Archive for August 2013

First Day at College

What I Wish I’d Known on My First Day at College

All across the country, impressionable, excited, young people are beginning their first days at college as they begin their journeys down their chosen career paths. High school is behind them, and adulthood now beckons. College will likely lead to load of new opportunities and experiences, both inside the classroom and out. 

So as the 2013 maritime trainees begin their voyage Clyde Marine Training asked some old hands, “what do you wish you’d known on your first day at college?” Here’s their top ten pearls of wit and wisdom.

1. “I wish I had known how important all course work was rather than concentrating on the parts I enjoyed most.” There are some things you are just better at than others, that’s the case in all walks of life. However everything is being taught for a reason, and no matter how difficult or boring you find it try and take it in. Enjoy the subjects you naturally excel at but make it your business to try and master the other subjects too, because you’ll need them in the future and you’ll be grateful for the time you invested in them when you had the opportunity.

2. “I needed to be self-disciplined, I wasn’t at school now.” You might still be in a learning environment, still sitting in a classroom but you are most definitely not at school now. It’s up to you to keep up, to listen, to ask if you don’t understand and to put the time and effort in. No one else is going to do it for you. That’s what being an adult is about.

3. “That I get seasick.” A popular piece of advice. You’ve signed up for a career at sea, well chances are you might get seasick at some point, so go find all the seasickness remedies you can and have them handy should that day ever arrive. The good news is you are not alone almost everyone who works at sea goes through this at some point.

4. “That it was an HB2 pencil I needed.” Know the tools you’ll need to master your trade. If you don’t know make it your business to find out. Be it for college work or your time at sea make sure you know well in advance what’s supplied and what you need to source, don't wait until the last minute and don’t expect someone else to do it for you.

5. “I can pass this because I’m a smart [person].” Self-confidence is a quality that’s so elusive to many at school. Here’s the thing; you passed your exams, you gained entry to this course, many others didn’t and lots of people out there are envious of you. Don’t be cocky, but understand that you wouldn’t have been accepted onto the course if some very smart people didn’t think you had what it takes to make it. You are more than capable of achieving the grade, it just takes some hard work and application. 

6. “How much knowledge of Math I would need! I didn’t pay that much attention at school and the majority of the navigation and stability subjects are math-based so I had a lot of hard work to do.” Yip, for those who wondered what the point of Math was in real life you are about to find out. But here’s the thing, you can master it, you wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case.

7. “What going to sea is actually like. It’s hard work and continual learning when you are on board, it can be difficult but you’ve just got to get stuck in.” This is the real jump. College feels like a logical progression from school, but time at sea is different, its work. The environment is different, the attitude is different and the conditions are different. It’s also the reason why you are here in the first place, this is your chosen career and it’s a great industry, but be prepared for it.

8. “I wish I’d realized that technology would change so much.” What you learn today will always be valuable, but how you use it will change. Technology advances, do your best to keep up with it because it won’t wait for you.

9. “Enjoy yourself, just not too much!”  Your college years are great, you’ll make new friends, visit new places and experience new things. That’s important. You’ll also socialize, a lot. There will be parties, evenings out, weekends away and impromptu events you’ll always remember. Embrace them because they are an important part of being young and of college life. However, find the balance and don’t let your social life become your whole life.

10. “Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask questions.” Simple, yes? Yet so many students find this difficult, speaking up in front of your peer group seems to terrify some. Remember, the onus is on you to learn, there will be some things you’ll not fully understand first time, don’t be afraid, the lecturers welcome questions and want to help you. Asking a question means you’re smart, not the opposite.

Monday, August 26, 2013
Posted by sanjay swain
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The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the upsurge in international commerce which followed resulted in the adoption of a number of international treaties related to shipping, including safety. The subjects covered included tonnage measurement, the prevention of collisions, signaling and others.

By the end of the nineteenth century suggestions had even been made for the creation of a permanent international maritime body to deal with these and future measures. The plan was not put into effect, but international co-operation continued in the twentieth century, with the adoption of still more internationally-developed treaties.

By the time IMO came into existence in 1958, several important international conventions had already been developed, including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1948, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil of 1954 and treaties dealing with load lines and the prevention of collisions at sea.

IMO was made responsible for ensuring that the majority of these conventions were kept up to date. It was also given the task of developing new conventions as and when the need arose.

The creation of IMO coincided with a period of tremendous change in world shipping and the Organization was kept busy from the start developing new conventions and ensuring that existing instruments kept pace with changes in shipping technology. It is now responsible for nearly 50 international conventions and agreements and has adopted numerous protocols and amendments.


This is the part of the process with which IMO as an Organization is most closely involved. IMO has six main bodies concerned with the adoption or implementation of conventions. The Assembly and Council are the main organs, and the committees involved are the Maritime Safety Committee, Marine Environment Protection Committee, Legal Committee and the Facilitation Committee. Developments in shipping and other related industries are discussed by Member States in these bodies, and the need for a new convention or amendments to existing conventions can be raised in any of them.

