Safety update

May 1998 Hull fittings need regular inspection

This safety update is for operators of small vessels. It is issued to raise awareness of the importance of regularly inspecting hull fittings. It provides safe practice tips for how best to reduce the risks involved and to alert people to the risk to safety associated with defective hull fittings.


Operators of small vessels are alerted to the need for sea valves to be made of materials which are resistant to shock and corrosion, and that hull fittings need regular inspection.

Precautions and procedures

This follows an incident in which a 12 metre fishing vessel recently flooded and sank as a result of a fractured sea valve. The skipper was alerted to the flooding by the bilge alarm and found water coming in through the fractured neck of a deck sea water suction stop valve. Although he tried to wrap a rag around the fractured opening, the skipper could not control the inward flow of water.

The actual cause of the fracture could not be precisely determined as the vessel sank and has not been recovered so the defective fittings could not be inspected. However, the hull fittings may have consisted of differing metals that were incompatible and subject to corrosion.

Original source content - Boat Notice 021998, May: Hull fittings need regular inspection.

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