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Special thanks to,

a) Capt. Rangith Perera
b) Mr. Thilak Wickramasingha
c) Capt. Aruna Kothalawala
d) Those who contributed for the maintenance of the Chief Mates
Orals File in the library

Compiled by,
Shane Sankaranarayana

Date of 1st publication

10th January 2008

Revision No :
Revision Date :

Contents Page number

Dry docking 03

Heavy lifts 12

Bulk cargoes (solid, liquid & gas) 17

Classification societies 34

IMO 38

Surveys, certification & conventions 40

MOU 56

Anchor and anchor handling 59

Emergencies 66

Bridge equipment 76

ISPS Code 79

Ship handling 84

IMDG Code 90

Miscellaneous 92

Ice navigation 101

Case studies 104


1) Why dry docking is required?

a) To comply with SOLAS requirements

b) If a class surveyor decides after a grounding, collision or fire.

2) How often a dry docking is required as per regulations?

a) Vessels under 15 years of age must be dry docked twice in every 5 years and
should not exceed 3 years between each consecutive docking. The first one may
be replaced if an in-water survey is done with divers having 2 way
communication with the surveyor. If any serious damage, distraction or
deterioration is found, the docking may not be exempted.
b) Ships of older than 15 years of age must be dry docked every 2 years or 2.5 years
depending on the under water hull protection system (eg self polishing co-
polymer paint is applied).
c) Following items are considered in giving extensions,
- areas of high corrosion risk & panting/pounding damage
- stern frame, stern tube, rudder, rudder pintles, propeller
- under water protection system (sacrificial anodes, anti-fouling paint etc)
- water inlet sea chests and grids, overboard discharge openings, ships side
valves etc.
d) Bulk carriers and tankers of 15 years of age and above are not permitted to
carryout in water surveys. Their hull inspections to be carried out only in a dry
e) In-water surveys may be conducted in lieu of any one of the two dockings
required in a 5 year period. The vessel must be at a suitable draught in sheltered
clear water, must have high resistance paint under water and normally have a
beam greater than 30 m.
f) When operating in salt water for less than 6 months a year, an extension could be
obtained up to 3 years.
g) For ships operating solely in fresh water, docking interval could be extended up to
5 years.

3) What are the documents required before entering to a dry dock?

a) The Dry dock plan (docking plan)

This indicates the positions of underwater appendages such as,
logs, echo sounders, bilge keels, positioning of keel blocks,
stabilizers and condensers.
b) The shell expansion plan
This shows the positions of, frame numbers from aft to fwd
and keel to upwards. (This plan is very useful in positioning of

shores/keel blocks after an under water damage and also in
marking the damage areas for dock yard purposes.)
c) The general arrangement plan
d) Repair list
e) The plug plan
f) Fire fighting plan
g) Tank arrangement plan
h) Relevant stability information
i) List of the ships general particulars
j) Rigging plan
This contains all the information relevant to cargo gears such as
positions/sizes of eye plates, wires, blocks, shackles, SWL of all equipment,
maximum angle of runners, position of inboard & outboard booms, maximum
head reach (permissible height of cargo hook above hatch coaming), position of
derricks producing maximum forces, guidance on maintenance of the cargo gears
k) Relevant certificates for required surveys
l) Cargo plan (if docking with cargo on board)
m) Gas free certificate (Tankers)

4) What are the duties of a chief officer when dry docking?

Well before entering

a) Prepare the repair list

b) Send the required documents to the dock/superintendent
- repair list
- docking plan
- shell expansion plan
(as per SOLAS, now the copies of above plans to be kept at the shore office as
well. Therefore those plans may not be required to send)

Just before entering

a) Prepare watch schedules for duty officers and ratings.

b) Have a briefing with the officers and the crew.
c) All hatches, beams, derricks, cranes, cargoes (if docking with cargo onboard) to
be well secured.
d) Free surface in tanks to be reduced.
e) Stability should be adequate, so that the virtual loss of GM does not affect the
vessel. (virtual loss of GM = P x KM / W or GM = P x KG / (W P)); (P = up
thrust, W= displacement)
P = MCTC x t / L or, P = TPC x reduction in water level
t = trim in centimetres on entering the dock

L= distance between centre of floatation and the vertical line of action of the P
force in meters.
f) Draft & trim as per the dock requirements
g) Sound all tanks
h) Lock toilets
i) Ensure fenders are available
j) Ensure to take the equipment which are protruding outward from the hull, such as
speed logs, stabilizers etc.

When inside the dock

a) Note down all timings when entering

b) Ensure shores are rigged at correct positions (at the intersections of frames &
c) Switched off all navigational equipment (note down the gyro heading).
d) When the vessel is sitting on the keel blocks, sound all the tanks again.
e) Obtain telephone, electricity, garbage bins and water for the fire line.
f) Obtain emergency contact numbers as well as the dock regulations which are
specific to the dock (if available) and display them in prominent places.
g) If possible arrange two gangways.
h) Ensure the ISPS requirements are complied with.
i) When tank plugs are removed, name them and keep in a safe place.
j) Ensure to apply grease on transducers and port holes which are close to painting
k) Ensure the repairs are done as per the list.

5) What are the contents of a repair list?

Standard items

a) Hull cleaning, surface preparation, painting.

b) Inspection and overhaul of anchors and cables, including ranging
and marking.
c) Inspection cleaning and painting of cable lockers.
e) All sea valves and sea chests to be inspected overhauled and
f) Inspection, overhaul and load test of all lifting appliances.
g) All tanks, holds, compartments and their closing appliance to be
inspected and overhauled.
h) All anodes to be inspected (the location and weight or size to be
j) Survey of ships bottom (known as sighting the bottom) to be

Repair items

a) Renewal of piping.
b) Cargo-handling equipment.
c) Hatch-closing arrangements.
d) Bulkhead leaks.
e) Hull structure damage.
f) Replacement of ships side rails.
i) Instrumentation and control equipment refurbishing.
j) Electric cables.
k) Heavy weather damages.
l) Overhaul of fire fighting and life saving appliance.

Modification items

a) Fire fighting systems such as foam or carbon dioxide

b) Fire detection systems.
c) New piping and structural arrangements (e.g. Segregated ballast
d) Inert gas systems.
e) Life-saving appliances arrangements.
f) Conversions or restructuring in order to comply with any new
mandatory equipment requirements.

6) Why do you need a stern trim when docking?

a) Easy to handle a ship with a stern trim.

b) The dock bottom is compatible with a stern trim (the declivity).
c) The stern area is strengthened with a sole piece, so that it is better to touch the
sole plate first.

7) What is meant by critical instant?

The maximum virtual loss of GM occurs just before landing overall of the vessel.
This moment is known as critical instant.

8) What is meant by critical period?

This is the time between the first touch with the keel blocks and the landing overall.

9) What are the checks to be done in the fore peak and after peak tanks?

a) Ensure the ladders are in position and no damages.

b) Check the stringer plates, shell plating, girders, beams for cracks and corrosion.
c) As many welds as possible should be checked.
d) Check the sacrificial anodes.
e) Check the condition of the paint.
f) Check the fore peak isolation valve.
g) Check the sounding pipes and striker plates.
h) The middle portion of the tanks are more prone for wear and tear than the top and
the bottom areas of the tanks. Therefore pay more attention to the middle areas of
the tanks.
i) Check the longitudinal stiffeners and brackets at the collision bulkhead to shell
j) Check the condition of the collision bulk head, the area where the fore peak
ballasting line is coming through.
k) In the after peak tanks, check the longitudinal shell stiffeners in dedicated ballast
tanks, particularly in areas adjacent to bulkheads and web frames.

10) What are the checks to be done in double bottom tanks of old ships?

a) The paint condition.

b) Sacrificial anodes.
c) Ensure the lightening holes are not blocked.
d) Check the sounding pipes and the striker plates.
e) Check the under deck longitudinals. Wastages are usually more severe close to the
deck head. This may result in the fillet welds, attaching longitudinals to the deck,
being wasted thus leading to detachment of the longitudinals and consequent
buckling of tank top plates.
f) The plate thicknesses must be checked.

11) How do you range a cable in a dock?

The laying of the cable on the dock bottom is done with the help of a shore crane.
Cable must be lowered under power throughout the operation. In certain docks the total
operation is done by the dock yard crew. If it is the case, you should observe the
operation. In certain docks, this is done with the assistance of the ship staff.

12) What are the maintenance works done on an anchor cable?

a) Check the diameter of the shackles.

b) 11% of wear down in bar diameter is allowed before replacement.
c) Transpose two or three shackles to the inner end of the cable.
d) Hammer test or ultra sound test to be done on the cable. Penetrating oil can be
used to detect cracks.
e) Shackles to be painted.

13) Why do you transpose two or three shackles of the anchor cable?

A cable which lies idle in a locker becomes brittle and also to maintain the even
usage of the cable.

14) What are the checks to be carried out before flooding a dock?

a) Ensure the hull painting is completed and dried.

b) Ensure the Zinc anodes are fitted as planned.
c) Ensure the transducers not painted and grease removed.
d) Ensure bottom plugs in position.
e) Check with chief engineer & yard engineer, whether the propeller, thrusters and
rudder are fixed properly and sea chests, sea valves are fixed in position.
f) Check the tanks for any rubbish left by dock workers.
g) Make sure all the tanks are in the same condition as arrived.
h) Secure all cargo gears, hatches, beams etc.
i) Ensure all required surveys and repairs are completed.
j) Check whether there is sufficient crew onboard.
k) Ensure the mooring lines are sent.
l) Ensure that all garbage and refusals are taken by the dock.
m) Inform the master and with his permission, sign the authority to flood certificate
with date & time.
n) Write down all the timings.
o) When the vessel is re-floated, start generators, disconnect shore power supply &
fire lines.
p) Check with chief engineer, whether all in order in the engine room.
q) Re-start bridge equipment & check whether the gyro is indicating the same
heading as she came in.
r) It is advisable to keep a check list for completion of work in dock.

15) When do you dry dock a vessel with cargo on board?

Some times vessels are dry docked for repairs which are affected with a collision or

16) What are the precautions to be taken when docking with cargo on board?

a) Ensure no perishable or dangerous cargoes on board. If available on board they
must be discharged before docking.
b) Proper fire watches to be maintained in the cargo holds by taking fire rounds and
by the detectors.
c) Ensure cargo is properly lashed and the vessel is up-right.
d) Ensure the cargoes are evenly distributed and cargo plan should be given to the
e) Reduce free surface effect.
f) Ensure the vessel has sufficient GM throughout the critical period.
g) Discuss the docking requirements, such as trim and draught with the dock master.
h) Have a briefing with officers, engineers and crew.
i) If possible, try for a water borne docking.

17) How do you measure the thickness of hull plates and what is the allowance given
prior changing of the plates?

Thickness is measured using ultrasonic sound gauges. The allowable thickness

depends upon the classification society requirements, the place of the plates, size of the
ship etc. They use a minimum thickness table in deciding whether to change the
plates or not. Generally, for tankers and bulk carriers of 10 years of age or more,
maximum of 10% diminution is allowed.

18) What are the contents of SPC (Self Polishing Co-polymer) paints?

a) Acrylic Polymer
b) Copper and Zinc solid particles
c) Less solid particles (therefore need more paint coatings)

In SPC, the biocide is chemically combined with the binder and is released
only when the soluble surface layer is gradually dissolved and worked away by water
motion to progressively expose more and more layers of SPC antifouling. In multi-coat
systems, it is common to use different colours so that the depletion of the total film
thickness may be monitored.

19) What is the thickness of a coat of SPC paint which is to be applied on the hull?

This depends upon the brand of the paint. The paint manufacturer should give this
information in the paint manual. For Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP), the thicknesses are
as follows,

- In wet condition : 160 320 microns

- In dry condition : 75 150 microns

20) How much time is required to dry these paints?

This depends upon the surrounding temperature and also the brand of the paint. This
information is also given in the paint manual. For Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP), drying
times are as follows,

- at 5 of temperature : 24 hrs
- at 30 of temperature : 10 hrs

21) What happens if the dock is flooded before drying the hull paint?

This paint consists of copper particles. If the dock is flooded before drying the
paint, these copper particles will increase the hull corrosion than on bare steel. If the dock
is flooded well early, of course the paints will come out of the plates.

22) How long the paint will last?

Generally it is about 60 months from the date applied, but this depends upon the brand
and the type of the paint.

23) What are the contents of a docking plan?

a) Ships name, official number, port of registry etc.

b) LBP, LOA, beam, GT, NRT, Load draughts, light displacement etc.
c) Position of bow thrusters
d) Position of transducers
e) Positions of logs
f) Position of collision bulk head, keel, bilge keel etc.
g) Position of keel blocks
h) Position of sea chests

24) What are the checks to be done on a rudder?

a) Rudder pintle clearance (by inserting a filler gauge)

b) Jumping bar clearance (by inserting a filler gauge)
c) Leaks (if there are any leaks when the drain plug is opened water should
come out)

25) As a chief officer, what are the orders that you will give to your juniors in a dry

d) They should be told about the watch schedule, emergency contact numbers,
regulations which are specific to the dock.
e) They must have a good idea about the repair items.
f) Wearing of personnel safety gears must be strictly carried out.
g) Strict and frequent fire rounds must be carried out (be very cautious during tea
times, lunch times and also when the work is ceased at the end of the day).
h) Proper illumination must be available before starting work.
i) They must have a thorough knowledge about daily work.
j) The commencement and the end of each work must be informed to chief officer.
k) They also must be given a summery of a repair list. So that, it can be tick-off at
the end of each work.
l) All the important times must be noted down (commencement and completion of
each work, work ceasing times, raining time periods etc.)
m) Always the hull painting must be carried out during appropriate weather
conditions. Must ensure that the previous paint coating is properly dry before
applying the new coat.
n) Frequent soundings must be taken when ballasting tanks to ensure the water
tightness of the tanks.
o) If any ships equipment is given to dock workers, make sure to take them back.
p) Strict enclosed space entry regulations must be carried out.
q) Strict ISPS regulations must be carried out.
r) If in any doubt the chief officer or the master must be informed.


1) How often a cargo gear should be tested?

a) After manufacturing or installation.

b) After any repair or modification which is likely to alter the SWL or affect its
c) At 5 yearly intervals.

2) How often the cargo gears should be inspected?

a) A thorough examination should be carried out by a competent person at least

every 12 months intervals. A person of above 18 years of age having proper
training, knowledge and experience can do this inspection, i.e. chief officer. This
should include a detail examination supplemented by such dismantling as
necessary to arrive at a reliable conclusion as to the safety of the gear.
b) If the equipment is subjected to frequent use more frequent thorough examination
may be required. The competent person may specify in his report a period of less
than 12 months to the next thorough examination.
c) Loose gear should be inspected before use.

3) What are the documents relevant to cargo gears?

a) A certificate or report shall be issued on the appropriate form by the competent

b) These certificates shall be kept on board for at least 2 years from the date of
receipt of the next certificate.
c) Register of lifting appliances and cargo handling gear should be maintained in an
approved form. This has two parts;
- Part I this contains thorough examinations of lifting appliances
- Part II this contains the regular inspection of loose gear

4) How do you prepare a vessel for loading a heavy lift?

a) Check the weight of cargo and calculate the load density.

b) If a spreader or heavy pallets are used in heaving up the cargo, take the weight of
the spreader or pallets in to account.
c) If the load density is insufficient, place dunnage.

d) Select an appropriate place with sufficient lashing points. Ensure the securing
points are strong enough for lashing this cargo by referring in to securing manual.
e) Calculate GM for,
- critical stage (just after the weight is taken by the derrick)
- after loading
f) Minimize free surface effect by emptying or filling the tanks completely.
g) Keep the vessel upright.
h) Stop all other cargo operations.
i) Inform heads of departments.
j) Un-authorized persons are not to be allowed.
k) Ensure the gangway is up and the moorings are tight.
l) Cast of barges if moored along side.
m) Beware of lateral drag.
n) Lash all loose items.
o) Lay up dunnage in the fore & aft direction or diagonally. So that the weight will
be spread over the transverse beams and frames.
p) Attach steadying lines to the weight.
q) Just after the weight is taken by the derrick, check the cargo slings and wires.

5) If the weight is exceeding the load density, how do you arrange dunnage and
what sizes of dunnage?

6 x 4 dunnage is more suitable for this purpose. In a transversely framed

ship, the dunnages should be laid down in the fore and aft direction or diagonally
and in a longitudinally framed ship, dunnages should be laid in the athwartship
direction or diagonally. Most of the general cargo vessels are transversely framed
In calculating the length of dunnages, we will use an example of 120 t of
weight having a base area of 8 x 2 m to be loaded in a hatch of having a load
density of 5 t per m.



The weight per m of the present load = 120 / (8 x 2) = 7.5 t per m

Therefore the load density exceeds.
Dunnages to be laid throughout the length of the cargo. Therefore the final length
of the cargo area is 8 m. We will assume the breadth of the final cargo area as Y,
120 / (8 x Y) = 5
Y = 3 m.
Therefore at least 3 m long dunnages must be used. Always make sure,

(Weight) / (Final area) is less than or equal to the load density.

6) Heavy weight is to be loaded on to a hatch cover which exceeds the load density.
What will you do?
Again dunnage must be laid down as mentioned above but ensure the dunnages are
long up to the hatch coamings, so that the weights will be taken by the ends of the

7) What is the meaning of lateral drag?

Before taking the weight When taking the weight


As the above figure shows, the horizontal movement of the cargo is known as
the lateral drag. This could happen while loading as well as discharging. When loading,
the drag is away from the ship and when discharging it is towards the vessel.

8) What are the dangers involve with lateral drag?

a) The heavy cargo may start swinging violently.

b) The momentum of swing may increase the SWL of derrick components.
c) If the cargo is on a lorry or suppose to load on to a lorry, it may damage by
turning over.
d) The cargo and the hull may get damage after hitting each other.
e) Possibility of hitting the people around.

9) How do you reduce the lateral drag?

This can be reduced by maintaining the position of the derrick head above the
weight throughout the operation.

a) While discharging, the runner and the topping lift should be lowered
quickly as soon as the weight touches the ground.
b) While loading, the load must be taken slowly and also, it is advisable to
use steadying lines.

10) How do you load a heavy lift of 80t using a ships crane which has not been
used for last few years?

The cargo gears may not be used for a long time but they are surveyed & tested
as mentioned in question 1 & 2. This information can be taken from Register of

lifting appliances and cargo handling gear. As long as the gears are kept up to date,
they can be used any time, but the chief officer should check the crane visually before
taking the weight.

11) What are the proof loads applicable for cargo gears?

SWL up to 20t : 25% in excess of the SWL

SWL 20t 50t : add 5t to SWL
SWL greater than 50t : 10% to SWL

12) What are the methods available for testing cargo gears?

a) Dynamic method by using a spring load to get the required proof load.
b) Static method - by using a suspended weight.

The cargo gears are tested at various angles by slewing, hoisting, lowering with
the proof load. The emergency switches, cut offs, alarms are also tested.

13) How do you know that a wire rope is not suitable for use?

a) If it is crushed
b) If it is chaffed
c) If it is corroded
d) If more than 10% of strands are broken in a length of eight diameters in any place
of the rope.

14) What are the contents of cargo securing manual?

a) Number of lashings
b) Securing points
c) Specific weight load tests of all lashing materials
d) SWL of all lashing materials.

15) How do you calculate the SWL of a rope without using the certificates?