Normally the suggestion is first made in one of the committees, since these meet more frequently than the main organs. If agreement is reached in the committee, the proposal goes to the Council and, as necessary, to the Assembly.

If the Assembly or the Council, as the case may be, gives the authorization to proceed with the work, the committee concerned considers the matter in greater detail and ultimately draws up a draft instrument. In some cases the subject may be referred to a specialized sub-committee for detailed consideration.

Work in the committees and sub-committees is undertaken by the representatives of Member States of the Organization. The views and advice of intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations which have a working relationship with IMO are also welcomed in these bodies. Many of these organizations have direct experience in the various matters under consideration, and are therefore able to assist the work of IMO in practical ways.

The draft convention which is agreed upon is reported to the Council and Assembly with a recommendation that a conference be convened to consider the draft for formal adoption.

Invitations to attend such a conference are sent to all Member States of IMO and also to all States which are members of the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies. These conferences are therefore truly global conferences open to all Governments who would normally participate in a United Nations conference. All Governments participate on an equal footing. In addition, organizations of the United Nations system and organizations in official relationship with IMO are invited to send observers to the conference to give the benefit of their expert advice to the representatives of Governments.

Before the conference opens, the draft convention is circulated to the invited Governments and organizations for their comments. The draft convention, together with the comments thereon from Governments and interested organizations is then closely examined by the conference and necessary changes are made in order to produce a draft acceptable to all or the majority of the Governments present. The convention thus agreed upon is then adopted by the conference and deposited with the Secretary-General who sends copies to Governments. The convention is opened for signature by States, usually for a period of 12 months. Signatories may ratify or accept the convention while non-signatories may accede.

The drafting and adoption of a convention in IMO can take several years to complete although in some cases, where a quick response is required to deal with an emergency situation, Governments have been willing to accelerate this process considerably.


The adoption of a convention marks the conclusion of only the first stage of a long process. Before the convention comes into force - that is, before it becomes binding upon Governments which have ratified it - it has to be accepted formally by individual Governments.

Each convention includes appropriate provisions stipulating conditions which have to be met before it enters into force. These conditions vary but generally speaking, the more important and more complex the document, and the more stringent are the conditions for its entry into force. For example, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, provided that entry into force requires acceptance by 25 States whose merchant fleets comprise not less than 50 per cent of the world's gross tonnage; for the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, the requirement was acceptance by 25 States whose combined merchant fleets represent not less than 65 per cent of world tonnage.

When the appropriate conditions have been fulfilled, the convention enters into force for the States which have accepted - generally after a period of grace intended to enable all the States to take the necessary measures for implementation.

In the case of some conventions which affect a few States or deal with less complex matters, the entry into force requirements may not be so stringent. For example, the Convention Relating to Civil Liability in the Field of Maritime Carriage of Nuclear Material, 1971, came into force 90 days after being accepted by five States; the Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement, 1971, came into force six months after three States (including two with ships or nationals involved in special trades) had accepted it.

For the important technical conventions, it is necessary that they be accepted and applied by a large section of the shipping community. It is therefore essential that these should, upon entry into force, be applicable to as many of the maritime states as possible. Otherwise they would tend to confuse, rather than clarify, shipping practice.

Accepting a convention does not merely involve the deposit of a formal instrument. A Government's acceptance of a convention necessarily places on it the obligation to take the measures required by the convention. Often national law has to be enacted or changed to enforce the provisions of the convention; in some cases, special facilities may have to be provided; an inspectorate may have to be appointed or trained to carry out functions under the convention; and adequate notice must be given to shipowners, shipbuilders and other interested parties so they make take account of the provisions of the convention in their future acts and plans.

At present IMO conventions enter into force within an average of five years after adoption. The majority of these instruments are now in force or are on the verge of fulfilling requirements for entry into force.


The terms signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession refer to some of the methods by which a State can express its consent to be bound by a treaty.

Consent may be expressed by signature where:


Depositary Information on IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions - Summary

Status of Conventions by country

Convention on the International Maritime Organization


Latest Ratifications
Action Dates (Entry into force dates)






Load Lines

MARPOL 73/78

Removal of Wrecks

Anti-fouling Systems

Ballast Water Management

Liability and Compensation Conventions

Maritime Safety Conventions

Maritime Security

Prevention of Marine Pollution Conventions

Other IMO Conventions

The treaty provides that signature shall have that effect;
List of Conventions

It is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that signature should have that effect;
Conventions in Development

The intention of the State to give that effect to signature appears from the full powers of its representatives or was expressed during the negotiations (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, Article 12.1).
Abbreviations of Conventions

A State may also sign a treaty "subject to ratification, acceptance or approval". In such a situation, signature does not signify the consent of a State to be bound by the treaty, although it does oblige the State to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty until such time as it has made its intention clear not to become a party to the treaty (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 18(a))


Most multilateral treaties contain a clause providing that a State may express its consent to be bound by the instrument by signature subject to ratification.

