Key Elements of Shipboard Emergency Plan, Seafarers Must Know

Written by Abhishek Dwivedi

The Working culture on tankers demands a high accuracy and safety concern in any person. It is very important for everyone to return back home safely after their work at sea. And so safety is not a destination, it’s a practice which needs to be followed daily.

Emergencies can be like fire in Engine Room, fire in Cargo tanks, the collapse of a person in the tank, the ship breaking adrift from her berth, fire in the terminal when the ship is at the port, the emergency release of a tanker from the berth and many more. So, any plan consists of some vital points which need to be carried out on the ship in the same way as described. No personnel can be exempted from these plans as the life is precious for everyone equally.

  1. Preparation for an Emergency:

Planning and preparation are two vital hands to tackle any unforeseen situation. Any dealing with any such situation requires a plan to face it successfully. For any plan to be made some basic information should be readily available with us.

  • Amount, propensity, and types of cargo carried
  • Spot the other hazardous substances
  • General arrangement plan
  • Stability information
  • Fire Fighting equipment plan
  1. Organization of Emergency:

In this organization, each situation should be initiated in the following way

  • Raise the alarm
  • Locate and assess the incident
  • Organize resources (manpower and equipment)

Elements which are too vital to make any emergency plan work are the teams formed during the situation. It is group task which needs proper coordination. Formation of teams should be like:

  • Command Center: For any emergency to be tackled successfully, a central command is a vital part for receiving and sending the order to the different parties. This center should be in command of a Master or a senior officer who have internal and external communication. This center needs to be authoritative in every manner to face any worst scenario and pass the correct command for the team.
  • Primary party: This can be also named as Emergency Party and should be in command of a Senior Officer. The assessment and reporting of the emergency to the command center is the task they will be carrying out. They will also advise the action and possible assistance either from ship or ashore.
  • Secondary Party: This party gives assistance to emergency party. They will work as the backup team under command of an officer. And also in-coordination with the command
  • Engineer party: This group commands under the chief engineer or the senior engineer officer. This group controls all the activities related to machinery space. They are also involved when extra manpower is required under any circumstances.
  1. Primary action:

The primary action is taken by any person onboard in raising the alarm and inform the duty officer of that hour. Emergency can’t be measured immediately so taking into an individual’s hand can lead to failure of the operation. Each party of the emergency group has a designated place to assemble where briefing of the emergency situation is done as well as the action to be taken are distributed among teams.

About the author

Abhishek Dwivedi

He is a Marine Engineer working with Shipping Corporation Of India. He completed his pre-sea from MERI-Kolkata, loves traveling, cooking and writing in free time. He writes about his experiences & all the learnings during his work on ship to educate his juniors & fellow friends.

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