MINISTRY OF SURFACE TRANSPORT
New Delhi, the 19th June, 1997
289.—Whereas a draft the Merchant Shipping, (Safety of Navigation) Rules,
1996 was published as required by section 356, read with section 458, of the
Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958) and in suppression of Merchant
Shipping (distress Message and Navigational Warnings) Rules, 1964, in the
Gazette of India, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (I) dated 11.5.96 under
the notification of the Govt. of India vide GSR 202 dated 26.4.96 for the
information of all persons likely to be affected thereby inviting objections
or suggestions in respect of said draft rules within a period of forty-five
days from the date on which copies of the notification as published in the
Gazette of India were made available to the public;
And whereas the said Gazette was made available to the public on 11.5.96;
whereas no objection or suggestion has been received.
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers
conferred by section 356, read with section 458 of the Merchant Shipping
Act, 1958 (44 of 1958), the Central Government hereby makes the following
rules, namely :-
1. Short title, commencement and
(1) These rules, may be called Merchant
Shipping (Safety of Navigation) Rules, 1997.
(2) Save as otherwise provided in these
rules, these rules shall come into force on the date of their publication in
the Official Gazette.
(3) They shall apply to all sea-going
Indian ships, and ships other than Indian ships while they are within the
territorial waters of
Provided that these rules shall not apply to,-
(i) ships not propelled by
(ii) sailing vessels registered under Part XV of the Act:
(iii) fishing vessels registered under Part XVA of the Act; and
(iv) pleasure yachts.
(v) ships employed in trades or operations where bridge arrangements
and navigational equipments as may be approved by the Director General of
Shipping is provided to suit special navigational and operational
In these rules unless the context otherwise
(a) "Act" means the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958);
(b) "approved" means approved by the Director General of Shipping;
(c) "automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) means a radar provided with
automatic means for acquisition and plotting of targets and complying with
the relevant International Maritime Organisation Standards;
(d) "bridge" means the area from which the navigation and control of
the vessel is exercised and includes the wheel house chart room and the
bridge wings complying with the requirements of the relevant International
Maritime Organisation Standards;
(e) "collision regulations" means the Merchant Shipping (Prevention
of Collision at Sea) Regulations, 1975;
(f) "constructed" in relation to a ship, means a stage of
(i) the keel is laid; or
(ii) construction identifiable with a specific ship begins; or
(iii) assembly of that ship commenced comprising of at least 50 tons
of 1% of the estimated mass of all structural material whichever is less;
(g) "echo sounding device" means equipment used for determining depth
of water and complying with the requirements of the relevant International
Maritime Organisation Standards;
(h) "emergency steering position" means position on a ship from which
vessel can be steerd in the event of a breakdown of the transmission system,
used for operation of the steering gear, between the navigation bridge and
the steering gear compartment;
"gyro compass" means direction showing equipment using principle of
gyroscope and complying with the requirements of the relevant International
Maritime Organisation Standards;
(j) International Maritime Organisation standards means
recommendations, guidelines or standards approved and published by the
Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation and as amended from time
(k) "International code of signals" means the code of signals
approved by the International Maritime Organisation used by communication of
safety, emergency and distress messages.
(l) "magnetic compass" means an equipment complying with the
requirements of the relevant International Maritime Organisation standards.
(m) "merchant ship search and rescue manual" means the manual
published by International Maritime Organisation to provide guidance for the
conduct of search and rescue operations at sea;
(n) "mile" means a nautical mile of 1853.144 metres.
(o) "Notices to Mariners" means the notice published by the Chief
Hydrographer to the Government of India and includes Navarea warning and
(p) "radar installation" means installation used for collision
avoidance and navigation and complying with the requirements of the relevant
International Maritime Organisation Standards;
(q) "radar direction finding apparatus" means equipment for finding
direction of an incoming radio signal and complying with the requirements of
the relevant International Maritime Organisation standards.
(r) "radio regulation" means the radio regulation annexed to the
International Telecommunications Convention, 1982;
(s) "rate of turn indicator" means equipments showing the rate at
which the ships is turning and complying with the requirements of the
relevant International Maritime Organisation Standards.
(t) "routeing system" means system of one or more routes or routeing
measures aimed at reducing the risk of collisions and groundings and may
include traffic separation scheme, 2-way routes, recommended tracks, areas
to be avoided, inshore traffic zones, roundabouts, precautionary areas, deep
water routes established by the International Maritime Organisation.
(u) "Schedule" means a
Schedule to these rules.
(v) "speed and distance indicator" means equipment indicating speed
of the vessel and distance steamed by the ship over water and complying with
the ship over water and complying with the requirements of the relevant
International Maritime Organisation Standards.
