Container ship operation :Familiarization Training For Crew

Familiarization Training For Crew Members onboard containership
The Master shall give each new crew member familiarization training and instructions which must be understood to the crew member before commencement of duties onboard.

The Master shall designate a qualified person in charge of training the new crew members. The content of the familiarization training is highlighted below.

Common items for Elementary Basic Safety Familiarization
The person designated by the Master as trainer shall train the new crew member in the following areas using the ship’s Muster Lists, SOLAS Training Manual, Fire Safety Operational Booklet and other relevant documents and publications.

Communication with other persons on board in Elementary Safety Matters and understanding of Safety Symbols and Signs and alarm signals.

Know what to do if :
• a person falls overboard
• fire or smoke is detected or
• the fire or abandon ship alarm is sounded
• Identify Muster and Embarkation stations and Emergency escape routes.
• Locate and don Life-jackets and Immersion suits.
• How to raise the alarm and basic knowledge of the use of Portable Fire Extinguishers.
• Take immediate action upon encountering an accident or a Medical Emergency before seeking further medical assistance.
• Closing and opening of the Fire, Weather-tight and Water-tight doors fitted on the ship other than those for hull openings.
• Locate own cabin, nearest escape route and Fire extinguisher.

Specific items for Familiarization in Each Duty
If at all possible, the new crew member shall be introduced to his duties by the crew-member he is relieving.

If this is not possible, the trainer will carry out such introduction.
This familiarization training shall be given before the new crew member is assigned shipboard duties and shall cover the following:

• The specific equipment the new crew member will be using or operating.
The trainee shall instruct the new crew member how to use or operate specific equipment with particular attention to those mentioned in “List of Duties for Crew” .
• Deck department: Bridge equipment, GMDSS equipment, Steering system, Mooring Equipment, Cargo gear & other equipment
• Engine department: Machinery which the new crew member will take in charge and other related Machinery in the engine room.
• Ship specific watch keeping duties.

If new crew members engage in the ship specific watch keeping, the trainer shall instruct them to comply with Procedures for Watch keeping in Port , Procedures for Navigational Watch keeping and Procedures for Watch keeping in Engine Room and others mentioned in the ship specific “Standing Orders”.

Safety procedures and arrangements.
The trainer shall instruct the new crew member in the use of Safety and Protective equipment and to observe Safety measures at Workplace and handling of Fire onboard the ship in accordance with “Procedures for Management of Safety and Health Onboard”.

Environmental protection.
The trainer shall instruct the new crew members how to handle Garbage and Waste generated on board the ship in accordance with “Procedures for Environmental Protection” .

Also trainer shall also instruct the new crew member on the ship’s Garbage Management Plan and Ballast Water Management Plan.

Emergency procedures.
The trainer shall instruct the new crew members what actions must to be taken in an Emergency situation in accordance “Emergency Response” .

Initial Security Awareness Training.
The trainer shall instruct the new crew member as per requirements of the Ship Security Plan.

Onboard Training in use of LSA & FFA
Onboard training in the use of ship’s life saving appliances including Survival Craft equipment and fire extinguishing appliances shall be completed as soon as possible but not later than 2 weeks after joining the ship.

The trainer shall conduct tour of the vessel along with the new crew member for familiarization training purposes.

Records of Familiarization Training
Upon completion of the familiarization training, the trainer shall confirm each of the above with date together with the crew member’s signature in the “Onboard Familiarization Record” and submit it to the Master.

The Master shall check and sign the record and keep it on board the ship while the crew member is on board.

Procedures On Arrival Port, Prior Commencing Cargo Operation in Containership

On Arrival Port, Prior Commencing Cargo Operation

1) The composition of cargo watch personnel shall be decided and duties well understood.

2) All personnel involved in the cargo watch shall be briefed regarding the expected operations and provided with a Cargo Discharge Plan.

