What are the Essential Requirements for Unattended Machinery Space (UMS) Ship?

Essential requirements for any unattended machinery space (UMS) Ship to able to sail at sea are enumerated in the SOLAS 1974 Chapter II-1, regulations 46 to regulation 53. The main points discussed in this chapter are discussed in this article.

Requirements for Unattended Machinery Space (UMS) Ship

Fire Precaution

A)     Arrangement should be provided on UMS ship to detect and give alarm in case of fire.

a)      In the boiler air supply casing and uptake.

b)      In scavenge space of propulsion machinery.

B)      In engines of power 2250 Kw and above or cylinders having bore more than 300mm should be provided with oil mist detector for crankcase or bearing temperature monitor or either of two.

Protection against Flooding

Bilge well in UMS ship should be located and provided in such a manner that the accumulation of liquid is detected at normal angle of heel and trim and should also have enough space to accommodate the drainage of liquid during unattended period.

In case of automatic starting of bilge pump, the alarm should be provided to indicate that the flow of liquid pumped is more than the capacity of the pump.

Control of Propulsion Machinery from Navigation Bridge

The ship should be able to be controlled from bridge under all sailing conditions. The bridge should be able to control the speed, direction of thrust, and should be able to change the pitch in case of controllable pitch propeller.

Emergency stop should be provided on navigating bridge, independent of bridge control system.

The remote operation of the propulsion should be possible from one location at a time; at such connection interconnected control position are permitted.

The number of consecutive automatic attempt which fails to start the propulsion machinery shall be limited to safeguard sufficient starting air pressure.

Centralized control & instruments are required in Machinery Space

Centralized control system should be there so that engineers may be called to the machinery space during emergencies from wherever they are.

Automatic Fire Detection

Alarms and detection should operate very rapidly and effectively. It should be placed at numerous well sited places for quick response of the detectors.

Fire Extinguishing System

There should be arrangement for fire extinguishing system other than the conventional hand extinguishers which can be operated remotely from machinery space. The station must give control of emergency fire pumps, generators, valves, extinguishing media etc.

Alarm System

A comprehensive alarm system must be provided for control & accomodation areas.

Automatic Start of Emergency Generator

Arrangement for starting of emergency generator and automatic connection to bus bar must be provided in case of blackout condition. Apart from that following points are also to be noted.

1)      Local hand control of essential machineries like steering, emergency generator starting, emergency start for main engine etc.

2)      Adequate settling tank storage capacity.

3)      Regular testing & maintainence of machinery alarms & instruments.

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  1. Hi
    can u guide me regarding UMS duration. how long we can keep engine room unmanned ?

  2. On any ship certified for unmanned operation, the maximum period is 16 consecutive hours.

  3. DNV classification society rules governing periodically unattended machinery spaces state
    “The extent of automation shall be sufficient to permit unattended engine room operation for 24 hours or for the maximum continuous operation time when less than 24 hours. Normal service at sea & normal maneuvers are presumed.”

  4. #is there any requirement mentioned that, duty engineer must have an assistance duty during UMS (night)round?
    # vessel fitted with Patrol man(dead man )alarm system is it still required to have an assistance during UMS (night round)?
    #Cadet, can it be an assistance duty?

  5. What is working hours schedule during weekends for an unmanned engine room? (07 to 17 like mon to fri, or different?)

  6. @aes78: It will entirely depend on company and there are no standard timings. However, the rest hour must be in compliance.

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