International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved improved shipbuilding standards aimed at passenger and cargoships.
The new construction rules, designed to increase a vessel's chance of surviving an accident, were agreed at the IMO's committee on stability and load lines headed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa).
The new standards will go into effect in November and will apply to ships with keel laying after January 2009.
Among the new rules is one concerning lubricating-oil circulation tanks, which must be kept a minimum distance of 500 millimetres from the keel line of the vessel to prevent the oil escaping in the case of a grounding leading to engine failure.
Guidelines for the crew will also advise on how to ensure a vessel survives in an accident. Explanatory notes for shipyards and designers are now being drawn up and will be included in a revision of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, available from classification societies.
Source: The Economic Times