In such a situation, signature alone will not suffice to bind the State, but must be followed up by the deposit of an instrument of ratification with the depositary of the treaty.

This option of expressing consent to be bound by signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval originated in an era when international communications were not instantaneous, as they are today.

It was a means of ensuring that a State representative did not exceed their powers or instructions with regard to the making of a particular treaty. The words "acceptance" and "approval" basically mean the same as ratification, but they are less formal and non-technical and might be preferred by some States which might have constitutional difficulties with the term ratification.

Many States nowadays choose this option, especially in relation to multinational treaties, as it provides them with an opportunity to ensure that any necessary legislation is enacted and other constitutional requirements fulfilled before entering into treaty commitments.

The terms for consent to be expressed by signature subject to acceptance or approval are very similar to ratification in their effect. This is borne out by Article 14.2 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which provides that "the consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by acceptance or approval under conditions similar to those which apply to ratification."


Most multinational treaties are open for signature for a specified period of time. Accession is the method used by a State to become a party to a treaty which it did not sign whilst the treaty was open for signature.

Technically, accession requires the State in question to deposit an instrument of accession with the depositary. Article 15 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that consent by accession is possible where the treaty so provides, or where it is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed or subsequently agreed that consent by accession could occur.


Technology and techniques in the shipping industry change very rapidly these days. As a result, not only are new conventions required but existing ones need to be kept up to date. For example, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1960 was amended six times after it entered into force in 1965 - in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1973. In 1974 a completely new convention was adopted incorporating all these amendments (and other minor changes) and has itself been modified on numerous occasions.

In early conventions, amendments came into force only after a percentage of Contracting States, usually two thirds, had accepted them. This normally meant that more acceptances were required to amend a convention than were originally required to bring it into force in the first place, especially where the number of States which are Parties to a convention is very large.

This percentage requirement in practice led to long delays in bringing amendments into force. To remedy the situation a new amendment procedure was devised in IMO. This procedure has been used in the case of conventions such as the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 and SOLAS 1974, all of which incorporate a procedure involving the "tacit acceptance" of amendments by States.

Instead of requiring that an amendment shall enter into force after being accepted by, for example, two thirds of the Parties, the "tacit acceptance" procedure provides that an amendment shall enter into force at a particular time unless before that date, objections to the amendment are received from a specified number of Parties.

In the case of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, an amendment to most of the Annexes (which constitute the technical parts of the Convention) is `deemed to have been accepted at the end of two years from the date on which it is communicated to Contracting Governments...' unless the amendment is objected to by more than one third of Contracting Governments, or Contracting Governments owning not less than 50 per cent of the world's gross merchant tonnage. This period may be varied by the Maritime Safety Committee with a minimum limit of one year.

As was expected the "tacit acceptance" procedure has greatly speeded up the amendment process. The 1981 amendments to SOLAS 1974, for example, entered into force on 1 September 1984. Compared to this, none of the amendments adopted to the 1960 SOLAS Convention between 1966 and 1973 received sufficient acceptances to satisfy the requirements for entry into force.


The enforcement of IMO conventions depends upon the Governments of Member Parties.

Contracting Governments enforce the provisions of IMO conventions as far as their own ships are concerned and also set the penalties for infringements, where these are applicable.

They may also have certain limited powers in respect of the ships of other Governments.

In some conventions, certificates are required to be carried on board ship to show that they have been inspected and have met the required standards. These certificates are normally accepted as proof by authorities from other States that the vessel concerned has reached the required standard, but in some cases further action can be taken.

The 1974 SOLAS Convention, for example, states that "the officer carrying out the control shall take such steps as will ensure that the ship shall not sail until it can proceed to sea without danger to the passengers or the crew".

This can be done if "there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship and its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of that certificate".

An inspection of this nature would, of course, take place within the jurisdiction of the port State. But when an offence occurs in international waters the responsibility for imposing a penalty rests with the flag State.

Should an offence occur within the jurisdiction of another State, however, that State can either cause proceedings to be taken in accordance with its own law or give details of the offence to the flag State so that the latter can take appropriate action.

Under the terms of the 1969 Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas, Contracting States are empowered to act against ships of other countries which have been involved in an accident or have been damaged on the high seas if there is a grave risk of oil pollution occurring as a result.

The way in which these powers may be used are very carefully defined, and in most conventions the flag State is primarily responsible for enforcing conventions as far as its own ships and their personnel are concerned.

The Organization itself has no powers to enforce conventions.

