Tag Archives: Officer of the watch

SOLAS V and Steering Gear

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Steering Gear

Stern of Isle of Wight Ferry Leaving Portsmouth

Another Regulation of SOLAS V-Safety of Navigation-explored

And so the wader through SOLAS V continues with its equipment related theme. This time its the steering gear, and in particular. the tests an Officer of the Watch must conduct.

Regulation 26-Steering gear- Testing and Drills

This Regulation within SOLAS V contains the requirements for the pre-sailing tests of steering gear tests.

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Regulation 26>

When should the pre-departure testing of steering gear be conducted?

It should be tested within 12 hours before departure

What equipment should include within the steering gear testing procedure?

  • The main steering gear
  • The auxiliary steering gear
  • The remote steering gear control systems
  • The steering positions located on the navigation bridge
  • The emergency power supply
  • The rudder angle indicators in relation to the actual position of the rudder
  • The remote steering gear control system power failure alarms
  • The steering gear power unit failure alarms
  • The automatic isolating arrangements and other automatic equipment

What tests and checks should be included in the steering gear testing procedures?

  • The full movement of the rudder according to the required capabilities of the steering gear
  • A visual inspection for the steering gear and its connecting linkage
  • The operation of the means of communication between the navigation bridge and steering gear compartment


The flag state may waive the requirements to carry out the checks and tests for ships which regularly engage on short voyages. Such ships shall carry out these checks and tests at least once every week.

How often should the emergency steering gear be tested?

Emergency steering drills shall take place at least once every three months.

These drills shall include

  • Direct control within the steering gear compartment
  • The communications procedure with the navigation bridge
  • Where applicable, the operation of alternative power supplies

The date upon which the checks and tests are carried out and the date and details of emergency steering drills carried shall be recorded.

What should be displayed regarding the steering gear change over procedures?

A simple operating instructions with a block diagram showing the change-over procedures for remote steering gear control systems. This shall be permanently displayed on the navigation bridge and in the steering compartment.

Note: All ships’ officers concerned with the operation and/or maintenance of steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering systems fitted on the ship and with the procedures for changing from one system to another.

Car ferry manouvering

In addition to the testing requirements, SOLAS V contains a short regulation requiring the use of more than one steering gear.

SOLAS V Regulation 25-Operation of Steering Gear

When should more than one steering gear be used?

In areas where navigation demands special caution,  when steering gear units are capable of simultaneous operation.

Click here for MCA guidance on Regulation 25>

A diversion beyond SOLAS V into the Construction section of the convention gives the performance standards required when testing the steering gear.

SOLAS II-1 Regulation 29-Steering Gear

How quick should a rudder turn?

At maximum ahead service speed the rudder must be capable of putting the rudder over:

From 35° on one side to 35° on the other side


From 35° on either side to 30° on the other side in not more than 28 seconds.

The auxiliary steering gear shall be of adequate strength and capable of steering the ship at navigable speed and be capable of putting the rudder over from 15° on one side to 15° on the other side in not more than 60 seconds at one half of the maximum ahead service speed or 7 knots, whichever is the greater.

Other online sources of information

A New Really Handy Guide has just been published

Cover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3. A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification

Part 3

Keeping Vessels safe

The third in the series of revision guides on Ship certification is now available for the Kindle Platform.  SOLAS safety certification and Security are the themes this time, with a bit of HSSC thrown in for good measures.

Click here to see on Amazon>

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The Safe Manning Document- A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Safe Manning Document

This post series now moves on to the certificates related to manning the ship.


The minimum needed to man the ship

What is it?

The safe manning is a document issued by the flag state that listing the numbers and qualifications required to man the ship.

Why is it needed?

It is required by SOLAS  Chapter V, Regulation 14 Ship’s manning.

“1. Contracting Governments undertake, each for its national ships, to maintain, or, if it is necessary, to adopt, measures for the purpose of ensuring that, from the point of view of safety of life at sea, all ships shall be sufficiently and efficiently manned.

2. For every ship to which chapter I applies, the administration shall:

.1 establish appropriate minimum safe manning following a transparent procedure, taking into account the relevant guidance adopted by the organization*; and

.2 issue an appropriate minimum safe manning document or equivalent as evidence of the minimum safe manning considered necessary to comply with the provisions of paragraph 1.”