Use the following table to calculate the breaking stress (D = Diameter),

Type of rope Size Breaking stress (t)

Natural fibre ropes
Grade 1 Manila 7 mm to 144 mm 2 D / 300

Synthetic fibre ropes
Polypropylene 7 mm to 80 mm 3 D / 300
Polyester 4 mm to 96 mm 4 D / 300
Polyamide 4 mm to 96 mm 5 D / 300

Steel wire ropes

6 x 12 4 mm to 48 mm 15 D / 500
6 x 24 8mm to 56 mm 20 D / 500
6 x 37 8 mm to 56 mm 21 D / 500

To calculate the SWL,

For ropes,
SWL = Breaking stress / 6

For steel wire ropes,

SWL = Breaking stress / 6


1) What is BC code and what information can you take from it?

The students must refer the publication by him self and be familiar with it .
There were considerable amount of bulk carrier loses in the past. Therefore, IMO
developed the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code). The BC Code
provide safety guidelines for ship masters, ship owners, cargo owners in stowing &
carrying bulk cargoes except grain. The following information can be taken from the BC
a) Safety of personnel and ship
b) Procedures in handling bulk cargoes.
- trimming procedures
- methods of determining angle of repose
- test procedures for liquefiable cargoes
- hazards involve with hazardous cargoes
- requirements of loading
c) Transportation of solid wastes in bulk.
d) List of bulk cargoes which may liquefy

e) List of bulk cargoes having chemical hazards with their UN numbers, IMO class,
MFAG table number, approximate angle of repose, approximate stowage factor
and EmS number.
f) List of bulk cargoes which are not liable to liquefy or not possess a chemical
g) Emergency schedules (EmS) for cargoes having chemical hazards
h) Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces
i) Procedures for gas monitoring of coal cargoes

2) What is angle of repose?

This is the maximum angle between the horizontal plane and the cone slop of a free
flowing granular material.

3) How do you find the angle of repose?

a) Laboratory testing (tilting box method)

b) Onboard test method

4) Explain the onboard testing method.

a) Fill a 3 litre conical flask with the cargo.

b) Pour about 2/3 of that on to a rough paper so as to produce a starting cone.
c) Then pour the rest of the cargo from a height of a few millimetres on top of the
cone carefully.
d) Rotate the flask around the cone while pouring to make the cone symmetrical.
e) Using a protractor measure the angle without hitting the cone.
f) The angle should be measured at four places, about 90 apart.
g) Repeat the same thing for another two samples as well.

5) What is the meaning of flow moisture point (FMP)?

This is the percentage moisture content (wet mass basis) at which a flow state will

6) What is the meaning of transportable moisture limit?

This is the maximum moisture content of a cargo deemed safe for carriage by sea in
ships other than specially designed ships. It is considered as 90% of the FMP.

7) What are the methods available to measure the moisture content, TML and

a) Flow table test

b) Penetration test These are laboratory tests
c) Proctor/Fagerberg test

8) How do you measure the moisture content on board?

Half fill a cylindrical can (0.5 to 1 litre) with the cargo. Take the can in one hand
and bring it down sharply to strike a hard surface (table) from a height of about 20 cm.
Repeat this for about 25 times at one or two seconds intervals. Check the surface of the
can for moisture or fluid conditions. If free moisture or a fluid conditions appears,
prepare arrangements to have additional laboratory tests, before loading.

9) How do you identify the cargoes which are liable to flow freely?

a) If the angle of repose is less than or equal to 30, it is liable to flow freely like
grain. Then the grain regulations will be applied.
b) Cargoes having an angle of repose of more than 35 are not liable to flow freely.

10) How will you load a cargo having an angle of repose more than 35?

Spread the cargo evenly in the hatch to eliminate the formations of wide, steepy
slopes. It should be trimmed to an angle much more less than the angle of repose.

11) Why this angle is taken as 35?

For the cargoes of with an angle of repose more than 35, the BC Code must be
consulted. The Grain Code must be consulted for the cargoes of angle of repose less than
35. This value is taken as such because under normal conditions, a ships maximum
angle of role is about 35. Therefore, when a vessel is rolled by 35, the slope of the cargo
will be vertical and the cargo should be able to stay in position without toppling.

12) How will you load a cargo having an angle of repose of between 30 and 35
including 35?

a) The vertical distance (h) between the highest & lowest levels of the cargo
surface should not exceed B/10 (B= beam of the ship in metres), with a maximum
allowable h = 1.5 m.
b) If the h can not be measured, bulk shipment can also be accepted if loading is
carried out with trimming equipments approved by a competent authority.

13) What are the stability requirements for carrying grain in bulk?

a) The angle of heel due to shift of grain shall not be greater than 12 or for ships of
constructed on or after 1st January 1994 the angle at which the deck edge is
immersed, which ever is the lesser.
b) In the statical stability diagram, the net or residual area between the heeling arm
curve and the righting arm curve up to the angle of heal of maximum difference
between the ordinates of the two curves, or 40 or the angle of flooding, which
ever is the least, shall in all conditions of loading be not less than 0.075 m radians.
c) The initial metacentric height, after correction for the free surface effects of liquid
in tanks , shall be not less than 0.30m.

- for new ships (built after 25th May 1980) all these calculations are
provided by the yard and readily available.
- for existing ships, these are not readily available. Therefore master has to
prove that the v/l is capable of meeting these criteria.

14) How will you reduce the shift of grain in a filled compartment?

a) By fixing longitudinal subdivisions

b) By using saucer of bags as a plug in the hatchway
c) By using a bulk bundle of grain as a plug in the hatchway
d) The wings & ends of the compartment are to be tightly stowed with bagged grain.

15) How will you reduce the shift of grain in a partially filled compartment?

a) By fixing longitudinal subdivisions

b) Over stow with bagged grain
c) By covering the surface of grain with a tarpaulin and a timber platform, then
secure with overall lashings.
d) If possible tween decks & lower holds can be loaded as one compartment. If only
the lower hold, then the tween decks to be closed

16) What are the documents involve in carrying bulk cargoes?

a) Hold inspection certificate (pre-loading certificate) (this is issued by a

surveyor after inspecting the holds to ensure that the holds are in a suitable
condition to load the intended cargo)
b) Mates receipt
c) Bills of lading
d) Shippers declarations or certificates
e) Certificate of fumigation
f) Stowage and ballasting/deballasting plans
g) Loading manuals

17) What are the documents to be carried on board when carrying bulk grain (other
than above)?

a) Document of authorization or exemption certificate

b) Grain Code

18) What are the information that a shipper should provide to the master when
carrying bulk cargoes?

a) FMP
b) Moisture content
c) Trimming procedures
d) Angle of repose
e) Stowage factor
f) Chemical hazards involve, such as toxicity, corrosivity etc.

A certificate or certificate stating the relevant characteristics of the cargoes to be

loaded should be provided. A following type of form [this is extracted from IMO
resolution A.862 (20)] may by used by the shipper. As an aid to paper documentation,
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) techniques my
be used.

19) What are the precautions to be taken before loading a tanker?

c) Ensure the tanks are inerted, oxygen percentage is 8% or less and have
positive pressures.
d) Make sure to check all alarm systems (oxygen more than 5% alarm in the
inert gas pump, low water alarms in the scrubber/deck water seal, inert gas
failure alarm etc) and also check all portable gas measuring equipment.
e) No soot blowing during loading & discharging.
f) Loading sequence plan and the de-ballasting plan is ready.
g) Initial, normal and final loading rates to be agreed with the terminal
h) The normal and emergency communications to be agreed with the shore.
i) Ensure the scuppers are plugged.
j) Make sure to put bravo flag or all round red light.
k) Make sure the fire lines are rigged in forward and aft as per port
l) Man the manifold throughout.

m) Switch on the pump room blowers and should take pump room rounds at
least every 20 minits.
n) No unauthorized people on deck and consider the deck as a hazardous
o) Naked lights, smoking or any other sources of ignitions must be
p) Hot work must not be carried out on board and on the terminal.
q) Just after the loading is commenced, ensure the cargo is flowing in to the
correct tanks by taking soundings.
r) If remote gauges are available, cross check them with manual ullages or
manual soundings.
s) Throttle the mast riser as per the tank pressures during loading.
t) In VOC emission controlled areas, make sure to keep the vapour collector
on throughout the loading period.
u) Ensure the ship-shore check list is followed.

20) What is COW and how do you carry it out?

Crude oils are very viscous because of that clinnage will be high on the tank bulk
heads and on the tank floor. This can be washed out by using the same cargo while
discharging. This is known as Crude Oil Washing (COW). There are advantages as well
as disadvantages of COW. While doing COW, according to MARPOL requirements,
tanks must be under the following conditions,
a) must have a positive pressure (this is created by IG)
b) the Oxygen content must be 8% or less by volume
c) since the discharging is going on, the IG pump should be in operation to maintain
a positive pressure.

Once, one third of the tank is empty, the top wash can be started. When the top
wash is completed the middle wash can be carried out and finally the bottom wash can be
started when the sounding is about 1 m. The cargo manuals must be consulted as different
ships have different systems. The manuals specify the required trim, required pressures,
setting up arrangements etc.

Top wash



21) Can you continue on COW if the inert gas system is not working?

In the case of a crude oil tanker discharging or COW must be stopped if the
IG system is not working. It can be resumed only if an external source of IG can be
supplied through the external IG connection system (it is a MARPOL requirement to
have a such device).
In the case of a product carrier, tank cleaning can be resumed only if an
external source of IG can be supplied, or,
a) Tank washing to be carried out only in one tank at a time.
b) That tanks ventilations should be isolated and should provide as far as possible a
free flow of air from one end of the tank to the other.
c) The tank bottom, piping system, cargo pumps etc. should be flushed with water
and stripped.
d) The vapour content in any part of the tank is below 10% of the lower flammable
e) If the vapour level rises during cleaning to 50% of the lower flammable limit,
washing should be stopped until the vapour level has fallen to 20 % of LFL or
f) If washing machines with individual capacities exceeding 60m/h are to be used,
only one such machine shall be used at any one time on the ship.
g) The tank should be kept drained during washing. If built-up of wash water occurs,
washing should be stopped until the water has been cleared.
h) Only clean, cold seawater should be used. Re-circulating systems should not be
i) Chemical additives should not be used.
j) All deck openings, except those necessary for washing and designed venting
arrangements, should be kept closed during the washing process.

In case of a product carrier, discharging or de-ballasting may resumed only if
an external source of IG can be supplied or,

a) If the vessel is built on or after 01 st September 1984, the venting system should be
checked to ensure approved devices are fitted to restrict the passage of flame in to
the tanks.
b) If the vessel is built before 1st September 1984 the flame screens should be
checked to ensure that they are in a satisfactory condition.
c) The valves on the vent mast risers are opened.
d) No free fall of water or slops is permitted.
e) No dipping, ullaging, sampling or other equipment should be introduced into the
tank unless essential for the safety of the operation. If it is extremely required, it
can be done only after at least 30 minutes have elapsed since the IG failure.

22) What are the final phasing out dates of single hull tankers?

a) Category 1 tankers (pre-MARPOL tankers) : 05th April 2005

b) Category 2 & 3 tankers (MARPOL tankers and small tankers : 05th April 2010

The single hull tankers of 15 years or older can be used beyond these time
periods, if she has under gone a Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS). After a CAS,
administration may permit Category 2 & 3 tankers to be operated anniversary of the
delivery of the ship in 2015 or the date on which the ship reaches 25 years of age after the
date of its delivery, which ever is earlier.

Category 1 oil tankers These are the oil tankers of 20,000 tons DWT and above
carrying crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil as cargo and of 30,000 tons
DWT and above carrying oil other than above, which does not complies with the
requirements for new tankers as defined in regulation 1(26) of MARPOL Annex I.

Category 2 oil tankers These are the oil tankers of 20,000 tons DWT and above
carrying crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil as cargo, and of 30.000 tons
DWT and above carrying oil other than above, which does complies with the
requirements for new tankers as defined in regulation 1(26) of MARPOL Annex I.

Category 3 oil tankers These are the oil tankers of 5,000 tons DWT and above but less
than that specified in category 1 and category 2.

23) What are the contents of IBC Code & what it means?

The students must refer the publication by him self and be familiar with it. IBC
stands for International Code for the construction & equipment of ships carrying
dangerous chemicals in bulk. This applies to all ships carrying chemicals in bulk,
constructed after 01st July 1986. It contains,

a) Survey procedures & requirements
b) Stability criteria
c) Cargo handling procedures
d) Constructional standards
e) A list of chemicals to which the code does not apply
f) A list of dangerous chemicals carried in bulk
g) Requirements for carrying & incinerating dangerous chemicals at sea.

24) What is IGC Code & what it contains?

The students must refer the publication by him self and be familiar with it.
IGC applies for Construction & equipment of ships carrying liquefied gasses in bulk. It
a) Survey procedures & requirements
b) Stability requirements
c) Safety construction of ships
d) Cargo handling procedures

25) What are the general precautions to be taken when loading bulk cargoes?

a) Inspect the hold (check the ladders, frames, tank tops for corrosion, damages,
cleanliness etc.
b) Check the bilge well, strainer plates, sounding pipes.
c) Clean the bilges, test the suction, cover the bilge well with a strainer. Put a gunny
bag on top of the trainer and put cement around the gunny bag to hold it in place.
d) Cover the deck machinery if possible
e) Put the accommodation air condition on re-circulation.
f) Check the bilge soundings before & after loading.
g) To avoid the extra stresses, it is advisable to load in the lower holds than tween
h) Commence at a slow rate specially the high density cargoes to avoid damage to
tank top.
i) Attend moorings, gangways and ballasting/de-ballasting, list, trim should be
j) Barrier creams and masks available for personnel when handling dusty cargoes.
k) Test spaces for oxygen deficiency
l) Make personnel aware of any dangers which may exist

26) What are the hazardous involve in carrying concentrates?

Concentrates are usually in small granular or powder form. Generally,

concentrates are very dense and may be liable to act as a liquid. There are different types
of concentrates such iron ore concentrates, copper concentrates etc.

a) Usually powdery in form and liable to have a high moisture content.

b) Under certain conditions, have a tendency to behave almost like a liquid.
c) Some times appear to be in a relatively dry condition when loading, but at the
same time, contain sufficient moisture to act as a fluid due to the movement and
vibration of the vessel.
d) If the moisture content is above the TML a cargo may shift as a result of
liquefaction. Cargo may flow to one side of the hold with one roll but not flow
fully back with the next roll, thus increasing the list and the possibility of
e) As this is a powdery material, it may affect the people engage on deck work and
also the deck machinery.
f) Ensure to cover all the deck machinery, provide face masks to the deck watch
keepers. Most probably the AC has to be put on recirculation mode.
g) Since this is a high density cargo, if you load homogeneously, vessel may end up
with a large GM. Therefore, consider about block loading system. Make sure to
follow the instructions given by the loading manuals if doing so. If the
classification society approval is obtained, the alternate loading system can be

27) What are the precautions to be taken when loading cargoes which are liable to

a) Do not ship any cargoes with moisture contents above TML.

b) No cargo containing liquids to be stowed in the same space, except canned foods.
c) Avoid ingress of fresh water.
d) Do not use water to cool the cargo but if unavoidable use a spray.
e) All cargoes liable to liquefy should be trimmed level on completion of loading.
f) The cargo should be properly sampled and a copy of results should be kept on
g) Refer the BC code for details of sampling procedures.
h) If the master doubts the condition of the cargo for safe carriage, refer the BC
Code for details of approximate tests which can be carried out on board the
i) May have to use shifting boards.

28) What is BLU Code and what are the contents of it?

The students must refer the publication by him self and must be familiar with
it. BLU Code stands for Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk
Carriers. The objective of the Code is to prevent the bulk carrier losses due to improper
loading & unloading of bulk cargoes, except for grain.

29) What are the reasons for adopting this Code?

There were heavy losses of bulk carriers even after the introduction of the BC
Code, during the past few years. Most of these cases have occurred due to improper
loading & discharging of bulk carriers. The BLU Code was adopted November 1997, to
reduce the ship losses due to improper loading & discharging.

30) What are the contents of BLU Code?

a) This Code applies to ship owners, masters, charters and terminal operators.
b) The condition of ships and terminal of handling bulk cargoes.
c) Information to be exchanged between shore & ship
d) Actions to be taken before loading by ships and terminals.
e) Procedures in loading, unloading, ballasting and de-ballasting.
f) Sample loading & unloading plans
g) Ship/shore safety check lists

31) What is the difference between BC Code and the BLU Code?

The BC Code addresses the technical details of all solid bulk cargoes in loading,
unloading and carrying on board. Where as the BLU Code addresses the precautions to be
taken by the terminals & ships when loading and discharging of solid bulk cargoes. It
does not address any particular cargo but addresses them commonly.

32) 150000 DWT bulk carrier loading iron ore. As a C/O what precautions would
you take and how do you load the vessel?

Prior to commenced loading:

a) Make sure to obtain certificate issued from competent laboratory from the shipper
stating the FMP, TML & MC.

b) Calculate total distribution of cargo and check the stability, SF & BM at all
conditions (at port, departure, during voyage and arrival)

c) Make sure the loading and de ballasting distribution sequences are within the safe

d) Prepare a loading sequence plan and a de-ballasting plan

e) Cargo hold free from previous cargo, clean the bilges and doubler the bilge strainer
plates if required.

f) Clean the bilges, test the suction, cover the bilge well with a strainer. Put a gunny
bag on top of the trainer and put cement around the gunny bag to hold it in place.

g) Do not exceed the load density of the tank top.

h) Positioning of shooters / loaders (as per the loading sequence)

i) Initial draft survey to be carried out.

j) Complete ship shore safety check list. (loading rate, Bunkering rate de ballasting
rate, If have any repairs ,communication method, draft at the berth, safety
procedures, trimming quantity)

k) Ensure the moisture content is less than TML.

l) Maximum amount load in any compartment should not exceed 0.9 x L x B x D

m) If not trimmed pile height should not exceed 1.1 x D x SF

During loading:

a) Make sure all the loading and de ballasting as per planed sequence.

b) As far as possible, try to position the shooter close to the tank top at the beginning of
loading (to avoid damages to the tank top). If this is not possible start with a slower
loading rate and continue until the tank top is fully covered.

c) Keep the vessel upright at all the time.

d) Cargo to be evenly distributed inside the cargo holds to avoid excess tress

e) Calculate and compare drafts at regular intervals.

f) Loading must not be carried out during rain.

On completion of loading:

a) Trim the cargo to avoid toppling. Do not overload.

b) Vessel should be upright and trimmed as per plan.

c) Make sure estimated cargo quantity loaded as per charter party conditions.

d) Final draft survey to be carried out

33) What are the hazards involve with iron ore?

High density cargo

Dry shift ( Below TML )

Wet shift ( Above TML )

Dust explosion , Corrosion and Oxidization

Structural failure

34) How do you prepare your vessel for loading coal?

a) The shipper must provide the characteristics of coal and a certificate including the
moisture content (because different types of coals act differently as below)
- Some types of coal does not emit methane and also not liable for
spontaneous heating.
- Some types of coals emit methane in considerable amounts
- Some types of coals are liable to spontaneous heating
- Some types of coals are liable for spontaneous heating as well as emission
of methane.
b) Clean the cargo spaces and remove all residues.
c) Clean the bilges, test the suction, cover the bilge well with a strainer. Put a gunny
bag on top of the trainer and put cement around the gunny bag to hold it in place.
d) The electrical cabling in cargo and adjacent spaces to be free from defects.
e) Ensure spark arresters are fitted to funnel and ventilators
f) Ensure no smoking in unauthorized areas
g) Do not stow adjacent to hot bulkheads or any heat sources.
h) Trim the cargo
i) Follow entry into enclosed spaces procedure due to possible depletion of
j) The sulphur content of Pond-Coal is unusually high and may result in the
release of sulphuric acid with consequent risk of damage to ships structure.
k) Some types of coal is shipped in wet condition, will turn out about 3% less than in
weight. Therefore, records of bilge pumping should be kept and B/Ls should be
claused to adequately protect against claims for short delivery.
l) Arrange means to take the temperatures during the passage.

