What is Collision Bulkheads and its Use ?

Collision bulkheads —

(1) Every ship shall be fitted with a collision bulkhead, which shall be watertight upto, the freeboard deck. This bulkhead shall be located at a distance from the forward perpendicular of not less than 5 percent of the length of such ship or 10 meters, whichever is less.
Provided that in exceptional cases, where the Chief Surveyor to the government on India is satisfied, having regard to the safety of the ship, permit such distance upto 8 percent of the length of the ship.

(2) Where any part of the cargo ship below the waterline extends forward of the forward perpendicular, Such as a bulbous bow, the distances stipulated in above paragraph  shall be measured from a position – 

  1. At the mid length of such extension ,  
  2. Forward of the forward perpendicular at a distance of 1.5 percent of the length of the ship ; or
  3. Forward of the forward perpendicular at a distance of 3 meters, whichever is the after-most position.

(3) The collision bulkhead may have steps or recesses in it where such steps or recesses are within the limits specified. Pipes piercing such bulkhead shall be fitted with valves operable from above the freeboard deck and the valve chest shall be secured at the bulkhead inside the forepeak. The valves may be fitted on the after side of the collision bulkhead where such valves are readily accessible under all service conditions and the space in which they are located is not a cargo space. All valves shall be made of steel,bronze or other approved ductile material. No door, manhole, ventilation dust or any other opening shall be fitted in such bulkhead.

(4) In every cargo ship provided with a long forward superstructure the collision bulkhead shall be extended weather tight to the deck immediately above the freeboard deck.

(5)The number of openings in the extension of the collision bulkhead above the freeboard deck shall be capable of being closed watertight and shall be restricted to the minimum compatible with the design and normal operation of the ship.


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