869 - 02/13 - Entry into Enclosed Spaces

The Club has become aware of increasing numbers of fatalities involving entry into enclosed spaces. This Bulletin is intended as a refresher of previous articles and information to bring Entry into Enclosed Spaces into the forefront of people’s minds in light of recent deaths.

Over the years, UK P&I (as well as numerous other organizations) have issued multiple Bulletins and articles related to Entry into Enclosed Spaces. Despite the wealth of information available, many deaths have been caused by seafarers being unaware of, or ignoring the correct procedures prior to entering an enclosed space.

Two weeks ago, a junior officer died after entering a cargo hold to collect a cargo sample. Despite being warned by multiple crew members of the dangers prior to entry, the officer entered the hold and then exited due to “bad air” inside. The officer then re-entered the hold after a mere five minutes of unforced ventilation. Once inside, he was quickly overcome by gases caused by the cargo and fell unconscious, losing his grip on the ladder and falling. The alarm was raised and he was extracted from the hold by ship’s crew using Breathing Apparatus and taken to hospital where he unfortunately passed away. No senior officers were aware of his entry to the hold, and the proper SMS procedures had not been followed.

These incidents are not particular to any ship type, crew nationality, rank or age and are caused only by seafarers being unaware of, or disregarding the proper procedures, guidelines and advice.

The following articles contain a wealth of material designed to teach and inform seafarers of the proper, safe entry procedures which, if followed, will greatly reduce the number of deaths caused as well as highlighting the risk present should the proper procedures not be followed.

Whilst some are several years old, the information contained is still pertinent and relevant to today’s industry.

UK P&I Bulletin 842

UK P&I Bulletin 506

UK P&I Bulletin 427

UK P&I Bulletin 354

UK P&I Technical Bulletin 28

UK P&I Technical Bulletin 8

UK P&I Good Practice Poster 108 - Enclosed Spaces

IMO Resolution A.1050(27) - Revised Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces

IACS Recommendation 72 - Entry into Enclosed Spaces

Source of Information:

UK P&I - Loss Prevention

Email: lossprevention@thomasmiller.com



International Maritime Organisation



International Associations of Classification Societies


Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.