Government of Ukraine Releases Guidelines for Laying Up Vessels

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  • The Government of Ukraine provides guidelines designed to help Members in preparing vessels for lay-up.
  • It also deals with the maintenance of vessels in a safe and efficient condition during a period of lay-up.
  • Ships that are laid up recommended that the vessels crew be reduced to the minimal safe number of crew needed to keep the vessel operational.

A recent news article published in the Safety4Sea states about Ukraine’s guidelines for laying up vessels.

#1 Lay-up criteria

There are 2 basic criteria that the lay-up procedures are designed to meet:

(a) to maintain the safety, security and protection of the vessel, crew, and the local environment.

(b) to preserve and maintain the vessel’s hull and machinery.

The vessel can be laid up either in “Hot” or “Cold” mode.

#2 Safety Lay-up locations

The risk assessment of the location and method of lay-up needs to address the following:

(a) Degree of shelter provided from open seas, wind, waves, swell etc.

(b) Method of mooring vessels

(c) Detailed climatological information from the best source available

(d) Bathymetry and anchorage depth and type of holding ground, currents and tides

(e) Spaces available or number of designated lay-up positions and suitable access and egress channels, pilotage, tug assistance during mooring etc.

(f) Details of local authorities and availability of tugs, fire fighting, medical & safety services

(g) Availability of services such as fresh water, waste disposal, shore power and repairers, replacement equipment and moorings, etc.

(h) Security of location

(i) Assessment any local corrosive discharges or effluent

(j) Facilities for shore monitoring of vessel position, remote GPS monitoring etc

#3 Lay-up arrangements

Planning of the arrangements will involve consideration of the following criteria:

(a) The method and safety of the mooring and all the various activities relating to the safety of the crew, vessel and environment

(b) Approval of relevant arrangements by Flag State, Port State, Harbour or any other relevant authorities

(c) The preservation of the vessel and her machinery and equipment to prevent damage or deterioration, and to facilitate subsequent safe reactivation

#4 Manning

(a) The Owners must retain sufficient crew on board to carry out the lay-up preparation. The crew can be reduced as work progresses until the vessel is finally de-manned or reduced to an agreed skeleton crew.

(b) Reductions in manning below minimum manning levels should be agreed with the relevant Flag State, local Port State or harbour authority and any necessary dispensation obtained.

#5 Mooring arrangements

Mooring arrangements can vary considerably, depending upon the location chosen, and are dictated by topography and bathymetry.

The following points should be considered

(a) The moorings must be sufficient to hold against the most severe wind expected from the most unfavourable direction.

(b) To minimize windage and improve anchor holding, tankers should take about 30% deadweight ballast, and bulk carriers should have maximum ballast.

(c) Anchors should be well pulled in, with the chains as straight as possible and stretched tight.

(d) If there is any doubt regarding anchors holding they should be picked up and re-laid.

(e) If wires are used astern, they must be under even tension and kept taut.

(f) Except in special circumstances, mooring for lay up on a single anchor is generally considered to be unsatisfactory.

(g) Final lay-up draft marks forward & aft to be painted conspicuously with white lines on port and starboard sides.

(h) Rigging of emergency towing lines fore and aft, ready for use, without adjustment, should the vessel need to be towed off.

(i) Multiple vessels laid up together, either alongside a berth or anchored or moored in groups or “rafts”, should be of a similar size.

(j) Suitable fendering must be placed between ships and between ship and quay

(k) Positions of anchor chains, wires and mooring lines to be varied at regular intervals to prevent uneven wear in way of contact points such as hawse pipes, fairleads, winches, etc.

(l) Anchor lights and fog signals should be fully operational, and additional deck lighting will be required if the lay-up location is close to shipping lanes.

#6 Security, Safety, Protection and Environment 

(a) For a “Hot’ lay-up, a sufficient number of qualified ship’s officers and crew should be onboard in order to maintain a full time fire, flooding, mooring, safety and security watch over the vessel. For a “Cold” lay-up efficient, independently powered fire and flooding alarms and/or warning lights/whistles/klaxons to be fitted in machinery spaces, bilges and other spaces as deemed appropriate.

(b) A fire fighting capability to be provided through the continuous operational availability of emergency equipment and apparatus.

(c) The minimization of fire risk through the removal of all flammable material during closed.

(d) Safe access for boarding or movement between vessels via a suitable gangway with adequate lighting

(e) Evacuation facilities through the operational upkeep of lifeboats/life rafts.

