The commanding officer prescribes the limit to
Watertight integrity features are built into naval
which the DCA or OOD may approve the modification
ships. There must be regular inspections conducted on
of a material condition of readiness. Reporting the
the ship and its watertight integrity features. The ship's
temporary closing of a fitting that should be open is just
Planned Maintenance System (PMS) gives specific
as important as reporting the opening of one that
details for conducting the compartment tests and
should be closed. For example, a ZEBRA watertight
inspections. The Naval Ships' Technical Manual
hatch that is secured at the time GQ is sounded could
(NSTM), chapter 079, volume 4, also covers various
seriously interfere with personnel trying to get to their
compartment tests and inspections. The ship's
schedule of watertight integrity tests and inspections is
maintained in the ship's damage control library. Refer
The damage control closure log is normally kept
to the above references when you schedule and
on the quarterdeck in port, on the bridge at sea, and in
conduct the required tests and inspections.
DCC during GQ. However, if your ship has a 24-hour
watch in DCC at all times, the closure log will be kept
there no matter where the ship is. The closure log is
updated when there is a change in the status of a
Often you can discover holes or cracks in
classified closure or fitting. If a classified closure is to
watertight bulkheads and decks by conducting a
remain open for several days, it must be logged open
thorough visual inspection. If a compartment contains
each day. The maximum time a closure or fitting may
oil, water, or some other liquid, any leakage will be
be logged open is 24 hours.
evident. Other sources for leakage include loose rivet
You must keep all closures and fittings in the best
heads, poorly caulked plate laps or stiffeners, and
possible condition at all times to maintain the ship's
poorly caulked bounding angles. All leaks should be
watertight integrity feature. Neglected closures and
repaired as soon as possible to re-establish the ship's
fittings could lead to the loss of your ship.
watertight integrity. If the repairs are beyond the
capability of the ship's force repair personnel, the work
should be included in the work package for the next
shipyard, tender, or repair ship availability.
What person prescribes the limit to which the
DCA or OOD may approve the modification
You will, at specified intervals, conduct a visual
inspection for light leaks within most compartments on
of a material condition of readiness?
the ship. To make this inspection, completely close off
the compartment and secure all lighting within the
Damage control supervisor
compartment. Have another person (an observer) stay
inside the darkened compartment to look for light
Damage control assistant
leaks. Then you will need to ensure that lighting is on
in the surrounding spaces. As a rule, the light from the
The closure log is maintained at all times,
surrounding compartments will allow the observer to
whether the ship is in port or underway.
locate any serious defects. However, you might need to
use portable lights to provide a higher level of
a portable light to transit the darkened space safely.
The maximum time a closure or fitting may
COMPARTMENT AIR TEST
be logged open is 24 hours.
The ship's schedule of watertight integrity tests
and inspections is issued by NAVSEA for each ship.
This schedule contains information on each watertight
compartment and the type of test used to determine the
METHODS OF CHECKING
compartment's tightness. Compartments designated
for air testing are scheduled so all are tested once every
18 months for ships at least 12 years old. For ships that
are less than 12 years old, the compartments are tested
Learning Objective: Recall the procedures for
once every 36 months. Compartments that are
checking watertight integrity.