve the safe operation of ships at sea by avoiding damages to Human life, Environment, Ship, and Cargo.
SOLAS specifies a minimum set of regulations on most of the machinery operation including both Deck and Engine side. But few of the SOLAS Regulations are very important to know by every Mariner. Not only from the exam point of view, but for the safe operation of the ship. Let’s get started…
1. SOLAS Regulations for Emergency Generator
SOLAS CH-2-1 PART D, REG 43/44
- It should automatically start & come on the load within 45 seconds.
- It should have a minimum of 2 modes of starting arrangement.
a) Primary mode should be able to provide 3 consecutive starts.
b) Secondary mode should also give 3 consecutive starts in 30 minutes.
- It should be able to start at ambient temp. of 0°C. If the ship is subjected to go in a sub-zero area then heating arrangements should be there.
- It should be able to provide a minimum of 18 Hrs Light, Navigational light, Internal
communication & fire pump.
- The fuel used should have flash point not less than 43°C.
- The emergency generator should be able to operate when the ship inclines to 22.5° list to 10° trim.
- The emergency generator switchboard should be in the same compartment.
2. SOLAS Regulations for Steering Gear
SOLAS CH-2-1 PART C REG 29/30
- It should be able to operate from 35° on either side to 30° on the other side in not more
than 28 seconds.
- Should restart automatically when power fails.
- Means of communication should be provided between the bridge & steering gear
- Short circuit protection only for control supply circuits.
- If hydraulically operated steering gear
a. Low-level alarm
b. Fixed storage tank
- Short circuit protection & overload alarm for circuit & motor.
- One motor should be connected with ESB.
3. SOLAS Regulations for Emergency Fire Pump
SOLAS CH-2-2 PART C REG 10
- It should be located outside E/R.
- It must have its own suction.
- The total suction head should not exceed 4.5mtr.
- Pump capacity must not be less than 25 m3/Hr or capacity should not be less than 40% of the total capacity of fire p/p.
- Must be able to deliver 2 jets of water having a horizontal through not less than 13 meters.
- Press at any hydrant: –
- Not less than 2.7 bar (> 6000GRT)
- Not less than 2.5 bar (1000 – 6000GRT)
4. SOLAS Regulations for Battery Room
SOLAS CH-2-1 PART D REG 43
- Automatically connecting to ESB after the main source fails.
- Immediately supplying at least those services specified for emergency source.
- The battery should not discharge more than 12% of nominal voltage.
- The battery room is designed in such a way that it will prevent spillage of electrolyte & emission spray.
- Battery room painted with an acid-resistant paint.
- Lighting should be fitted with Exd.
- Proper illumination.
- No smoking, No naked lights/playing cards.
5. SOLAS Regulations for Life Boat Engine
SOLAS CH-2-1 PART C REG 19
- It should get started at 15° within 2 minutes.
- Fuel flash point should not be less than 43°C.
- Fuel capacity should be for 24Hrs.
- Speed should be 6 Knots.
During towing 2 Knots.
- It should operate even if the boat flooded up to the centerline of the crankshaft.
6. SOLAS Regulations for CO2 Room
SOLAS CH-2-2 PART C REG 10
- The CO2 room should not be used for any other purpose.
- If the storage space is located below the deck, it should locate not more than one deck.
- It should be fitted with mechanical ventilation and take suction from the bottom.
- Access to the door should open from outwards.
- The CO2 room temperature should be maintained below 55°C.
- 85% of the required quantity of gas should be released in space within 2 minutes.
7. SOLAS Regulations for GMDSS Battery
SOLAS CH-4 PART C REG 13
- The batteries are required to have the capacity to power the equipment for 1 Hr on a ship fitted with an emergency generator.
- 6 hrs on the ship not fitted with an emergency generator.
- During discharging battery voltage should not go above 12% of nominal voltage.
8. SOLAS Regulations for Navigational Lights
SOLAS CH-5 PART E REG 19
- Navigational light should be connected to a distribution board.
- There should be a changeover switch.
- Visual & audio alarms.
- Fuse protection.
- The signal light should be visual from 6NM.
9. SOLAS Regulations for Oil Mist Detector(OMD)
SOLAS CH-2-1 PART E REG 47
Every ship with the following specifications should be provided with an Oil Mist Detector(OMD) Device.
- Engine power output ≥ 2250KW, and
- Engine piston dia ≥ 300mm
10. SOLAS Regulations for Fixed CO2 System
SOLAS Regulation ii-2/14.2 12
- Should have two separate release controls
- 50% should be discharged within 1mint and 85% within 2 minutes
- Capacity a)In cargo space 30% of gross volume
b)Engine room 40% of gross volume
- Permanent piping Should be there up to bilge and tank top
- Distribution manifold and piping tested to 122bar
- Distribution piping more than 19mm diameter
- Pipes to cargo spaces not to pass through E/R unless all pipes tested to 122bar
- Should have an alarm when it operates
- Automatically trip the blowers and make alarm when it operates
These are the 10 most important SOLAS regulations that every mariner should be aware of. Because these are the machinery that involves in critical operations of the ship. The ship will get detained if it does not comply with these SOLAS Regulations.
Did I miss any other important Regulation? Please mention it in the comments.