- MPA OF SINGAPORE MARINE CIRCULAR TO SHIPOWNERS NO.9 OF 1988.
- Recently a timber carrier was lost with all hands on board in rough weather in the South China Sea. Investigations revealed that the vessel had sustained damage to one of her hatch covers (while loading logs) and that this could have been a contributory cause of the casualty. Investigations done by other authorities into the losses of timber laden vessels also confirm that these vessels are more susceptible to structural damage during cargo operations which could result in cracks in the hull plating. These cracks may not be discernible at the loading port or in calm weather. However, in rough seas, these cracks become apparent when the holds become flooded. If no preventive action is taken then, the vessel could develop a list and possibly sink.
- Masters of vessels engaged in the carriage of timber are advised to take the following measures. They should:
- ensure that the bilge wells are cleaned every voyage and the bilge pumping arrangements are tested before the commencement of loading;
- supervise the loading operations to prevent any damage to ship’s hull, frame or hatch covers caused by careless loading;
- examine the hull plates externally at regular intervals to check for any traces of cracks particularly in the number 1 and 2 holds and if any cracks are noticed they should be repaired before leaving the port;
- ensure that all the deck openings are securely closed and battened down;
- ensure that ventilators and air pipes are effectively protected from damage by the cargo;
- sound the holds frequently especially in head sea conditions;
- ensure that the vessel has adequate GM during the voyage;
- check the vessel’s list frequently during the voyage; and i. deviate to a port of refuge if it is discovered that the vessel has taken in water in her hold(s).
PART 1 – Requirements which apply to ALL deck cargoes
- Avoid excessive loading
- Adequate stability at all stages of the voyage especially with regards to :-
- Vertical distribution of the deck cargo.
- Wind moments produced by strong winds.
- Loss of bottom weight- consumption of stores, fuel, fresh water.
- Increase in weight – water absorption by deck cargo, icing etc.
Ensure the proper protection of water tightness ventilators, air pipes and the of lower compartments
- The height of the stow not to interfere with the navigation
- Access to the ship’s steering gear not be obstructed.
- Crew should be provided with a safe means of access : Underdeck & on deck passage, walkway
- The guard rails or wires should be a height of not less than lm and each set should consists of three courses. No opening below the lowest course should exceed 23Omm in height and opening above that course should not exceed 38Omm in height
- All deck cargo should he adequately secured. When timber deck cargo is stowed in any well it must be stowed as solidly as possible to extend over the entire available length of the well to a height not less than the standard height of a superstructure other than a raised quarter deck.
- A walkway must be provided on top of the timber even if the ship has a permanent passageway. Stowage : Compact, efficient lashings with accessible releases.
- Uprights if required – should be of adequate strength, secured in position by angles or metal sockets, and the spacing between any two uprights must not exceed 3m.
PART II – Additional requirements applicable to Timber Deck Cargo
Section A – applies to :
- ships not marked with timber loadlines
- ships that have timber loadline marks but which are loaded within the limits of ordinary loadlines. In addition to Part I, :
- In a winter period, HEIGHT of cargo above weather deck not exceeding 1/3 of the extreme breadth of the ship
- When stowed in any well, it must be solidly extended over the entire length of the well to a height not less than the standard height of a superstructure other than a raised quarter deck.
- A walkway must be provided on top of the timber even if the ship has a permanent passageway.
- Stowage : compact, efficient lashings with accessible
- Uprights if required – should be of adequate strength, secured in position by angle s or metal sockets, and the spacing between any two uprights must not exceed 3 m.
Part II : Section B -Additional requirements for Timber Deck Cargoes in vessels loaded to Timber Loadline
- efficiently secured throughout its length by independent overall lashings spaced not more than 3 metres apart.
- lashings secured to eye-plates- interval of not more than 3 metres.
- 1st eye-plate and lashing not more than 2 m from end bulkhead. If no bulkhead, 0.6 and 1.5 m from ends of the timber deck cargo.
- Lashings of close link chain (<19mm) with sliphooks and turnbuckles accessible at all times.
- If length of timber less than 3.6m- lashing spacing to be reduced.