New Dry Dock Code
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New Dry Dock Code


The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Equipment and Services has commissioned Gifford, BMT Marine Projects, and Fleet Support Limited to produce a new Dry Dock Code of Practice. Clearly focused on the goal of safe dry-docking, the Code is aimed at the MoD, shipyards and other military and civil organisations involved in the dry docking of mono-hulled surface ships of over 500 tonnes. The Code provides a comprehensive and methodical framework for ship and dock owners and operators to review, and if appropriate further develop, the procedures and measures required for a safe dry docking.

Although not prescriptive or intended for direct application, the Code provides a valuable framework for the development of safe in-house procedures. The Code is designed to assure that:

  • The ship is suitable to be dry-docked. This section of the Code is aimed primarily at ship owners and operators and covers areas such as ship configuration, condition, stability and structural strength, crew skills and emergency procedures.
  • The dock is suitable to receive ships. This section of the Code is aimed primarily at dry-docking organisations and covers areas such as the dock gate, dock shape, dock condition, docking arrangements, staff skills, and flood defences and pumping.
  • Dry-docking is undertaken safely. This section of the Code is aimed at both ship and dock owners and operators and covers areas such as planning, procedures, tidal movements, and pre-docking and pre-undocking inspections.


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