Navigational and Safety Communication
3. Communications—(1) All navigational
and safety communications shall be performed units one or more of the
(a) procedure specified in the Radio regulations when using the radio
telegraphy or radio telephony with or without digital selective calling
facility or narrow band direct printing of the procedure specified by
International Maritime Satellite Organisation when using satellite based
(b) Codes prescribed in the International Code of signals when
language difficulties are experienced.
(c) Standard marine navigational vocabulary when communicating by
telephony in the English language.
(2) Every ship of 150 tons gross tonnage
and above shall, in addition to the requirements of Merchant Shipping
(Radio) Rules, 1983 carry for the purposes of navigational and safety
(a) a set of International
(b) international code of
(c) IMO publication on the Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary.
(d) Signalling lamp complying with the requirements of the relevant
(e) means to transmit distress signals specified in annex IV of
(3) Where in any communication a date and
time is to be indicated same shall be in universal co-ordinated time (UTC).
4. Distress Message.—(1) Whenever the
Master of a ship has reached a conclusion that his ship is in imminent
danger which could result in loss of ship or loss of life, he shall send a
"distress" message to all ships and coast stations within the range of his
communication systems in plain language (preferably in English).
(2) Such message shall be preceded by
appropriate code indicating "distress" and shall be transmitted using
procedures prescribed in the Radio Regulations.
(3) When sending such messages, at least
the following information shall be included :-
(a) Date and time when signal was originated ;
(b) position of the ship;
(c) circumstances leading to distress; and
(d) if the ship is to be abandoned, availability of survival crafts
and prevailing whether conditions.
(4) Master of every ship who has ordered
"abandon ship" shall order, simultaneously, activation of the auto keying
device provided under the Merchant Shipping (Radio) Rules, 1983 and the
emergency Position Indicating Radio beacon provided as per requirements of
the Merchant Shipping (Life Saving Appliances) Rules, 1991.
5. Urgency messages.—(1) Whenever the
Master of a ship has reason to believe that his ship or the life of any
person on board is in danger and there is need for alterting coast stations
and other ships but the danger is not sufficiently grave to require
abandonment of the ship or immediate assistance of any kind, he shall send
an "urgency" message. such signal shall where practicable, be addressed to
a specific coast radio station or to another ship known to be in the
vicinity. Such signal may also be used when the master of a ship desires to
issue varnings that circumstances are such that it may become necessary for
him to send out a "distress" message at a later stage. In such cases,
however, the signal need not be addressed to a specific station and the
circumstances be indicated clearly.
(2) Such messages shall be preceded by the
appropriate code indicating "urgency" and shall be transmitted using
procedure prescribed in the Radio Regulations.
(3) When sending such messages at least
the following information shall be included :
(i) time, date and position
of the ship,
(ii) course, speed and original destination of the ship,
(iii) nature of problem on board with as many details as practicable.
(iv) whether any assistant is likely to be required and if so the
nature of such assistance.
(v) whether the ship has been diverted towards, nearest port and if
so the name of port expected time and date of arrival at the port and
(vi) efforts being made to control the adverse situation and results
of such efforts.
(4) After sending a message in compliance
with sub-rule (1), the Master shall send further messages every hour, if
practicable and in any case at intervals of not more than 3 hours. At least
the following information shall be included in such messages :-
(i) time, date and position
of the ship,
(ii) course and speed.
(iii) change in situation, if
any, on board.
(5) If the Master of the ship who has sent
a message in compliance with sub-rule (1) has reached the conclusion that
the ship or life of any person on board is no m ore in danger or the
precautionary action ceases to be necessary or if the ship has reached a
port, he shall at once send a message to the coast radio station and ships
in area canceling such "urgency" message.
6. safety messages.—(1) When the Master
of ship meets with--
(iii) Storm or tropical revolving storm or mid Latitude depression.
(iv) subfreezing air temperature associated with winds of 68 kms/hour
or more causing ice accretion on structure,
(v) winds of 95 kms/hour or more for which no storm warning is
(vi) any other direct danger to navigation,
shall send a "safety" message by all possible means at his disposal to ships
in the vicinity and to the nearest coast radio station with whom he can
communicate, with a request to re-transmit the same to the appropriate
(2) Such message shall be preceded by the
appropriate code indicating "safety" and shall be transmitted either in
plain language in English or by means of the International code of signals
or by using the meteorological weather code using procedures prescribed in
the Radio Regulations.
