Prior to loading
- Each cargo space configuration (length, breadth and depth), the cubic bale capacity of the respective cargo spaces, the various lengths of logs to be loaded, the cubic volume (log average), and the capacity of the gear to be used to load the logs should be determined
- Using the above information, a pre-stow plan should be developed to allow the maximum utilization of the available space; the better the under-deck stowage, the more cargo can safely be carried on deck
- The cargo spaces and related equipment should be examined to determine whether the condition of structural members, framework and equipment could affect the safe carriage of the log cargo. Any damage discovered during such an examination should be repaired in an appropriate manner
- The bilge suction screens should be examined to ensure they are clean, effective and properly maintained to prevent the admission of debris into the bilge piping system.
- The bilge wells should be free of extraneous material such as wood bark and wood splinters.
- The capacity of the bilge pumping system should be ascertained. A properly maintained and operating system is crucial for the safety of the ship. A portable dewatering pump of sufficient capacity and lift will provide additional insurance against a clogged bilge line.
- Side sparring, pipe guards, etc., designed to protect internal hull members should be in place; and
- The Master should ensure that the opening and closing of high ballast dump valves (CH 3) are properly recorded in the ship’s log. Given that such high ballast tanks are necessary to facilitate loading and bearing in mind regulation 22(1) of the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, which requires a screw-down valve fitted in gravity overboard drain lines, the master should (ensure that the dump valves are properly monitored to preclude the accidental readmission of water into these tanks. Leaving these tanks open to the sea could lead to an apparent inexplicable list, a shift of deck cargo and potential capsize.
During loading operations
- Each lift of logs should be hoisted aboard the ship in close proximity to the ship to minimise any potential swinging of the lift.
- The possibility of damage to the ship and the safety of those who work in the cargo spaces should be considered. The logs should not be swinging when lowered into the space. The hatch coaming should be used, as necessary, to eliminate any swinging of the logs by gently resting the load against the inside of the coaming, or on it, prior to lowering.
- The logs should be stowed compactly, thereby eliminating as many voids as is practicable. The amount and the vertical centre of gravity of the logs stowed under deck will govern the amount of cargo that can be safely stowed on deck.In considering this principle, the heaviest logs should be loaded first into the cargo spaces.
- Logs should generally be stowed compactly in a fore-and-aft direction, with the longer lengths towards the forward and aft areas of the space. If there is a void in the space between the fore and aft lengths it should be filled with logs stowed athwartships so as to fill in the void across the breadth of the spaces as completely as the length of the logs permits.
- Where the logs in the spaces can only be stowed fore-and-aft in one length, any remaining void forward or aft should be filled with logs stowed athwartships so as to fill in the void across the breadth of the space as completely as the length of the logs permits.
- Athwartship voids should be filled tier by tier as loading progresses.
- Butt ends of the logs should be alternately reversed to achieve a more level stowage, except where excess sheer on the inner bottom is encountered.
- Extreme pyramiding of logs should be avoided to the greatest extent possible. If the breadth of the space is greater than the breadth of the hatch opening, pyramiding may be avoided by sliding fore-and-aft loaded logs into the ends of the port and starboard sides of the space. This sliding of logs into the ends of the port and starboard sides of the space should commence early in the loading process (after reaching a height of approximately 2 m above the inner bottom) and should continue throughout the loading process.
- It may be necessary to use loose tackle to manoeuvre heavy logs into the under- deck areas clear of the hatchways. Blocks, purchases and other loose tackle should be attached to suitably reinforced fixtures such as eyebolts or padeyes to be welded on for this purpose. However, if this procedure is followed, care should be taken to avoid overloading the gear.
- A careful watch by ship’s personnel should be maintained throughout the loading to ensure no structural damage occurs. Any damage which affects the seaworthinessof the ship should be repaired.
- When the logs are stowed to a height of about 1 m below the forward or aft athwartship hatch coaming, the size of the lift of logs should be reduced to facilitate stowing of the remaining area; and
- Logs in the hatch coaming area should be stowed as compactly as possible to maximum capacity.
The ship should be thoroughly examined to ascertain its structural condition. Bilges should be sounded to verify the ship’s watertight integrity.
During the voyage
- The ship’s heeling angle and rolling period should be checked, in a seaway, on a regular basis.
- Wedges, hammers and portable pump, if provided should be stored in an easily accessible place; and
- The Master or a responsible officer should ensure that it is safe to enter an enclosed cargo space by:
- Ensuring that the space has been thoroughly ventilated by natural or mechanical means;
- Testing the atmosphere of the space at different levels for oxygen deficiency and harmful vapour where suitable instruments are available; and
- Requiring self-contained breathing apparatus to be worn by all persons entering the space where there is any doubt as to the adequacy of ventilation or testing before entry.