3) Lashing gear operating tools including Turnbuckle handle, Release bar, Extension pole etc are to be kept standby on deck for use during port stay.

20131010 001

4) Hatch cleats, Jumping stoppers, King bolts etc of all hatches to be worked in port, shall be opened and cleared.

5) Hydraulic system for ballast valve operation shall be activated, power and availability of Ballast and Heeling pumps confirmed.

6) Auto Heeling System shall be put into operation.

7) Forward, aft and mid-ship drafts shall be visually checked and Draft gauges compared.

8) Prepare necessary document from the last port

9) Prepare necessary document for Stevedore concerned

Container ship safe cargo operations and planning - On Receiving Cargo Stowage plan

 20131010 002

Containership cargo operation need careful consideration at various stages .The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Please read our articles for safe handling onboard.


On Receiving Cargo Stowage plan
1) The Cargo Stow Plan file provided by Terminal planner / Local agent shall be imported into the vessels loading computer for confirming acceptability.

2) From the stowage plan provided, following shall be checked and verified with regards to cargo stowage:-

a) Stacking Weights

b) Lashing Strength

c) Dangerous Cargo Stowage & Segregation

d) Reefer Container stowage

e) Out of gauge container stowage

f) Special container stowage

g) 20’ or 40’ or 45’ compulsory stowage locations

h) Irregular stowage of containers

i) Over-stow of containers

j) Hatch cover clearance (HC containers Under deck stow)

k) Other matters regarding cargo stowage as necessary

3) From the stowage plan provided, following shall be checked and verified with regards to hull strength and stability:-

a) Draft, Trim and Heel

b) IMO intact stability criterion

c) Corrected GoM

d) Severe wind and rolling criterion

e) Visibility from Bridge

f) Propeller immersion

g) Shearing forces, Bending moments and Torsional moment

h) Other factors affecting hull strength and stability as necessary

4) If any of the factors listed above are beyond acceptable limits, every effort shall be made to bring them within acceptable limits. This shall be done by liaising with Terminal planner, Local agent and Central planner as required.

5) After confirming stow plan is acceptable, all concerned parties shall be informed and cargo loading be allowed to commence.

6) All personnel involved in the cargo watch shall be briefed regarding the expected operations and provided with copy of the cargo plans.

7) Cargo watch personnel shall also be provided with special cargo stowage plans and manifests as necessary.

8) If changes to the ships ballast water condition are necessary, the chief officer shall make a Ballasting / De-ballasting plan.

9) Such Ballasting / De-ballasting plan shall take into account all applicable ballast water regulations/restrictions and other relevant factors including time available for the operation.

10) The officer in charge of the cargo watch shall be briefed regarding such plan and will be responsible for its safe execution unless the chief officer/master is doing the operation himself.

Guidelines and Procedures During Cargo Operations in Containership

 20131010 003

Containership cargo operation need careful consideration at various stages .The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Please read our article below for safety onboard during cargo operations

1) Progress of cargo operations shall be monitored by cargo watch personnel to confirm operations are as per the approved loading and discharge plans. Any deviations must be brought to the attention of the terminal planner.

2) Close monitoring is especially required for special containers like reefer units, DG units, Out of gauge containers etc.

3) Progress of the Ballasting / De-ballasting operations shall be checked by the officer in charge of the cargo watch or chief officer / master if he is doing the operation.

4) Stability condition of the vessel shall be periodically monitored during cargo operations especially as to Draft (within applicable load line mark or port restrictions), Trim (not excessive), Heel (max. 2ºport or stbd) and GoM (more than 0.60m). The ship shall never be allowed excessively heeled or trimmed and the chief officer is responsible for ensuring good positive stability and acceptable condition of Heel / Trim at all times.

5) Opening/closing operation of hatch covers shall be supervised by cargo watch personnel. Prior operation, it must be confirmed that securing arrangements are cleared and no obstructions / loose material pose danger of damage to vessel.