(3) When sending such messages, the
following information shall be included, namely :-
(a) in case of ice, derelict
or danger observed,
(i) kind of ice,
derelict or danger observed,
(ii) position of danger when last observed
(iii) time and date when danger was last observed, and
(iv) rate and
direction of drift, if any,
(b) in case of tropical revolving storm or mid-latitude depression--
a statement that storm or depression has been encountered or is developing
or exists in the neighbourhood of the ship,
(ii) time, date and position of the ship when observation was made,
(iii) barometric pressure, corrected in hectopascals (hpa)
(iv) barometric tendency during the past 3 hours,
(v) true wind
direction and force,
(vi) state of the sea (smooth, mild, rough, high),
(vii) swell height (slight, mild, heavy), true direction from which it
is coming, period and length (short average, long),
(viii) true course
and speed of the ship,
(ix) nature and intensity of precipitation during the past 3 hours
(slight, intermittent, continuous) and the state of visibility (good,
(x) nature and extent of cloud cover (blue sky, partially cloudy,
(ix) air and sea temperatures,
(c) in case of winds of 95 kms/hour or more for which no storm
warning has been received, the message shall contain similar information as
given in clause
(b) of this sub
(d) in case of sub-freezing air temperature associated with winds of
68 kms/hour or more, causing ice accretion on superstructure--
date, time and position of the ship when the observation was made,
(ii) air and sea
(iii) wind force and direction.
(4) Whenever a Master has sent a safety
message in compliance with clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-rule (3) as the
case may be, he may make further observations and transmit the same hourly,
if practicable. He shall, in any case, report such observations at
intervals of not more than 3 hours so long as the ship remains under the
influence of the storm or depression.
(5) Master of any ship on receiving a
message transmitted in accordance with this rule shall proceed with
up-utmost caution and when necessary alter course and or speed so as to
navigate clear of the danger reported. When ice is reported, the Master
shall proceed at moderate speed and adopt all possible means to detect the
present and navigate with caution.
7. Action to be taken on receipt of
distress' or 'urgency' Communications.—(1) The Master of a ship on receipt
of a message transmitted in accordance with rule 4 or 5 shall forthwith
acknowledge the same giving his own position, course, speed and destination.
(2) Where the transmitting ship has
indicated the likely requirement of assistance, the Master of the receiving
ship shall subject to provision of Section 355 or 355-A of the Act shall
indicate whether he is in a position to render such assistance and the
facilities available with him for that purpose.
(3) After communicating the information as
prescribed in sub-rules (1) and (2) the Master of receiving ship shall cause
a continuous listening watch to be maintained on frequencies mutually
(4) Where after receiving the urgency
message or any updating message following such urgency message the Master of
the receiving ship does not receive any further messages and he has reasons
to believe that the circumstances on board the transmitting ship may have
deteriorated, he shall transmit a suitable message to the nearest Rescue
Coordination Centre or coast radio station giving all information available
and shall be guided by advice rendered by such center or radio station.
8. Every ship in addition to entries
required to be made in the official log book by Section 214 of the Act shall
also make the following entries :
(a) Every safety, urgency or distress message transmitted by the ship
and circumstances warranting same.
(b) Every urgency or distress message received by the ship and action
(c) Every incidence reported under the provision of sub-rule (3) of
9. Search and Rescue Operation.—Every
ship proceeding to the assistance of a vessel or aircraft in distress, in
compliance with Section 355 of the Act, when required to join a search and
rescue operation, shall be guided by the provisions of the Merchant Ship
Search and Rescue Manual and by the instructions given by the concerned
Rescue Coordination Centre.
10. Merchant Ship Reporting System.—(1)
All Indian ships in the
Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean North of 300S shall report
their position, once daily to the Indian ship position and information
reporting system (INSPIRES) described in the annual notices to mariners..
(2) Every Indian ship, hen on voyage from
one port to another outside the area specified in sub-rule 1 of this rule
shall report its position, once daily to a ship reporting system established
for the area under the provisions of International Convention on Maritime
Search and Rescue 1969. In areas where no such system is available every
Indian ship shall as far as possible report its position to INSPIRES or to
(3) Every ship shall make a report
whenever a harmful substance is observed at sea or any ship is seen to be
discharging a harmful substance in contravention of the International
Convention of Prevention of Pollution at Sea 1973 or its protocol of 1978.
Such report shall use the appropriate reporting format specified in the
INSPIRES and shall transmit the same to the nearest coast radio station or
rescue co-ordination center.
11. Routeing systems--
(1) Every ship shall follow routeing systems wherever established.
(2) Where due to circumstances beyond his control the master of a
ship is unable to navigate strictly as directed by a routeing, every
precaution shall taken to ensure safety of navigation of all ships in the
area including transmission of a 'safety' message to indicate the same.
Every such incidence shall be recorded in the official log book and reported
to the Principal Officer at the earliest opportunity.
(3) Every violation of a routeing system reported by the appropriate
authority or a port state, whether reported by a master or not, shall be
investigated by the Principal Officer. The Principal Officer shall also
take into account investigation conducted by any other Administration, if
any. Report of every such investigation shall be submitted to the Director
General—Unless otherwise specified, this part shall apply to all seagoing
ships registered under Part V of the Act.
