MAC has raised warnings about the hazards of counterfeit safety-critical equipment in the past, including copycat Hammar HRUs but another danger is expired equipment which has been 'refurbished' and put on the market. CM Hammer, manufacturer of hydrostatic release units, HRUs, has now issued a warning regarding the dangers of such refurbished equipment being sold as new units following an alert by the UK's Marine & Coastguard Agency, MCA.
Says Hammar: "It has been brought to the attention of the MCA that refurbished Hammar H20 HRUs have been placed on board ships for use with liferafts. Such HRUs should not be refurbished and are not guaranteed to work in an emergency which could result in a serious risk to safety. If such a unit is discovered on board it should be withdrawn from service immediately".
The HRUs found by the MCA have had their genuine labels removed and substandard labels attached. These labels erode away within a short time from installation.
In consultation with CM Hammar, an H20 HRU should be disposed of at the end of its service life which is 2 years. By putting a H20 HRU back into service, the unit may not operate and the release of either a liferaft or EPIRB in the event of a ship sinking is not guaranteed. This poses a serious risk to safety.
In order to ensure the safety of ships and the persons on board, CM Hammar recommends that H20 HRUs are procured from authorised distributors or service agents of liferafts to ensure genuine units are used.
All H20 items produced as from 24.02.2009 include a new, unique Holospot® security marking. This marking will help distinguish the original Hammar quality from dangerous fake copies. In addition the company has moved the serial number and production date to a new position next to the Holospot® security marking.
Please check that:
• The Holospot® shimmers in rainbow colours when put under direct light.
• The alphanumeric code is different on each product.
• The serial number and production date can be found to the left of the Holospot®.
Where concerns are raised regarding the authenticity of a product, CM Hammar should be contacted
directly to verify the serial and holospot numbers.