The Korean Register of Shipping (KR) has started providing guidance on domestic ferry safety to South Korean government agencies.
The South Korean classification society has established an online service, called KR-KORPASS, to provide information about the kinds of classification KR has performed, the expiry date of classification, and the designated date for the next classification inspection.
Vessel conditions, materials related to vessel stability, such as deadweight capacity, weight of cargo and passengers on board, and amount of ship’s ballast water will be provided as well. Drawings consisting of general arrangement, arrangement plan of cargo lashing, the location of life-saving appliances, and fire control plans will also be available.
KR’s new system has been designed to prevent maritime disasters by avoiding the overloading of cargo and passengers and responding to an accident effectively at the initial stage.
The system can be accessed only by relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Oceans & Fisheries, Korea Coast Guard, and the Republic of Korea Navy. KR-KORPASS is part of KR’s response to the Sewol ferry disaster. The 6,800-tonne Sewol, which was classed by KR, capsized during a routine Incheon-Jeju trip on 16 April last year, leaving 304 of the 476 passengers and crew dead or missing. Overloading was one of the causes of the disaster.
KR said, “The system will enable relevant agencies to be updated with important information about domestic ferries classified by KR, in real time. This makes effective safety inspections possible.”