What happened?

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) received the following report from a ferry engaged on domestic voyages:

A small child was observed trying to crawl through one of the scuppers (openings in the side walls of a vessel) on deck. The child was almost half-way through the opening when a member of the crew managed to get hold of the child, which was taken to its parents.


It is easy to lose small children out of our sight, and their curiosity may lead to dangerous situations. On board a vessel, such situations could be fatal, and parents are advised to be particularly alert and look after their little ones.

Normally, the scuppers are secured by means of a hatch, grating, etc. to ensure that larger items cannot pass through.


Openings in the side walls of a vessel have different purposes and may in some cases be large. The scuppers that are used to drain water from deck can also have relatively large openings. The crew on board must check that the safety devices on the scuppers are intact and work as normal. Defect closing mechanisms of scuppers must always be repaired to ensure their intended function.

When there are many children on board, a friendly reminder to parents or other adults caring for children can be a preventive measure.