What is Chief Officer Instruction for Cargo Operation on Ships ? |

What is Chief Officer Instruction for Cargo Operation on Ships ?

All officers to read and sign the relevant loading / discharging plan. Any doubts should be clarified immediately.

  1. Relieving officer shall take rounds on deck prior taking over watch. He shall personally check gangway/moorings and make sure that only one door to the accommodation is open at all times. Handing over / Taking over of watches and conduct during watches in port to be in strict compliance with relevant Checklist.
  2. The duty officer is to ensure that the vessel is complying with International and Port regulations and company guidelines as laid down in the SMS Manuals and Circulars. Should the duty officer have any doubts regarding any aspect, he is to bring same to the notice of Chief Officer/ Master immediately.
  3. Hand lead soundings around the ship to be taken as soon as practicable after berthing, if deemed necessary due to low UKC expected during any stage of loading / discharging. The duty officer to be aware of the air draft limitations and available and minimum required UKC at all times.
  4. Duty officers should note drafts fwd, aft and amidships along with density of dock water prior commencement of loading or discharging, and same to be reflected in the port and deck log book and brought to the notice of the relieving officer. Frequent draft checks to be made also during loading / discharging to cross check loading / discharging sequence and final trimming prior sailing. Drafts should be checked at the beginning and end of every watch and same to be entered in the Log Book.
  5. In case of berths where vessels pass by causing the vessel to surge forward and aft, the duty officer and the duty AB to be standby at moorings and gangway, and if required ask for additional help. Further moorings to be ensured tight at all times.
  6. Method of contacting shore authorities for emergency / assistance, such as telephone numbers, VHF channels on which continuous watch maintained is to be obtained from Agents/Stevedores and posted in Deck Office. VHF should always be on low power when loading /discharging.
  7. The weather reports from Sat-C / NAVTEX to be read, and any adverse weather predictions for the Port area to be brought to the notice of Master/Chief Officer immediately. Extra Moorings to be put out as deemed necessary.
  8. 50% crew to be on board at all times the vessel is in port. Record of crew members going ashore should be maintained in the gangway log and the duty officer shall remain informed of the same. Any discrepancy in the matter shall be brought to the notice of the chief officer immediately.
  9. Port watch keeping timings shall be adhered to at all times. Watch keepers shall be sufficiently rested prior taking over watch.
  10. As a standing instruction shore leave expires 3 hours before completion of cargo operations. The following timings shall be relaxed if the vessel is scheduled to be alongside even after completion of cargo operations to meet tide/daylight sailing restrictions. Ship’s staff to be accounted for at the time of expiry of shore leave and same shall be brought to the notice of the master if any member is found having not returned.
  11. Shore leave shall be restricted in view of any impending surveys, inspections, receiving of stores or any other special operations.
  12. Duty officers and the deck hands on duty shall strictly adhere to the company’s alcohol policy.
  13. Gangway/Visitor’s log shall be signed by the officer on watch at the end of his watch.
  14. Any difficulty in dealing with shore personnel, loading master, surveyor, agent or shore security personnel shall be brought to the notice of master immediately.
  15. Any letter of protest received from terminal, port, surveyor or the agent shall be only signed by the master after making the necessary remarks.
  16. Shore leave passes/any remaining telephone cards with money shall be collected and kept ready when signing cargo documents to be given to the agent/immigration authorities.


  1. Gangway to be rigged in compliance with SSP, international and port regulations, with safety net, well illuminated and watch present at all times.
  2. Moorings to be taut and correctly attended to ensure that vessel lies securely alongside at all times. Any difficulty experienced in same to be brought to the notice of Chief Officer/Master immediately. Rat guards to be in place, one for every mooring rope and fulfilling the purpose that they are meant for.
  3. Access to accommodation to be controlled through one door only acc. to SSP, namely Main deck door on the side the vessel is alongside. All other doors to be locked from inside including wheelhouse/chartroom and full anti-theft and stowaway precautions in force, as required at the particular berth. Whenever appropriate and under instructions from Master/Chief Officer, extensive Drug and Stowaway search to be carried as per relevant Checklist prior departure.


  1. Loading master or person in charge of cargo operations during every shift to be identified and same to be informed during change of watch.
  2. Loading/ discharging plan should be strictly adhered to. If any change is required, chief officer to be immediately informed. DO NOT alter Loading/ discharging plan without the permission of Chief Officer/Master. Also Chief Officer/master to be notified immediately in event of any stoppage in cargo work due any reason.
  3. In event of stoppage due to failure of shipboard equipment, Chief Officer/Master to be informed and rectification of situation to be initiated immediately.
  4. Cargo Operations should not be carried out during rain/inclement weather. Do not wait till the last moment to close the hatches. During overcast condition, keep close contact with the foreman to be able to stop the cargo operation immediately. If in any doubt call chief officer.


  1. Ballasting/Deballasting operations to be carried out as per the plan. Inform Chief Officer if any difficulties faced.
  2. Full details of ballasting/deballasting operations and status of bilges to be passed on by relieved officer including any special instructions from the Chief Officer.

Constant monitoring of the soundings during ballasting deballasting to be carried out and same to be logged in the port log book. UNDER NO CIRCUMSANCES THE BALLAST SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO OVERFLOW.


Frequent rounds to be taken all around the vessel .In the event oil/oily sheen is sighted around vessel, make checks to ensure same not from own vessel and bring same to the notice of Chief Officer/Master immediately.

Duty officer to ensure that Garbage is not kept in open. Garbage is not to be landed ashore without prior approval from Chief Officer/Master.


Port and Deck Log Book entries to be made from time to time during watch and completed in every respect at end of watch.



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