The Chief officer on a ship is responsible for numerous operations onboard. From Cargo Work to Navigation and Ballast Water Management to maintenance, Chief Officer has to wear many caps at the same time.
However, there are certain important things Which shall never be Overlooked by any Chief Officer onboard Bulk Carrier. So, let us discuss 5 such important things which Shall not be overlooked by any Chief officer of a Bulk Carrier.
I. Ensuring Weather tightness of Hatch Covers
Many Chief Officers, unfortunately neglect this point during their tenure onboard this ship. They believe the information handed over to them by the outgoing Chief Officer during the Handing Over – taking over time. Such information is mostly incorrect and should never be believed on the face value of the officer getting relieved. I myself have come across such situation a number of times during my sailings as Chief Officer.
II. Getting familiarized with Ship’s Stability Booklet and loading sequences
A ship’s stability manual is one of the most overlooked document. From my experience, I can tell you that it should be the first thing you should be going through upon joining the vessel. It will give you a complete insight into the limitations, considerations of your vessel including important guidelines which you should always keep in mind while carrying out loading, discharging, ballasting and deballasting operations.
III. Ensure that emergency systems are working satisfactory and familiarization with the operation
Ensure that all routine and emergency systems are tried out upon joining and as and when due as per the maintenance schedule of the vessel. Such systems include – Cargo hold bilge operations, Water ingress systems, Forepeak dewatering system etc. Ensure that Emergency Hatch Cover opening arrangement is tried out.
IV. Ensure that Critical Inventory list of items is always maintained and items are readily available
Such items could be included in the list of Critical items as stated in the company’s SMS specific to the ship or it could be as per the special trading requirements of the ship. Example of such items could be quick drying cement, sealing systems, sand, high pressure machine or other equipment such as cold work wear, anti freeze liquids etc. if the vessel is trading in cold areas.
V. Ensure that your crew is motivated at all times
Now this may sound quite bookish or common, but trust me this is the single most important thing required in order to ensure that operations are carried out in a safe, productive and efficient manner. Motivation helps the crew to perform to the best of their abilities . It not only results in a healthy atmosphere but also ensures effective team work and safe atmosphere.
Hope that you keep these 5 things in mind next time you are onboard as a Chief Officer.
Wishing you fair seas!