35) What are the precautions to be taken when carrying coal?

a) Dont use mechanical blowers as it may create sparks.

b) Natural ventilation is recommended and never do through ventilation.
c) As per the BC Code, Ventilate continuously for 24 hrs after departure from port. It
should be stopped when the methane concentration is considerably law. In fine
weather conditions hatches could be left open, but dont open at once, as the
sudden ingress of oxygen may lead to dangerous situations.
d) If methane is mixed in a proportion of 5% - 16% by volume with air constitutes
an explosive atmosphere which may be ignited by a spark. Therefore, surface
ventilation must be carried out, if the methane concentration is within those limits.
e) Monitor the temperatures at least once daily at three locations 3 m below the
surface of the cargo.
f) If the temperature exceeds 55 C and is rising rapidly, seal ventilation, start
boundary cooling and seek for expert advice. Do not use water directly on the
cargo. Consider about diverting the vessel to a port of refuge.
g) When going in to tropical areas try to cool the deck area by using tarpaulin,
limber boards, deck water etc.
h) Check the pH value of hold bilges before pumping out and also if it is acidic, it
will increase corrosion.
i) Since methane is lighter than normal air, it may leak into adjacent places and
adjoining tanks. Therefore, check the gas levels before entering enclosed spaces.

36) What are the dangers involve with coal?

a) Emission of methane.
b) Spontaneous heating
c) Emission of sulphuric acid (with Pond-Coal)
d) Loss of cargo weight (with Pond-Coal)
e) Cargo liquefaction (with fine-particled coal and coal slurry)

37) What are the precautions to be taken when loading timber deck cargo?

a) Avoid excessive loading regard to the strength and structure.

b) Ship should have adequate stability at all stages of the voyage with vertical distribution
of cargo, except wind moments, Rise of COG due fuel consumption, Sea spray, Rainy
Water and ice accumulation.
c) Special attention to be paid for vents, air pipes. It may impair water tight integrity.
d) Height of cargo stow should not interfere with Navigational lights and look out
e) Winter height should not exceed 1/3 of extreme breath. 15% add for allowance for ice
f) Cargo should not obstruct main access areas and water tight integrity, Walk way must
be permitted on top of the timber, Cargo to be compactly stored and lashed.

g) She must be up right. Record of inspections and tightening of lashing must be

38) What are the areas of high stresses and bending moments on a bulk carrier?

a) Immediately forward of the engine-room bulk head.

b) Over the mid-ships half-length
c) No.1 hold side shell framing and top and bottom connections (panting region)

39) What are the areas of fracturing, cracks or distortion may occur on a bulk

a) Inside a hatch,

b) On the deck areas,

40) What are the methods available to load bulk carriers?

a) Distribution of cargo evenly in all cargo holds. This is known as homogeneous

hold loading. This is a very common system in carrying low density cargoes such
as grain, coal etc.

b) This system of loading is helpful in reducing the GM of the vessel, because

without loading small amounts of cargoes in every hold, same volume of cargoes
can be loaded in alternate hold. This is known as alternate loading. Class
approval is required for alternate loading. This is mostly used on large bulk
carriers when carrying high density cargoes.

c) This is known as block loading. This system also helpful to improve the GM, to a
certain extent. This method is used when the ship is partly loaded.

41) What are the new regulations according to SOLAS in relation to bulk carrier

Regulation 5 (Chapter XII)

Single hull bulk carriers of 150m and above in length constructed on or after 1 st
July 1999 and design to carry solid bulk cargoes having a density of 1000 kg/m and
above, shall be able to withstand when one compartment is flooded to the same level as
the out side water level in all loading conditions and ballast conditions.

Double hull bulk carriers of 150m and above in length constructed on or after 1 st
July 2006 and having longitudinal bulkheads within breadth/5 or 11.5 m, which ever is
less, inboard from the ships side at right angles to the centre line at the Summer Load
Line and also design to carry solid bulk cargoes having a density of 1000 kg/m and
above, shall be able to withstand when one compartment is flooded to the same level as
the out side water level in all loading conditions and ballast conditions.

Regulation 14 (Chapter XII)

Single hull bulk carriers of 150 m or more in length, design to carry cargoes
having a density of 1780 kg/m and above if not meeting the above regulations, shall
not sail with any hold loaded to less than 10% of the holds maximum allowable
cargo weight when in the full loaded condition, after reaching 10 years of age.

42) What are the potential problems hazardous involve with bulk carriers?

a) Use of unsafe practices which are not mentioned in the loading manual (eg the
approved loading manual on board a nine-hold bulk carrier, often has an
annotation stating that holds 2, 4, 6 and 8 may be empty. This implies that all even
number holds must be empty at the same time. In many cases, ship officers
believe that such an annotation allows for any combination of these holds to be
empty, which is not the case).
b) High loading rates.
c) Cargo loading and ballast distribution is not symmetrical
d) Cargoes are not trimed properly.
e) Partially filled ballast tanks or holds (sailing with partially filled ballast tanks or
ballast holds is prohibited unless the approved loading manual permits such
practices. Due to the partially filled ballast, sloshing may take place, which will
increase dynamic internal pressures acting on the hold and tank boundary
f) Insufficient cargo measurements during loading. Overloading the cargo hold
through inaccurate weighing will increase the stress levels in the ships structure.
g) Lack of effective communication between ships and the terminal. This may
increase the risk of inadvertent overloading of the ships structure.
h) As per the load line regulations, the load line marks must not be exceeded. End-
hold trimming to maximise cargo carrying capacity, and bring the ship down to
her marks, is to be avoided, because it may result in the overloading of end holds
beyond allowable limits, increasing local and global stresses.
i) Structural damages due to grabs, bulldozers, excavators etc.


1) What is the purpose of classification?

To safe guards the interests of ship owners, insurance underwriters and others
concerned with merchant ships, by ensuring that ships are constructed, equipped and
maintained to satisfactory standards of safety, stability and strength. A class certificate is
not required to carry on board. A vessel may sail without a class certificate but it is not
commercially feasible. Therefore, all the ship owners classify their ships.

2) What are the advantages of classification?

a) Easier to obtain insurance at advantageous premiums.

b) Re-sale value of a classified ship is higher than an un-classify ship.
c) Some cargo policies require cargo to be shipped in classed vessels.
d) Classed vessels meet statutory requirements, therefore it is an attraction to
e) A large body of expert opinion is available during design and building of a
vessel and also during vessels service.
f) Owner has an independent opinion on the standard of construction and
maintenance of his vessel.
g) Availability of local surveyors world wide, therefore inspection of
damages, repairs etc can be done easily.

3) What is IACS?

IACS stands for International Association of Classification Societies. There are

about 50 classification societies around the world. Among them only ten classification
societies have the membership of IACS. The design, construction, maintenance standards
of IACS members are in a high quality than non IACS members. Therefore the IACS
members have a better reputation around the world.

4) Who are the members of IACS?

a) ABS (American Bureau of Shipping)

b) CCS (China Classification Society)
c) DNV (Det Norske Veritas)
d) GL (Germanischer Lloyd)
e) KR (Korean Register of shipping)
f) LR (Lloyds Register)
g) NK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai)
h) RINA (Registro Italiano Navale)
i) RS (Russian Maritime Register of Shipping)
j) IRS (Indian Register of Shipping) Associate member

5) What is the procedure to become a member of IACS?

Any classification society wishing to become a member of IACS must hold an

associate membership for 25 years. During which the particular classification society
must maintain at least appropriate IACS standards.

6) What are the advantages of classifying a vessel with an IACS member?

a) Since the IACS members are more reputed around the world than non IACS
members, it is a good attraction to shippers.
b) Easy to get insurance than for vessels classed with non IACS members.
c) Less insurance premiums.
d) High reliability.
e) Agents are available world wide.
f) Accepted world wide.
g) IACS members are engage in several research & development projects related to
shipping. Therefore more expertise are available than from non IACS members.

7) If a vessel is classified with a non IACS member, how do they carryout surveys, if
the vessel is in Europe and if they dont have agents there?

The non IACS classification society can appoint an IACS member to carry out
the required surveys, but this will be done according to the non IACS classification
society standards. The results of the survey will be informed to the non IACS
classification society, so that they can issue a certificate. Otherwise the IACS member
will endorse the existing certificate but they will not issue a new certificate. This is
known as parallel classification.

8) What is the meaning of second classification?

A vessel classified under an IACS member as well as with a non IACS


9) When a class will be suspended?

a) When a ship is not operated in compliance with the class requirements

b) When a vessel proceeds to sea with a less freeboard than assigned.
c) When the owner fails to request a survey after having detected defects or damages
affecting the class.

d) When repairs, alterations or conversions affecting the class are carried out without
requesting the attendance of a surveyor.
e) When the class renewal, annual, intermediate and special surveys have not been
completed by the end of the time period. (it will be suspended automatically)

10) When a class will be withdrawn?

a) If requested by the owners.

b) If the class was suspended for more than 6 months.
c) If the ship is reported loss.
d) If the ship will not trade further as declared by her owners.
e) If a vessel is reported as constructive total loss and the owner does not give his
intentions to repair the ship for re-instatement of class.

11) What they do after suspension or withdrawal of class?

a) Inform the owners, flag state and underwriters.

b) Delete the vessel from their register.
c) Convey the information to appropriate data basses (EQUASIS, SIReNaC etc)

IMO (International Maritime Organization)

1) What are the 6 main bodies of IMO?

a) Assembly Organs
b) Council
c) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)
d) Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC)
e) Legal Committee Committees
f) Facilitation Committee

2) How does a convention is adopted in IMO?

a) Normally the suggestion is first made in one of the committees. If agreement is

reached in the committee, a proposal goes to the council and, as necessary to the
b) After authorization from the Assembly or Council, the committee concerned
considers the matter in greater detail and finally draws up a draft instrument.
c) The drafted document will be reported to the Council & Assembly.
d) A conference with all member States will be called.
e) Before the commencement of the conference, the draft convention will be
circulated to the Governments & organizations for their comments.
f) The draft convention & the comments will be examined at the conference.
g) Necessary changes will be made in order to produce a draft accepted to all or
majority of the Governments.
h) The secretary general will send copies to member States. The convention is
opened for signature usually for a period of 12 months.

3) How does a convention enter into force?

a) Each convention has different provisions stipulating conditions.

b) Generally, the more important and more complex the document, and the more
stringent are the conditions.
- SOLAS : 25 States & 50% of world GT
- Tonnage measurement of ships : 25 States & 65% of world GT
- Special trade passenger ships agreement : this came into force 6 months
after 3 States had accepted it.
c) When the conditions are fulfilled, it will enter into force for the States which have
accepted. Generally a period of grace will be applied to enable all the States to
take necessary measures for implementation.
d) Each Government has to take appropriate actions to incorporate into their local

e) At present, IMO conventions enter into force within an average of five years after

4) How does a new convention is implemented in Sri Lanka?

a) After ratifying a convention, a draft regulation will be made by the Ministry of

b) This draft regulation is sent to the parliament for cabinet approval.
c) Once the cabinet approval is received, it will be added to the Merchant Shipping
Act and will be gazetted.
d) Merchant Shipping Notices will be issued as required.

5) What is an amendment?

The enforced conventions are required to be changed with the time. This is done
by making changes to the relevant conventions. These changes are known as
In early conventions, amendments came into force only after a percentage of
contacting States, usually 2/3 had accepted them. This may create long delays, specially
if the number of contracting States are more.

6) What is tacit acceptance?

To overcome the delays involve in the normal enforcement procedures of

amendment, this method was introduced. According to this method, an amendment shall
enter into force at a particular time unless, before that date, objections to the amendment
are received from a specified number of parties.

7) What is a protocol?

This is a treaty or international agreement that supplements a previous treaty or

international agreement. A protocol can amend the previous treaty, or add additional
provisions. Parties to the earlier agreement are not required to adopt the protocol.


Refer the Appendixes for detailed Conventions and for the certificates to be
carried onboard.

1) How do you prepare your vessel for a load line survey?

a) Keep the stability information ready.

b) All sounding pipes, vent pipes, must be provided with closing/opening devices,
with permanently attached and in operating condition.
c) Ensure all the water tight doors at the ends of the enclosed structure, can be closed
water tight (free of cracks, rubber beedings in good condition, hinges greased,
handles greased etc).
d) Make sure the portholes are rust are rust free and the rubber beedings are not
painted and are in order. All the cabins on the weather deck and below the weather
deck should have portholes with dead lights (a steel or aluminium lid). These dead
lights also must be rust free and must have rubber beedings.
e) Ensure the hatches can be closed water tight. The cleats, rollers, wedges should be
in good working condition. The hatch coaming, water draining system on the
coaming and the rubber gaskets should be in good condition.
f) If required, a hose test can be tried out.
g) Ensure the non return valves on overboard discharging, is in good condition.
h) Ensure the water tightness of the side scuttles.
i) Check the scuppers and freeing ports for any blockages.
j) De-rust and paint load line marks & draught marks.
k) Guard rails and bulwarks should be in good condition and rig life lines if required.
l) Keep ready the keys for store rooms, ladders etc.
m) Generally ensure the ship is water tight below and on main deck, and weather
tight above main deck.

Generally these are maintained as per the Planned Maintenance Schedule. It

is advisable to commence preparation at least 3 to 4 months before the expected survey

2) How do you prepare your vessel for Cargo Ship Safety Equipment survey?

a) Inspect all the lifeboat stores and equipment.

b) Check the condition of the life boats (cracks, paint etc). Repaint the ships name
and port of registry.
c) Ensure the davits and the falls are working in order, greased, falls renewed and
changed end to end if required.
e) Check that the inflatable life rafts have been serviced within the last 12 months and
ensure the hydro-static release unit is in order.
f) Inspect the survival craft portable radio equipment.
g) Ensure the lifebuoys especially the self igniting lights are in proper order.

h) Ensure the life jackets are in order.
i) Make sure the pyrotechnics are not expired.
j) Test the emergency lighting system.
k) Check fire control plans are posted and still legible.
l) Test the fire/smoke detection system.
m) Test and try out the fire pump including the emergency fire pump.
n) Check fire hoses, nozzles and applicators are in good conditions.
o) Test the fixed fire fighting system.
p) Ensure the portable and non portable fire extinguishers are in order.
q) Ensure the closing arrangements for ventilators, skylights, doors, funnel spaces and
tunnels are in working order.
u) Ensure the firemans outfits are in order and recharge the B.A bottles
r) Inspect the pilot ladders, pilot hoists if carried
s) Make sure the navigational lights and signals are in order
t) Check all the navigational equipment are working in order.
u) Ensure the log books are in order.
v) Make sure the charts and publications are corrected and up to date.
w) Usually there are check lists for these surveys, ensure the check lists are followed.

3) What are the areas of inspections during a Cargo Ship Safety Construction
annual survey?

a) Safety construction certificate, safety equipment certificate, safety radio

certificate, loadline certificate, certificate of class (if the vessel is classed)
b) General examination of the hull including closing appliances
c) Mooring and anchoring equipment
d) Water tight doors including local and remote operations
e) Water tight bulkhead penetrations
f) Fire protection arrangements
g) Operation of fire doors
h) General inspection of the engine room including escape routes
i) Steering arrangements
j) Communications between bridge/ER/steering positions
k) Bilge pumping and level indicators in engine room.
l) External examination of pressure vessels including safety devices and insulation
in ER.
m) Electrical installations including emergency sources
n) The records of UMS
o) Inspection of OLB to ensure proper testing of steering gear.

Additionally For tankers,

a) Cargo tank openings

b) P/V valves and flame screens
c) Flame screens for other potentially flammable spaces

d) All piping systems
e) Electrical equipment in hazardous zones
f) The access ladders in the pump room
g) The elimination of ignition sources in pump room.
h) Electrical equipment in pump room.
i) Examination of pump room bulkheads for leaks and fractures
j) All piping systems in pump room.
k) Pump gland seals and mechanical/electrical shut down devices in pump room
l) Bilge pumping systems in pump room.
m) Ventilation system in pump room.
n) The discharge pressure gauges and tank contents gauges are operational

4) What are the differences between STCW 95 & 78?

a) White list came along with STCW 95.

b) In STCW 78, there were no uniform standards in training. Different governments
adopted different training systems. A set of uniform standards are provided in
STCW 95.

5) What are the additional surveys to be carried out on tankers of 10 years and
above of age?

a) It shall undergo a minimum of one intermediate survey during the period of

validity of its cargo ship safety construction certificate. If one such survey is done,
it should be done not before 6 months prior to, nor later than 6 months after, the
half way date of the certificates period of validity. Following items will be
inspected during this survey,
- items required by annual survey
- shell plating including bottom and bow plating, keel, stern, stern frame,
- Clearances of rudder bearings
- Sea connections and overboard discharge valves and their connections to
the hull.
- Anchoring & mooring arrangements
- Examination of at least two selected cargo tanks internally.
- General inspections of machinery & boiler spaces including tank tops,
bilges and cofferdams, sea suctions, emergency escape routes.
- Propeller & shaft seals
- General inspections of electrical equipment & cables in dangerous zones
such as cargo pump rooms.
- The tanker survey requirements for annual surveys
- After a successful completion of survey, it will be endorsed on cargo ship
safety construction certificate.

b) A survey should be carried out within 3 months before or after the anniversary
date of the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate.
- it is same as the annual survey for the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment
- After a successful completion of survey, it will be endorsed on the Cargo
Ship Safety Equipment Survey.

6) What are the surveys to be conducted on tankers according to the special

enhanced survey system?

The Special Enhanced Survey system was implemented in 1993 according to IMO
resolution A.744(18) to improve the condition of the tankers and bulk carriers. This
survey is conducted along with the annual, intermediate and renewal surveys of the Cargo
Ship Safety Construction Certificate. The following items will be inspected during

During Annual surveys

- The hull and the piping systems should be surveyed for proper
- The hull plating and its closing appliances
- The water tight integrity of the weather deck including gaskest, covers
coamings and flame screens.
- Cargo tank pressure/vacuum valves and flame screens.
- The COW, bunker/cargo vent piping systems.
- Bulkheads in pump rooms and tunnels for signs of leaks
- The condition of the corrosion prevention system of ballast tanks other
areas as identified should be considered.
- If recommended during renewal and intermediate surveys, ballast tanks to
be inspected and thicknesses should be checked.
- All ballast tanks adjacent to cargo/fuel tanks with any means of heating
should be checked and thicknesses should be checked if required (For
double hull oil tankers of above 15 years of age)

Intermediate survey

a) Oil tankers of 5 to 10 years of age

- The weather deck area, COW, cargo/fuel/ballast/steam/vent piping

- An overall survey of salt water ballast tanks
- If the paint coating is in poor condition in above tanks, examination will
be extended to other tanks as well.
- If the paint condition is in poor condition in salt water tanks and a
protective coating was not applied during construction or not renewed, the

tanks in question should be examined and plate thicknesses should be
measured as necessary at annual intervals.

b) Oil tankers of 10 to 15 years of age

- The above mentioned inspections to be carried out.