13. Bridge Design--
(1) Every ship shall be
provided with a bridge.
(2) The layour of the Bridge shall be inspected and approved by
Nautical Adviser when the ship is first registered under the Indian
registry. Any ship already registered as an Indian ship when these rules
come into force shall be inspected and compliance shall be ensured as far as
possible. Structural alteration to such ships shall be specified only where
safety of navigation is likely to be affected advserly.
14. Manning of Ships--
(1) Every ship shall be manned by certificate as required under
Section 76 of the Act.
(2) Every ship shall be issued with a manning certificate in the form
prescribed in First Schedule. Every such certificate shall be valid for a
period of not more than five years.
15. Navigational Watchkeeping--
(1) Every ship shall be manned by certificate officers as required
under Section 76 of the Act.
(2) Composition of watch shall be such as to ensure that personnel on
watch can deal with all possible. Emergencies, In any case an helmsman and
a watchkeeping officer shall be available on the bridge at all times. While
keeping watch the navigational watchkeeping officer shall follow the basic
principles to be observed in keeping navigational watch as specified in the
relevant IMO standard.
16. Engine room Watchkeeping--
(1) A safe engineering watch shall be maintained at sea at all times.
(2) Composition of watch shall be such as to ensure that personnel on
watch can deal with all possible emergencies. The watchkeeping shall follow
the basic principles to be observed in keeping an engineering watch as
specified in the relevant IMO standard.
17. Manoeuvring capability—Every ship
shall be provided with information on its manoeuvring capability. In
particular, the following information shall be displayed conspicuously on
the bridge, namely :--
(a) type of engines and mode of control (i.e. Bridge control,
telegraph etc.) :-
(b) a table showing relation between speed through water and
revolution per minute of propeller;
(c) revolution per minute of engines at which conventional engine
movements of slow, half and full ahead and astern are fixed;
(d) a diagram showing turning circle with details;
(e) estimated stopping distances and time taken for the same at full
speed and at half speed when in fully loaded and in ballast condition ;
(f) details of each stop trials;
(g) time required to put rudder over from hand over or one side to
hard over on the other with two motors and one motor only.
18. Nautical Publication--
(1) Every ship shall carry adequate and upto date charts, sailing
directions list of Lights, notice to marners, tide tables and all other
nautical publications for the intended voyage, including the largest scale
charts available for coastal navigation.
(2) The limits of the intended voyage for which the nautical
publication are adequate shall be indicated on the Record of safety
(3) Where a ship is required to deviate from the limits of the
intended voyage on account of distress or other such causes, the master may
do so provided safety of the ship is not thereby endangered.
(4) Where undated nautical publications are not available at a port,
the Principal Officer may permit the vessel to sail to the next port where
such publications are available only if it is safe to do so.
19. Bridge procedure:-
(1) Master of every ship shall prepare standing orders for keeping a
safe watch, and such standing orders shall include--
(a) instruction with respect to availability of main engines;
(b) procedure to be followed in keeping a safe watch;
(c) composition of a watch and the circumstances in which it may be
(d) procedure to be followed while navigating in pilotage waters,
restricted waters or in areas of high traffic density and poor visibility;
(e) procedure to be followed when encountering poor visibility or
detenioration in weather, and
(f) instructions to call the master at any time when in doubt.
(2) Master of every ship shall ensure that a passage plan for
intended voyage is prepared, scrutinized and available to he Watch Keeping
Officer at all times when the vessel is on its voyage, such plan shall be
monitored and updated where necessary during the progress of voyage and the
said passage plan shall show, but not limited to the following on the chart
or on any other similar document :-
(a) times of sunrises and subset;
(b) times of height water and low water estimated, if in coastal
(c) estimated distances on various courses and estimated times of
arrivals at the positions where alteration of course is planned;
(d) _____________ and shoals that need special attention.
(e) particulars of areas where the master desires to take over the
navigation of the ship personally.
(f) the specified route to follow __________________________
visibility and the use of radar and other navigational aids.
(g) if any navigational equipment is working below its normal
performance standard, the details thereof,
(h) heavy traffic areas and areas where large number of
fishing/sailing vessels are likely to be encountered and areas of strong
process of calling additional assistance for watch keeping.
(3) The manuals and other information
relating to the use of navigation equipment shall be available on the bridge
for use of the watch keeping officers.
(4)(a) in the observance of his duties the officer of the watch shall be
responsible at all times for safe navigation of the ship,
(b) Where necessary the officer of the watch shall call another officer
to assist him in his navigational duties. The officer of watch shall be at
liberty to call the master at any time.
(c) where another officer or master is called on the bridge, the officer
on watch shall continue to be responsible for the safe navigation until
master of such other officer informs him specifically that he has assumed
responsibility of the watch.
