Fire Safety Inspections Set for Thousands of Ships

Wilhelmsen Ships Service is one company helping ship owners prepare for the Concentrated Inspection Campaign, which began Sept. 1.

As many as 10,000 vessels will undergo fire safety inspections during the next three months as part of the Port State Control inspection campaign on fire protection, detection, and extinguishing equipment. It began Sept. 1. Wilhelmsen Ships Service is one company helping ship owners prepare for the Concentrated Inspection Campaign called for by the Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control, which is designed to ensure compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2, covering firefighting arrangements aboard ships.

Rob Chesters, business manager for Safety Products and Services at the Norwegian company (part of WW Group), said ship owners should make themselves aware of the equipment and related documentation to be assessed during regular on-board inspections. "Inspectors will be looking not just at on-board fire safety arrangements, but also maintenance records and documentation, as well as crew familiarisation, which will be verified in compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2," he said in the company's news release. "Defects in safety products are already among the most common causes of delays to vessels in port, so this campaign has big implications for our customers."

WSS is providing access to its new online catalog for safety products so they can quickly download safety equipment instruction manuals and their certificates. WSS also increased its stocks of critical safety products and spares at key ports.

"The Paris and Tokyo MOUs estimate that as many as 10,000 ships will be inspected in the next three months," Chesters said. "Where issues are found, the penalty can vary from recording the problem to a detention until the deficiency is rectified. It is vital that owners are prepared in advance so that they can stay compliant and keep sailing."

The list of WSS safety products is available at http://wssproducts.wilhelmsen.com/.

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