- An overall survey of at least two cargo tanks should be carried out.
- An overall survey of all ballast tanks
- Ballast tanks should be inspected very closely (close-up survey the
survey is conducted with a hand distance from the inspection areas.
Therefore, ladders, stages may be required for surveying purposes) as the
renewal survey.
- The cargo tanks to be inspected as the repair history

c) Oil tankers exceeding 15 years of age

- This survey should be the same as the renewal survey but pressure testing
of cargo and ballast tanks are not required if considered not required.

Renewal survey

- This is carried out to ensure the hull and the related piping systems are in a
good condition to issue the new Cargo Ship Safety Construction
- A survey in dry dock should be a part of the renewal survey.
- All the items under annual surveys will be examined.
- All cargo tanks, ballast tanks, pump rooms, pipe tunnels, cofferdams and
void spaces bounding cargo tanks, decks and out hull should be inspected.
Plate thicknesses to be measured and tested if considers necessary.
- Cargo piping on deck, COW piping, cargo and ballast piping within the
above tanks and spaces should be examined and should be pressure tested
for the working pressure.
- Overall survey of all integral tanks and spaces to be carried out
- Close up surveys and thickness measurements and tank pressure testing
should be as per the annexes to the Resolution MSC 197 (80).
- At the end of a renewal survey, a Condition Evaluation Report should be
prepared and handed over to the ship. This report should include the actual
condition of the ship, i.e. tanks inspected, thicknesses, details of
inspections, details of pressure testing etc.

7) What are the surveys to be conducted on bulk carriers according to the special
enhanced survey system?

a) Bulk carriers of 5 years or less in age

A close up survey will be carried out,

- All the frames in all cargo holds
- Two selected transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds
- Lower parts of remaining transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds
- Air pipes and sounding pipes in way of tank top in all cargo holds
- All cargo hatch covers and coamings
- One transverse ring in each two representative water ballast tanks of each
type (i.e. top side, hopper or side tanks)

b) Bulk carriers of above 5 years of age but less than or equal to 10 years of age,

A close up survey will be carried out,

- All the frames in all cargo holds

- All complete transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds
- All areas of deck plating and under deck structure inside line hatch
opening between cargo holds.
- All cargo hatch covers and coamings.
- Half the number of transverse frames and upper and lower parts of each
bulkheads in each one representative water ballast tanks of each type (i.e.
top side tanks, hopper tanks or side tanks)
- One transverse ring in remaining ballast tanks.
- Both transverse bulkheads in one side ballast tank.

c) Bulk carriers of above 10 years of age but less than or equal to 15 years of age,

A close-up survey to be carried out,

- All cargo hold frames in all hatches

- All complete transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds
- All areas of deck plating and under deck structure inside line hatch
opening between cargo holds.
- Air pipes and sounding pipes in way of tank top in all holds.
- All cargo hold covers and coamings
- All transverse rings in all ballast tanks
- All transverse bulkheads in all ballast tanks

d) Bulk carriers of above 15 years of age

A close-up survey to be carried out,

- Same as the bulk carriers of 10 to 15 years of age but more strict

inspections will be carried out.

8) What are the special surveys to be carried out on general cargo ships?

a) ships of below or equal to 5 years of age

A close-up survey to be carried out,

- Selected hold frames and lower parts of remaining hold frames in fwd and
aft cargo holds
- Lower parts of remaining hold frames in remaining cargo holds.
- One selected transverse bulkhead in all cargo holds.
- Lower parts of remaining transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds.
- All cargo hold hatch covers and coamings
- Air pipes and sounding pipes in cargo holds in way of tank top.

b) Ships of above 5 years and below or equal to 10 years of age,

A close-up survey to be carried out,

- Selected hold frames and lower parts of remaining frames in all cargo
- Selected transverse bulkheads and lower parts of remaining transverse
bulkheads in each cargo hold.
- All cargo hatch covers and coamings
- Selected deck platings inside line hatch opening between cargo holds.
- Selected inner bottom platings.
- Air pipes and sounding pipes in cargo holds in way of tank top.
- Forward and after transverse bulkheads of one side ballast tank.
- Each transverse ring in each two representative water ballast tanks of each
type (i.e. top side tanks, hopper tanks, side tanks or double bottom tanks)

c) Ships of above 10 years and below or equal to 15 years of age,

A close-up survey to be carried out,

- All frames in fwd lower cargo holds

- of total number of hold frames and the lower parts of remaining hold
frames in other cargo holds.
- All complete transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds.
- All areas of deck plating inside line hatch opening between cargo holds.
- All inner bottom plating in all cargo holds.
- All hatch covers and coamings.
- Air pipes and sounding pipes in way of tank top.
- All transverse bulkheads in all water ballast tanks.
- All transverse rings in each ballast tanks (i.e. top side tanks, hopper tanks,
side tanks or double bottom tanks)

d) Ships of above 15 years of age,

- All hold frames in all cargo holds.

- All complete transverse bulkheads in all cargo holds.
- All areas of deck plating inside line hatch opening between cargo holds
- All inner bottom plating in all cargo holds.
- All cargo hatch covers and coamings.
- All air pipes and sounding pipes in way of tank top.
- All transverse bulkheads in all water ballast tanks.
- All transverse rings in each water ballast tanks (i.e. top side tanks, hopper
tanks, side tanks or double bottom tanks)

9) What are the statutory (trading certificates) certificates?

Statutory certificates mean the certificates that must be carried as per the
Administrations local law. Therefore the statutory certificates may vary depending upon
the flag state (which will be depended upon the ratifying of the international
conventions). The following list is a list of statutory certificates which are required by the
most of the administrations in the world.

a) Certificate of registry - 05 years

b) International load line certificate - 05 years
c) Cargo ship safety construction certificate - 05 years
d) Cargo ship safety equipment certificate - 02 years*
e) Cargo ship safety radio certificate - 01 year*
f) Cargo ship safety certificate (instead of above c, d & e) - 05 years
g) Passenger ship safety certificate - 01 year
h) Exemption certificate same as the relevant convention certificate
i) IOPP certificate - 05 years
j) International Pollution Prevention certificate for NLS in bulk - 05 years
k) International certificate of fitness for gas carriers - 05 years
l) International certificate of fitness for chemical tankers - 05 years
m) DOC - 05 years
n) SMC - 05 years
o) Interim DOC not longer than 12 months
p) Interim SMC not longer than 6 months
q) ISSC - 05 years
r) Interim ISSC not longer than 6 months
s) Certificate of fitness for ships carrying dangerous goods - 05 years
t) IAPP certificate - 05 years

All these certificates to be issued by the administration, but the classification

societies which are approved by the administration can issue all the certificates except the

certificate of registry. They will be using certificates on the letter headings issued by the
flag state in doing so.

As per the Sri Lankan Act No. 51 1971, only the following certificates can be
called as statutory certificates,

a) Passenger ship safety certificates

b) International load line certificate
c) Cargo ship safety equipment certificate
d) Cargo ship safety construction certificate
e) Safety radio certificate

Since Sri Lanka has ratified the most of the conventions, the certificates
which were mentioned earlier must be carried on board but other than the above 5
certificates, the rest are not included in the Sri Lankan Act.

*According to the old system, the validity period of cargo ship safety equipment
certificate is 02 years and the cargo ship safety radio certificate is 01 year. Under the
harmonize system of surveying, the validity period of both these certificates are 05

10) What are the non-statutory (non-trading certificates) certificates?

a. Class certificate
b. Suez canal certificate
c. Panama canal certificate
d. Insurance certificate
e. Derating certificate
f. Registry of cargo gear and lifting appliances certificate

11) What is the process of issuing trading certificates?

These certificates must be issued by the Administration. Since the

Administrations do not have experts for surveying purposes (and also the ship may not be
in a port which belong to the flag state), they delegate this duty to an approved
organizations such as classification societies. Each and every flag states have a list of
approved calcification societies. When registering a vessel, the ship owner can select a
classification society from the list. That classification society can do the surveying and
the issuing of certificates on behalf of the Administration.
When renewing a certificate, if the vessels class is not available in a particular
port, surveying and the issuing of certificates can be done by another classification
society but which is approved by the Administration.
Always the surveying of the vessel is done as per the flag state requirements.

12) What are the certificates to be carried on board a tanker other than the
certificates mentioned above?

a) Apart from above certificates oil tankers should carry OPIC (Oil Pollution
Insurance Certificate). This certificate should be carried by tankers carrying more
than 2000t of oil as cargo, for financial security against oil pollution as per civil
liabilities convention.
b) Certificates issued by P & I club on behalf of administration.

13) What are the main features of SOPEP?

Under the MARPOL 73/78 every tanker of 150 GT or more and every non tanker
of 400 GT or more must have a SOPEP. SOPEP stands for Shipboard Oil Pollution
Emergency Plan. It has following features,

a) It gives reporting procedures for masters in events of pollution.

b) Steps to control discharge of oil in operational incidents such as bunkering,
loading, discharging & also steps to control discharge in casualty incidents.
c) National & local co-operational details for master in initializing shore based
d) Details of reviewing the plan, drill & training procedures, public affairs
information for masters as per owners & operators.
e) Details of record keeping.
f) Details of oil pollution prevention and containment equipment to be carried on
g) Details of duties of personnel onboard in prevention and containment of an oil

14) When a Panama flagged vessel is trading between Colombo and Bombay, what
is it called?

This is called as a long international voyage.

15) What is the name given to a trade, when a Sri Lankan flagged ship is sailing
between Colombo and Bombay?

This is called as short international voyage. A short international voyage means any
voyage between Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Maldives.

16) What is BIMMS agreement?

BIMMS stands for Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
This is an agreement between those countries which facilitates non-compliance of
international regulations (in certification requirements) when sailing between those ports
for ships registered under those flags.

17) On what occasions a load line exemption certificate will be issued?

a) A vessel not engage in international voyages

b) A vessel of a novel kind
c) A vessel normally not engage in international voyages but required to carry out a
single international voyage
- a certificate issued under (a) above is called as a Ceylon Load line
exemption certificate.
- a certificate issued under (b) or (c) above is called as an International
Load Line exception certificate.

18) What are the ships excluded from complying with load line regulations?

a) Ships of less than 150 GT.

b) War ships
c) Pleasure yachts not engage in trade
d) Fishing vessels
e) New ships of less than 24 m in length

19) What is the meaning of International voyage as per Load Line requirements?

A voyage from a port or place in Sri Lanka to a port or place outside Sri Lanka or
a voyage to Sri Lanka from a port or place outside Sri Lanka.

20) As a MASTER how you are going to implement ISM on board?

a) Get the prepared ISM manuals from the company and go through the
manuals thoroughly
b) Brief the duties & responsibilities of each crew member provide them to
read manuals and get them to signed
c) Divide the jobs and responsibilities among the crew members as per the
ISM manuals
d) Introduced filling system as per the SMS of the company
e) Conduct drills training, safety video , meetings at regular intervals to
improve the crew skills and knowledge

f) Implement the environment protection as per company SMS
g) Carry out Masters monthly SMS review & find of the deficiencies and
report to DPA
h) Drugs and Alcohol restrictions

21) What is non-conformity ?

This is an observed situation where objective evidence indicate NON

FULFILMENT of specified requirement of the ISM code or the company SMS or
situation of failure which resulted or could result in an accident or hazardous occurrence
or failure to meet the SMS standards.

22) What is Major non-conformity ?

Identifiable deviation process serious treat too personal or ship safety or serious
risk to the environment & required immediate corrective action.
Eg; Lack of effective & systematic implementation of the ISM Code

23) What are the ISM Manuals ?

This depends upon the company, but it may contain the following manuals,

a) Masters manual
b) Dk. Officers manual
c) Eng. Officer manual
d) Machinery operation manual
e) Safety training LSA /FFA manual
f) Safety management manual ( SM )
g) Ship board operation manual ( SO )
h) Integrated ship board emergency plan ( ISEP )
i) Planned maintenance program ( PMP )
j) Ship board document filling ( SF )
k) SOPEP Manual
m) Vessel contingency Manual

24) How do you prepare your vessel for an internal ISM audit as a master?

Documents and records

a) Ensure the filling systems are in order.
b) All statutory certificates should be in order and displayed as required by
the flag state.
c) The official, deck & other required log books must be in order and up to

d) All critical operations manuals & drawings must be on board.
e) All the officers must be familiar with the SMS manuals and initialized.
f) All officers & crew must be familiar with company policies.
g) Ensure the updated SMS manuals are onboard.
h) All maintenance cards must be updated.
i) Ensure the monthly QMS reviews being conducted & sent to office. LSA
& FFA PMS up to date & monthly emergency equipment status form
being sent to the company.
j) Last audit checklist & audit record must be on board and corrective
actions taken.
k) Ensure a valid DOC is on board.
l) Ensure the records of drills are up to date.

Safety & environment protection

a) The muster lists must be updated and the crew must be aware of their duties.
b) IMO symbols of launching instructions of life boats, rafts, escape routes, muster
stations must be clearly displayed.
c) Donning instructions of life jackets, immersion suits and other instructions must
be clearly visible.
d) Operational instructions for emergency generator, fire pump, steering, fixed fire
fighting systems, remote stops etc must be clearly displayed.
e) The logs of routine testing of above equipments must be up dated.
f) All ventilation flaps must be marked with open/close positions and they must be
identified. Ensure that they fitted with flame screens and the dip trays are cleaned
with plugs connected.
g) The SOPEP equipment must be in order and inventories must be updated.
h) Ensure the garbage record book is up dated and receipts are available.
i) Ensure the garbage management plan must be followed.
j) Bunkering procedures must be displayed.
k) Ensure the permit to work system is used.

Masters responsibilities
a) Master must be aware of the company policies and his responsibilities regard to
b) Masters standing orders must be read by all officers and signed.
c) The weekly inspections must be carried out.
d) Master must be aware of the DPA and his contact details and ensure all officers
and crew are aware of it.
e) Ensure the SMS deficiencies are reported to the management company.

Navigation equipment and procedures

a) Steering change over and emergency operation procedures must be displayed on
the bridge.
b) Ensure all navigational check lists are used.
c) Passage plans must be used and all officers must sign it to ensure that they have
read it.

d) Charts and publications must be up dated and the current editions must be on
e) Proper methods of position fixing must be used.
f) UMS procedures must be displayed.
g) Valid deviation card must be available.
h) Ensure the masters orders book is used.

Cargo Operations
a) Ensure the certificates and inspection records of all cargo gear are available.
b) The loading computers on tankers and bulk carriers must be tested and records to
be kept on board.
c) Ensure the stability and loading booklets are available.
d) Ensure cargo plans are used for loading and unloading. Ensure cargo sequence
plans also drawn as well.
e) Tank gauges and level alarms must be in operational.
f) Ensure to prepare a lashing arrangement plan on container ship.

Calibration of measuring and testing equipment

a) Calibration kits for portable gas meters must be available and records must be
kept on board (Tankers monthly, others quarterly, this depends upon the
b) Calibration records for portable gas measuring instruments must be available
every 2.5 years or dry-docked period, which ever is earlier (Company
c) The last shore adjustment certificate of the magnetic compass must be available
on board.
d) Ensure all service records of navigational equipment (gyro, radar etc)

Accident/Incidents/Near misses
a) All accidents/incidents/near misses must be documented and company must be
b) Corrective actions must be taken based on the incident root cause analysis.
c) Notices sent by the company must be read by relevant people and it must be
signed by them.

a) LSA & FFA training manuals must be read by all staff and signed.
b) Training records must be available on board.
c) Safety video record of attendance must be maintained.
d) Ensure onboard familiarization is given to all staff.
e) Ensure all staff is certified as per SCTW 95.

25) How do you prepare your vessel for an external ISM audit as a master?

a) Ensure the SMS is in operation for last three months and a safety officer is
b) Make sure all as-built construction drawings are available onboard and ashore.
c) Make sure the records of safety committee meetings are available.
d) Ensure the drug and alcohol instructions are available on board and also ensure
un-announced alcohol tests are carried out and they are logged.
e) All the staff must be well aware of the company policies. It is a good practice to
post the company objectives in common places
f) Make sure all the staff are well aware of their duties and responsibilities,
including the duties and responsibilities during different emergency situations.
g) Ensure all know, who is the DPA, his contact numbers and the purpose of having
him. Again it is a good practice to post the name of the DPA and his contact
numbers at common places.
h) Master should be well aware of his responsibility and must have evidence of
implementation and maintenance of SMS.
i) Master must have evidence of motivating of crew (training, parties, top to bottom
approach, bottom to top approach, appreciation of their work and ideas etc.)
j) Evidence of orders issued to officers/crew are clear and simple (night order book,
job descriptions specially during emergency situations (muster lists), notices on
notice boards and in other common places etc.)
k) Evidence of masters verification of the system as per the company procedures
(deck log books, engine log books, official log books, training books, masters
mid contract reports to the company, masters end contract reports to the company
l) Master must be aware of his over-riding authority in case of safety and pollution
m) Ensure all the staff is having appropriate and valid certificates and endorsements
as per IMO and flag state requirements.
n) Ensure watch schedules, working hours, rest periods and properly entered and
they are as per the STCW95.
o) Ensure the evidence of familiarizations are available.
p) Ensure the staff is good in English or other working language.
q) Ensure the drills are carried out as per the SOLAS, MARPOL and flag state
r) Make sure SOPEP is available according to IMO and flag state requirements.
s) Ensure the records of former incidents such as pollution, grounding, collision;
injuries, fire, machinery failures etc. are readily available.
t) Make sure corrective actions were for past non-conformities and past NCRs,
company feedbacks are available.
u) Ensure the maintenance all items subjected to class and statutory requirements are
done properly and recorded, including testing of such equipment. Also ensure
maintenance manuals are available for them. Those equipment includes,
- Hull and superstructure
- LSA, FFA and pollution prevention equipment

- Navigational and radio equipment
- Steering gear
- Bilge, ballast pumping systems and oily water separator
- Waste disposal and sewage systems
- Main and auxiliary machinery
- Pipe lines and valves
- Cargo handling equipment
- Inert gas systems
- P/V valves
- Anchoring and mooring equipment
- Fire, smoke and water detection systems and alarms
v) Make sure to have records of internal audits, copy of DOC and other certificates.
w) Medical locker is organized as per IMO, ILO, WHO guide lines. Make sure the
records of medical treatments are available.
x) Ensure the LOF salvage agreement is available on board.

26) What is the difference between an Oil Pollution Insurance Certificate and the
Cargo Insurance Certificate?

Cargo insurance is covered by P & I club insurance. This is a mutual agreement

between ship owners. Usually, the cost of the cargo, pollution etc is covered by the P & I
insurance. But there is a limit for the premiums of a cargo insurance. In oil pollution
insurance, only the pollution is covered and there is no limit for the premiums since the
pollution damage is not predictable that easily.


1) What is MOU and what are the objectives of MOU?

PSC inspections of foreign ships in national ports are encourage by IMO to

verify that the conditions of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of
international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with
these rules.
If these inspections in a region can be closely co-ordinated, following can be
- Many ships can be inspected
- Unnecessary inspection of the same ship can be avoided.
- Delays can be avoided.
- Monitoring of substandard ships
- Sharing of details of ships information, between countries in that region
can be done.
- Easy access to the other MOU around the world.
MOU are arranged to co-ordinate this PSC inspections. MOU stands for
Memorandum Of Understanding. The objectives of MOU, are to harmonize and co-
ordinate of PSC activities and to develop practical recommendations which can be
forwarded IMO further examinations.

2) What is the MOU Sri Lanka has signed?