However, IMO has been given the authority to vet the training, examination and certification procedures of Contracting Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978. This was one of the most important changes made in the 1995 amendments to the Convention which entered into force on 1 February 1997. Governments will have to provide relevant information to IMO's Maritime Safety Committee which will judge whether or not the country concerned meets the requirements of the Convention.
Relationship between Conventions and interpretation
Some subjects are covered by more than one Treaty. The question then arises which one prevails. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides in Article 30 for rules regarding the relationship between successive treaties relating to the same subject-matter. Answers to questions regarding the interpretation of Treaties can be found in Articles 31, 32 and 33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. A Treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. When a Treaty has been authenticated in two or more languages, the text is equally authoritative in each language, unless the treaty provides or the parties agree that, in case of divergence, a particular text shall prevail.
Uniform law and conflict of law rules
A substantive part of maritime law has been made uniform in international Treaties. However, not every State is Party to all Conventions and the existing Conventions do not always cover all questions regarding a specific subject. In those cases conflict of law rules are necessary to decide which national law applies. These conflict of law rules can either be found in a Treaty or, in most cases, in national law.


The majority of conventions adopted under the auspices of IMO or for which the Organization is otherwise responsible, fall into three main categories.

The first group is concerned with maritime safety; the second with the prevention of marine pollution; and the third with liability and compensation, especially in relation to damage caused by pollution. Outside these major groupings are a number of other conventions dealing with facilitation, tonnage measurement, unlawful acts against shipping and salvage, etc.


The amendment procedures contained in the first Conventions to be developed under the auspices of IMO were so slow that some amendments adopted have never entered into force. This changed with the introduction of the "tacit acceptance" procedure.

Tacit acceptance is now incorporated into most of IMO's technical Conventions. It facilitates the quick and simple modification of Conventions to keep pace with the rapidly-evolving technology in the shipping world. Without tacit acceptance, it would have proved impossible to keep Conventions up to date and IMO's role as the international forum for technical issues involving shipping would have been placed in jeopardy.

In the spring of 1968, IMO - then still called IMCO, the Inter-Governmental Consultative Organization - celebrated the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the IMO Convention. It should have been an occasion for some congratulations. But all was not well. Many of the Organization's Member States were not happy with the progress that had been made so far.

Many were concerned about the Organization's structure and its ability to respond to the changes taking place in shipping. In March, 1967, the oil tanker Torrey Canyon had gone aground off the coast of England, resulting in what was then the world's biggest oil spill. IMO was called upon to take action to combat oil pollution and to deal with the legal issues that arose. But would it be able to do so?

The general disquiet was summed up by Canada in a paper submitted to the 20th session of the IMO Council in May 1968. It stated that "the anticipations of twenty years ago have not been fulfilled" and went on to complain of the effort required by Member States in attending meetings and dealing with the technical problems raised by IMO. The paper was discussed by the Council which agreed to establish a working group to prepare a draft statement of the objectives of IMO and an inventory of further objectives which the Organization could usefully fulfil in the field of international maritime transport.

In November 1968 the working group reported back to the Council. It outlined a list of activities, far broader than the programmes undertaken by IMO so far. This was approved by the Council, which also agreed that IMO needed to improve its working methods.

The working group was asked to report to the Council again at its 22nd session in May 1969.This time it put forward a number of proposals for improving IMO's working methods, the most important of which concerned the procedures for amending the various Conventions that had been adopted under IMO's auspices.

The problem facing IMO was that most of its Conventions could only be updated by means of the "classical" amendment procedure. Amendments to the 1960 SOLAS Convention, for example, would enter into force "twelve months after the date on which the amendment is accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Governments including two-thirds of the Governments represented on the Maritime Safety Committee. This did not seem to be a difficult target when the Convention was adopted, because to enter into force the Convention had to be accepted by only 15 countries, seven of which had fleets consisting of at least 1 million gross tons of merchant shipping.

But by the late 1960s the number of Parties to SOLAS had reached 80 and the total was rising all the time as new countries emerged and began to develop their shipping activities. As the number of Parties rose, so did the total required to amend the Convention. It was like trying to climb a mountain that was always growing higher and the problem was made worse by the fact that Governments took far longer to accept amendments than they did to ratify the parent Convention.

The Council approved the working group's proposal that "it would be a useful first step to undertake a comparative study of the conventions for which IMO is depositary and similar instruments for which other Members of the United Nations family are responsible." This proposal was endorsed by the 6th regular session of the IMO Assembly in October 1969 and the study itself was completed in time to be considered by the Assembly at its 7th session in 1971.

It examined the procedures of four other UN agencies: the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It showed that all of these organizations were able to amend technical and other regulations. These amendments became binding on Member States without a further act of ratification or acceptance being required.

On the other hand, IMO had no authority to adopt, let alone amend conventions. Its mandate allowed it only to "provide for the drafting of conventions, agreements or other instruments and to recommend these to Governments and to intergovernmental organizations and to convene such conferences as may be necessary." Article 2 of the IMO Convention specifically stated that IMO's functions were to be "consultative and advisory".

The Organization could arrange a conference - but it was up to the conference to decide whether the Convention under discussion should or should not be adopted and to decide how it should be amended. The study concluded that "any attempt to bring IMO procedure and practice into line with the other organizations would, therefore, entail a change either in the constitutional and institutional structure of the Organization itself or in the procedure and practice of the diplomatic conferences which adopt the conventions of IMO.