The relevant UK legislation is  the Merchant Shipping (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/782,

The related UK M notice is MSN 1868 (M) Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping Convention: UK Requirements for Safe Manning and Watchkeeping

What does it contain?

Ships details

  • Name
  • Port of registry
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • IMO number
  • Gross tonnage
  • Main propulsion power
  • Type and trading area
  • Whether or not the machinery space is unattended and company as defined in the ISM Code

Table of personnel required

  • Numbers
  • Grades
  • Capacities
  • Any special conditions or other remarks


  • Ship particulars
  • Service

Issue  details

  • Date of issue
  • Expiry date
  •  Signature and the seal of the Administration.

Reference: IMO  Resolution A.1047(27) Adopted on 30 November 2011 (Agenda item 9) PRINCIPLES OF MINIMUM SAFE MANNING

How is it issued?

A manning submission in submitted to the vessel’s flag state by the company giving its manning proposals. This proposals must demonstrate compliance with STCW  78 for safe manning.

How are the qualifications defined?

Through the STCW Regulation and paragraph.

Here is a table of those Regulations:

Master and deck department
Officer in charge of a navigational watch on any ship on voyages not limited to near-coastal voyages Regulation II/1, paragraph 2
Master or chief mate on a ship of 3000 GT or more Regulation II/2, paragraph 2
Master on a ship of between 500 GT and 2999 GT not engaged on near-coastal voyages Regulation II/2, paragraph 4
Chief mate on a ship of between 500 GT and 2999 GT Regulation II/2, paragraph 4
Officer in charge of a navigational watch on a ship of less than 500 GT engaged on near-coastal voyages Regulation II/3, paragraph 4
Master on a ship of less than 500 GT engaged on near-coastal voyages Regulation II/3, paragraph 6
Engine department
Officer in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engine-room, or designated duty engineer officer in a periodically unmanned engine-room, on a ship powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kilowatts propulsion power or more Regulation III/1, paragraph 2
Chief engineer officer or second engineer officer on a ship powered by main propulsion machinery of 3000 kilowatts propulsion power or more Regulation III/2, paragraph 2
Chief engineer officer and second engineer officer on a ship powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750 and 3000 kilowatts propulsion power Regulation III/3, paragraph 2
Electro-technical officer on a ship powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kilowatts propulsion power or more Regulation III/6, paragraph 2

Other sources of information

UK Guidance on SOLAS chapter V

IMO Safe manning page


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​The Continuous Synopsis Record-A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>CSR

A permanent record of a ship’s life

What is it?

The Continuous Synopsis Record is intended to provide an on-board record of the history of the ship

Which ships need to carry one?

Ships engaged on international voyages. The CSR shall be kept on board the ship and shall be available for inspection at all times.

Why is it needed?

It is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety, Regulation 5 – Continuous Synopsis Record

What does it contain?

Ship identification

Registration details

  • The name of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly
  • The date on which the ship was registered with that State
  • The port at which the ship is registered
  • The date on which the ship ceased to be registered with that State.

Ownership information:

  • The name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address(es)
  • The registered owner identification number;
  • The name of the registered bareboat charterer(s) and their registered address(es), if applicable
  • The name of the Company, as defined in regulation IX/1, its registered address and the address(es) from where it carries out the safety-management activities
  • The Company identification number


  • The name of all classification society(ies) with which the ship is classed
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization which has issued the Document of Compliance (or the Interim Document of Compliance)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization that has issued the Safety Management Certificate (or the Interim Safety Management Certificate)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized security organization that has issued the International Ship Security Certificate (or the Interim International Ship Security Certificate).

What form does it take?

It has three parts

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

How is it amended

On each change a form CSR 2 is completed showing the new details. The original is kept with the CSR 1 on the ship and a copy sent to the flag state administration.

The Flag state issue a revised CSR 1 to the ship, which is given a sequential number, the initial one issued on build being 1

All the CSR1s have to be retained on board.

The CSR3 is a is updated with a summary of the amendments.

The Administration needs to keep a copy (which may be an electroniccopy) of each CSR document issued to the ship.



The CSR is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – S

It contains a history of the ship’s life from build to scrapping

It is made up of three forms.

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

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What is a ship’s IMO Number and Official Number?

Navsregs>Ship Certification>IMO and Official Numbers

Uniquely identifying ships

This post explores two of the terms used in the last post, two numbers assigned to all foreign going ships.