5(a) every watchkeeping officer shall strictly comply with the
(b) where due to non-observance of such rules by one of the ships, a
close quarter situation develops, whether resulting in a collision or not,
details of such events and the identity of both ships shall be reported to
the Principal Officer who shall investigate every such report and submit his
findings to the Director General.
6. every officer on watch shall keep a
good lookout which shall include--
(a) an alert visual and aural lookout to ensure a full grasp of the
current situation including the presence of ship, landmarks in the vicinity
and position of the ship at any time ;
(b) close observation of the movements and compass bearing of
approaching vessels ;
(c) identification of ship and shore-light ;
(d) the need to ensure that the course is steered accurated with or
without into pilot and that wheel orders are correctly executed when on
(e) observation of the radar and echo sounder display and
(f) observation of changes in weather, visibility and the state of
(7) Changing over the Watch--
(a) The relieving Officer of the Watch shall ensure that members of
his watch are fully capable of performing their duties and in particular
that they are adjusted to night vision. He shall not take over the watch
until his vision is fully adjusted to the light conditions and he has
personally satisfied himself regarding--
standing orders and other special instructions relating to the navigation of
(ii) the position, course, speed and draught of the vessel;
(iii) prevailing and predicted tides, currents, weather, visibility
and the effect of these factors upon course and speed;
(A) the operational condition of all navigational and safety
(B) errors of gyro and magnetic compasses;
(C) the movement of vessels in the vicinity;
(D) conditions and hazards likely to be encountered during the
(E) the possible effects of heel, trim, water density and squat on
(b) when at the time the Officer of the watch is to be relived, a
manoeuvre or other action to avoid any hazard is taking place, the relief of
the watch shall be deterred until such action is completed.
(c) The Officer of the watch shall not hand over the watch to the
relieving officer if he has any reason to believe that the later is under
any disability which would preclude him from carrying out his duties
effectively. In every such case, the Master shall be informed before
handing over the watch.
(8) The Officer of the watch shall make regular checks to ensure
(a) the helmsman or the automatic pilot is steering the correct
(b) the standard compass error is checked at least once a watch and,
when possible, after any major alteration of course;
(c) the standard and gyro compasses are compared frequently and
(d) the automatic pilot is steering effectively; and
(e) the navigation and signal lights and other navigational equipment
are functioning properly.
(9) Navigation in Coastal Waters—The
Officer of the Watch shall identity positively all relevant navigation
marks. Position of the ship shall be determined at intervals whose
frequency shall, at the discretion of the Master, depend upon factors such
as distance from nearest hazard, accuracy of position fixing systems, speed
of ship and set experienced. In cases such as a planned approach to an
anchorage, or harbours entrance, position shall be plotted continuously.
Whenever circumstances allow and particularly when in doubt positions shall
be checked using alternate position fixing system.
(10) Restricted visibility—When restricted
visibility is encountered or suspected, the officer of the watch shall
comply with the collision regulation making proper use of engines lookout,
radar and helm.
(11) Pilotage Waters.—The presence of a
pilot shall not relieve the Master or the Officer of the watch from their
duties and obligations towards safe navigation. The mater and the watch
keeping officer shall familiarize themselves with the navigational plan of
the pilot for the intended passage including docking and berthing procedure.
They shall co-operate closely with the pilot and maintain an accurate check
on the vessel's position and movements. Alterations of course and/or
changes in wheel and/or engine orders shall be transmitted through the Omcer
of the Watch. If the Master or the officer on which is in any doubt as to
the pilot's actions or intentions, he shall seek clarification from the
pilot and it still in doubt take corrective action where necessary.
20. Navigational Records—Master of every
ships shall in order to provide an emcient record of the navigation passage
maintain at least the following records.
(ii) Weather reports.
(iii) Deviation of magnetic compass.
(iv) Night orders.
(v) Correction to Nautical Publication.
(vi) Maintenance and breakdowns of navigational equipment.
(vii) Dany navigational log (Mates log).
21. Automatic Pilot—(1) Automatic pilots,
where fitted shall comply with the requirements of the relevant IMO
(2) Master of every vessel fitted with
automatic pilot shall cause the manual steering to be tested after prolonged
use of automatic pilot and in any case at least two hours before the vessel
is expected to manouevre on manual steering.
(3) Alteration of courses with the help of
an automatic pilot when other ships are in sight of one another shall be
avoided. Alteration of courses in compliance with collision regulations
shall be effected by manual steering only.
(4) In areas of high traffic density or in
conditions of restricted visibility or in all other hazardous navigational
situations, if an automatic pilot is in use it is requested to establish
manual control of the ship's steering instantaneously, if the occasion
arises in any case qualified helmsman shall at all times be available to
take over control of manual steering.
