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Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels' Safety (SLF): 54th session, 16 to 20 January 2012

January 20, 2012

Guidelines for verification of damage stability requirements for tankers agreed in principle by Sub-Committee
Draft Guidelines for verification of damage stability requirements for tankers were agreed, in principle, by the Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels' Safety (SLF), when it met for its 54th session.  When the ongoing work to develop the related mandatory carriage requirements for stability instruments is completed, both measures will be submitted to MSC for approval.
 
The guidelines are intended to be applied to oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers, constructed on or after a date to be agreed by the MSC.  They address the scope of damage stability verification, which is determined by the required damage stability standards (applicable damage stability criteria) and aim at providing the ship's master with a sufficient number of approved loading conditions to be used for the loading of the ship. 
 
The guidelines (Part 1) provide recomendations on damage stability verification and approval, which requires a review of submitted calculations and supporting documentation with independent check calculations to confirm damage stability calculation results comply with relevant stability criteria.
 
Part 2 of the guidelines provide tanker Masters, companies, owners, managers, operators, etc. with information and guidance on compliance with the requirements of damage stability and on providing verification of such compliance to relevant authorities.
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed associated draft amendments, referring to damage stability calculations, to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as modified by the Protocol of 1988 relating thereto, for submission to MSC 90 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
Draft amendments to OSV Guidelines agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Guidelines for the design and construction of offshore supply vessels, 2006 (resolution MSC.235(82)), concerning damage stability standards, for submission to MSC 90 for adoption.
 
Unified interpretation to LL treaties on guard rails agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft circular on Unified interpretations to the 1966 LL Convention and the 1988 LL Protocol regarding guard rails, intended to clarify the relevant regulations due to the fact that, on some ships, fitting the brackets or stays in accordance with the above provisions may be impractical (e.g. on ships fitted with gantry cranes); may constitute trip hazards; or may otherwise impede progress in what may be restricted spaces.  
 
Tonnage Measurement correspondence group established
The Sub-Committee continued its work in reviewing the 1969 International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships and established a correspondence group to: develop provisions to ensure the integrity and uniform implementation of the 1969 TM Convention; review the rules and requirements of the 1969 TM Convention; recommend and develop revised/updated interpretations of the 1969 TM Convention; identify areas for improvement of the 1969 TM Convention; recommend and develop draft amendments to the 1969 TM Convention, as appropriate; and report to the next session.
 
SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability review continued
The Sub-Committee made substantial progress with an ongoing review of SOLAS chapter
II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations.  Acknowledging the need to take into account the outcome of various ongoing related research projects, the Sub-Committee invited the MSC to extend the target completion year for this output to 2013.
 
SDS correspondence group re-established
Following discussion during the session, the Sub-Committee re-established the Correspondence Group on Subdivision and Damage Stability (SDS) to: finalize draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability provisions and the related Explanatory Notes; finalize draft amendments to the Recommendation on a standard method for evaluating cross-flooding arrangements (resolution MSC.245(83)); further consider the development of guidelines for the approval of damage stability modules for safe return to port; and to work further on the damage stability regulations for ro-ro passenger ships, with a view to reporting to the next session.
 
Further work needed on development of second generation intact stability criteria
The Sub-Committee considered the report of the correspondence group on the development of second generation intact stability criteria and agreed that, while the work had been progressed considerably, there were still a large number of issues to consider.  The Sub Committee agreed on a revised plan of action for further work on the matter and re established the Intact Stability Correspondence Group. 
 
The aim is to produce criteria to supplement the provisions of the 2008 Intact Stability Code, based on the concept of intact stability failure, with the aim of making the criteria applicable to all types of ships.  The criteria will follow a performance-based approach, accommodating the latest technological developments, and encouraging the development of the highest practicable standards based on scientific analysis. 
 
Towing and anchor handling operations under 2008 IS Code
Work on the development of amendments to part B of the International Code on Intact Stability, 2008 (2008 IS Code), in respect of towing and anchor handling operations commenced, with support, in principle, for the inclusion of unified stability criteria and operational guidance for ships engaged in towing and anchor handling operations in part B of the Code. 
 
It was agreed that further detailed consideration of the proposals was necessary and submissions to the next session were invited.  The work follows a proposal by Norway, emanating from the capsizing of the Norwegian anchor handler/tug/supply vessel Bourbon Dolphin with the loss of eight lives. 

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