(f) Security on board by means of limiting any access to the vessel as well as securing and sealing of external doors into the accommodation and other spaces. Provision of suitable alarm systems with remote monitoring.

(g) Provision of a safe working environment for crew on board or for watchmens.

(h) Any enclosed spaces to be ventilated and tested as necessary prior to entry

(i) Oil tanks to be drained, cleaned and maintained in gas free condition and tested at regular intervals, and all oil pipelines drained and cleaned prior to long term lay-up.

(j) Arrangements should be made for the safe containment and frequent removal of garbage & sewage.

(k) Minimize risk of air pollution

#7 Preparation procedures 

(a) All water/steam systems and tanks within the controlled spaces, except those required for the lay-up operation should be drained of free water (including bilge areas), dried and left open to the dehumidified atmosphere.

(b) Hull Structure.

  • Underwater area must be adequately protected and hull potential monitored at a satisfactory level!
  • Ballast tanks should be maintained either full or empty, During a long lay-up ballast tanks should be protected by means of preservatives or sacrificial anodes.
  • All sea valves are to be fully closed and secured, with hand wheels locked or removed and electrical power isolated from automatic valves, Internal blank flanges or external welded steel blanks should be fitted where considered necessary
  • Stern tube oil header tank levels to be regularly monitored
  • A safe access to the Vessel must be provided for contractors, watchmen and maintenance crews.

(c) Accommodation

If a vessel is laid up unmanned then:

  • In addition for all sanitary fittings to have openings sealed and water supply systems isolated.
  • All excess or unnecessary equipment, stores and provisions should be offloaded, particularly in long term layup situations.
  • All cabins to be clean condition, mattresses stood on edge and all cupboard and cabin doors secured in open position.
  • All navigation and communication systems to be isolated (except local trans/receiver) and room doors left open to ensure good air circulation
  • Lighting circuit breakers to be opened where relevant leaving only the emergency lighting circuits in use during lay-up

(d) External Equipment.

  • All moving and working parts of deck fittings to be fixed. Crane cabs to be secured and sealed.
  • Arrangements to be made for the regular turning of steam/hydraulic deck machinery on air. Internals of engines and all working parts will be regularly lubricated
  • Lifeboats and davits to be kept in good working order, being regularly lowered and the engines run on test.

(e) Internal Machinery, Boilers & Equipment. Individual machinery and boilers within the dehumidified spaces should be treated as recommended by the manufacturers and Class,

(f) Electrical Installation

  • Electrical power to be provided by a portable diesel generator or shore power when available.
  • Full insulation tests to be carried out on all distribution systems and motors at the commencement of lay-up and subsequently at regular intervals.
  • The condition of external motors to be monitored by taking regular insulation readings
  • Electrical/printed circuit boards are to be kept dry and excessive temperatures avoided

(g) Documentation and Record Keeping

  • All work carried out during lay-up preparation to be carefully recorded, documented and photographed.
  • All machinery and equipment components removed from their normal location to be properly labelled and stowed adjacent to the parent unit within the dehumidified spaces.
  • External equipment removed to within the dehumidified spaces to be properly stowed, the storage location carefully recorded and the normal location site labelled.
  • Any spares or equipment subsequently removed for operational purposes to be recorded for replacement during later reactivations
  • Log books of all activities on board to be maintained throughout the lay-up period

#8 Inspections

The objective is to conduct regular inspections either by the remaining crew or a contracted service company and to carry out tests on structure, machinery and equipment to ensure that the standard of preservation is maintained.

Such checks will include:

  • Frequent checks of mooring and fendering arrangements.
  • Frequent checks of embarkation, lighting and other safety systems.
  • Frequent checks on communication systems.
  • Regular soundings of bilges, tanks and other spaces.
  • Regular checks on the operation of emergency equipment and apparatus, fire, leakage, security systems and alarms
  • Visual checks on ‘controlled’ space sealing arrangements
  • Measurement checks on relative humidity levels within ‘controlled’ spaces
  • Visual checks on protective coatings of all external machinery and equipment.
  • Live tests of emergency fire pump and system.
  • Measurement checks of electrical circuit insulation continuity.
  • Visual checks on all occupied storage tank levels.

#9 Maintenance during Lay-up

(a) To prevent seizure of the main engine and auxiliary engines, compressors, pumps and other rotating equipment, they are to be regularly turned with lubrication Machinery to be stopped in a different position each time.

(b)  At least one stores crane should be in good working order for use during the lay-up period, and have valid load test certificates issued.

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Source: Safety4Sea

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