22. Operation of steering gear :
In areas where navigation demands special caution
and whenever the ship is being manoeuvred in pilotage or restricted waters
or in areas of high traffic density or in a routeing system, more than one
steering gear power unit shall be in operation when such units are capable
of simultaneous operation.
23. Steering gear tests and drills :
(1) Within 12 hours before departure, the ship's steering gear shall
be checked and tested.
test procedure shall include, where applicable, the operation of the
(a) the main steering gear;
(b) the auxiliary gear;
(c) the steering gear control in the systems;
(d) steering capability from the navigation bridge as well as from
the remote steering location in the vicinity of the steering gear.
(e) the emergency power supply where available;
(f) he rudder angle indicators in relation to the actual position of
(g) communications between he bridge and the remote steering
(h) the steering gear power unit failure alarms; and
(2)(a) Simple operating instructions with a block diagram showing the
change over procedures for remote steering gear control systems and steering
gear power units shall be permanently displayed on the navigating bridge and
in the steering gear compartment.
(b) All ship's officers concerned with the operation of maintenance of
steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering systems
fitted on the ship and with the procedures for changing over from one system
(3) In addition to the routine checks and tests prescribed in
sub-rule (1) and (2) of this rule emergency steering drills shall be
conducted at least once every three months in order to practice emergency
(4) These dolls shall include direct control from within the steering
gear compartments, the communication procedure with the navigating bridge
and where applicable the operation or alternative power supplies.
(5) Every ship on regular frequent voyages of less than 24 hours may
carry out the detail tests specified in sub-rule (1) and (2) of this rule at
least once every week. In any case operational tests shall be carried out
(6) The date upon which the checks and tests prescribed in sub-rule
(1) and (2) of this rule at least once every week. In any case operational
tests shall be carried out before departure.
Navigational equipment-General requirements.
24. Initial installation—(1) Every ship
while installing any Electronic navigational equipment required by these
(a) install such equipment complying with the general requirements
for electronic navigational aids specified in the relevant IMO standard in
addition to the requirements specified in these rules
(b) install only such equipment as has been type approved provided
any equipment approved by any other Administration party to the
International Convention for Safety of Life Sea 1974 may also be granted
type approval where the details of such equipment and certificates of
approval granted by such Administration are submitted to the Director
(c) provide a suitable and efficient source of power supply for the
operation of the equipment specified in these rules and for the purposes of
testing and charging of any batteries. The source of electrical energy
shall be available at all times when the ship is at sea and at all
reasonable times when the ship is in port. The supply of electrical energy
shall not exceed the limits set out below :-
Voltage variation + 10%
frequency variation+ 6%
110 to 220V+10% to – 20%
24/32W+30% to – 10%
(d) carry operating and servicing manuals for each equipment
complying with the following
in the case of equipments where the design is such that fault diagnosis and
repairs on bread ship is possible down to component level, the manual should
provide full circuit diagrams, component layouts, and component parts list,
(ii) in the case of equipment containing complex modules in which
fault diagnosis and repair down to component level is not practicable, the
manual should contain sufficient information to enable a defective complex
module to be diagnosed, identified and replaced. The requirements of
sub-clause (i) should be met in respect of other modules and these discrete
components which do not form part of modules.
(e) carry tools measuring instruments and spare parts specified in
the Second Schedule.
(f) provide adequate safe access to all navigational equipments
specified in these rules so that they can be maintained or adjusted in
situ. Such access shall also be provided for maintenance and adjustment of
Radar and Direction Finder Antennae.
(2) Were a ship has changed its registration and has required Indian
registry for the first time, navigation equipment in use on board such ships
shall be considered to have complied with these rules provided :
(a) such equipment has been accepted by the administration under
which the ship was registered previously and
(b) such equipment complies with the relevant IMO standard.
25. Siting of navigational equipment—(1) No unit which has not been
type approved for mounting in an exposed position or in a position which
normally permits the entry of moisture or water shall not be installed in
(2) The accuracy of ships magnetic
compasses shall be safeguarded while installing any navigation or
(3) Safe distance at which an approved
equipment be placed from a standard and magnetic compass in order not to
affect the accuracy of such compass shall be clearly marked on such
equipment or be stated on the certificate of approval. While installing
such equipment safe distance shall be strictly maintained : Provided that
when it is impracticable to maintain the safe distances, the Director
General may allow such reduced distances where the actual effects on the
compass in shown to be stable and such that it can be corrected by compass
(4) Safe distances specified for the
equipment do not take into account the structures required to be added for
installation of such equipment. Where such structures are necessary safe
distances shall be determined and the equipment installed at such distance.
(5) Storage of spare parts, for equipment
shall also comply with the safe distance requirement specified for the
equipment for which the spares are stored.
(6)(a) Where radio interference from any such
equipment is likely to affect the radio communications, such equipment
should be widely separated from the radio communication system.
