UK Club advises on Inventory of Hazardous materials compliance

The UK P&I Club launched a guide for shipowners to assist them comply with the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) legislation.

Accordingly, the guide addresses the technnicalities, important concepts, processes and requirements of the IHM, aiming to assist Members in ensuring compliance with the existing regulations and reduce the likelihood of reputational risks.

In a bid to help ensure that workers breaking ships were forewarned of potential or known hazardous materials inherent in the ship’s structure or fixed equipment, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced the concept of an Inventory of Hazardous Materials – then known as a Green Passport – as part of their voluntary Guidelines on Ship Recycling (2003).

Concerning the Convention and the Regulation, both define a ‘ship’ as:

a vessel of any type whatsoever operating or having operated in the marine environment and includes submersibles, floating craft, floating platforms, se…

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Watchkeeping vital while drifting

The Bahamas Maritime Authority issued a Safety Alert to highlight the need for effective watchkeeping and the application of good seamanship while drifting. The warning comes in light of an ongoing investigation into a cruise ship collision with another sailing vessel while adrift.

The incident

A Bahamas registered cruise ship was drifting in deep water, 12 miles from land, awaiting permission to enter port.

After several days of drifting and re-positioning, the vessel collided with a sailing vessel.

There were neither injuries nor pollution.


Initial findings

While investigation is ongoing, BMA is drawing attention to the following:

There is the need of a passage plan from berth to berth. Among others, this plan should establish geographical limits (a box), when a vessel is forced to drift. Crews must maintain minimum bridge manning. All parties should clearly communicate and assess readiness of engines.

Furthermore, …

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AMSA reports 9 serious marine incidents for April 2020

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) informs that there were 31 reported incidents involving domestic commercial vessels in April 2020. Of these, 9 were serious. The Authority highlights that reporting incidents is a crucial part in guiding the way they improve maritime safety in Australian waters.

#1 Non passenger vessel

Pilot did not disconnect safety lanyard to pilot boat before climbing ladder. It resulted in the pilot being pulled off the ladder and back onto the vessel. The pilot hit the railing and suffered a torn bicep.

#2 Passenger vessel

A crew member was attacked by a shark and died after swimming off the charter vessel prior to its return to Gladstone.

#3 Fishing / commercial vessel

During lobster diving operations, a crew member was struck by the dory’s propeller causing lacerations to his lower body and bruising to his chest. The man suffered serious injuries and was medivaced to Cairns hospital for treatment.

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Permit to work plays a role in safe operations, but seafarer is responsible

Gard discusses about the permit to work (PTW) which is on the one hand a formal authorization system to control work activities, but on the other hand, does not by itself make the job safe.

As stated above, a permit to work is a formal system to control work activities and is considered to be an integral part of safe work systems.

Yet, according to the Code of Safe Working Practices the permit will not make the work safer by itself, but is only one aspect of a safe operation. Work can be conducted in a safe manner only through the combined efforts of those involved in planning the job, authorizing it, supervising it and those who are performing the job. The personnel involved in performing the work activity are usually at the sharp end and most exposed to the hazards if something were to go wrong.

For instance, there may be items in the permit which maybe indicated as having been checked without the responsible person actually checking them or the conditions at…

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IMO addresses the importance of PPE during COVID-19

The matter of protective personal equipment (PPE) has been at the spotlight due to the spike of the COVID-19 crisis, with key stakeholders, along with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) highlighting the importance of all personnel being protected.

​Specifically, the IMO has circulated World Health Organization (WHO) guidance concerning the safe and effective us of personal protective equipment (PPE), to support decisions on use of PPE to minimize the risks of COVID-19 infection for seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, passengers and others on board ships.

It is stated that this guidance also concerns shore personnel intending to go on board, including pilots, port workers, port State control officers, shipʹs agents, etc, and those who interact with each other.

To learn more about the Circular Letter No.4204/Add.15 click herebelow








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Measures to prevent anchor losses while berthed

Amid the global economic downturn, the period spent waiting at anchorage outside ports around the world may increase for some ships. In this regard, Gard P&I Club advised on the risks involved in lost and dragging anchors which are the root causes of many groundings and collisions occurring while waiting at anchorages.

The key to ensuring that a vessel is safely anchored, and remains safely anchored, is the leadership and judgement shown by the Master. A significant factor in most anchoring incidents remains the failure of Masters to appreciate at an early stage that a dangerous situation is developing and to take early and decisive action,

...the Club advised.

The more serious and very costly cases occur when a ship drags its anchor in strong currents or bad weather, and where this leads to collisions with other nearby anchored ships, groundings and loss of the ship, pollution or damage to cables and pipelines on the seabed.

A “dragging anchor” mean…

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Celestyal Cruises stops cruises due to COVID-19

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Athens-based cruise company, Celestyal Cruises, informed that will cancel its cruise operations until 1st of May 2020 to avoid the spread of the disease.

In fact, this decision came following the Greek government's restrictions and the increased amount of cruises' cancellations.

The company is suspending sailings between 14th March and 30th April 2020 and plans to recommence from 1st May 2020, depending on the situation.

Every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight against COVID-19 and Celestyal Cruises is following this advice and that of health professionals and regulators around the world, and acting accordingly in order to reduce the risk of quarantine or medical detentions for guests and crew.

...the company noted in a statement.

In light of the situation, Viking also informed that it is suspending its river and ocean cruise operations until May, as a measure against the COVID-19 threat,…

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5 tips to stay protected amid coronavirus

Following the coronavirus situation, The Shipowners Club issued five tips in order members avoid the spread of the disease. At the same time, the Club recommends all members to stay advised concerning the outbreak by following the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisories.

To prevent the coronavirus spread, the Club advises to do regular handwashing, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Credit: The Shipowners Club

In fact, Shipowners Club recommends members to:

Manage their health Maintain clean hands Minimize contact Mask up when feeling unwell Monitor the news

Among others, the Club advises its members to be aware of the restrictions and health checks that may be imposed by port authorities of cou…

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Isolated decision-making may lead to accidents

Teamwork and collaboration play a major role in the shipping industry, as Gard reports that the isolated decision-making style leads to a gap between the one taking the decision and the rest of the team that has to follow.

Several flag state reports on navigational incidents support that a complete breakdown of communication between the master or the pilot and their bridge team may result to an accident. The Club highlights that a breakdown in communication does not necessarily mean to communication at all, but also includes one-way communication.

One-way communication between those making the decision and those executing it, is challenging and may lead to accidents. For example, master’s expectations and the understanding of any team members is characteristic of a culture of “high power distance”. When decisions are made in isolation during critical operations, such as navigation, the consequences of improper execution can be dire.

In addition, Gard states tha…

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IMO Sub-Committee to finalize rule for safe offshore power supply

The IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) which started on 2 March, is set to finalize the draft guidelines focused on the safety of offshore power supply to vessels' operations, while is also working on crew safety matters.

Specifically, the 7th SSE Sub-Committee, was opened by the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Umut Senturk (Turkey).

During the meeting, the IMO will address the need for global standards for the process of providing shoreside electrical power to a ship at berth, while its main and auxiliary engines are turned off.

At the same time, passengers and crew safety issues will be discussed. The draft amendments to the Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code on ventilation requirements for survival craft and related draft amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances, to ensure a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft, are expected to be finalized as well.

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