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Stuck emergency hatch freed

What happened?

It was discovered, during an inspection onboard, that the emergency escape hatch leading from the steering gear compartment to the main deck walkway on the starboard side, was rusted shut, stuck and could not be opened.

Emergency hatches and doors should be usable in emergency and ought not impede emergency escape.

What were the causes?

Our member identified that

  • The crew were not familiar with the importance of this emergency escape hatch;
  • There was a poor maintenance culture;
  • Onboard responsibility for safety was neglected.
Escape hatch rusted closed
Escape hatch made free after greasing


  • Check that all emergency escape hatches and fire doors are always free from obstacles and/or obstruction;
  • Add routine inspection of emergency escape hatches to planned maintenance system;
  • Ensure hinges are greased and maintained properly.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 22 September 2021
Download: IMCA SF 26/21

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