And here we have another Polar Code related post, this time is a guide to the extra document that will have to be carried by ships operating in Polar Waters.
A key part of the Polar Code is the requirement to carry a Polar Water Operations Manual. This post gives a quick summary of the contents of that manual.
To comply with the Polar Code this manual must be carried onboard.
What is the goal of the Polar Water Operational Manual?
To provide the owner, operator, master and crew with sufficient information regarding the ship’s operational capabilities and limitations in order to support their decision-making process when in Polar waters.
What are the Functional requirements of the PWOM?
The Manual should include or refer to:
- Information on the ship-specific capabilities and limitations in relation to the assessment by the Polar Code
- Specific procedures to be followed in normal operations and in order to avoid encountering conditions that exceed the ship’s capabilities
- Specific procedures to be followed in the event
of incidents in polar waters
- Specific procedures to be followed in the event that conditions are encountered which exceed the ship’s specific capabilities and limitations
- Procedures to be followed when using icebreaker assistance, as applicable.
Note: The Manual also shall contain, where applicable, the methodology used to determine capabilities and limitations in ice.
What risk-based procedures should be included in the PWOM?
- Voyage planning to avoid ice and/or temperatures that exceed the ship’s
design capabilities or limitations
- Arrangements for receiving forecasts of the environmental conditions;
- Means of addressing any limitations of the hydrographic, meteorological
and navigational information available
- Operation of equipment required under other chapters of this Code
Implementation of special measures to maintain equipment and system
functionality under low temperatures, topside icing and the presence of sea
ice, as applicable.
- Contacting emergency response providers for salvage, search and rescue (SAR), spill response, etc., as applicable
- In the case of ships ice strengthened in accordance with chapter 3, procedures for maintaining life support and ship integrity in the event of prolonged entrapment by ice
- Measures to be taken in the event of encountering ice and/or temperatures which exceed the ship’s design capabilities or limitations
- Procedures for monitoring and maintaining safety during operations in ice, as applicable, including any requirements for escort operations or icebreaker assistance. Different operational limitations may apply depending on whether the ship is operating independently or with icebreaker escort. Where appropriate, the PWOM should specify both options.
What are the contents of the Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM)?
Appendix 2 of the code contains a model table of a polar operations manual, here is a list of PWOM contents derived from that Appendix.
Division 1 – Operational capabilities and limitations
Chapter 1 Operation in ice
- Operator guidance for safe operation
- Icebreaking capabilities
- Manoeuvring in ice
- Special features Guidance
Chapter 2 Operation in low air temperatures
- System design
Chapter 3 Communication and navigation capabilities in high latitudes
Chapter 4 Voyage duration
Division 2 – Ship operations
Chapter 1 Strategic planning
- Avoidance of hazardous ice
- Avoidance of hazardous temperatures
- Voyage duration and endurance
- Human resources management
Chapter 2 Arrangements for receiving forecasts of environmental conditions
- Ice information
- Meteorological information
Chapter 3 Verification of hydrographic, meteorological and navigational information
Chapter 4 Operation of Special Equipment
- Navigation systems
- Communications systems
Chapter 5 Procedures to maintain equipment and system functionality
- Icing prevention and de-icing
- Operation of seawater systems
- Procedures for low temperature operations
Division 3 – Risk management
Chapter 1 Risk mitigation in limiting environmental condition
- Measures to be considered in adverse ice conditions
- Measures to be considered in adverse temperature conditions
Chapter 2 Emergency response
- Damage control
- Escape and evacuation
Chapter 3 Coordination with emergency response services
- Ship emergency response
Chapter 4 Procedures for maintaining life support and ship integrity in the event of
prolonged entrapment by ice.
- System configuration
- System operation