The first might involve an amendment to the IMO Convention itself. The second might require that diplomatic conferences convened by IMO should grant greater power to the organs of IMO in regard to the review and revision of the instruments.
The study was discussed at length by the Assembly. Canada pointed out that the amendments adopted to the 1960 SOLAS Convention in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969 had failed to enter into force and this "sufficed to show that IMO would henceforth have to tackle serious institutional problems." A note submitted to the conference by Canada stated that "unless the international maritime community is sufficiently responsive to these changed circumstances, States will once again revert to the practice of unilaterally deciding what standards to apply to their own shipping and to foreign flag shipping visiting their ports."

The result was the adoption of resolution A.249(VII) which referred to the need for an amendment procedure "which is more in keeping with the development of technological advances and social needs and which will expedite the adoption of amendments." It called for the Legal Committee and Maritime Safety Committee to prepare draft proposals for consideration by the 8th Assembly.

A growing urgency was added by the fact that IMO was preparing a number of new conventions for adoption during the next few years. Conferences to consider a new Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and an International Convention for Safe Containers were both scheduled for 1972, a major Convention dealing with the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships for 1973 and a conference to revise SOLAS was scheduled for 1976. All of these treaties required a new, easier amendment procedure than the traditional method.

The MSC discussed the amendment question at its 25th session in March 1972. A working group was formed to discuss the matter in detail and concluded that at current rates of acceptance the requisite "two-thirds" target needed to amend SOLAS 1960 "will not be achieved...for many years, possibly never." Moreover, any future amendments would almost certainly suffer the same fate. This would include any amendments intended to improve the amendment procedure itself.

The working group reported: "It follows that the only realistic way of bringing an improved amending procedure into effect within a reasonable period of time is to incorporate it into new or revised technical conventions.

A few weeks later, the Legal Committee held its 12th session. Among the documents prepared for the meeting was a report on discussions that had taken place at the MSC and a detailed paper prepared by the Secretariat. The paper analysed the entry into force and amendment processes of various IMO Conventions and referred to two possible methods that had been considered by the Assembly, for speeding up the amendment procedure. Alternative I was to revise each Convention so that greater authority for adopting amendments might be delegated to the appropriate IMO organs. Alternative II was to amend the IMO Convention itself and give IMO the power to amend Conventions.

The study then considered Alternative I in greater detail. The main reason why amendments took so long to enter into force was the time taken to gain acceptance by two-thirds of Contracting Governments. One way of reducing this period would be by "specifying a date ...of entry into force after adoption by the Assembly, unless that date of amendment is explicitly rejected by a certain number or percentage of Contracting Governments." The paper said that this procedure "has the advantage that all Contracting Governments would be able to advance the preparatory work for implementing the amended regulations and the industry would be in a position to plan accordingly."

The Committee established a working group to consider the subject and prepared a preliminary study based on its report, which again referred to the disadvantages of the classical amendment system. The study continued: "The remedy for this, which has proved to be workable in practice, in relation to a number of conventions, is what is known as the 'tacit' or 'passive' acceptance procedure. This means that the body which adopts the amendment at the same time fixes a time period within which contracting parties will have the opportunity to notify either their acceptance or their rejection of the amendment, or to remain silent on the subject. In case of silence, the amendment is considered to have been accepted by the party...".

The tacit acceptance idea immediately proved popular. The Council, at its meeting in May, decided that the next meeting of the Legal Committee should consist of technical as well as legal experts so that priority could be given to the amendment issue. The Committee was asked to give particular attention to tacit acceptance.

The idea was given non-governmental support by the International Chamber of Shipping, which had consultative status with IMO and submitted a paper stating that the lack of an effective amendment procedure created uncertainties and was detrimental to effective planning by the industry. The classical procedure had also encouraged some governments to introduce unilateral legislation that, however well intentioned, was "seriously disruptive to international shipping services." The paper said that if other Governments did the same "the disruption to international shipping and the world trade which it serves would become increasingly severe. Such unilateral action strikes at the purpose of IMO."

By the time the Legal Committee met for its 14th session in September 1972, there was general agreement that tacit acceptance offered the best way forward. Other ideas, such as amending the IMO Convention itself, had too many disadvantages and would take too long to introduce. There was some concern about what would happen if a large number of countries did reject an amendment and the Committee members agreed that tacit acceptance should apply only to the technical content of Conventions, which was often contained in annexes. The non-technical articles should continue to be subject to the classical (or "positive") acceptance procedure.

The Committee also generally agreed that alternative procedures for amending the technical provisions should be retained but it did not reach consensus on another issue: should amendments be prepared and adopted by an appropriate IMO body, such as the Maritime Safety Committee - or by Contracting Parties to the Convention concerned? This was an important point at the time, since many Contracting Parties to IMO Conventions were not yet Members of IMO itself and might object to treaties they had ratified being amended without them even being consulted.

