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As an ex IOM resident now living on the Wirral; when I was sailing back into the IOM ferry berth at Liverpool yesterday (following a pleasant trip on the Balmoral around Anglsea) we passed the Manannan leaving for Douglas & I noticed the stern cargo loading door was open, I went & spoke to a steam packet employee in he arrivals lounge to be told that "yes they do it like that since the the catches broke, the procedures have changed". This morning I had a look through the photo's I took when we were leaving Liverpool as I recalled taking a couple of the incoming Mannan and you can see what the situation is in the picture below... As I recall, when the ship is about to leave port the Captain announces to those on board that "all external doors are closed and the ship is ready for sea" - also, I undersatnd that the Captain has to verify to the Coastguard before setting sail that "there are no defects" - or list them; is this being done ?. Manannan entering the Mersey on 22/07/2017 at 09.43 showing the cargo loading ramp/door clearly not locked & indeed, wideopen. Ironically, this position is roughly where the original Ellen Vannin sank in 1909 - swamped by a large wave to her stern... NB: Excerpt from the International Maritime Organisation rules on RORO ferries safety - "Following the Herald of free Enterprise and the Estonia disasters, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted the first package of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in April 1988, including a new regulation requiring indicators on the navigating bridge for all doors which, if left open, could lead to major flooding of a special category space or a ro-ro cargo space; another amendment added a new regulation requiring cargo loading doors to be locked before the ship proceeds on any voyage and to remain closed until the ship is at its next berth. These amendments entered into force on 22 October 1989, 18 months after adoption, the minimum time period allowed under SOLAS". NB: I can find nothing to say these rules no longer apply or have been amended for short trips in good weather etc. Concerned - Alex on the Wirral.
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