Damage control

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A United States Navy damage controlman practices pipe-patching techniques
The USS Nevada is shown temporarily beached and burning after being hit by Japanese bombs and torpedoes on December 7, 1941

In navies and the maritime industry, damage control is the emergency control of situations that may cause the sinking of a watercraft.

Examples are:

  • rupture of a pipe or hull especially below the waterline and
  • damage from grounding (running aground) or hard berthing against a wharf.
  • temporary fixing of bomb or explosive damage.

Measures used[edit]

Simple measures may stop flooding, such as:

  • locking off the damaged area from other ship's compartments;
  • blocking the damaged area by wedging a box around a tear in the ship's hull,
  • putting a band of thin sheet steel around a tear in a pipe, bound on by clamps.

More complicated measures may be needed if a repair must take the pressure of the ship moving through the water. For example:

Damage control training is undertaken by most seafarers, but the engineering staff are most experienced in making lasting repairs.

Damage control is distinct from firefighting. Damage control methods of fighting fire are based on the class of ship and cater to ship specific equipment on board.

Notable contemporary examples[edit]

Damage to USS Cole

Particular examples:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mine Strike!". 5 February 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Damage control at Wikimedia Commons

The dictionary definition of damage control at Wiktionary