The IMO Number

A permanent number that remains with the ship throughout its life; a number that identifies a ship regardless of what name, flag, and ownership changes it goes through, from build to scrapping.

What is it?

It is number made up of the three letters ‘IMO’, followed by seven digits. The digits are the numbers used in Lloyds Registe against the ship.
Why is it needed?
It is required by SOLAS Chapter XI, regulation 3- Ship identification number

The number is to be clearly legible on all plans, manuals and other documents required by IMO conventions to be carried on board ships.

Which ships must have the number?

Passenger ships of 100gt  and above and Cargo ships of  300Gt and above.

How is it obtained? 

It is issued by HIS maritime and Trade on behalf of the IMO.

Where can the number be found?

On the Certificate of Registry.

Permanently marked in a visible space on stern, side hull, or superstructure, in an easily accessible pace on a transverse bulkhead of machinery space, end of hatchway, pumproom, or transverse bulkhead in a RO/RO space.

A useful link

IMO number website

The official number

What is it?

A  number issued by a flag state when a ship enters its register.

How is it obtained?

The number is assigned by the Registry with a carving note, and will remain with the ship unless it changes flag.

The number will be stated in the official log book.

SI 1981 No. 0569 – The Merchant Shipping (Official Log Books) Regulations


IMO number = Issued by IMO for life of ship

Official Number = Issued by flag state for period ship is on their registry

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The Ship’s Certificate of Registry-A Handy Guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Certificate of Registry

This series of posts will now delve into some of the ship’s certification in a series of posts about the individual documents. The posts are not intended as definitive sources of information, but as handy revision guides for those studying for Master’s, Chief Mates and Officer if the watch examinations.

DSCF3260The Certificate of Registry-The ship’s passport

What is it?-

A certificate that proves a ship’s nationality, It is probably the most important document on a ship.

Why is it needed?

It will be required when obtaining clearance in a foreign port and when boarded by officials in a war zone or embargoed area. It also of use when selling a vessel, arranging finance, or obtaining protection from a warship.

Which ships need it?

Any ship on international voyages, apart from Government owned vessels and very small vessels.

In UK law, commercial vessels under 100 GT and pleasure vessels less than 24 metres are listed on different registers. They need to be registered if sailing on the ‘high seas’ or visiting foreign ports in order to remain under flag state law.

How long is it valid?

5 years, or on change of ownership

What information can be found on the certificate?wp-1456347039822.jpg

Identity details:

Name, Official number, Call sign, IMO number

Ship description:

Port, Type of ship, Method of propulsion, Engine make and model, Total engine power


Gross tonnage, Net tonnage, Registered tonnage


Length, Breadth, Depth

Build details:

Year of build, Name of builder, Country of build


Name and address of owners


Issue and expiry dates, Signature

Some Useful information

  • The certificate of registry does not prove ownership or show mortgages.
  • It cannot be subject to detention and must remain on the vessel unless required to obtain custom clearance.
  • Many countries require the certificate to be produced on entering or leaving a port.

Where are the references?


UNCLOS Article 91 Nationality of ships

” Every State shall fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag. Ships have the nationality of the State whose flag they are entitled to fly. There must exist a genuine link between the State and the ship.”

“Every State shall issue to ships to which it has granted the right to fly its flag documents to that effect.”

United Kingdom

Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (Chapter 21)

1993 No. 3138 The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 1993

“Certificate of registry” means a certificate of registration which is issued to a ship which is registered under the Act and includes a certificate of bareboat charter unless the context otherwise requires”

Other useful Links

The UK RYAs advice on registration

UK Shipping Register 

Click here for the Kindle Really Handy Books range

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Ship certification- what should be carried, and why

Navsregs>Ship Certification>The Certificates to be carried

The last post in this series contained useful hyperlinks for sources of information about ship’s certification. This post will take one of those documents, the IMO circular FAL.2/Circ.127, and use it as a base for building a handy reference to ship certification. I have resorted the order into one that makes a bit more sense, added some headings, and listed the main reference for each document.



Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)– SOLAS 1974, regulation XI-1/5

International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) or Interim International Ship Security CertificateSOLAS 1974,regulation XI-2/9.1.1; ISPS Code, part A, section 19 and appendices

Document of Compliance-SOLAS 1974, regulation IX/4; ISM Code

Safety Management Certificate-SOLAS 1974,regulation IX/4;ISM Code, paragraph 1

Tonnage and loadlines

International Tonnage Certificate (1969)-International-Tonnage Convention, article 7

International Load Line Certificate– LL Convention, article 16; 1988 LL Protocol, article 16

International Load Line Exemption Certificate-LL Convention, article 6; 1988 LL Protocol, article 16


International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate-MARPOL Annex I, regulation 7

International Anti-fouling System Certificate-AFS Convention, regulation 2(1) of annex 4

Declaration on Anti-fouling System-AFS Convention, regulation 5(1) of annex 4

International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate-MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 6

International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate-MARPOL Annex IV, regulation 5

International Energy Efficiency Certificate-MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 6


Minimum Safe Manning Document-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/14.2

Certificates for masters, officers or ratings-STCW 1978, article VI, regulation I/2; STCW Code, section A-I/2


AIS test report-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/18.9

Voyage data recorder systems, Certificate of Compliance-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/18.8

LRIT conformance test report-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/19-1
Exemption Certificate- SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12



Construction drawings– SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/3-7

Ship Construction File-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/3-10

Stability information-SOLAS 1974, regulations II-1/, LL Convention; 1988 LL Protocol, regulation 10

Damage control plans and booklets-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/19

Fire and LSAimg_20160915_072700_hdr.jpg

Fire safety training manual-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-2/15.2.3

Fire control plan/booklet-SOLAS 1974, regulations II-2/15.2.4 and II-2/15.3.2

Fire safety operational booklet-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-2/16.2

Training manual-SOLAS 1974, regulation III/35


Manoeuvring booklet-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/28


Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)– SOLAS 1974, regulation VI/5-1

Cargo Securing Manual -SOLAS 1974, regulations VI/5.6 and VII/5


EEDI Technical File-MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 20

Technical File-NOx Technical Code, paragraph 2.3.4

Coating Technical File-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/3-2
Noise Survey Report-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/3-12


Nautical charts and nautical publications-SOLAS 1974, regulations V/ and V/27

International Code of Signals and a copy of Volume III of IAMSAR Manual-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/21

Manufacturer’s Operating Manual for Incinerators-MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 16.7



Maintenance plans-SOLAS 1974, regulations II-2/14.2.2 and II-2/14.4

Ship Security Plan and associated records– SOLAS 1974, regulation XI-2/9; ISPS Code. part A  sections 9 and 10


Ship-specific Plans and Procedures for Recovery of Persons from the Water-SOLAS 1974 regulation, III/17-1

Onboard training and drills record-SOLAS 1974, regulation II-2/


Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan-MARPOL Annex I, regulation 37

Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)– MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 22; MEPC.1/Circ.795



Records of navigational activities-SOLAS 1974, regulations V/26 and V/28.1

Records of hours of rest-STCW Code, section A-VIII/1;Maritime Labour Convention, 2006; Seafarers’ Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention,


Oil Record Book-MARPOL Annex I, regulations 17 and 36

Garbage Management Plan-MARPOL Annex V, regulation 10;

Garbage Record Book-MARPOL Annex V, regulation 10

Ozone-depleting Substances Record Book-MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 12.6

Fuel Oil Changeover Procedure and Logbook (record of fuel changeover)– MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 14.6

Bunker Delivery Note and Representative Sample-MARPOL Annex VI, regulations 18.6 and 18.8.1

Record Book of Engine Parameters-NOx Technical Code, paragraph 2.3.7

Additional documents required by ship type

Passenger ships

Passenger Ship Safety CertificateSOLAS 1974, regulation I/12

Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate -STP 71, rule 5

Search and rescue cooperation plan -SOLAS 1974, regulation V/7.3

List of operational limitations-SOLAS 1974, regulation V/30

Decision support system for masters –SOLAS 1974, regulation III/29

Cargo ships

Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate -SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12

Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate -SOLAS 1974 regulation I/12

Cargo Ship Safety Radio CertificateSOLAS 1974, regulation I/12

Cargo Ship Safety Certificate -1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

Document of authorization for the carriage of grain and grain loading manual -SOLAS 1974, regulation VI/9

Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability for oil pollution damage– CLC 1969, article VII

Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability for bunker oil pollution damage -Bunker Convention 2001, article 7

Enhanced survey report file
– SOLAS 1974, regulation XI-1/2

Record of oil discharge monitoring and control system for the last ballast voyage- MARPOL Annex I, regulation 31