This issue was still unsettled when the Conference on Revision of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea opened in October 1972. The purpose of the conference was to update the Collision Regulations and to separate them from the SOLAS Convention (the existing regulations were annexed to SOLAS 1960).

The amendment procedure is contained in Article VI. Amendments to the Collision Regulations adopted by the MSC (by a two-thirds majority) have to be communicated to Contracting Parties and IMO Member States at least six months before being considered by the Assembly. If adopted by the Assembly (again by a two-thirds majority), the amendments enter into force on a date determined by the Assembly unless more than one third of Contracting Parties notify IMO of their objection. On entry into force, any amendment shall "for all Contracting Parties which have not objected to the amendment, replace and supersede any previous provision to which the amendment refers."

Less than two months later, on 2 December 1972 a conference held in Geneva adopted the International Convention for Safe Containers, Article X of which contains procedures for amending any part or parts of the Convention. The procedure is the traditional "positive" acceptance system, under which amendments enter into force twelve months after being adopted by two-thirds of Contracting Parties. However, Article XI contains a special procedure for amending the technical annexes which also incorporates tacit acceptance. The procedure is slightly different from that used in the Collision Regulations, one difference being that the amendments can be adopted by the MSC "to which all Contracting Parties shall have been invited to participate and vote." This answered the question of how to take into account the interests of Parties to Conventions that were not Member States of IMO.

The next Convention to be considered was the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which was successfully adopted in May 1973. It, too, incorporated tacit acceptance procedures for amending the technical annexes. In the meantime, IMO was preparing for a new SOLAS convention. This was considered necessary because none of the amendments adopted to the 1960 version had entered into force and did not appear likely to do so in the near future. The 1966 Load Lines Convention also contained a classical amendment procedure and the intention was to combine the two instruments in a new Convention, which was scheduled to be considered in 1976.

The MSC discussed this proposal at its 26th session in October-November, but it was clear that this would be a daunting and time-consuming task. The combined instrument might be a good idea for the future - but the real priority was to get the amendments to SOLAS 1960 into force as quickly as possible and to make sure that future amendments would not be delayed. A working group was set up to consider the various alternatives, but opinion began to move in favour of a proposal by the United Kingdom that IMO should concentrate on an interim Convention designed to bring into force the amendments adopted since 1960. The new Convention, it was suggested, would consist of the 1960 text with the addition of a tacit acceptance amendment procedure and the addition of amendments that had already been adopted.

Another advantage, the United Kingdom pointed out, was that the conference called to adopt the revised Convention "might be held considerably earlier than 1976 since comparatively little preparation would be needed." The subject was discussed again at the MSC's 27th session in the spring of 1973 and, although some delegations wanted a more comprehensive revision, others felt that the workload would be so great that the conference would be seriously delayed. By a vote of 12 in favor and four abstentions, the Committee decided to call a conference with limited scope, as proposed by the United Kingdom.

On 21 October, 1974, the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea opened in London and on 1 November a new SOLAS Convention was adopted, which incorporated the tacit acceptance procedure.

The tacit acceptance amendment procedure has now been incorporated into the majority of IMO's technical Conventions and has been extended to some other instruments as well. Its effectiveness can be seen most clearly in the case of SOLAS 1974, which has been amended on many occasions since then. In the process, the Convention's technical content has been almost completely re-written.

Posted by sanjay swain



a)The extinguisher consists of a cylindrical shaped outer
container which is made of mild steel and treated for anti-corrosion, which contain 9 ltrs. of  water. The container is pressure tested at a pressure of 350 lbs. Psi (24 bars Approx.). It has an expansion space.

                            b) Gas cartridge (cO2) is stored inside cylinder and coupled to the operating head. It contain 60 gram of CO2 charged with in the container at pressure of 35 bars which when punctured releases the gas and pressurize the water.
                        c) An operating head is secured to the outer container with a plunger and striking knob. The knob is protected by a safety clip or cap to prevent it from accidental operation. There are three vent holes provided on the cap to allow the pressure to release by which explosion hazards of the extinguisher can be avoided.

                   The water type extinguishers are operated (used) for “A” class fire. Carry the extinguisher to the scene of fire, remove the safety clip, make sure the cap is fully screw down and strike the knob hard, direct the water jet in heart of the fire with the wind.

a)Make sure that the vent holes are absolutely clear on the
   extinguisher head.
b)Unscrew the CO2 cartridge.
c)Wash out the outer container and refill it with fresh water, add antifreezing chemicals if required.
d)Take new CO2 cartridge, and after making sure that the plunger is fully withdrawn screw in the CO2 cartridge on the head. The plunger must be fully serviceable.
e)Screw down the head fully.
f)Write down the recharging date on the body and if rubber hose (discharge hose) is fitted make it fully tight.

                   This extinguisher contains a cap fitted with valve group (normally of brass metal) and a cylinder containing water and space for dry air. The extinguisher is filled with water and air is charged into it at a pressure of 10 bars. This can be charged from a compressed air cylinder or from a compressor. The air can be charged through an adaptor which is fitted permanently to the extinguisher.

