As we all know very well, an emergency does not ring an alarm, but with an alarm we can surely handle or avoid an emergency effectively. Marine alarm systems are installed on ships and machinery in order to notify the crew members on board about ant emergency situation likely to arise on the ship. These alarms are not only audible but also visible. This arrangement is done to make sure that a person can either see or listen to the alarm and take the necessary actions. International maritime industry has a normal practice of having similar alarm signal for a specific warning irrespective of the sea they are sailing in or the company they work for. This helps the people on board to know and understand the types of emergency clearly and handle the situation immediately. There are different types of alarms installed on the ships to give warnings audibly as well as visually. Let’s have a detailed look at some of them.
General alarm- General alarm is sounded to make the crew present on the board aware that an emergency has struck. It is recognized by 7 short belli ringing followed by a long ring or 7 short blasts on the horn of the ship and one long blast after those short blasts.
Fire alarm- As we all know very well, this alarm is sounded to alert the people on board about the fire. It is recognized by continuous ringing of the electrical bell of the ship of continuous sounding of horn.
Navigational alarm-All the navigational equipment and navigation lights in the navigational bridge are attached with a failure alarm. If any of these equipment breakdowns, the alarm starts sounding in an alarm panel showcasing which of the systems has malfunctioned.
Man overboard alarm- This marine alarm is installed to alert the crew if any man falls onboard. If such situation arises, the internal alarm bell of the ship sounds 3 long rings and ship whistle also blows 3 long blasts to alert the crew onboard as well as other ships in nearby areas.
Machinery space alarm- The machinery in the engine room of the ship has many safety devices and alarms attached. If any of these breakdowns, a common alarm in the engine room is operated and the problem is displayed in the engine control room control panel that showcases the alarm.
Abandon the ship alarm- Thisalarm is sounded when the emergency condition on the ship goes out of control and ship no longer remains safe for the crew on board. This alarm is never given by the bell or whistle of the ship. The master on the ship has the authority to a verbal order to abandon the ship. When general alarm is sounded to indicate about the emergency, everybody gathers at emergency muster station where the master or chief officer orders them verbally to abandon the ship.
Ship security alarm system- Every ship entering the ocean is fitted with a silent security alarm system that sounds in case of pirate attack. The signal from this system can reach to various coastal authorities all over the globe and satellite system to know about the attack.
The details about every alarm signal on the ship are mentioned in muster list along with the description of the action to be taken. This helps all the crew members to perform their duties immediately in the time of emergency.