(b) electrical interference or mechanical noise produced by navigational
installation shall not affect efficient operation of other equipment.
(c) noise from navigation installation shall not disturb the members of
the crew either on or off duty.
(d) navigation equipment shall not be installed in position where
excessive heat and/or fumes may cause failure or undue maintenance
(e) navigational equipment including antenna where practicable be mounted
so as to prevent the performance and reliability of the installation being
adversely affected by vibration,
(f) every equipment shall be designed to provide safe guards which
either prevent access to high voltages by means of isolating switches, door
switches or similar devices or ensure that access is possible only by means
of a tool such as key spanner or screw driver.
(g) where RF of X-radiation is likely to present a hazard to personnel,
warning notices shall be displayed on the equipment showing safe distances.
Similar warning shall be shown in the handbook for such equipment.
(h) approved safe distance plan showing location of equipment and its
distance from magnetic compasses and other equipments shall be carried on
26. Maintenance of Navigational
equipment—(1) Every reasonable step shall be taken to maintain navigational
equipment prescribed in these rules in efficient working order.
Malfunctioning of an equipment shall not make the ship unseaworthy or a
reason for delaying the ship in port where--
an installation similar to that specified in the regulation is provided
additionally and is in good working order ; or
(ii) there is no appropriate repair agency in the port;
(iii) spare parts are not readily available in that port,
(2) Where navigational equipment is malfunctioning:
a ship on International voyage may be permitted to sail to the next port
where such repairs or availability of spare parts is feasible,
(ii) a ship on coasting voyage of India may be permitted to sail
without such equipment for a period one month. The Principal Officer may,
on consideration of the circumstances extend this period to a maximum of
(3) The performance of the radar installation shall be checked before
the ship proceeds to sea and at least once every watch whilst the ship is at
(4) Every foreign going ship of 1600 tons or over required to be
fitted with a radar installation, shall be provided with at least one
officer or member of crew adequately qualified to carry out radar
maintenance Provided that :
(a) If on an occasion on which a ship goes to sea, such officer or
member of the crew is not carried because of illness incapacity or other
unforeseen circumstances, the provision of this rule shall not apply for a
period one week or the duration of the voyage to the next port of call
whichever is later. One such period shall not immediately by following by
another period at sea.
(b) on every such occasion the master or the owner shall notify the
Principal Officer of his inability to carry a suitably qualified person for
this purpose and make an entry in the official log book to that effect.
(5) While a ship which is required to be fitted with a radar
installation is at sea and a radar watch is being kept, the radar
installation shall be under the control of Master or a certified Watch
(6) For the purposes of these rules, an
officer or crew member shall be deemed qualified to carry out radar
maintenance if he holds :
(a) a Radar Maintenance
(b) a certificate recognized by Director General as being equivalent
to the certificates mentioned in clause (a) or
(c) a certificate of proficiency to carry out maintenance on
specified types of radar installations granted at the conclusion of a radar
NAVIGATIONAL EQUIPMENT CARRIAGE REQUIREMENT
Ships of 150 tons gross tonnage and above.—(1) This rule applied to ships of
150 tons gross tonnage and above.
(2) Every such ship shall carry :
(a) a standard magnetic compass fitted on the center line of the ship
and mounted on a binnacle ;
(b) steering magnetic compass fitted on the center line of the ship
and mounted on a binnacle or an arrangement by which heading information
provided by the standard compass required under (a) is made available and is
clearly readable by the helmsman at the main steering position.
(c) where a standard and steering compass is fitted, adequate means
of communication between the standard compass position and the normal
navigation control position.
(d) means for taking bearings as nearly as practicable ever an are of
the horizon of 3600 provided ships of less than 300 tons gross
tonnage lying on the coasting trade of India may be granted relaxation from
the above requirement where it is considered that total compliance shall be
(3) Every magnetic compass referred to in sub-rule 2 shall be
properly adjusted and its table or curve of residual deviation shall be
available at all times on the bridge.
(4) Such table or curve of residual
deviation shall be checked for accuracy once at least every twelve months or
through record of compass deviations maintained as per requirements of rule
20. Where a ship has undergone substantial structural changes or alteration
which are likely to affect such table or curves or where large residual
deviations are observed, the magnetic compass shall be readjusted and a new
table or curve of residual deviation shall be made available.
(5) Every such ship shall also carry a
spare magnetic compass inter-changeable with the standard compass; provided
where the ship is fitted with a steering magnetic compass and a gyro compass
this requirement need not be complied with.
(6) Information with respect to the ship's
heading shall be made available by suitable means at the emergency steering
position, where provided.
(7) Every ship, shall carry a sextant and
(8) Every such ship shall carry an aneroid
barometer or a mercury barometer calibrated by an appropriate officer of the
Indian Heterological department.