6) Vigilance is to be maintained for any damage caused to vessel or cargo.

7) Cargo securing/lashing operations shall be continuously monitored by cargo watch personnel and not left for the end in order to avoid any delay after completion of cargo operations.

8) A log of all important events shall be maintained by the officer in charge of the cargo watch. Times of Commencing / Ceasing Cargo operations, Opening / Closing Hatch covers, Stoppages with Reasons, Number of cranes operating etc shall be clearly recorded in this port log.

Guidelines and procedures on Completion of Cargo Operations in Container ship

20131010 004 

Containership cargo operation need careful consideration at various stages .The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Please read our articles for safe handling onboard.

1) The Chief Officer shall be responsible for calculating final departure Hull strength and Stability condition of the vessel. Confirmation must be made as to meeting all relevant hull strength and stability criterion up to vessels arrival next port.

2) The Chief Officer shall confirm that all cargo intended for the port has been discharged.

3) Cargo securing/lashing must be completed as per vessel’s approved Cargo Securing Manual prior departure from the port. Additional lashing may be taken at master’s discretion considering nature of voyage, weather etc.

4) If not practicable to complete all cargo securing/lashing prior departure due to compelling reasons, then weather permitting, some remaining inboard containers may be secured later, but prior leaving sheltered waters. All outboard cargo lashing must be taken prior departure from berth.

5) All vessels gear box containers with bins shall be placed on board in their designated locations or at suitably protected locations. Also it shall be confirmed that all vessels cargo securing equipment is placed back on board with none left on the quay.

6) Hatch covers shall be secured by Hatch cleats, Jumping stoppers, King bolts etc prior to departure from port. If not practicable then weather permitting, they shall be secured later, but prior leaving sheltered waters.

7) Any residual heel shall be corrected and auto heeling system switched off by following correct procedure.

8) Forward, aft and mid-ship drafts shall be visually checked and draft gauges compared.

9) Confirm necessary documents for Cargo have been received.

10) Confirm necessary document for Stevedore concerned have been received.

Check items for Container ship safe cargo operations and maintaining cargo records

 20131010 002

Containership cargo operation need careful consideration at various stages .The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Please read our articles for safe cargo handling onboard , Prior Commencing Cargo Operation On Arrival Port,On Receiving Cargo Stowage plan,During Cargo Operations,On Completion of Cargo Operations.

Maintaining cargo records
The P&I clubs stress the importance of keeping records in order to help defeat cargo claims. Claimants usually allege that any cargo damage noted has occurred during the loaded voyage, whereas in fact it is more likely to have occurred ashore.

Documentary evidence required by P&I club claims handlers includes:

  • bilge, ballast and bunker sounding and pumping records;
  • cargo ventilation, humidity and temperature records;
  • records of unusual weather conditions, routeing details, warnings and weather reports;
  • records of hatch, access, hold and watertight door checks;
  • records of fire and safety equipment checks, including log entries of and records of training and safety exercises;
  • records of cargo securing and lashing rounds and checks;
  • records of cargo temperatures (heating or cooling) where appropriate;
  • records of inert gas and venting operations;
  • records of reefer defrosting and temperature control;
  • records of temperatures in fuel oil tanks below sensitive cargoes.

Requirement for ships certificates
It is a legal requirement that the vessel’s certification and classification records are maintained in an updated condition. Failure to comply with certification requirement may result in a heavy fine, arrest or a penalty and loss of insurance due to the infringement of flag/port state requirements and/or insurance underwriter/P&I Club clauses.

Responsibility for maintaining clean and updated vessel’s certification is shared between the Master and the relevant Management Office Staff. The Master is responsible onboard for maintaining updated class, statutory and trading certificates.

The Chief Engineer and Chief Officer are responsible for monitoring and maintaining updated files and inspection logs of continuous surveys for their own departments. The “Certificate Checklist” must be kept updated./.