Indian MOU

3) Where is it situated?

Goa, in India

4) How many countries has ratified the Indian MOU?

a) Australia
b) Eritrea
c) India
d) Iran
e) Kenya
f) Maldives
g) Mauritius
h) Oman
i) South Africa
j) Sri Lanka
k) Sudan

l) Tanzania
m) Yemen

5) What are the extremities of Indian MOU?

East coast and South coast of South Africa to the West coast of Australia,
including the Persian Gulf.

6) What are the other effective MOUs?

a) Paris MOU b) Tokyo MOU

c) Mediterranean MOU d) Caribbean MOU
e) Latin American MOU f) Abuja MOU (West & Central Africa)
g) Black sea MOU h) Riyadh MOU (Gulf)

7) What is the oldest MOU?

Paris MOU is the oldest one.

8) What are the conventions ratified by Sri Lanka?

e) Load Line Convention f) Tonnage convention
g) CLC h) Intervention on high seas oil pollution
i) Special Trade Passenger ship Convention j) Fund convention
k) Convention on INMARSAT l) OPRC
m) International Convention on salvage n) STCW 95
o) Antifouling convention

9) What are the conventions not ratified by Sri Lanka?

a) SUA 2005
b) Ballast water management convention
c) MARPOL Annex 4 & Annex 6

10) What are the conventions enforced in Indian MOU?

This depends upon the individual countries. Individual countries are free to ratify
or to avoid ratifying conventions as per their wish. The MOU can not force to sign any

11) Who are the observers in the Indian MOU?

a) Black Sea MOU

b) Equasis
c) Ethiopian and West & Central Africa MOU
d) IMO
e) ILO
f) Asia Pacific MOU on PSC & USCG


1) What are the contents of an anchor certificate?

a) Certificate serial number

b) Name of the certifying authority
c) Name of the testing establishment
d) Weight of the anchor
e) Type of anchor
f) Length of the shank in millimetres
g) Length of arms in millimetres
h) Diameter of the trend in millimetres
i) Proof load applied in tonnes
j) Weight of the stock, if applicable.

2) What is the maximum weight than can be heaved up by a windless?

The size, the weight of the cable and the anchor depend upon the size of the
ship. None of the regulations specify about a maximum weight that can be heaved up by
a windless. Most of the classification societies check for a power of weight of anchor plus
weight of 4 shackles. Therefore, it may be dangerous to lower more than 4 shackles
without touching the bottom.

3) What is the meaning of shallow water anchoring & deep water anchoring?

Anchoring in depths of less than 35m can be considered as shallow water

anchoring and anchoring in depths of more than 35 m can be considered as deep water or
deep sea anchoring. These depths are defined in company procedures of certain

4) What are the factors to be taken into account when selecting an anchoring

a) Should not be an anchoring prohibited area.

b) Clear of under water cables, obstructions etc.
c) Good holding ground (Mud or Clay).
d) Availability of land marks during day & night (if possible).
e) Away from busy waters
f) It should be a sheltered area.
g) Less current & tidal effects.
h) Possibility of bad weather.

i) Swinging room (this will depends upon the number of shackles that will be paid
out, which will depends upon number of factors, such as, length of stay, depths of
water, draught, type of anchor etc.).

5) What is an anchoring plan?

This is a plan which is prepared before start anchoring. After the plan is
prepared, it should be briefed with all officers involve. Now most of the companies have
ready made anchoring plans, in, sort of a check list. The plan should include,
a) Anchoring position (with one alternative)
b) Speed and direction of approach.
c) Speed & direction of wind and current.
d) Duties of persons engage in the operation.
e) Check bearing of anchoring position.
f) Which anchor to be used and the number of shackle.

6) Usually what is the scoop of the cable?

Usually it is 4 to 5 times the depths of the sea, but this depends upon number of
factors such as the length of the stay, possibility of bad weather, rate of current/wind etc.

7) What happens when the vessel is yawing heavily?

a) Possibility of dragging
b) Possibility of hitting other vessels at anchor.
c) Possibility of hitting other vessels passing close by.

8) How can you stop or reduce excessive yawing?

a) By dropping the second anchor under foot.

b) By using engines
c) By using rudders
d) By using open moor, Mediterranean moor etc.

9) How do you detect when the anchor is dragging?

a) Change of anchor bearings

b) Change of GPS position
c) Dragging noise
d) Discolouration of water
e) Sudden jerks on the vessel.

10) What are the actions to be taken if you detect your anchor is dragging?

a) Get the engines ready.

b) Call the master & anchor party.
c) Inform other ships around (security message).
d) Hoist the Y flag and remove the anchor ball. If it is night, switch off anchor
lights and switch on the navigational lights
e) Inform port authority if required.
f) Try to stop the dragging by dropping the second anchor under-foot.
g) If the vessel is dragging towards another vessel, prepare fenders, inform the other
ship and use the rudder to cant the ship away from the other vessel.

11) Explain the anchoring procedure?

a) Prepare the anchoring plan.

b) Ensure the anchor is cock-o-bill, on the breaks and ready for letting go.
c) Approach the anchoring position with a head wind or current. If both are present,
head the strongest.
d) Once the vessel is at the anchoring position, stop in relation to the ground.
e) Put the engines astern
f) When the propeller wash comes to about half-way up the vessels length, (vessel
has gathered sternway) let go the anchor.
g) Note down the anchor dropping position.
h) While laying the cable, ensure not to pile up the cable at the same place by
applying brakes.
i) Once the planned number of shackles are out apply the brakes and wait until the
v/l is brought-up
j) Put the anchor signals and lights.
k) Note down the position again and make the swinging circle of the vessel.
l) Put the gelatine on and tight the brakes.

12) How do you know she is brought-up?

Just after the breaks are applied the cable will become tight due to the stern
momentum of the vessel. Once this stern movement of the vessel is stopped she will
move towards the cable again due to its weight. Then the cable will become slack and if
she maintains this position she is brought-up. If the cable continuously becomes tight and
slack, that means she is not brought-up.

13) How do you know she is stopped and ready for letting go?

a) No wake at the propeller.

b) No change in bearings (radar and visual).
c) By GPS, Doppler log
d) When there is no water turbulence very close to the hull. If there is a current this
method can not be used.

14) What is the meaning of anchor aweigh?

Anchor aweigh means, the anchor is just of the bottom (while heaving up).

15) How do you decide when the anchor aweigh?

When the cable is being heaved up, there will be a slight weight on the cable
leading forward. When the anchor is aweigh, suddenly the cable will become up and
down with a little pendulum movement.

16) What is the purpose of anchor buoys?

a) To mark the position of the anchor at anchorage

b) To mark position of the anchor and cable after slipping from the bitter end.

17) What is the purpose of open moor?

Open moor is used to increase the holding power of the cable and to stop

18) Explain open moor.

Refer Seaman Ship Techniques by D.J. House.

19) What is the purpose of selecting a running moor?

This is good when anchoring in restricted areas (specially by land) and when
excessive yaw is expected, to reduce the swinging circle. Students must understand that
this moor will not increase the holding power as she will be hanging to one cable always.

20) Explain the running moor.

Refer Seaman Ship Techniques by D.J. House.

21) What is the purpose of selecting a standing moor?

The advantages and disadvantages are the same as running moor, but
theoretically required less engine movements during this manoeuvre. Practically,
depending upon the circumstances engines may be required

22) Explain the standing moor.

Refer Seaman Ship Techniques by D.J. House.

23) What is meant by foul anchor?

Anchor foul means the anchor is fouled with an under water obstruction and can
not be heaved up.

24) What will you do, if your anchor is fouled and the berth is ready for your ship?

a) Inform the port authority, agents and owners.

b) Connect the anchor buoy to the cable.
c) Slip the cable on deck.
d) Log down the position, time and inform the port as well.

25) What are the actions to be taken when sailing with one anchor?

a) Inform the classification society. Usually, they will allocate some number of days
to fix the anchor again, after consulting the master.
b) Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate will not be suspended if the anchor is
fitted within this period.
c) Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate will be suspended, if both the anchors
are lost.

25) What are the methods available to slip a cable?

a) Slipping from bitter end.

b) Slipping on deck.

26) How do you slip on deck?

a) Make cable up and down.

b) Heave or lower the cable until the next joining shackle is on deck (if heaved up,
ensure the cable is not tight)
c) Pass a wire rope [with a sufficient SWL and with a length of about three times the
depth] through the shackle fwd of the joining shackle.
d) Made fast one end on a bollard.
e) Put the other end over a warping drum.
f) Lower the chain until the weight is taken by the wire.
g) Connect the anchor buoy.
h) Disconnect the joining shackle.
i) Slack the wire until it loose its weight.
j) Once the wire is fully slack, remove the end which is on the bollard and start
heaving up.
k) If you dont have a wire rope, use a good mooring rope. Since the mooring rope
can not be passed through a shackle, use a loop wire to attach the mooring rope to
the shackle (see the figure below).

Loop rope with

Mooring rope a knot

Joining shackle Anchor


27) What would be the diameter of the wire rope?

Calculate the SWL of the wire as below,

Depth of the water = L metres

Weight of a shackle = W tons
Diameter of the rope = D millimetres
Minimum SWL of the rope = (L x 1.5 x W)/27.5 tons

For a 6x12 wire rope,

Breaking stress = (15 D)/500
SWL = (Breaking stress)/5
Therefore SWL = (15 D) / (500 x 5)

(15 D) / (500 x 5 = (L x 1.5 x W)/27
D = (L x W x 1.5 x 500 x 5) / (27.5 x 15) (mm)

Generally medium sized ships 20 to 24 mm diameter rope is sufficient.

28) Explain how to slip from the bitter end.

As per the current regulations, the chain cable must be able to slip from a position
external to the cable locker. The bitter attachment being achieved by a easily removed
draw bolt system or a similar arrangement.

29) What will you do if the chain locker is flooding?

Chain locker and the forepeak tank is in front of the collision bulkhead. As
per the regulations, the collision bulkhead can be pieced only once. Therefore there is
only one line running through the collision bulkhead. Therefore an eductor system is used
to pump out the chain lockers. So, pump it out using the eductor system. When water is
running very fast through a pipe line, a pressure drop occurs. If the pipe is connected to a
tank by an another pipe, the water in the tank will be sucked due to the pressure drop.
This is how the eductor system works.

30) What are the maintenances to be carried out on a windless?

All these maintenance requirements are included in planned maintenance

systems, therefore the proper following of the PMS is more than sufficient. Generally, the
following shall be carried out,
a) Check the brake liners
b) Greasing of all grease nipples
c) Rust freeing and application of paints in appropriate places
d) Ensure the safety pins of engaging/disengaging levers are usable and connected to
e) Check the hydraulic oil levels
f) Check the viscosity of the hydraulic oil and change if required.
g) Check the condition of the dip tray make sure the draining cap of the dip tray is
connected and in operation.
h) Make sure the base of the windlass is in good condition.
i) Ensure the temperature levels are maintaining during normal operation.
j) Check the insulation of the motor. Due to the sea water and spray the insulation
may get damage which will cause the motor to over heat. This should be checked
with a mega-meter. Generally, it should have 100 mega ohms.


1) What are the actions to be taken during a man over board situation?

a) Put the wheel hard over to the man over board side.
b) Let go the MOB marker which is on the same side.
c) Press the MOB marker on the GPS.
d) Call up emergency stations, inform master, post lookouts and man the wheel.
e) Switch on a SART and throw it towards the MOB position if it is restricted
f) Put the engines standby.
g) Send a distress message.
h) Take the check list for man over board and ensure all are done as the check list
i) When the heading is 60 - 80 off the initial course, put the wheel hard over to the
opposite side. When the heading is coming close to the reciprocal course, steady
the vessel.
j) Put the Oscar flag up.
k) Ensure cargo nets, rescue boat, warm clothing, first aid kits etc. are ready for
immediate use.
l) If the seas are rough and rescue boat can not be lowered, take the victim on to the
leeward side of the ship and let the vessel drifts towards the victim. If the sea
condition is alright and expecting to lower the rescue boat, then approach the
victim from the windward side.

2) What are the actions to be taken in an oil pollution incident?

a) Ring the general alarm and Call for pollution emergency

b) If the vessel is engage in bunkering or loading/discharging (in case of a tanker),
stop the operation immediately.
c) Take the pollution emergency check list and follow it.
d) Try to contain the pollution on board.
e) If it flows over board, try to contain it in a limited area by using oil booms.
f) Never use any type of sea cleaning without the permission of the port authority.
g) Inform the required parties as per the SOPEP.
h) Never give any information to media or any out side party without the permission
of the master or the designated person.

3) You are manoeuvring through a river, suddenly the quartermaster says the
rudder is not working. What will you do?

a) Call for emergency steering stations.

b) While the people are proceeding to the emergency steering position, try out the
non-follow up mode. The non-follow up mode bypasses certain functions in the

normal steering system. Therefore, if the fault is in one of those units in the
bypassing systems, the non-follow up mode may work.
c) Take the emergency steering check list and make sure all functions are carried
d) Inform the anchor party to be standby in the forward.
e) Ensure the repeater heading in the steering flat is tallying with the main gyro
f) The use of walkie-talkies in the steering gear flat is not advisable as the
communication may break down since the steering gear flat is a completely
enclosed space. Therefore, always use the emergency communication system.
g) Continue steering from the steering gear flat.

4) You are in high seas. You received a distress message saying that a passenger
ship on fire and 2000 passengers are on board in distress. What are the actions to
be taken? You are on big bulk carrier loaded.

a) Acknowledge the distress message and relay the message if necessary and plot
the position of the distress vessel.
b) Establish communication and pass all the details including the ETA to the
distress vessel. (Name, call sign, position, speed, ETA)
c) Keep watch on VHF channel 16 and other distress communication frequencies
MF/HF freq.s
d) Operate both radars continuously and as well as AIS.
e) Post extra lookout when approaching to the area
f) Pass all available information to the RCC and update the information as
g) Calculate the stability after picking up 2000 passengers on board and make sure
that vessel is in positive stability.
h) Stand by engine and I will approach on windward side of the distress vessel and
also keep monitoring and plotting the other vessels position around the area.
i) If nighttime arranges Searchlights and extra illumination to be prepare for night
j) While approaching rig a GUEST WARP secure with the LIZARD LINES from
bow to quarter on both side of the vessel at the water line. (For made fast the
boats and rafts alongside)
k) Rig a crane or derrick ready for hoisting on both side of the vessel with platform
or cargo net to be secured to the cargo hook to pickup the casualty.
l) Rig portable ladders scramble nets secure to the lowest point of the deck up to the
water level. Line throwing apparatus, heaving lines and messenger lines kept
ready for immediate use.
m) Rigged the fire hoses and pressure up the fire mains. First aid party ready with
all the equipments. Rescue boat and rafts to be prepared for immediate use.
n) David launching life rafts can be use as a boarding station.

o) After picked up all crew and passengers take final count, if any body missing
make search and rescue operation and deviate to port of refugee as soon as
p) All the entries must be logged with the time in the GMDSS logbook and OLB as

5) If your vessel is loaded up to her load line marks, what will you do in the above

a) The assisting vessel must not become casualties when going for assistance of distress
b) Consider the weight of one passenger is 80 Kg.
Therefore total weight of passengers = 2000 x 80 = 160000 Kg =160 t
TPC (a possible value) = 40 t per cm
The draft will be increased by = 160 / 40 cm = 4 cm
c) If the weather condition ahead is good, stability condition is alright (positive GM), and
if this increase of draft (4 cm) is not going to put your ship in trouble under any
circumstances you may take the passengers on board. If doing so inform the,
- Owners
- Flag state
- Underwriters
- Classification Society
d) If it is not safe to take all the passengers on board, you can assist them by taking
injured people, old people, children, women etc. If it is about less than 100 people, it
will not create much difference of draught.
e) Discharging of cargo is not an appropriate option as it takes a long time and also it will
create more complications as well.
f) even if you cant take the passengers on board, you can assist (in communications with
shore and other ships, motivating, first aid etc) them by being with them while they
are in their survival crafts, until more help is received.

6) Your vessel is grounded what is your action?

a) Stop engine and change over to hand steering.

b) Sound the general emergency alarm followed by PA announcement.
c) Inform engine room to change over low suction to high suction.
d) Retract the log sensor if fitted.
e) Display day and night grounding signals.
f) Plot the position on the chart.
g) Keep record of all events.
h) Send out urgency message and inform to relevant parties.
i) Render first aid to any persons onboard suffers injuries.
j) Sound all tanks including fuel tanks and compare with last sounding

k) Check the external sounding and drafts of the vessel to determine the side
and extent of grounding and nature of seabed. In checking the external
soundings, make sure to take soundings as per the picture below.
Depending upon the size of the vessel (length and breadth), the number of
sounding positions may be increased.

l) Check and make sure watertight integrity of the vessel.

m) If any water ingress start pumping out.
n) Assess the extent of damage and calculate the damage stability.
o) Calculate the tides, currents and find out possibilities of re floating.
p) If requires call tug for assistance.
q) Obtain the latest weather reports from all available means.
r) If fuel tank damaged minimize the pollution by rigging the oil boom &
transfer fuel to empty fuel tank and standby the SOPEP team.

7) What are the statutory duties as a Master after collision with another vessel ?

Without endangering own ship, crew and passengers,

Render all practicable assistance to other vessel
Standby until ascertain that she does not require further assistance
Take details of ship name , name of last port , and next port

8) What are the actions to be taken after a collision?

a) Stop engines and obtain an assessment of the situation.

(depending upon the angle of collision, it may be prudent to
maintain a few revolutions on the engines to avoid the other
vessel from total flooding and possible sinking when the two
vessels separate)
b) Make sure to follow the check list for collision.
c) Inform the master
d) Sound the emergency signal and carry out a head count (To
check complements for casualties)
e) Shut all watertight doors and fire doors
f) Communication officer to standby and obtain weather report and
position from chart

g) Order bilge pumps/ballast pumps to commence pumping if
damage is below the waterline
h) Switch on deck lights and not under command (NUC) lights and
i) Muster damage control parties and detail duties
j) Prepare survival crafts and make ready for immediate launch if
the situation demands.
k) Assess the damage to the other vessel and the own vessel.
l) Calculate the damage stability condition of the vessel.
m) If there is a possibility of flooding and sinking, consider about
passing mooring ropes between ships

n) Investigate the possibility of pollution if there is any possibility,

take measures for pollution prevention.
o) Consider the possibility of fire hazardous.
p) Contact chief engineer and check the condition of the engine
q) Consider about making following reportings,
- Distress/urgency message
- Calling for salvage
- Owners, charterers, agents
- MAIB, accident investigation officer (Sri Lanka), Coast
guards, AMVER
r) If required and if possible, consider about beaching the vessel.
s) For minor damages, consider about using collision pads.
t) Consider of listing the vessel to the opposite side to take the
damage area above the water level.

9) How do you turn your ship towards the wind/sea to avoid heavy rolling in heavy
weather at sea if you have lost the rudder and the propeller or if the engines are
not available?

Lower the anchor (not more than 4 shackles) so that the pivoting point will move
forward and also the cable will create a small friction against the movement of the ship.
Due to these reasons the stern will move away from the wind/sea and more or less she
will face the wind/sea.