28. Ships of less than 150 tons gross
tonnage.—(1) This rules applies to ships of less than 150 tons gross
(2) Every such ship shall comply with the
provisions of rule 27 as far as practicable. Every such ship, shall in any
case, be provided with a steering compass and efficient means for :
(a) taking bearings.
(b) measuring depth of water, and
(c) measuring distance steamed.
29. Ships of 500 gross tonnage and
above.—(1) This rules applied to ships of 500 tons gross tonnage and above.
(2) Every such ship shall comply with the
provisions of rule 27 and in addition shall carry :
(a) master gyro compass or a gyro repeater clearly readable by the
helmsman at the main steering position ;
(b) radar installation along with facilities for plotting radar
bearings which, as far as possible, shall be as effective as a reflection
(c) device for indicating speed and distance ;
(d) indicator showing the rudder angle, the rate of revolution of
each propeller and in addition, if fitted with wariable pitch propeller or
lateral thrust propeller, the operational mode of each such propeller. All
such indicators shall be readable from the conning position and
(e) an echo sounding device.
30. Ships of 1600 gross tonnage and above.
–(1) This rule applies to ships of more than 1600 tons gross tonnage engaged
on International voyages or on voyages which extend more than 500 miles.
(2) Every ship shall comply with the
provisions of rule 29 and in addition shall carry,
(a) a gyro repeater or repeaters suitably placed for taking bearings,
as nearly as practicable, over an arc of the horizon of 3600
(b) radio direction finding apparatus.
(2) Every ship shall carry the equipment
specified in rule 30 and in addition shall comply with this rule.
(3) Every such ship shall carry,
(a) two radar installations, each capable of being operated
independently of the other,
(b) at least one of the radar installations specified in clause (a)
of this sub-rule shall be equipped to operate on 9 Ghz frequency to defect
survival craft radar transponder beacons,
(c) an automatic radar plotting aid,
(d) an device to indicate speed and distance through the water.
(4) Ships of 1,00,000 tons gross tonnage
and upwards constructed on or after
1984, shall, in addition, be fitted with a rate of turn indicator.
32. Provisions of Pilot Ladder.—(1) Every
ship shall be provided with a pilot ladder or other safe and convenient mean
which shall comply with the requirement of the relevant IMO standard.
33. Maintenance and use of a pilot Ladder
and other appliances.—(1) The pilot ladder and other appliances required to
be carried on board under rule 32 shall be kept in good condition and shall
be reserved for the embarkation and disembarkation of pilots and officials
or other persons while a ship is arriving or leaving a port.
(2) Pilot ladder and other appliances such
as mechanical hoists shall be used whenever a pilot or Harbour Master
embarks or disembarks from a ship. No other ladder other than pilot ladder
shall be used for such purposes.
Emergency towing arrangements for tankers.—(1) Every tanker, chemical
carrier and Gas carrier or vessels carrying hazardous and noxious substances
of 50,000 tons deadweight or more shall be provided with an emergency towing
arrangements in compliance with the relevant International Maritime
(2) Every tanker or chemical carrier and
gas carrier of more than 1,00,000 tons deadweight or more shall also be
provided with such towing arrangements at the stern.
(3) Every such towing arrangements shall
at all times be pre-rigged and so stored that it can be brought into use
with the least power requirements.
35. Equivalents and Exemptions.—(1) The
Central Government may, if it considers unreasonable or unnecessary to
require a standard magnetic compass, exempt classes of ships from these
requirements if the nature of the voyage, the ship's proximity to land or
the type of ships does not warrant a standard compass. In any case,
however, every such ship shall be provided with a steering compass.
(2) The Central Government may exempt a
ship of less than 500 gross tonnage from the requirements of the radio
direction finder equipment. Every such grant of exemption shall take into
account that the radio direction finder equipment is necessary both as
navigation equipment and as an aid to locating ships, aircrafts and survival
(3) Any of the equipment specified in
these rules and installed on board ships on or after
1984 shall conform to the relevant IMO standard. Equipment fitted prior to
September 1984, shall be exempted from full compliance with the IMO standard provided
the equipments generally meet the requirements of the functional criteria.
(4) If the application of the requirements
of these rules necessitates structural alterations to a ship constructed
before 1st September 1984, an extension of the time limit for
fitting the required equipment shall be granted taking into account the 1st
Scheduled dry-docking of such a ship.
(5) Except as provided elsewhere in these
rules, the Central government may grant to individual ships exemptions of a
partial or conditional nature when any such ship is engaged on a voyage
where a maximum distance from the ship to a shore, the length and nature of
the voyage, the absence of general navigation hazards, and other conditions
affecting safety are such as to render the full application of these rules
unreasonable or unnecessary. Grant of every such exemption shall take into
account the effect such exemptions may have upon the safety of all other