Extremely expensive and sensitive warships as well as valuable merchant ships are being docked in a wide variety of dry docks, many of them not originally built for the modern vessels and often operated by crews with very rudimentary training and experience and with limited engineering backup. Only since 1973 has Lloyd's Register of Shipping had published rules for steel floating dry docks, and the ABS rules were created only very recently. Following the example of the 5th Naval District, NAVSEA in Washington started the MIL-STD-1625 code using very limited personnel and funds to prepare a dry dock certification program to attempt to insure ship safety in all docks. It is a serious mistake to think that certification is a cure-all. Adequate qualification of the docking crew is just as important, including skill in dealing with special problems with special ships.

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