10) How do you prepare your vessel for heavy weather?

a) Make sure to follow the heavy weather check list.

b) Verify vessels position and consider re-routeing
c) Update weather report and plot storm movement
d) Avoid slack tanks and eliminate free surface. If required consider
about changing the trim.
e) Rig life lines Fwd and Aft
f) Warn all departments of heavy weather
g) Close all hatches, ventilations and man holes, forecastle stores
h) Ensure the cargo lashings are all right.
i) Check deck securing, anchors, life-boats, water-tight doors
j) Secure all derricks and cranes
k) Batten down all dead lights (steering flat)
l) Clear all deck of surplus gear
m) Slack the signal and flag halyards
n) Remove all awnings
o) Drain swimming pools
p) Establish heavy weather work routine
q) Check securing on accommodation ladder
r) Secure bridge against heavy rolling/pitching
s) Reduce speed in ample time to avoid pounding
t) Organise meal reliefs and watches
u) If the predicted weather is different from weather routeing or
ocean routeing, inform them about the actual weather
v) Ensure the LSA equipment are in appropriate positions.
w) Note all preparation in the Log Book
x) Engage manual steering in ample time
y) Revise ETA if appropriate.
z) During heavy weather try to avoid beam swell/wave (may cause
rolling synchronization), head swell/wave (may cause heavy

pitching, panting and pounding) and stern swell/wave (may
cause pooping)

11) What is the meaning of pooping and what are the dangers,
if it occurs?

Pooping occurs when the speed of the stern swell/wave

is higher than the speed of the ship. While the wave/swell is trying to
over take the vessel, shipping seas may take place from the poop
deck. This is known as pooping. The accommodation area is not strong
as the bow areas to take the dynamic forces of waves and also there
are openings on the poop deck area than in the forward area.
Therefore the vessel may be flooded easily.

12) What is the meaning of broaching?

Three conditions must be satisfied to occur broaching,

a) Stern seas.
b) Ships speed equals to wave speed.
c) The vessel must be on a down ward slope of an advancing wave.

Same as pooping, broaching also can make a considerable

damage to a vessel. When the broaching occurs a vessel will loose her
steerage completely and she may be swung to any side very

13) How do you turn a vessel in heavy weather?

If a vessel is turned in to the seas or away from the seas in

heavy weather, carelessly, she may encounter excessive damages.
Therefore, a careful observation must be done about the sea condition,
which needs experience and good seamanship. Always try to turn her
in a relatively calm area. When turning, the speed must be minimized
to maintain steerage and large helm will be required. To initiate the
turns full helms and the short but full engine movements are required.
Always try to avoid pooping and broaching effects and also rolling
When turning away from the seas or when turning in to the
seas an experienced mariner would initiate it in a trough of a wave
than on a crest of a wave. When turning away from the seas the latter
half of the turn should be completed faster to avoid broaching and
rolling synchronization. When turning into the seas again the letter half

of the turn should be completed as soon as possible to avoid heavy
rolling and swaying.

14) One of the hatch covers are damaged during heavy

weather. What will you do?

a) Try to reduce the water ingress by rigging tarpaulins over it.

b) If the opening is not too large and if the weather permits, it can
be cemented as well.
c) Consider about altering course to minimize the shipping seas to
reduce the water ingress.
d) Check the sounding of the bilges and if it is increasing, pump it
out by bilge pump.
e) Check the stability condition of the ship and assess the situation.
f) Consider about deviating to a port of refuge.
g) Inform classification society, administration, owners, charterers,
P & I etc.
h) Since this affects the load line certificate, it should be inspected
by a surveyor. Therefore arrange a surveyor on arrival next port.
i) After repairs also the surveyor must approve it.
j) If surveying or repairing is not possible in that port, the master
can take the vessel to another port where surveying or repairing
is available, but he must ensure it is safe to do so.

15) What is the meaning of Hi-Line rescue?

Winch line

Hi-line heaving Earthing

line cable

In certain weather conditions it may not be possible to winch the helicopter winchman
or the strop (rescue harness) from a position directly above a vessel to the vessels deck.
Under such circumstances a weighted rope extension to the winch wire may be lowered
to the vessel. This extension is known as a Hi-Line Heaving-in Line and is connected via
a weak link to the aircrafts winch hook.
When the Hi-Line technique is used, once the weighted line is placed on the
deck, one crew member must handle the line. He should take up the slack on the Hi-Line
and haul in ONLY when instructed to do so by the helicopter crew by radio message or
hand signal. The Hi-Line must NOT be secured to any part of the vessel. A second crew
member should coil the slack line into a bucket or similar container clear of obstructions.
It is advisable for the handling crew to wear protective gloves to prevent rope burns. If
the helicopter has to break away during the operation the line must be paid out or, if
necessary, released completely ensuring that the line passes clear outboard.
As the Hi-Line is paid out, the helicopter will move to one side of the vessel
and descend. Normally the winchman will be winched out, the ships crew should
continue to take in the slack. As the winchman or strop approach the vessel the earthing
lead or hook must make contact with the vessel to discharge the static electricity before
the vessels crew make contact with the wire. Considerable effort may be needed when
pulling the Winchman onboard (MGN notices).

16) Your ship is stuck with a floating container and has a hole
bellow the water line. As a chief officer, what are you going
to do?

a) Stop the vessel.

b) Access the damage.
c) If the damage is in the forward area and if there is a heavy water
ingress, vessel can be trimmed by aft to reduce the water ingress
or to stop it completely. If it is on a side of the vessel, she can be
listed to the opposite side.
d) Use bilge pumps, wilden pump to pump out the water.
e) Calculate the stability of the vessel.
f) Check the soundings of the bilges in the adjacent tanks and
hatches to ensure the water tight integrity of those tanks.
g) Consider the possibility of repairing the hole or making a collision
h) Once the extent of the damage is verified and actions taken to
avoid the water ingress, access the cargo damage.

As a master,

a) Immediately inform the owners, charterers, class, coastal state

and the P & I club.

b) Access the damage and decide whether the vessel can be
continued on the passage or has to be diverted to a safe port
where repairs are available.
c) What ever the decision must be logged with justification and
inform to the above parties again.
d) If the vessel is in distress, send distress signals immediately and
also do not hesitate to call for salvage.

17) How often the drills to be conducted?

Boat and fire drill as per SOLAS monthly. As per Sri Lankan
regulations it should be conducted every two weeks. In both cases, on
passenger ships drills must be conducted weekly. (if more than 25% of
personnel has not been participated in the last drill, a drill must be
conducted within 24 hrs of ships departure from the port)

Boat manoeuvring every three monthly

Free fall boat manoeuvring every six monthly (flag state may
extend it up to one year)

Free fall boat manoeuvring (from 01st January 2009) every

three months crew shall board the boat, properly secure themselves in
their seats and commence launch procedures but without releasing it.
It shall then either be free-fall launched with only the required
operating crew on board, or lowered into the water by means of the
secondary means of launching with or without the operating crew on
board. In both cases the life boat shall thereafter be manoeuvred in the
water by operating crew. At intervals of not more than six months, the
life boat shall either be launched by free-fall with only the operating
crew on board or simulated launching shall be carried out.

Pollution drill monthly

Steering gear drill every three monthly

Security drill every three months (if more than 25% of the ships
staff has not been participated in the last drill due to a crew change, a
drill must be conducted within one week of the change)

Other drills
There are no standard periods for the rest of the drills such as
collision drill, grounding drill, mooring equipment malfunctioning drill,
etc. Still, all these drills must be conducted in a rotational basis. Some

companies have their own periods for them. In such cases, the
company manuals must be consulted.


1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of ECDIS?


Chart correction is easy

Passage planning is easy
When using vector charts, passage plans can be double checked automatically
(when the under keel clearance is given no go areas will be highlighted
automatically. Once the closest safe distance are given, alarms are available to
warn the planner if the distance is closer to any navigational hazard).
More information can be taken from vector charts than from paper charts (by
using the query system.
Navigator can use more time for lookouts and to observe other ships around.
Printouts can be taken as evidence in emergency situations.
Automatically saves the past movements of the vessel and its surroundings for
few hours.
If the ECDIS is integrated with other equipment, all those data can be monitored
through ECDIS without going closer to those equipments (if the echo sounder is
coupled to the ECDIS, the under keel clearance can be monitored through

ECDIS and also if under keel clearance is less than the pre-fed values it will
give an alarm).


Needs special training.

Navigators may forget good old practices (which will make emergency situations
more complicated and more dangerous).
If the ECDIS is integrated with other navigational equipment, it will increase the
boredom of the duty officers.
Un-plotted ships are not shown on the ECDIS.
If the back-up system is a set of paper charts, the navigational officers work load
will be increased.
Vector charts are not the same as the paper charts, therefore the is not familiar
with the charts.
If the input data are wrong, the ECDIS will provide wrong information.

2) What are the maintenance to be carried out in the ECDIS?

It should be tested routinely as per the manufactures instructions. Usually there are
self tests to be carried out. Ensure the secondary source of power systems (usually
batteries) are fully charged and ready to use at any time. Chart corrections must be
carried out by using CD-ROMS issued by the UK hydrographic office.

3) What are the carriage requirements of ECDIS?

All ships irrespective of their size must carry the following,

Paper nautical charts and publications or
ECDIS may be accepted (IMO approved type) with official S57 chart data
Independent back up arrangements to be available if using ECDIS.

ECDIS should be able to operate in two modes;

The ECDIS mode when ENC data is used.
The RCDS mode when ENC data is not available.
RCDS mode does not has the full functionality of ECDIS and can only be
used together with and appropriate portfolio of up-to-date paper charts (i.e. paper charts
can be replaced by RCDS charts only in areas where ENC data are available).

The backup systems are,

A second, fully independent, type approved ECDIS or
An ECDIS operating in the RCDS mode or
A full folio of paper charts corrected up to date.

4) How often the AIS information are updated?

It can handle over 2000 reports per minutes and updates information every
two seconds. The transmission interval depends upon the own ships speed and
manoeuvring condition. The following table shows the reporting intervals of AIS onboard
SOLAS vessels.

Ships manoeuvring condition Nominal reporting

Ships at anchor or moored & not moving faster than 3 knots 3 minutes
Ships at anchor or moored and moving faster than 3 knots 10 seconds
Ships 0 14 knots 10 seconds
Ships 0 14 knots and changing course 3.3 seconds
Ships 14 23 knots 6 seconds
Ships 14 23 knots and changing course 2 seconds
Ships > 23 knots 2 seconds
Ships > 23 knots and changing course 2 seconds

5) What are the advantages and disadvantages of AIS?


a) Can be used in collision avoidance (CPA and TCPA can be calculated).

b) It is an aid to navigation
c) Ship to ship, shore to ship and ship to shore reporting can be done automatically,
so that the duty officers can spend more time on navigating a vessel.
d) Responding to high priority calls and safety related messages with a minimum
time delay.
e) A lot of information can be received and send (position, course, speed, weather
information, MMSI number, ships name, cargo information etc.).


a) Without the notice of the vessel, the information of a vessel can be taken by
unwanted parties (pirates).
b) AIS is not required to be fitted on board ships of less than 500 GT. Therefore
smaller vessels will not be detected on an AIS.
c) Master has authority to switch off the AIS if he considers it is safe to do so.
Therefore such ships will not be detected on other ships AIS.
d) The danger of overloading the screen with information and likely need for
correlation between radar and AIS targets are primary considerations for any


1) How ISPS was implemented?

This was incorporated in to SOLAS chapter XI part 2. Therefore the ISPS Code
was implemented automatically.

2) What are the certificates to be carried as per ISPS?

a) International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) 5 years

b) Interim ISSC this is a certificate that may be issued to a ship which has newly
joined under management of a company or which has changed her flag. This is
valid for 6 months.

3) What are the records to be carried on board as per ISPS?

a) Records of training and drills.

b) Records of security threats and incidents.
c) Records of breaches of security.

d) Records of changes of security levels.
e) Reports of communications related to security.
f) Reports of audits and reviews of security activities.
g) Records of periodic reviews of ship security assessment and ship security plan.
h) Records of implementation of amendments to the plan.
i) Records of maintenance, testing and calibration of security equipment.

4) What are the contents of SSP (Ship Security Plan)?

a) Measures to prevent weapon or other dangerous substances onboard to use against

b) Identification of restricted areas
c) Measures to prevent unauthorized access to ship as well as to unauthorized areas.
d) Procedures for responding to security related incidents (threats, breaches etc.)
e) Procedures during three security levels.
f) Procedures for evacuation.
g) Duties and responsibilities of on board personnel.
h) Procedures for auditing the security activities.
i) Procedures for training and drills.
j) Procedures for up dating the plan.
k) Procedures for interfacing with port facilities
l) Procedures for reporting security incidents.
m) Identification of ship security officer and company security officer, including his
24 hr contact details.
n) Procedures & frequencies for testing, calibration and maintenance of security
o) The location of the activating points of the ship security alert system.
p) Procedures of using the security alert system.

5) What are the duties of a SSO (Ship Security Officer)?

a) Regular inspections on board the vessel.

b) Maintenance and up dating of security measures and SSP.
c) Co-ordination between the ship and ports.
d) Proposing modifications to SSP.
e) Co-ordination between the ship and the company security officer.
f) Reporting of security related incidents.
g) Training of on board personnel.
h) Maintenance of security equipment.

6) What is a Document of Security (DoS)?

This is s document completed to ensure both the parties (ship/port or ship/ship
interfaces) are following their security plans to reach the objectives of the ISPS Code.
This must include,
a) Date
b) Duration of validity
c) Relevant security levels of both parties
d) Contact details of both parties
e) Signatures of both parties

If there are any changes to the relevant security levels as mentioned on DoS, a
new DoS must be completed or a revised DoS must be completed. DoS must be
completed when,
a) A vessel has a security level higher than a port.
b) A port requires it as per their security plan.
c) A port facility security officer requires depending upon the occasion.
d) A ship requires it as per their security plan.
e) An Administration requires (may not be required as per the plan).
When vessels are entering in to ports, most of the contracting port states
require the previous ports DoS. Therefore, even though the above mentioned conditions
are not met, it is advisable to complete a DoS in each and every port.

7) Can a vessel maintain a different security level than a port?

A vessel can maintain a higher security level than a port. In such cases, a DoS
must be completed. A vessel can not maintain a lower security level than a port. In such
cases, the vessel has to increase the security level up to the security level of the port.

8) What are the information to be given when arriving a port?

a) ISSC & the issuing authority.

b) The security level of the ship.
c) The security levels of the ship during last 10 ports.
d) Additional security measures taken during last 10 ports.
e) Appropriate security measures taken on board during last 10 ports.
f) DoS of last port (some times).
g) Crew list.
h) Cargo declaration.
i) Crews effect declaration

9) What are the security equipment introduced as per ISPS Code?

a) Ship security alert system

This can be activated from the bridge and at least from one other location.
The activation point on the bridge will be known to all officers but the other
activation point will be known only by the master and SSO. This will transmit a
security alert to a competent authority designated by the Administration (in most
cases the company) including,
- ships identification
- ships location
The activation of security alert system will not make any alarms on board
and also it will not send any signals to any other vessel. The alarm will be
continued until it is reset or deactivated from the ship.

b) CCTV cameras, X-ray and scanning machines

These are required on passenger ships to inspect unaccompanied baggage,
because unaccompanied baggage are always locked and can not be inspected

c) Three touches with spare batteries

These are not specified in the code but required by the certain security
authorities such as classification societies before issuing the ISSC.

d) Pad locks and search lights

These are also not specified in the code, but required to maintain the
security systems on board.

(AIS and LRIT are required by SOLAS Chapter V, not by chapter XI, but can be
considered as an aid to ship security system)

10) What are the types of surveys to be carried out as per ISPS Code?

a) Initial audit this is done to issue an ISSC to a ship for the first time
b) Renewal audit this is done to renew the ISSC within not more than 5 years
c) Intermediate audit this must be conducted between the 2nd and 3rd anniversary
d) Additional audits this types of audits will be carried out, if the port state deems
necessary, due to a non compliance of the system, to issue interim ISSC, when the
ships name is changed etc.

11) How do you prepare your vessel for an ISPS audit?

As you know, different areas will be inspected during different types of audits.
The following list of inspections is a summery of all the audits. Actually, these
preparations must be carried out by the SSO and the master not by the mate.
If the ports security level or the ships security level is 3, certain organizations
may not carry out audits because a smooth execution of security audit may be difficult.

a) At least one security drill to be carried out before or during the initial or interim
b) Must have a approved SSP approved by the Administration or a recognized
c) Ensure the personnel who has security duties (SSO, master etc) are familiar with
the duties and responsibilities as per the SSP.
d) Make sure the SSO is given appropriate training.
e) Make sure the local laws of the flag state is incorporated into SSP.
f) Ensure the security equipment are rested, calibrated and maintained as per the
Code and the manufacturers instructions.
g) All security equipment and the surveillance equipment must be in working order.
h) The vessel must have a correct ship identification number as per SOLAS chapter
V/19 and Chapter XI-1.3.
i) The vessel must have audit records for last five years and no unauthorized access
is allowed for these records.
j) Ensure a valid copy of a DOC or an interim DOC is on board.
k) Ensure a valid SMC or an interim SMC is on board.
l) If it is an additional audit after the name change of the vessel, ensure that the
correct name is endorsed on all the documents. If the ships name is to be include
in the transmitted data required b the flag state, the auditor may witness a ship
security alert test. The ships name on the SSP may be corrected by the SSO or the

12) What is continuous synopsis record?

After a collision or any other incident, if the ship owner wants to run away from
the legal consequences, he can change the flag state of the vessel very easily. If he change
the flag few times continuously, vessel will not be traceable at all.
To avoid this matter, a Continuous Synopsis Record must be carried on board
as per SOLAS chapter XI 1/5.3. This apply to ships of 500 GT and above engage on
international voyages. This is a record issued by the Administration. When the
registration is changed, a new record will be issued by the new flag state. The following
data are included in the record,

a) IMO number
b) Date and the port of the existing record.
c) Name of the owners.
d) Name of the charterers.
e) Name of the operators/managers.

f) Name of the classification society.
g) Names of authorities of following certificates,
h) The date of issue and the name of the flag state of the previous record.



It is very important to observe the behaviour of the current and the wind in handling
a vessel. As a rule of thumb keep these points in your mind.
In a channel when there is a current, the maximum rate of the current occurs at the
centre of the channel and very close to the banks of the channel the rate of current is
almost zero. This can be used to the advantage of ship handling.
When a vessel is exposed to wind, the area which is having the largest windage area
is pushed away from the wind. Usually, most of the cargo ships are having aft
accommodation ships. Therefore the aft windage area is larger than the forward windage
area. Therefore a vessel idle at sea will face the wind diagonally

1) What is the meaning of turning short round?

Short round turn means, turning a vessel within her own length. Practically, she
may go beyond her own length due to the manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel,
wind, current and the experience of the handler.