Test: - a) Monthly weigh the cartridge.
           b) Pressure test.

foam is a frothy substance entirely consisting of bubbles and these bubbles contain either CO or Air.Mechanical way of producing foam is by self aspiration of a foam solution through a foam making branch pipe by mechanical means and it will produce 72 to 90 ltrs. of foam.

These extinguishers are used on “A” & “B” classes of fire. When required take extinguisher to the scene of fire, tight the wheel head assembly, remove the safety clip, hold the discharge hose in the hand and strike the knob hard use the foam directly on fire.

a)Unscrew the wheel head and remove the CO2 cartridge.
b)Make sure the vent holes are clean.
c)Wash the outer container and fill up 8.6 ltrs of water and mixed. 4 ltr of
   AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Forces) and dilute it properly.
d)Refill the solution is outer container.
e)Take fresh CO2 cartridge of 90 gram to 120 gram and connect it to wheel
f)Replace the wheel head assembly and put safety clip on.

various types of dry chemical powders were used for many years. But they had various drawbacks. Powder Commonly used for class B&C type fires are usually based on sodium bicarbonate. Potassium bicarbonate powder is also used in many countries. Powder for dealing with carbonaceous (class A) fires as well as class B fires known as General purpose one based on ammonium phosphates. All dry powders are treated to improve their flow and reduce caking.
                 Modern dry powder extinguisher is very efficient. They can use for running fires in highly flammable liquids. Recent developments however have produced powders, which are capable of dealing with carbonaceous fires.
           The powder extinguishes the fires by stopping chain reactions occurring in the flames. Sodium and Potassium Carbonate are found to be the best. When applied on the flame it smokeless, the fire, draws heat and cools the flame, when it decomposes produce CO2 and water even though it is very little. The importance of the decomposition is that a new cathartically active, surface is formed and that will become as a fire retardant and destroys the radicals that propagate the chain reaction. Ammonium phosphate powder not only extinguishes the class B fire but also class ‘A’ fires. The phosphate content of the general-purpose powder deals with the smoldering by acting in a manner, which is similar to that of a fore retardant.
            The normally used fire-extinguishing agents are inadequate or dangerous when used on metal fire such as magnesium, aluminum, uranium, titanium, and zirconium metals. A combination of sodium, potassium and barium chloride (ternary eutectic chloride) is used for class “D” fire. The melting point is very low and the capacity for absorbing the latent heat from the metal is very high. The powder melt and forms a fused skin cover the metal, preventing contact with the Oxygen in the atmosphere at the same line absorbing the heat from the metal, so cooling it below its ignition temperature. There are two types of dry chemical powder extinguishers (a) Stored Pressure and (b) CO2 gas pressure type.

The construction of the stored pressure type Dry chemical powder extinguisher the outer container is made of mild steel and treated for anti-corrosion cap or head is made of brass fitted with valve group (pressure gauge, charging adaptor etc.) 10 Kg Dry chemical powder and a space for dry air at the pressure of 10 bar/cm2. This can be charged from a compressed air cylinder or from the compressor the air can be charged through an adaptor, which is permanently fitted to the extinguisher.
          Make sure the container is thoroughly dried, before recharging.
          Particular care should be taken to ensure that powder remaining in
          discharge hose and nozzle is fully cleared. When refilling the new
          powder container is opened, the powder should be transferred
          immediately into the extinguisher and appliance sealed. Personnel
          handling must take care mixing or cross contamination should be
          avoided. Some powder may react which will not be felt at the same
          time but at later stage. Only one type of powder extinguisher be
          opened at a time to avoid mixing. The examination should be
          conducted only in a clean room using dry receptor.

     Carbon dioxide has been used for many years to extinguish flammable liquid fires and live electronic equipment fires. Consequently it is widely employed as an extinguishing agent in fixed installation and also in portable extinguishers with capacities ranging from 0.9 kg to 6.8 kg of liquefied gas.

     CO2 has a number of properties making it useful for extinguishing fire.
1.It is non-combustible and does not react with most substances.
2.It can penetrate and spread it all part of fire area.
3.It provides its own pressure for discharge from extinguisher.
4.It is non-conductor of electricity.
5.It will not damage sophisticated electronic equipment. Under normal
  condition CO2 is colourless, odourless. It is easily liquefied by pressure
  and cooling CO2 is relatively nontoxic.

When CO2 in liquid form release from storage cylinder there is an extremely rapid expansion from liquid to gas which produces a refrigerating effect, that converts the part of CO2 into “snow” (solid- particles). This snow, which has a temperature of 79o C, soon sublimes (i.e. transformed directly from solid to gas). It is the sublimation that produces some cooling effect. When used as an extinguisher under suitable conditions of control and application some cooling of the fire may be effected, but it is the extinction of the oxygen to a point where it will no longer support combustion, which is of primary importance. In general 1 kg of liquid CO2 in its liquid state
will produce about 5 m3 of free gas at atmospheric pressure.

