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.
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While using International Shore Connection, the sea water 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.
The international shore coupling SOLAS requirement under Chapter II-2, regulation 19 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 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.
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.
Bolts & Nuts
|4, each of 16mm diameter, 50mm in length|
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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.
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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 which can be easily fitted to ships hydrant and hose connection.
The connection should be kept onboard with a ready gasket of material which 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.
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If the ISC is fixed on 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 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.
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The velocity of water supplied by the port or another ship to the affected ship shall not exceed 5 m/s in the fire water 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
- 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 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
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- If the international shore coupling is permanently installed on the ship’s fire main, ensure to check its tightness before using the connection with water
Image Credit/Reference: Marine Auxillary Machinery By H.D Mc George
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