2) How do you carry out a short round turn on a vessel with a right hand screw


With the right-handed propeller; the turn should be made to starboard as shown in
the diagram so that the effect of transverse thrust, when the engines are going astern is of
assistance. Approach the turning point keeping to the port hand side of the channel with
engines slow ahead 1 will leave enough room to port for the stern to swing.
1) Start the manoeuvre from the port side of the channel to provide the maximum
distance for the head reach movement of the vessel.
2) Rudder hard a-starboard, main engines full ahead. Stop engines. Do not allow the
vessel to gather too much headway.
3) Rudder midships, engines full aster.
4) As sternway gathered, the bow of the vessel will cant to starboard while the port
quarter will more in opposition side, owing to the effects of the transverse thrust.
Stop engines.
5) Rudder to starboard, engines ahead.
If a tide is running, it usually has a greater rate at the centre than at the side of a
channel. This may be made use of to help the manoeuvre by keeping towards the
starboard side of the channel, if the tide is initially astern and keeping to the port side of
the channel if the tide is initially ahead, so that the faster running water in mid channel
helps to carry the vessel round in the required direction. It should be noted that a head

wind will assist this manoeuvre, but a stern wind will be a hindrance. In the latter case or
if a turn to port is required or if space is very restricted, then an anchor should be used.
In twin-screw vessels, the propellers are usually out-turning, i.e. the starboard
propeller is right handed and the port propeller is left-handed. To turn such a vessel short
round to starboard from rest, the port engines should first be put to half ahead and then as
the vessel starts to move the starboard engine should be put to full astern. The turning
action of the two propellers is used in this way is assisted by the effect of the transverse
thrust on both. To turn short round to port the starboard propeller is put ahead and the
port propeller astern and once again, the effect of transverse thrust is to assist the turn. A
few vessels have screws, which are interning when going ahead. The effect of transverse
thrust when turning short round is in opposition to the turning couple between the
propellers and such vessels are extremely difficult to handle.

3) What is the meaning of interaction?

Hydrodynamic interaction may occur between ship-bottom, ship-bank and

ship-ship. The effect caused by the ship-bottom interaction is called as squat. The effect
caused by the ship-bank is called as bank cushioning effect. Generally, the effect caused
by ship-ship interaction is known as interaction. When a ship moves forward, there is a
region of high pressure at the bow and the stern. The stern high pressure region is of
lower magnitude due to frictional loses. The water displaced by the ship at the bow
flows around and under the hull towards the stern and creates negative pressure in the
mid-ship region.

+ - - - - +
+ + - - - - - + +
+ + +
+ + + +
+ + ++
+ + +
+ +
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ - - - - + +
+ - - - - -

Hydrodynamic interaction between ships occurs at any depth but it is amplified

in shallow water and also it is proportional to the ships passing speeds. i.e. if the speed is
more, interaction between ships is more and vice versa. Typically, interaction effects are
more pronounced if the side shell to side shell distance is less than two times the beam of
the wider ship. When different sizes of ships pass close to each other, effects of
interaction are more on the smaller vessel. When a large vessel and a small vessel passing
closely, there is a possibility of capsizing of the smaller vessel due to interaction.

4) Explain the interaction effects when a vessel is over taking another.

Students must understand, these effects depends upon the sizes of the ship, their speeds,
distances others effects from surrounding areas, such as the bank cushioning effects etc.
The most important thing is to understand the pressure distribution system around a
vessel. Once it is understood, all these can be predicted accurately.

5) Explain the interaction effects when a vessel is passing on reciprocal or on nearly

reciprocal courses.

6) What is squat?

When a ship is moving forward, a depression of the water line is occurred at the
midship region, which moves with the ship, and a wave-like water rise in the bow and the
stern. This depression causes a reduction in the under keel clearance of the vessel and this
is known as squat. Although the same things happens in deep waters as well, deep water
squat is imperceptible. Squat is more prominent when the under keel clearance is less
than 1.5 times the draught of a vessel.

Therefore, the squat is the result of hydrodynamic interaction between ship and
bottom. It is not an increase in draft. Therefore the mean draught remains the same. Water

flow around box-shaped ships is more restricted and it is expected that these vessels squat
will be more pronounced. If the vessel is even keel, squat will cause a trim by the bow for
box-shaped vessels. Squat will cause a trim by stern for finer vessels. In case the vessel is
already trimmed, squat will be further trimmed in the same direction.

7) How do you identify when the squat is present?

Sluggish steering
Vibration of the vessel
High RPM fluctuations
Discolouration of water at the stern
Change of trim

8) How do you minimize the squat and interactions?

Reduce the speed to a minimum safe speed.

9) What could happen when a vessel stops in shallow waters?

A vessel in very shallow water drags a volume of water astern

which can be as much as 40% of the displacement. When the vessel
stops this entrained water continues moving and when it reaches the
vessels stern it can produce a strong and unexpected turning moment,
causing the vessel to begin to sheer unexpectedly. In such
circumstances accompanying tugs towing on a short line may
sometimes prove to be ineffective. The reason for this is that the tugs
thrust is reduced or even cancelled by the proximity of the vessels hull
and small underkeel clearance. This causes the tugs wash to be
laterally deflected reducing or even nullifying the thrust. The resultant
force on the hull caused by the hydrodynamic action of the deflected
flow may also act opposite to the desired direction. This is normally
experienced on larger ships than smaller vessels.

1) You will be given an UN number of a dangerous cargo and will be asked to refer
the IMDG Code to take the required information.

Be very familiar with the volume 1, 2 and the supplement of the IMDG Code.
referring the Code is the best way of learning this.

2) What is a subsidiary risk?

Some dangerous cargoes may have secondary risks other than the primary risk.
This secondary risk is known as the subsidiary risk.

3) How do you identify the subsidiary risks by looking at the labels?

As per the present system, there is no difference between the primary risk labels
and the secondary risk labels. The only possible way is by referring the Code according
to the UN number.

4) What is a marine pollutant?

It is a substance that will be harmful to the marine living beings if discharged in to

sea. There are three types of marine pollutants available according to the IMDG Code,

a) P Marine pollutant
b) PP Severe marine pollutant
c) marine pollutant only when containing 10% or more substances identified
with P or 1% or more substances identified with PP in this column.

5) If you notice a container carrying dangerous cargo without labels, what will you

If you notice it before being placed on board, inform the cargo Forman and get it
labelled, because it is the responsibility of them. If you noticed it after loading onboard,
use the labels which are onboard, because after loading it is the responsibility of the ship.

6) What is the meaning of limited quantity?

It the maximum amount of IMDG cargo that can be carried without labelling and
marking as per the Code. In such occasions, the packages need not to have the labels,
marine pollutant marks or the proper shipping name but may be marked with UN number
of the contents (preceded by the letters UN) placed within a diamond.
In addition to the documentation required for the IMDG cargoes, the words
limited quantity or LTD QTY shall be included on the dangerous goods declaration.

7) What is meaning of IBC (in IMDG Code)?

IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container. This is receptacle made to carry
IMDG cargoes. There are various type and sizes of IBCs in use. Generally the size is
smaller than a standard 20 foot container.


1) You are on a passage from Japan to Alaska in the month of February what are the
dangers you face and what precautions you will be taken?

Prior to departure

During the voyage, heavy seas, poor visibility, cold climate, floating ice,
change of load line zones and Ballast exchange are the main factors to be

a) Prior to departure check all required charts and publications, enough provisions,
bunkers, fresh water, medicines , heating system and safety clothing are sufficient
for complete the voyage.
b) Consul latest weather reports and publications prepare the most suitable weather
passage. Also consider the contingency plan as well.( Wx routing company )
c) A passage south of Aleutian Islands is more preferred because the currents are
d) Load the vessel to comply with the load line zones.

During voyage

a) Since the bad weather is expected, prepare the vessel for heavy seas, must inform
the deck dept. , engine room and catering department to secure everything.
b) Made watch schedules for extra lookouts in case of restricted visibility.
c) Prior to approach cold climate area drain the fire lines, switch on the machinery
heating, continuously run both radars, give some amount of slack for full ballast
tanks to avoid damage to the tank tops by cooling effects of ballast water, carry
out fuel tank heating, accommodation heating and carried out cargo hold
ventilation as required.
d) Ensure hot water is available for the bridge windscreens.
e) Moorings to be covered. Arrange hot water system / steam to remove ice particles
on deck with separate pipe line
f) Update the weather report at all available means including ice bulletins.
g) Get ice reports of pacific ocean through Canadian Ice Recognition Air craft
Facsimile services , routing charts , Hydropacs , ECG , Wx Facsimile ,Navtex
h) Post extra lookout when getting closer to expected ice bound areas.
i) Standby the engines and proceed with the safe manoeuvrable speed with extra
j) Send the position report to the company and AMVER system at regular intervals.
(Automated Mutual V/L Assistant Rescue system)

2) Why do you make the full ballast tanks little bit slack?

Usually when the temperature of a liquid is increased, the volume will be

increased to a certain extent. But the water acts differently when the temperature is
increased. If the temperature of a sample of water (which is at 0 C) is increased, the
volume will be reduced from 0 C to 4 C. there after the volume will be increased like
other liquids. Due to this reason, if the temperature of water which is at 30 C is reduced,
from 30 C to 4 C the volume will be decreased and from 4 C to 0 C, the volume will
increase. If the tanks are kept full, this increase of volume may create structural damages.

3) What is the purpose of aerating the sewage when putting it to settling tanks?

There are certain bacteria in sewage that will be help full in de-composting
sewage quickly. Oxygen is required for these bacteria. Therefore, the sewage should be

4) You are a master of a vessel which is below 3000 GT and you are 30 nm off
Trincomalee. What are the actions to be carried when encountering a TRS?

a) The most important thin is to ascertain the ships position against the position of
the TRS.
b) This can be identified by the Buys Ballet law or by observing the change of the
direction of the wind.
- As per the Buys Ballet law, in the northern hemisphere, the low pressure is
on 8 to 12 points on the right hand side when you face the wind. In the
southern hemisphere, the low pressure is on 8 to 12 points on the left hand
side when you face the wind.
- In the northern hemisphere, if the wind is veering you are on the
dangerous semi circle and if the wind is backing you are on the navigable
semi circle. In the southern hemisphere, if the wind is veering, you are on
the navigable semi circle and if the wind is backing, you are on the
dangerous semi circle. If the wind direction is steady, you are on the path
of the TRS on both the hemispheres.
c) To observe the change of the wind direction, the vessel should be stopped and it
will take some time. Since you are on a small vessel (3000 GT), you may not be
able to stay much time in accessing the wind direction due to the bad sea
d) Quick judgement is required on smaller vessels. Therefore, it is advisable to use
the Buys Ballets law. Therefore, if you are on the northern hemisphere, and has an
easterly wind, the vessel is on the dangerous semi circle.

Path of the TRS
Direction of wind

Centre of the

e) In the northern hemisphere, if you are on the dangerous semi circle, keep the wind
on 1 to 4 points on the starboard (if the vessels speed is less than 12 knots keep
the wind closer to one points and if the speed is more than 12 knots keep the wind
closer to four points) bow. Alter the course as the wind veers (in the southern
hemisphere keep the wind on the port bow).
f) In the northern hemisphere, if you are on the path or on the navigable semi circle,
keep the wind on 1 to 4 points on the starboard quarter and alter the course as the
wind backs (in the southern hemisphere keep the wind on the port quarter).
g) Use the maximum possible speed in doing so. Some times you may have to
heave-to (having a speed just to climb up the waves. Past tense is hove-to).
When heave-to the vessel will be stopped in relation to ground. This will reduce
pitching and pounding. But you will not be able to move away from the TRS
when heave-to.

5) What are the approaching signs of a TRS?

a) If the barometric pressure drops more than 5 mb (after correction for index error,
height above sea level, semi diurnal variation)
b) The position is an area where TRS occur and in TRS seasons.
c) Increase of wind force when the pressure drops.
d) Bands of Cirrus clouds directed towards the centre of the TRS.
e) Threatening appearance of heavy clouds on the horizon.
f) Some times frequent lightening may occur.
g) Succession of squalls with or without rain.

6) What are the plans and manuals to be maintained onboard and ashore as per the
new amendments?

a) General arrangement plan

b) Capacity plan
c) Hydrostatic curves
d) Loading manual
e) Midship section plan
f) Scantling plan
g) Plans of separate decks if available
h) Shell expansion plan
i) Plans of transverse bulkheads
j) Plans of rudder and rudder stock
k) Plans of cargo hatch covers if available.

The DPA is responsible for maintaining these plans ashore and these plans will be
audited during ISM audits.

7) How do you test an Oil Discharge Monitoring system of a tanker?

Oil content Date & Discharge Discharge Ships speed

(PPM) time v/v position rate (m/h) (knots)



Discharge Total Date & Discharge Alarm Failures Override

rate (l/nm) volume time v/v position condition action
(open/close (calibration
(litres) (GMT) ) etc)

The above figure shows the inputs and the outputs of an oil discharge
monitoring system. This can not be tested by using oils as the vessel is stop in a port
during audits. For calibration purposes oil can be used but these days it is done by
sending the unit ashore. During audits, only the software parts can be tested. For that,
some figures for PPM, ships speed, discharge rate should be entered manually in the test

mode. If the input values as higher than the MARPOL requirements alarm will be
activated and the input data will be recorded.

8) How do you test an oil filtering equipment?

Close the overboard discharge valve and set the lines to the sludge tank. Then put
oily water and start the pump. If it is more than 15 PPM, the alarm must be activated and
must stop pumping automatically. Check the recorder for correct recording of the data.
This can be done in a port.

9) While discharging engine room bilges, the oily water separator stops and the bilge
level keep increasing. What will you do?

This may happen when the filters are chocked inside the separator. The filters can
be cleaned and the separator can be re-started. The cleaning time may take from few
minutes to few hours depending upon the maker and the filter cleaning system. Some
filters has to be immersed in chemicals for cleaning, which may take some time. In that
case new filters can be used.

10) What are the generations of container ships?

11) Name the parts of a container.

(Corner fitting)

12) What are the factors to be taken into account, when carrying out ventilation?

a) Out side & inside temperatures

b) The humidity of the out side air
c) The type of cargo in the holds.
d) The type of ventilation required (surface ventilation, through ventilation)
e) The type of blowers (mechanical blowers, blowers with de-humidifiers, natural
f) The weather condition (rough seas, rain etc)

13) How do you decide when to do ventilation?

Ventilation can be carried out only when the dew point of the outside air is less
than the temperature of the air inside the hold.

14) What is meant by main vertical zones?

According to SOLAS requirements, ships carrying more than 36 passengers, the

hull, superstructure and deck houses shall be subdivided into main vertical zones by A-

60 class divisions. Steps and recess shall be kept to minimum but where they are
necessary they shall also be A-60 class divisions.
For ships carrying not more than 36 passengers, the hull, superstructure and
deckhouses in way of accommodation and service spaces shall be divided into main
vertical zones by A class divisions.
A class divisions means, divisions formed by bulkheads and decks which
comply with,
a) constructed of steel or similar material
b) suitably stiffened
c) smoke or flame should not penetrate at the end of one hour standard fire test

A-60 class divisions means same material as above and also the temperature
on the unexposed side will not rise by 139 C from the original for a period of 60

15) How do you take over your duties as a chief officer?

a) As you walk on the pier to join the vessel, have general inspection of the ship
hull, draught marks etc.
b) While walking on the gangway, see the general condition of the gangway, see
whether the life buoy, fire plan, shore leave board, security log book etc. are
c) See whether the gangway watchman is available with safety gear and he is
following the security precautions.
d) While walking in alleyway see the general condition of the interior of the vessel.
e) Hand over the documents to the master.
f) Meet the outgoing chief officer and take the following information from him.
Present loading condition, loading plans, ballast plans, DG declarations,
shippers documents related to present cargo etc.
Draught restrictions at this port, if any.
Special requirements related to present port and cargo.
Information about expecting stores, fresh water etc. from this port.
Information about the next port and the cargo details, if available.
Masters special orders regarding cargo work.
Pending work which are related to statutory surveys and information
related to near future surveys.
Information about pending NCRs.
Information related to pending work according to the PMS.
Information about company manuals & roles/responsibilities of chief
officer including the duties during emergency situations(if new to the
The arrangement of the chief officers files and records.
The arrangement of the watch schedule of officers and crew.
An idea about the navigational equipment.

Any special defects or areas need special consideration related to cargo
work, navigation, deck maintenance etc (eg malfunctioning of
equipment, lack of securing materials specially on container ships ect).
On tankers, the incoming chief officer must be familiar with the COW.
Therefore, the incoming chief officer must carryout at least one COW with
the outgoing chief officer. This is not required if you are on rotational
General over view of the staff.
Finally, the handing over notes.
g) ensure the handing over is carried out as per the company instructions

16) If you are going to take over a brand new ship, how do you find out your duties?

If it is the same company, the incoming chief officer is already familiar with the
company policies, roles/responsibilities of a chief officer. The new amendments and
changes can be taken from the master and the company superintendent, as the
superintendent will be onboard during this time this period.
If it is a new company, chief officers roles/responsibilities can be taken from the
company manuals. If required any clarification, the master and the superintendent can be
Usually, in most of the standard companies, the staff will be briefed by the
manning agents or by the mother company. Masters are mostly briefed by the mother
company. Therefore, the master can be consulted to clarify any problem related to the
chief officers duties.

17) What is the problem associated with ships showers?

Most dangerous waterborne bacteria affecting humans are ingested in

drinking water, however Legionella bacteria can gain entry to the respiratory system from
water suspended in air in the form of a fine mist such as is created by showers or tap

18) What are the effects of Legionella baceria?

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, a

bacterium found primarily in warm water environments. Legionnaires' disease develops
within 2 to 10 days after exposure to legionellae. Initial symptoms may include loss of
energy, headache, nausea, aching muscles, high fever (often exceeding 104F), and chest
pains. Later, many bodily systems as well as the mind may be affected. The disease
eventually will cause death if the bodys high fever and antibodies cannot defeat it.
Victims who survive may suffer permanent physical or mental impairment.

19) What are the precautions to be taken to avoid the formation of Legionella

Horses used for taking fresh water should be,

- suitably marked and used only for handling fresh water
- stow in contamination free places after draining completely and keep the
both ends closed.
- flush the horse thoroughly before taking fresh water.
- Recommended to charge the horses for a period of 1 hour with a chlorine
solution of 50 ppm at least every 6 months.

When producing fresh water,

- the inlet for the fresh water generator should be clear of all other inlets and
discharge positions. Generally, it is forward and on the opposite side to the
discharge positions.
- Recommended to take sea water when at least 20 nm away from land.

Fresh water tanks,

- chlorinate the tanks to a concentration of 0.2 ppm (refer the medical guide
for further information).
- Should be coated with cement wash or compatible paints for fresh water
tanks must be applied.
- Recommended to do a pressure test of all fresh water tank boundaries at
least every 5 years.
- Recommended to inspect the tanks every 12 months and clean them. The
cleaning should be done with fresh water having a chlorine concentration
of 50 ppm.
- Recommended to super chlorinated at a concentration of 50 ppm for a
period of not less than 4 hours after each dry docking. Then empty it
completely and refill it with a chlorine concentration of 0.2 ppm.
- Recommended to empty the tanks completely and refill at least 6 months
- Those who are working in fresh water tanks must wear clean clothes and
must not have any skin infection or communicable disorder.

Distribution systems,
- Recommended to charge the whole delivery system with super chlorinated
(50 ppm) fresh water for a period of 12 hours at each dry docking.
- Shower heads and their flexible pipes where fitted, should be routinely
thoroughly cleaned in a 50 ppm chlorine solution every three months.


1) What are the reporting to be made when encountering ice?

