What is Contingency Plan?

Written by Amit Sharma

It contains action plan and duties of every possible emergencies on board. An emergency can occur at any time and in any situation. Effective action is only possible if pre-planned and practical procedures have been developed and are frequently exercised. The Contingency Plan provides guidelines and instructions that assist in making an efficient response to emergency situations onboard ships.

If the vessel encounters a dangerous situation that may develop into an emergency, it is extremely important that the whole crew know exactly what they should do to save their lives and minimize damage.

The crew must be drilled to take certain actions more or less automatically. However, nobody must act without considering the superfluous consequences. These plans should be used actively during emergency drills. The objective of an emergency plan is to make the best use of the resources available. This will be the shipboard personnel whilst the ship is at sea but may include resources from shore when the ship is in harbour or passing through coastal waters.

It has 5 teams for handling emergencies

  1. Bridge team( Command Team)
  2. Emergency team 1 ( In charge chief officer.)
  3. Emergency team 2 (In charge second  engineer)
  4. Support team (service team.)
  5. Technical team ( In charge chief engineer).

The plans should be directed at achieving the following aims:

  1. Rescue and treatment of casualties
  2. Safeguarding others
  3. Minimising damage to property and the environment
  4. Bringing the incident under control.

The plans should include advice on the following:

  1. Fire
  2. Collision
  3. Grounding
  4. Cargo spillage/leak
  5. Personnel casualty

Your ship has contingency plans you must be familiar with them and the equipment you may have to use

Following a marine incident or accident involving collision, spill of oil, fire, injury to personnel or worse, the Master, the bridge team and all the crew are in a very stressful and time sensitive environment. Today’s contingency plans require a huge volume of reporting and regulatory response. As most incidents occur close to the shore, where all vessels are at their most vulnerable, within minutes of an accident a variety of interested parties will be requiring the time and that of senior officers onboard.

Below is the list of various shipboard emergency and contingency plans:

  1. Abandonship procedures – Immediate Evacuation By Own Survival Craft
  2. Grounding accident and immediate action
  3. Collision accident – Emergency procedure
  4. Action in case of Man Overboard
  5. Action before entering fog
  6. Action in case of gyro failure / compass failure
  7. Action in case of Main Engine Failure
  8. Tackling fire – Emergency procedure
  9. Emergency Procedures for rescue – a guide to salvage operation
  10. Assist Vessel in Distress/Towing of Vessel in Distress
  11. Leaks on the Cargo System, Continuous Flow – how to prevent
  12. Leaks and immediate action
  13. Leaks from a Loading Arm due to Tidal or Current Effects
  14. Compressed air system – Gas carrier immediate actions
  15. Risk of Overfilling of Cargo Tank during Loading
  16. Cargo tank ruptures due to increased pressure – emergency procedure for gas carriers
  17. Loss of power supplies – emergency actions
  18. Risk and hazards of Equipment failure
  19. Loss of Instrumentation during Unloading Operations – Recommended actions by Liquefied Gas carriers
  20. Risk and hazards of Nitrogen Loss 
  21. Gas carriers Loss of Instrumentation during Loading Operations
  22. Gas carriers Structural Damage due to Incorrect Loading/Unloading Sequence


About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.