What is the 7 Alarm on a Ship?

Maritime emergencies at sea are not triggered by warnings. Still, distress signals and alerts from ships can help respond to crises and avoid emergencies efficiently and accurately. Distress signals or general alarm in ship are installed in all of the various systems and machinery. Of a ship to inform the crew of dangerous situations that may arise. Due to various types of emergencies on board the ship.

General alarm in ship are audible and visual in nature, ensuring that audible alerts are heard. When working in areas where visual alerts are not possible and vice versa. It is common in the international shipping industry to install general alarms in ships. To provide specific warnings, and this is common for all ocean-going vessels. Regardless of the area they sail or the shipping company they belong to. This commonality helps seafarers to better know. And understand the nature of warning/general alarm in ship or ship distress alerts and to deal with the situation more quickly.

Types of Ship Alarms  

These are the different types of general alarm in ship or signals installed on ships to give audio-visual warnings: 

General Alarms

General alarm in ship are 7 Recognized by short. Ring the bell followed by a long tone, or use the ship’s horn signal to make seven short tones followed by one long tone. A general alarm on board a ship is activated to alert the crew to the occurrence of an emergency situation. Examples include scenarios that could lead to fire, collision, grounding, or ship abandonment.

The activation point for the ship’s general warning system is at the navigation bridge. As soon as the general alarm signal on board is activated, i.e., H. 7 short beeps and one long beep (7 short beeps and one long beep), each ship’s crew Members must proceed to the designated meeting point in accordance with the instructions and obligations listed on the meeting list. As soon as the generalship alarm sounds, the crew should take the following actions: 

  1. Proceed to the designated recovery area.
  2. Listen to the public relations system (PA)  for the nature of the emergency (usually announced by her OOW, first mate, or master); this causes a ship-wide alert.
  3. Once the nature of the emergency is known, the crew should regroup according to the squad and take corrective action to manage the situation according to the collective plan.

Fire alarm on board

If a crew member detects a fire on board, he or she should press the nearest fire switch or shout “Fire, fire, fire” in a loud voice in succession and set off the alarm signal on board. It must be activated. A ship’s fire alarm signal is the continuous sounding of the ship’s electric bell or the continuous sounding of the ship’s horn. 

The fire signal shall be a whistle or electric bell lasting at least 10 seconds.

However, on most ships, the fire signal continues to sound via the alarm bell.

As soon as the master decides to relieve the crew from the fire station, three general alarm blasts are sounded, followed by three short blasts of the ship’s whistle. Actions to be taken by the crew as soon as the ship’s fire alarm sounds: 

  1. Go to the fire station.
  2. Identify the location of the fire.
  3. Follow your assigned team to complete the tasks listed in the collection list.

Personnel overboard alarm

Accidents of cruise ship crew and passengers falling into the sea on the high seas occur frequently. If the man falls overboard, the ship activates the man fall warning system.

The  MOB alarm signal will sound the ship’s alarm bell three times longer to alert the crew, and the ship’s whistle will sound three times longer to notify other ships in the vicinity.

A human underwater signal consisting of light and smoke can be attached to the bridge and also attached to the side of the lifebuoy. When thrown into the water, it emits smoke and light, attracting the ship’s crew and other ships nearby. Actions to be taken by the crew as soon as the ship’s MOB alarm sounds: 

Abandoning the ship’s alarm

If the emergency situation on board gets out of control and the ship is no longer safe for the crew. , in which the signal to leave the ship is given verbally by the master to the  crew chief via the ship’s Personal Addressing (PA) system.

Her not less than six short tones and not less than one long tone by the ship’s whistle, and the same signal of the general alarm bell shall be used as an abandoned ship alarm or an audible signal on board the ship. However, the alarm that is triggered is similar to a general alarm. Then, everyone comes to the emergency services, where the captain or his lieutenant (first mate) gives a verbal order to leave the ship.

Actions to be taken by the crew when a ‘leave ship’ is announced or issued: 

  1. Wear life jackets/diving suits and proceed to the designated recovery point.
  2. Carry all additional items listed on the collection list (blankets, food, water, etc.).
  3. Avoid long routes or paths from your accommodation to the collection point.
  4. Wait for the captain’s order to leave the ship.

Nautical Alarms

Nautical bridges are where most navigation takes place and equipment and navigation lights are equipped with fault alarms. If one of these faults occurs, the bridge will sound the vessel’s alarm signal and its details (location, affected equipment, type of problem, etc.) will be displayed on a notification screen  on the bridge’s navigation panel.

Actions to be taken by the crew when a navigational alarm sounds: 

  1. Check which equipment the alarm affects.
  2. Please identify the error causing the alarm.
  3. Correct the fault or switch backup equipment as necessary.

Engine Room Alarm

The engine room of a ship is equipped with a variety of machinery, the operation of which is continuously monitored by a control and monitoring system.

Machines in the engine room are equipped with various safety devices and alarm devices to ensure safe operation. If a machine malfunction occurs, the general machine room alarms will be activated, the problem will be indicated on the control room alarm panel, and an alarm will be displayed.

Actions to be taken by the crew when an engine room alarm sounds:   

  1. Check which machinery/systems the alarm affects.
  2. Please identify the error causing the alarm.
  3. Correct the fault or switch the standby machine if necessary.

Engine Room CO2 Alarm

The engine room is equipped with a CO2-fixed fire extinguishing system. The audible and visual alarms of stationary CO2 fire suppression systems are completely different from engine room alarms and other ship alarm signals and can be easily reorganized.

Audible alarms must be placed so that they can be heard throughout the protected space when all machinery is in operation. Alarms must be distinguished from other audible alarms by adjusting their sound pressure or tone pattern.

The alarm must be activated when opening the release cabinet door used to open and release the CO2 cylinder bank.

Actions the crew should take as soon as the navigational alarm sounds:   

CO2 Alarm in the Cargo Hold

It is also equipped with a fixed fire extinguishing system, which when pressed will sound a separate alarm. The acoustic and visual alarms of CO2 solid fire extinguishing systems are fundamentally different from other marine alarms. Audible alarms should be distinguished from other vessel alarms by adjusting the sound pressure or tone pattern.

Actions to be taken by the crew when a navigational alarm sounds: 

  1. Count the crew.
  2. Make sure the cargo hold is sealed and there are no crew members inside.
  3. Ensure all cargo hold ventilation systems are closed.

Ship Safety Alert System

According to SOLAS Chapter XI Regulation XI-2/5, all ships must be equipped with a ship safety alert system. Ship Security Alert System “SSAS” Pirate attack sounds will be heard in case of emergency. When  SSAS is activated, there will be no alarms on board the ship, and no other ships in the vicinity will be alerted.

Instead, this signal informs various coastal authorities or relevant authorities in the vicinity of the vessel about the piracy activity via a worldwide satellite system. The various warning signals from the ship clearly indicate the recovery list and the measures to be taken so that the entire crew can perform their duties in the shortest possible time in the event of an emergency.

It is very important for seafarers to be aware of the different types of alarms on board and to recognize what type of emergency it is.

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