What is International Shore Connection?

The international shore connection is a universal hose connection that is to be provided on all ships as per the IMO SOLAS requirement.

The purpose of the International Shore Coupling is to keep a standby hose attachment to get a connection from shore or from other ships for shipboard firefighting, in case there is a total failure of pumps onboard.

Related Reading: 7 Common Problems Found In Pumps On Board Ships

While using International Shore Connection, the seawater is supplied at a pre-decided pressure and is connected to the ship’s fire main.

This international shore connection flange is generally kept at a convenient and accessible location (Bridge or in Fire locker) of a ship so that in case of an emergency it is readily available and used.

Related Reading: 16 Fire Fighting Appliances And Preventive Measures Present Onboard Ships

international shore connection

The international shore coupling SOLAS requirement under Chapter II-2, regulation says; ships above 500 tons gross tonnage and upwards must have at least one international shore connection.

The international shore connection flange has a standard size and is the same for all the countries and ships to ensure that if the ship faces an emergency out of the home port, firefighting assistance from any port is always available.

International Shore Connection

The Dimensions of International Shore Coupling are:



Outside Diameter (OD)


Inside Diameter (ID)


Bolt Circle Diameter (PCD)


Slots in Flange

4 holes 19mm in diameter spaced equidistantly on a bolt circle of above diameter, slotted to flange periphery.

Flange Thickness

14.5mm minimum

Bolts & Nuts

4, each of 16mm diameter, 50mm in length


Related Reading: A Brief Overview of Fire Control Plan On Ship

Basic Requirements for International Shore Connection

All ships, jetties and offshore platforms, likely to require an emergency source of fire water or to provide the same, should have at least one international shore fire connection.

Related Reading: How to identify metals in the engine room?

The connection should be made up of steel or other suitable material and shall be designed for 1.0 N/mm2 services. The flange should have a flat surface on one side and another side should be permanently connected or attached to a coupling that can be easily fitted to ships hydrant and hose connection.

ISC International Shore Coupling

The connection should be kept on board with a ready gasket of material that can handle a pressure of 1.0 N/mm2 together with four 16mm bolts, 50 mm in length and eight washers so that the connection can be readily used in case of an emergency situation.

Related Reading: Fighting fire in ship’s cargo hold in port

If the ISC is fixed on the vessel’s fire main, the shore connection should be accessible from either side of the ship and be clearly marked.

A notice should be posted near the ship’s fire main close to the accommodation in English and local language of the ship’s flag, indicating the connection’s location and the maximum working pressure of the piping system which the port must acknowledge and supply.

Related Reading: How to avoid fire in ship’s accommodation area?

The velocity of water supplied by the port or another ship to the affected ship shall not exceed 5 m/s in the firewater distribution network.

The fitting and joints must be suitable for a working pressure of at least 10.5 bar.

Important Points to consider related to ISC:

  • The International shore connection flange should be included in the Preventive Maintenance (PM) plan and not in the Condition Monitoring (CM) plan of the ship

Related Reading: 10 Things that Should Be Included In Ship’s Planned Maintenance System

  • Ensure the gasket is always available with the International Shore Connection flange
  • It is advisable to prepare more than one gasket and keep it with ISC as chances of gasket damage are always present when doing work in the emergency situation
  • When making a duty list for the firefighting drill, assign one person to bring the International shore connection to the open deck area from where the shore connection is to be taken. A habit kept during the drill will inevitably reduce the turnaround time during the real emergency

Related Read: The importance of fire drills on ship

  • If the international shore coupling is permanently installed on the ship’s fire main, ensure to check its tightness before using the connection with the water

Image Credit/Reference: Marine Auxillary Machinery By H.D Mc George

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

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  1. Respected sir,
    I am following the site Marine Insight.This is a very good site for mariners.It provides us a great information about Ships,Ports and other issues about shipping.I like it very much.
    Thanks to you.

  2. how many international shore connection should be on board of anchor handling supply boat
    GT: 1678 T

  3. Dear Sherif,

    As Per SOLAS, You will need 1 ISC for ships 1000GT and above. ISC is dedicated to fire line and cannot be used for any other purpose.

  4. I need information regarding the specific type of international hose connections to be installed in Jetty / Pier Area

  5. please best rate of international shore coupling outer dia 178 mm inner dia 64 mm pl reply

  6. Dear Colin,

    You can customise it with the following dimension from any workshop :
    Outside diameter215 mm
    Inner diameterAccording to pipe outside diameter
    Bolt circle diameter183 mm
    Slots in flange6 holes 22 mm in diameter equidistantly placed on a bolt circle of the above diameter, slotted to the flange periphery.
    The slot width to be 22 mm
    Flange thickness20 mm
    Bolts and nuts:
    6 now quantity, each of 20 mm in diameter and of suitable length

  7. What is the best action & recommendation if the ISC between Ship & Shore is incompatible (did not match) ?

    Require immediate response from the expert.

  8. Good Morning,
    I am researching information to enhance current emergency responder procedures for Land Based Fire Fighters responding to assist a vessel at mooring.

    Can you please provide information as per the international standards for the following:

    International Shore Connection;
    1. Do the standards require a vessel to only provide an ISC (coupling)
    2. Are vessels required to have a ISC & provision for the ISC to be connected into the vessels fire service system to allow land based (or other vessels) the ability to provide a water supply directly into the fire fighting system via their ISC?

    Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


    Previous experience

  9. I just want to correct sir, it is a requirement of SOLAS Ch II-2, Regulation and NOT SOLAS Ch II-2 Reg 19. Kindly verify. thanks.

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