Oil Discharge Monitoring and Control (ODMC) Operational Manual
 -MARPOL Annex I, regulation 31

Cargo Information-SOLAS 1974, regulations VI/2 and XII/10

Ship Structure Access Manual -SOLAS 1974, regulation II-1/3-6

Bulk Carrier Booklet -SOLAS 1974, regulations VI/7 and XII/8

Crude Oil Washing Operation and Equipment Manual (COW Manual) -MARPOL Annex I, regulation 35

Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) Statement of Compliance, CAS Final Report and Review Record –MARPOL Annex I, regulations 20 and 21

Subdivision and stability information -MARPOL Annex I, regulation 28

STS Operation Plan and Records of STS Operations
 -MARPOL Annex I, regulation 41

VOC Management Plan
 -MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 15.6

Ships carrying noxious liquid chemical substances in bulk

International Pollution Prevention Certificate for the Carriage of Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk (NLS Certificate)MARPOL Annex II, regulation 8

Cargo record book-MARPOL Annex II, regulation 15.2

Procedures and Arrangements Manual (P & A Manual) –MARPOL Annex II, regulation 14

Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan for Noxious Liquid Substances-MARPOL Annex II, regulation 17

Chemical tankers

Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in BulkBCH Code, section 1.6

International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk– 
 IBC Code, section 1.5

Gas carriers

Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in BulkGC Code, section 1.6

International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk– 
IGC Code, section 1.5;

High-speed craft

High-Speed Craft Safety CertificateSOLAS 1974, regulation X/3

Permit to Operate High-Speed Craft- 1994 HSC Code, section 1.9Highest, SOLAS 1974, regulation X/3

Ships carrying dangerous goods

Document of compliance with the special requirements for ships carrying dangerous goods– SOLAS 1974, regulation II-2/19.4

Ships carrying dangerous goods in packaged form

Dangerous goods manifest or stowage plan- SOLAS 1974, regulations VII/4.5 and VII/7-2; MARPOL Annex III, regulation 4

Ships carrying INF cargo

International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of INF Cargo-SOLAS 1974, regulation VII/16;

Nuclear Ships

A Nuclear Cargo Ship Safety Certificate or Nuclear Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, in place of the Cargo Ship Safety Certificate or Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, as appropriate -SOLAS 1974, regulation VIII/10

Other certificates and documents which are not mandatory

Special purpose ships

Special Purpose Ship Safety Certificate– Resolution A.534(13), as amended by MSC/Circ.739; 2008 SPS Code
Offshore support vessels

Offshore Supply Vessel Document of Compliance– Resolution MSC.235(82)

Certificate of Fitness for Offshore Support Vessels -Resolution A.673(16); MARPOL Annex II, regulation 13(4)

Diving systems

Diving System Safety Certificate-Resolution A.536(13), section 1.6

Passenger submersible craft

Safety Compliance Certificate for Passenger Submersible Craft -MSC/Circ.981

Dynamically supported craft

Dynamically Supported Craft Construction and Equipment Certificate– Resolution A.414(XI), section 1.6; resolution A.649(16), section 1.6; resolution A.649(16)

Wing-In-Ground (WIG) Craft

Wing–in–ground Craft Safety Certificate-MSC/Circ.1054, section 9

Permit to Operate WIG Craft-MSC/Circ.1054, section 10

Noise levels

Noise Survey Report-Resolution A.468(XII), section 4.3


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Where to get information on ship certification

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Certification Information

Here starts a series of posts exploring ship certification; an important topic for anyone studying for certificates of competency,  especially at Mates, Masters, seconds or chiefs levels. Starting at the beginning I have put together some hints on where to find what needs to be carried.

IMO information

If you have access to SOLAS, its Annex 2 is a good place to start to determine what ship certification to hold. It contains a list of the certificates required to be carried on each type of ship,NAVSREGSOLASCover and also gives a useful reference to the related conventions.

This annex is also available as an IMO circular FAL.2/Circ.127, MEPC.1/Circ.817, MSC.1/Circ.1462, which can be downloaded from their website.

Flag state informationNavregsCertTableMCA

The UK produces some of the best additional guidance on certification and here are some pointers of where to look.

The UK MCA  publishes information within their ‘Instructions to surveyors Survey and certification policy’  (MSIS 23). Towards the back of this document are some handy tables of certificates. This is available online from the  UK government website



NavsregsCerGOVheadingRemaining on the UK GOV.UK website there is a
useful page ‘Vessel classification and certification’.

