Panama Canal: Deck cooling on tankers

Port news

Published: 27 January 2016

Certain tankers are now required to cool the deck during transit and attached is a copy of the Advisory To Shipping No. A-02-2016 issued by the Panama Canal Authority on 18 January 2016.

The main purpose of this measure is for the safety of the personnel that attend vessels during Panama Canal transit, and this applies mainly to locomotive drivers etc. working by the locks and to canal line handlers who work on deck whilst the vessel transits the locks. In the past there have been occasional incidents involving canal authority personnel onboard vessels becoming ill due to fumes from relief valves onboard.

The decision to implement this at this time is also in part due to present high temperatures of our dry season (summer) which is expected to be prolonged on account of the "El NiƱo" phenomenon.

The water sprinkler systems should not be used within the canal locks when line handlers are working on deck.

The Association is grateful to Mr. Andre Perret of C. Fernie & Co S.A., Panama, for contributing to this update.