Technical Circular No: 026/2019

Subject: : Republic of Marshall Islands - Precautions and Checks Prior to Enclosed Space Entry.

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  • Based on recent incidents involving enclosed space entry which resulted in loss of lives on board, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) has issued Marine Safety Advisory no. 21-19 (copy attached).
  • Upon close investigation of these incidents involving enclosed space entry, following common factors were noted in all the incidents viz:
  1. Lack of awareness by crewmembers of the potential hazards posed by the improper entry into enclosed spaces;
  2. Senior crewmembers failing to ensure that ship management’s enclosed entry procedures are adhered to prior to directing junior crewmembers to enter an enclosed space; and
  3. Master of the ship not being notified that an enclosed space was going to be entered.
  • In view of the above, Administration has advised ship managers to promulgate to all ships managed in their fleet addressing the following:
  1. the dangers of improperly entering an enclosed space;
  2. guidance to seafarer on recognizing an enclosed space that they might encounter while performing their day-to-day shipboard tasks;
  3. that all seafarers, regardless of rank, must not enter an enclosed space without permission and then, only in accordance with ship management’s established procedures;
  4. who on-board is authorized to permit entry into an enclosed space; and
  5. that the best way for a seafarer to assist a fellow seafarer in trouble inside an enclosed space is to immediately raise the alarm so that an organized rescue can be conducted in accordance with ship management’s established procedure.
  • Also ship masters have been advised to the following:
  1. hold a special safety meeting to review the notice or bulletin issued by ship management and share the information provided in MSA No 21-19, with particular emphasis on enforcing the responsibility that all seafarers have to prevent enclosed space entry related incidents and the need for crewmembers to resist their natural urge to immediately enter an enclosed space in order to try to assist a fellow crewmember in trouble;
  2. review the ship’s enclosed space entry procedures with the ship’s officers and crew and then conduct enclosed space entry training; and
  3. conduct an enclosed space rescue drill.
  • Ship Owners, Operators and Masters are advised to be guided by above.


  1. RMI Marine Safety Advisory No. 21-19.


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

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