Earlier models were operated by striking a plunger at the head of the cylinder. This pierced a sealing disc or by actuating lever device, but in most current models removing a safety pin and then operating the discharge device release the gas. The essential feature about this device, what even its type is that it should open quickly and provide a clear passage for the liquid. If this free passage does not exist, freezing up of the valve occurs. For this reason the small orifices in commercial valves are not suitable. The discharge mechanism is usually designed so that, at an ambient temperature of 15o C to 18o C not less than 95% of the content is released in form of continuous discharge is the minimum time.
Owing to the expansion of the discharging gas and its liability to freeze, careful design of the discharge mechanism is essential.

A discharge tube is fitted to the cylinder so that liquid CO2 is released through the valve in cylinder head. Expansion may commence in the flexible discharge tube, is fitted, but the greater part of expansion take place in discharge horn. The ratio of expansion is 1:450. The design of the discharge horn is very important feature of CO2 extinguisher’s its main purpose is to stop the containment of air with the CO2 by reducing the velocity of the gas. Without this horn the jet of CO2 gas and air acts like a blowtorch and would increase the intensity of fire.

Fire is chain reaction following elements when they meet together eg. Burning material (or fuel),Oxygen(or air) and heat.


 This fire involving solid material normally of organic nature compounds of carbon in which combustion occurs with the formation of glowing ember.

Class “A” fires are the most common and the most effective extinguishing agent in generally water in the form of jet and spray.

These are fire involving liquid; or liquefiable solid; for the purpose of choosing effective extinguishing agent liquid may be divided in two groups

1.One which is mixable with water alcohol and acid
2.Those that are not mixable with water petroleum products and edible oils etc. 

Depending upon a and b the extinguishing agents are water spray, foam, light water, vaporizing liquid CO2 and dry chemical powder.

These are fires involving gases or liquid gasses in the form of a liquid spillage or liquid or gas leak and these includes methane, propane, pentane etc. Foam or dry chemical powder can be used to control the fires involving shallow laved liquid spill water in form of spray is used to cool the container.

These fire involving metal extinguishing agents containing water are ineffective and even dangerous co2 and carbonate gasses of dry powders m ay also be hazardous. If applied most metal fires, powdered graphite powder talk, soda ash, limestone and dry sand are normally used for class “D” Fires.


It is most considered according to present day ideas that electrical fire constitute a class, since any five involving or started by electrical equipment most in fact be a fire of class ‘A B & D’.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Posted by sanjay swain



With these systems the motor runs continuously. Duplicate motors and duplicate feeders are normally provided and in certain installations a change-over switch is provided so that each motor may be supplied by either feeder.

Short circuit protection only is provided in these feeder circuits, the normal overload protection being replaced by an overload alarm.


These are of three basic types:-


With these systems the gear will run and the rudder will continue to turn while the steering wheel or other controller is moved from its central position. Rudder movement is stopped only when the steering control is centred once again (or when the rudder is brought up against the stops).

It will be obvious that placing the filler amidships merely stops application of helm and does not remove it. Removal of helm must be effected by moving the tiller to the opposite side. Controllers with non follow up systems take the form of a wheel or a tiller lever or push buttons. A rudder indicator is fitted to indicate rudder movement.


With these systems movement of the rudder follows the movement of the steering controller e.g. if the controller is moved to indicate a desired rudder position the rudder will turn until the actual rudder angle is the same as the desired rudder angle shown on the steering pedestal after which rudder movement will cease, the controller remaining offset from its central position.


With these systems the steering control circuits are controlled by signals received from the master compass, so that the ship is automatically held on to a selected course.

Primarily the system is so arranged that when the vessel is on course the rudder is amidships but as soon as the compass indicates an error the auto pilot applies an amount of rudder sufficient to bring the vessel back on course. By the time the vessel is on course again the applied correcting rudder has been removed.

With some systems, should it be required to alter the course being steered by the auto pilot by a few degree, this can be done by a Trim Switch and without necessarily reverting to hand steering.

Any and all of the above systems can be applied to both all electric or electro hydraulic steering systems so that the following may be fitted:-
(i) Hand Electric (Follow Up)
(ii) Hand Electric (Non Follow Up)
(iii) Hand Hydraulic (“Telemotor Control”)
(iv) Automatic
and its normal practice to fit at least two of the systems (i), (ii) and (iii).
Fig indicates Follow Up, Non Follow Up and Auto Systems fitted to electro hydraulic power systems.
Thus it will be obvious that an electric system of steering control consists essentially of:-
i)Steering pedestal or bridge unit. This produces electrical impulses by operation of the steering control.
ii)Amplifier or control unit to transmit these impulses to the steering flat.
iii)After power unit to translate these impulses into mechanical movement of the power steering system.

Saturday, August 24, 2013
Posted by sanjay swain


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