On encountering air temperatures below freezing point, that are associated with
gale force winds and causing sever ice accumulation on ships, the master is obliged under
SOLAS to send a report to the ships in the vicinity and to the nearest coast station
- Air and sea temperatures
- Force and direction of wind
- Position of the ship
- UTC time and date of observation

The masters of every ship which meets with dangerous ice are required to report
the following information,

- The kind of ice

- Position of ice
- The time and date in UTC of the last observation

2) What are the general precautions to be taken when going into winter areas?

a) To avoid risk of damage to ballast & fresh water tanks due to freezing, the usual
practise is to keep the tanks not more than 90% full to allow for expansion.
b) Fresh water tanks in the life boats should be kept no more than 75% full.
c) Additional fuel, stores and fresh water may require.
d) Ensure the search lights are working in order.
e) Ensure the crew are supply with warm clothing.
f) Add anti-freeze to life boat engine cooling systems.
g) Make sure the hot water system for the bridge windscreen is working in order or
keep ready de-icing liquids or spray cans.
h) Additional shovels, scrappers and crow bars may be required.
i) Keep the fire lines running or drain it fully.
j) Ensure the heaters in side the accommodation is working in order.
k) Add anti-freeze for PV in tankers.
l) Make sure to keep the water seals of the scrubber and deck water seal warm on

3) What are the general precautions to be taken related to navigation?

a) Watch keeping personnel should be aware of the factors involve in ice navigation.
b) Speed should be reduced to minimum but not too slow & not too fast.
c) Keep engines ready for manoeuvring all the time.

d) Keep additional personnel to keep visual lookouts and enable hand steering at
short notice.
e) Keep ready the search lights.
f) Monitor communications for ice information.
g) Give a wide berth to ice bergs.
h) Enter ice at right angles.
i) Protruding log tubes must be taken in before entering ice.
j) If possible, move with the movement of ice, without moving against it.

4) What are the pre warnings of the presence of ice?

a) Sea and swell lower than expected for the wind speed may indicate the presence
of significant ice to windward.
b) Animals and or birds far from land may indicate the presence of large ice sheets.
c) When steaming down the wind large ice formations may be approached directly
without forewarning.
d) When steaming up wind, small pieces of ice may forewarn of larger formations to

5) What are the navigational errors that you may encounter?

a) GPS is reliable, provided the correct datums are applied.

b) Radar should be used with caution as ice may significantly change the effective
coast line and on the other hand, ice is not a good reflector.
c) Radar scanner may become frozen.
d) Ice particles on the radar scanner will reduce the transmitting & receiving pulse
e) Visual fixes with identified objects are the best.
f) Light colours of navigational aids may be affected by ice.
g) Light sectors & ranges will be affected by ice. Some times it be totally obscured.
h) Gyro compass errors may occur due to large course & speed alterations.
i) Ice on the compass will make taking bearings difficult.
j) After 70 latitude, gyro is not reliable and near 85 latitude it is totally useless.
k) The magnetic compass loses its all directive forces close to the magnetic poles.
l) Echo sounder may not give correct reading due to false echoes.
m) Protruding logs are not usable as they are withdrawn but flush mounted electro
magnetic logs and Doppler logs are least vulnerable.
n) Radio communications may be difficult due to ice formation on the aerials.
o) Buoys may be moved or removed in the ice seasons.
p) Stars of below 10 of altitude are the best for celestial navigation.

6) What are the actions to be taken by vessels beset?

a) Put NUC lights

b) Engines should be kept running slowly to keep the propeller clear.
c) Seek the assistance of an ice breaker immediately.
d) If ice breakers are not available, try to free up by going full ahead, then full astern
and using maximum rudder one way then another. When the ship begins to move
ahead put the rudder amidship.
e) Or try to free up by changing the trim and heel by internal transfer of fuel.


a) M.V. Derbyshire

Length : 281.94 Meters

Beam : 44.20 Meters
Depth : 24.90 Meters
Year built : 1976
Classification : Lloyds Register
Vessel Type : Oil/Bulk/Ore (OBO) Carrier

On or about September 9th 1980, The M.V. Derbyshire sank off the coast of
Japan in position approximately 25 30' N, 130 30' E. There were 44 people on board,
including two wives; there were no survivors. The ship had been hove to in Typhoon
Orchid. There were no Mayday calls. She was en route for Kawasaki, Japan with a cargo
of Iron Ore Concentrates loaded at Sept Isles, Canada. Derbyshire is the largest British
bulk carrier ever lost and has been the object of several investigations and discussions
regarding bulk carrier safety. There were so many hypothesizes about this incident. The
most common two are described below.

A fracture at the frame no. 65

Since, initially there was no evidence that structural failure caused the loss,
the UK Government did not hold a formal investigation into the loss of the vessel. In
1982, eighteen months after the loss, her sister ship, Tyne Bridge, experienced severe
brittle fractures. These cracks initiated at frame 65 and propagated into the deck. After
this fracture, the Derbyshire Family Association (DFA) started investigating frame 65
cracks on the other sister ships. They hypothesized that this might be the cause of the loss
the Derbyshire. In 1986 another sister ship, Kowloon Bridge, broke at frame 65 after
grounding. These events caused a closer look into the loss of the Derbyshire.

Formation of
FWD cracks

Ideally, the longitudinal girder and bulkhead would be in line at the transverse
bulkhead, but if they are misaligned, the fatigue life of the structure could be reduced. As
the ship cycles from hogging and sagging moments the misalignment causes the
transverse bulkhead to be distorted fore and aft. The fluctuating distortions would result
in high local stresses that could lead to cracking due to the shortening of fatigue life. The
existing sister ships were found to have misalignments between the girder and bulkhead.
Of course, the alignment for the Derbyshire is unknown. Although the magnitude of the
misalignment is under debate, it could have been as much as 45 mm.

Loss of watertightness due to wave effects

The next most accepted possibility was the forward hatch covers were forced
opened due to strong waves and the forward hatches were filled with water, increasing a
forward trim. This caused the following hatches also to loose watertightness. Finally, the
vessel was parted due to excessive weights. The duty officer could not identify this
situation since the switches for the forward flood lights were not in the bridge but in the
forward. While these debates were going on, a submersible unit was sent to inspect the
wreck and the final verdict was given in year 1997.

The surveys confirmed that the object located 600 meters from the bow was
the stern. It was considerably damaged by implosion-explosion forces (Large pressure
differences develop when an air filled watertight body sinks. This knowledge can be used
when inspecting a shipwreck. Any air filled compartment that was not damaged before
sinking occurred would experience an increasing pressure differential with increasing
water depth. At some point the outside pressure will exceed the pressure that the hull can
resist. The compartment would then implode. When the compressed air is released from
the compartment, there is a kind of explosion that result in shock waves in the water and
the structure. This can lead to considerable damage, which can be confirmed by
inspection). Bulkhead 65 was no longer connected to the stern. From these observations,
the most probable conclusion to the Frame 65 argument is that the stern was intact when
sinking started. The increasing pressure led to implosion of the stern as the ship sank
deeper, with the hull eventually breaking near frame 65, which certainly was a weak
point. As the stern and the rest of the ship continued to sink, the two parts separated,
eventually settling only 600 meters apart. The final conclusion is that the frame 65
cracking was not the cause of the loss, but that this failure occurred as the ship
approached the seabed.

The inspection of the hatch covers showed that all of them had external pressure
as the initial failure mode. Most of the cracks occurred near the welding of the center
girder, and at the connection of the stiffeners to the girders. The surveyors examined the
edges of the tears, and from these observations they concluded that several of the covers
had collapsed before sinking started. They found indications of tearing damage between
the longitudinals in 7 or 8 of the covers. This was probably from plunging sea waves
encountered after the initial damage. The discovery of these failure modes confirms, or at
least increases the likelihood, that the sinking was caused by hatch cover collapse.

Reasons for the incident

Improper actions taken to avoid the Typhoon.

Under estimation of the effects of the storm and over estimation of the strength of
the vessel.
The hatch covers were not strong enough to stand the pressure of the waves.
Flooding may have occurred due to air vent, sounding pipe damages as well.
The starboard windless which was missing in the wreck may have created the
initial flooding.
The witches for the forward lights were not in the bridge.


Sounding pipe caps to be permanently attached.

Remote positioning (bridge) of forward flood light switches.
The increase of strengths of hatch covers and improved securing arrangements for

Changes of strengths of ventilators and sounding pipes.

b) M.V. Herald of Free Enterprise

Name of the ships : M.V. Herald of Free Enterprise

Type of the vessel : Ro-Ro
GT : 7951.4
Length : 131.9 m
Classification Society : LR

She had Master, two chief officers and one second mate as bridge watch
keeping officers. The officers are required to work 12 hours on and not less than 24 hours
off, but the crew for 24 hrs on and 48 hrs off ashore. She had three sets of crew and five
set of officers.
On 06th march 1987 around 1805 hrs, vessel left the berth at Zeebrugge for Dover,
with 459 passengers. Just after passing the break water she capsized to port around 1828
hrs. 188 people died in this incident.
The vessel left the berth at Zeebrugge with a head trim (which was considered
usual for this vessel) and the bow doors fully open. It was the responsibility of the
assistant boatswain to close/open bow doors but he was asleep after deck work. He was
relieved by the boatswain in deck work. An announcement was given over the public
addressing system but the assistant boatswain was not awaken. At the time of the
announcement the boatswain was working close to the bow door but he left the area as it
was not his duty to close the door. There were no indicator lights on the bridge to indicate
that the bow door is opened. Master and the officers assumed that the bow door is closed.
Maters have frequently complained about the importance of the indicator lights
to the company but it was neglected by the company.

Reasons for the incident

No proper job descriptions provided by the company.

No proper procedures provided by the company.
Ships masters comments which were related to the safety of the vessel were
neglected by the company
Lack of rest & negligence of crew
No bow door indicator lights on the bridge


Implementation of ISM code

Work hours & rest hours (STCW 95)
Indicators on the navigating bridge for all doors which, if left open, could lead to
major flooding of a special category space or a ro-ro cargo space

Monitoring systems to detect water leakage
Supplementary emergency lighting for ro-ro passenger ships
"SOLAS 90" standard, relating to the stability of passenger ships in the damaged
From 1 February 1992 new ships have had to be equipped with power-operated
sliding doors
Lightweight survey must be carried out to passenger ships to verify any changes in
lightweight displacement and the longitudinal centre of gravity, at periods not
exceeding five years.
Cargo loading doors to be locked before the ship proceeds on any voyage and to
remain closed until the ship is at its next berth.

c) M.T. Exxon Valdez

Name of the ships : M.T. Exxon Valdez

Type of the vessel : VLCC
DWT : 200,000 t
Length : 300 m

On March 23rd, 1989, at 2112hrs, the Exxon Valdez departed Valdez oil terminal
(Prince William Sound, Alaska) bound for California (USA) with 53 million gallons of
crude oil. A pilot was onboard while departing the port and he informed the master about
the ice conditions in Prince William Sound, but he left the vessel well before the pilot
disembarking position.
As usual it was a hard day for the Exxon Valdez staff as she was loading
throughout the day. All staff was tired and additional rest was not given prior sailing.
Even, such matters were not included in the company regulations. The master & the 3 rd
mate who was on duty at the time of accident are well familiar with the vessel as they
have done few contracts on the same vessel earlier. The 3rd mate was an uncertified
officer was promoted by the same master, after certifying the company.
After the pilots departure, the master instructed the 3 rd mate to divert the planned
passage (as well as the shipping route) to avoid the ice. Master left the bridge soon after
that without giving much information to 3rd mate.
A proper monitoring of the vessels passage was not done by the 3 rd mate. The duty
AB informed that a light which is to be on the starboard is on the port side but no actions
were taken. The relieving AB also informed the same to the 3 rd mate but action was taken.
The 3rd mate did not called the 2nd mate at midnight as he was given additional rest.
Around midnight the 3rd mate realized that the vessel is too close to a reef on the port side
and ordered a hard-over to port side and informed the master. It was too late and around
0004 hrs vessel stuck Bligh Reef. This accident resulted in the discharge of
approximately 11million gallons of oil (20% of the total cargo) to Prince William Sound.
There is no evidence to prove whether the master was drunk at the time of the
accident but he had a bad record of alcohol abuse within the company.

Reasons for the incident

The third mate failed to properly maneuver the vessel, due to the ship being
on autopilot.
The master failed to provide navigation watch, possibly due to the impairment
of alcohol.
Exxon Shipping Company failed to supervise the master and provide a rested
and sufficient crew for the Exxon Valdez.
The USCG failed to provide an effective vessel traffic system.


OPRC 1990 (International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness,

Response and Co-operation, 1990)
Double hull requirements
The OPA 90 was in cooperated into US law

Note on OPRC:

As per this convention, parties are required to establish measures for dealing with
pollution incidents, either nationally or in co-operation with other countries. Ships are
required to carry a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan and also ships are required to
report incidents of pollution to coastal authorities. Basically, SOPEP was introduced after
this incident.

d) M.V. Estonia

Name of the ships : M.V. Estonia

Type of the vessel : Ro-Ro
DWT : 3006 tonnes
GT : 15,598
Length : 155.4 m
Draught : 5.6 m
Flag : Finland
Classification Society : BV

The bow visor construction of Estonia

She had a bow visor fitted which is not visible from the bridge once it is closed.
The bow visor and ramp installation of the her was of a configuration common on ferries
in traffic between Finland and Sweden at the time of her construction. The installation
comprised an upward opening bow visor and a loading ramp, hinged at car-deck level and
closed when raised. In closed position, the upper end of the ramp extended into a box-like
housing on the deck of the visor. The BV regulations did not include details regarding

procedures for calculating sea loads on the bow visor installation. It was stated in general
wording that doors should be firmly secured and that structural reinforcements should be
made to attachment points of cleats, hinges and jacks.

The Incident

On a voyage from Tallinn (Finland) to Stockholm (Sweden) with 989

passengers, on 28 September 1994 the passenger ro-ro ship Estonia capsized in a severe
storm in the north Baltic Sea and sank with the loss of more than 850 lives.
At about 2200hrs she was doing a speed of about 19 knots, but the weather
condition was deteriorating throughout. After the course change at the waypoint at about
0025 hrs, she encountered waves on the port bow and conditions became more
unfavorable, with increased rolling and pitching and more severe wave impacts on the
bow. The stabilizing fins had been extended just after the waypoint. Shortly before the
accident, the speed had dropped to about 14 knots.
It may be of interest to compare the Estonias speed with those of the Mariella and
the Silja Europa, two other ferries en route to Stockholm on the same heading and
encountering the same sea state as the Estonia. On the Mariella, speed was reduced at
about 2300hrs to 12 knot by order of the master. The Silja Europa was running at
approximately the same speed as the Estonia, i.e. 14.5 knots at about 0055hrs. Just
afterwards the Silja Europas officer of the watch reduced the speed due to bad weather.
She was experiencing South westerly wind of speed 18-20 m/s and ENEly wave
with a height of 4 m on the port bow.
Around 0055, the oow received the duty AB report of a metallic bang in the
forward area. The second officer ordered him to stay in the area and investigate the origin
of the sound but after about 5 minutes the AB reported nothing found and the sound was
not repeated. There is no much evidence to indicate that this was informed to master.
The locking device and the hinges of the bow visor failed fully under one or two
wave impact on bow visor shortly after 0100 hrs. The visor worked its way forward and
forced the ramp partly open due to mechanical interference between the visor and the
ramp. Water started entering the car deck at the sides of the partly open ramp. This water
ingress was noticed through the monitor in the engine room, but no communication was
exchanged with the bridge.
A phone call was received by oow (possibly by a crew member), reporting loud
noises, believed to be originating from the forward part of the car deck. The oow, ordered
the AB and boatswain to assess the situation. During this time, the master may have been
informed, since he remained on the bridge during the rest of the incident.
Even the bow visor is not visible from the bridge, the officers may have heard the
noise of the bow visor banging against the bow area when it was falling out. Because of
this sound and the list, officers reduced the speed and altered the course to port. Some
time later they closed all water tight doors.
At about 0115 hrs, the visor was lost and the ramp pulled open. The ramp open
indicator light was not on, since the ramp opening piston was not open properly. Vessel
heeled over and remained with a list of about 15 to starboard. The main engines stopped
at 0120 hrs and the list increased up to 30. The first mayday message was sent at 0122

hrs and the life boat alarm was given at the same time. The mayday message was an
extremely short one containing the word mayday and the name of the vessel. Also the
messages which were send thereafter were not clear enough to understand what is going
As the list increased the Estonia started to sink stern first. At about 0135 hrs the list
was about 80 and the vessel disappeared at about 0150 hrs.

Reasons for the incident

Lack of classification society regulations on bow visors at the time of her

The locking devices were not examined for approval by the administration nor by
Same problems with other ships had not lead to general action to reinforce the
attachments of bow doors (numerous bow visor incidents has occurred prior to
this incident).
Masters had only a little knowledge of the potential danger of the bow visor
closure concept.


Requirements of existing Ro-Ro passenger ships to fully comply with SOLAS 90.
Ro-Ro ships carrying more than 400 passengers should be able to survive with
two compartments flooded (one compartment flooded standard to be phased out).
The extension of collision bulkhead.
The upper extension of the collision bulkhead must be so arranged as to preclude
the possibility of a bow door causing damage to it in the case of damage to, or
detachment of, the door.
Increased of strength of ventilation trunks penetrating bulkhead deck (bulkhead
deck is the upper most deck up to which the transverse water tight bulkheads are
More regulations on passenger ship construction (such as hand rails on both the
sides of the escape routes, furniture in public places to be lashed, the lower parts
of the bulkheads at the escape routes to be strengthened so that people can walk
on it etc.)
More stringent requirements (by classification societies) in calculating the stresses
on the bow visor and its securing systems.
New regulations were imposed on coast radio stations as well since there were
mistakes done by the coast radio stations as well.
Special training requirements for ship staff joining Ro-Ro ships as per STCW 95
(which requires crisis management and human behaviour training for masters,
officers, ratings).

e) M.T. Erika

Name of the ships : Erika
Type of the vessel : Single hull oil tanker with separate ballast tanks
DWT : 37,283 tonnes
Length : 184 m
Draught : 10.9 m
Flag : Maltese
Classification Society : RINA
Year of construction : 1975

Erika left Dunkirk (France) to Livorno (Italy) with 31,000 tonnes of oil as cargo.
On 11 December 1999, she was off Bay of Biscay and experiencing very rough sea
conditions (westerly wind, force 8-9, with a swell height of about 6m). She developed a
starboard list and a distress message was sent. Master suspected a leak from no. 3 centre
tank to no. 2 starboard tank and was decided to upright the vessel by transferring the
cargo. The French authorities were informed that the situation is under control and the
vessel is heading towards port of Donges (France) for shelter (she was turned nearly to
the reciprocal course for this purpose). Then the list started to increase and a distress
message was sent at 0605 am asking for further assistance as the ship was breaking into
two. All crew were rescued immediately by the French Navy & Royal Navy. At 0815 am
Erika split into two in international waters, about 30 miles south of Penmarch (Southern
Bittany). The estimated amount of spillage at that time was about 7,000 t to 10,000.

Reasons for the incident

Improper maintenance of the vessel

Corrosion occurred due to the age of the vessel
Local cracks & failure of the hull due to fatigue & corrosion
The sea condition
The quality of repairs carried out at a special survey in 1998 is insufficient
The quality of surveys carried out by the ships classification society is


Strengthening Port State inspections in the EU

Strengthening the monitoring of the activities of classification societies in the
An accelerated timetable for the withdrawal of single hulled tankers
Creation of the European Maritime Safety Agency.
CAS (Condition Assessment Scheme) as part of single hull tanker phase out
IMO developed new provisions on change of flag, specially to improve the
Improve the uniformity of inspection and reporting practices for port State
control and promote exchange of information.

Review the guidelines on the performance and control of classification
societies to enhance supervision by flag State.

The CAS is required for all category 2 & 3 oil tankers over 15 years of age. CAS
requirements include enhanced and transparent verification of the reported structural
condition of the ship and verification that the documentary and survey procedures have
been properly carried out and completed. Older single hull tankers are able to pass
proposed CAS survey will be able to continue trading for a few more years, but not more
than 25 years of age and not beyond 2015.