This page starts with an outline of the main certification requirements.



To dig into the legal deNavsregsCertSItails for UK flagged ship’s, the statutory instrument is  No 1210 The Merchant Shipping (Survey and Certification) Regulations 1995. This is available on line.


In the next post I will extract the information in these suggested documents to produce a crib that will answer the question “what certification must my ship carry?”
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COSWOP 2015- The contents

The 2015 UK Code of Safe Working Practice for Merchant Seafarers is here (COSWOP); it is a new shiny edition, witimg_20160303_0950130_rewind.jpgh a new layout and new contents. This post contains gives an overview of its contents of the  Code as a handy guide to where to look for safety information.

This  new code of safe working practices is  published by the UK Maritime and coastguard agency   is in a completely new format from the 2010 edition.  The biggest change is the expansion of  the topic o safety culture to include leadership and ‘just culture’.


About this Code





















Chapter 24 HOT WORK

Chapter 25 PAINTING



Chapter 28 DRY CARGO




Chapter 32 SHIPS SERVING OFFSHORE RENEWABLES – to follow in 2016



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A new MGN 552 on RoRo cargoes- a really handy summary

The UK M Notice MGN 552 (M) has been issued by the MCA on the safe Stowage and Securing of Specialised Vehicles. It is a useful source of advise for any seafarer involved in loading Ro Ro Cargoes. This post contains a summary of that notice for those revising for examinations. If you are involved in Ro Ro operations then follow the link to read the full notice.


The purpose of the Marine Guidance Note is to draw to the attention of industry, the potential hazards when carrying Specialised Vehicles.

Click here for the the Mnotice


Ships should ensure that cargo is stowed and secured in accordance with the approved Cargo securing manual  before the ship leaves a berth.

During the voyage, lashings should be inspected at intervals appropriate to the length of voyage and weather conditions expected to ensure that vehicles remain safely secured.

Lashings should not be released for unloading before the ship is secured at the berth, without the Master’s express permission.

Cargo should be so distributed that the ship has a metacentric height in excess of the required minimum and, whenever practicable, within an acceptable upper limit to minimise the forces acting on the cargo keeping in mind that large metacentric height could cause the ship to roll violently in adverse sea conditions.

Sudden change of course and or speed may create adverse forces acting on the ship and the cargo. This is especially relevant for vessels fitted with high lift rudders, where moderate to high rudder angles may result in high forces being generated.

The crew should be familiar with the requirements contained within the approved CSM.

Ships’ officers and managers should carry out checks on lashings during audits and inspections to ensure that bad practices are not taking place, especially where operations are rapid and very repetitive.

The condition of lashing systems should be monitored closely.

There should be an effective maintenance programme for all the portable and fixed securing devices. Web lashings are to be marked and limited to a maximum working

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Top 10 MGNs Cargo work

UK M notices with a cargo work theme.

UK Marine Notices  (MGNs and MSNs) are excellent sources of information for anyone studying for Officer of Watch, Chief Mate and Master’s examinations, even for those not sailing under the British flag. Here are the top ten of the Notices with a cargo work theme.


1. MGN 107 (M) – The Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1999.

The new Regulations introduce additional requirements with respect to the loading and unloading of bulk cargoes.

2. MGN 146 (M) – The Carriage of Packaged Cargo and Cargo Units. Requirement for cargo securing manual.

3. MGN 198 (M) – Safety at Solid Bulk Cargo Terminals

4.   MGN 418 Roll-on/roll-off ships stowage and securing of vehicles.

5. MGN 60 (M) – Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code): 1996 Amendment – Carriage of Coal Cargoes.

6. MGN 157 (M) -Safety of Personnel During Container Securing Operations and while Working at Corrugated Bulkheads in General Cargo Ships.

7. MGN 282 (M) – Dangerous Goods: Guidance in the Carriage of Packaged Dangerous Goods on Offshore Supply Vessels.

8. MGN 531 (M) – Cargo Stowage and Securing: Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) – Guidance on Application of Section 6 of Annex 14 for Existing Containerships.

9. MSN 1231 (M) – Safe Cargo-Handling Operations on Offshore Supply Vessels.

10    MSN 1167 (M+F) – Carriage of Containers and Flats in Ships not Designed or Modified for the Purpose.

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