What is Difference between Official Logbook, Deck And Engine Room Log Book?

Official log book

As per MSA 1958 official log book:-
MSA 212-1:-  An official log shall be kept in the prescribed form in every Indian ship except a home-trade ship of less than two hundred tons gross.(200).
MSA 212-2:- The official log may, at the discretion of the master or owner, be kept distinct from or united with the ordinary ship’s log so that in all cases the spaces in the official log book be duly filled up.

  1. Must be kept on every ship unless exempted it is available with engagement and discharge documents from concerned flag state officer.
  2. Must be completed in accordance with M.S. act (official log book)
  3. Must be kept in one book covering all seamen onboard and remains in force from time of opening crew agreement until closure of crew agreement.
  4. It must be delivered on closure to flag state concerned.
  5. It must be produced by master if demanded to the superintendent /surveyor, port authorities etc.
  6. Each entry must be dated and signed, witnessed in accordance with the regulations and the schedule.
Official log book summery:-
  1. Front cover: Contains ship’s particulars, date and place of opening and closing official log book.
  2. Record of seamen employed in the ship.
  3. Entries of birth and deaths, deceased seaman’s property, death inquiry.
  4. Record of musters, boat drills and fire drills, training of crew, inspection of life saving appliances and fire fighting equipment.
  5. Record of test drills and inspections of ship’s steering gear.
  6. Record of tests and inspection of pilot hoists.
  7. Record of inspection of crew accommodation.
  8. Record of inspections carried out in accordance with ILO convention no. 68 of 1946 of supplies of food and water provided for the crew.
  9. Load line, depth of loading.
  10. Dates of departure from and arrival at each port with draught of water and freeboard.
  11. Sailing short handed.
  12. Accidents, distress incidents, reasons for not going to assistance.
  13. Wage disputes, discharges of crew, crew left behind, property of crew left behind, illnesses and injuries.
  14. Code of conduct breaches by crew.
Supplementary Official Logs and Records
  1. Official log book(part II passenger ships):- It maintains recording of the opening and closing of water tight doors, closing and opening in hulls and water tight bulkheads.
  2. Radio telegraph log:- In includes routine test, particulars of messages transmitted and        received.
  3. Radio telephone log:-It records details of operators, battery condition, battery      charging, messages transmitted and received.
  4. GMDSS log:-It records distress signals, safety traffic communication n the position of the ship at least once a day.
  5. Oil record books ;
Deck log book:
  1. The deck log book of a ship is an important document that is used to record various data, scenario and situations (including emergency situation and action which is later used for reference, case study and for insurance purpose in case of damage to the ship or loss of ship’s property.
  2. The deck log may, at the discretion of the master or owner, can be kept united with the ship’s official log book log so that in all cases the spaces in the official log book be duly filled up. For this reason the log book of a ship should be properly filled without any errors.
  3. Following are the entries which must be filled up by the Deck officer during his/her watch:(for reference only)
  4. Position of the ship in Latitude and Longitude at different intervals
  5. Time to be noted when Navigation marks are passed
  6. Time, details and reason if there is any course alteration
  7. Condition of weather and changes if any
  8. Movement of the ship at sea including rolling, pitching, heaving etc
  9. Details of any abnormal condition
  10. Speed of the propulsion engine and speed of the ship in knots
  11. If involved in any kind of accidents like stranding, grounding etc. then details for the same
  12. Entry to be made if any physical contact with floating object or vessel is made
  13. Details of the distress signal received
  14. Entry for what kind of assistance is given to the distress signal sender
  15. If salvage operation is performed, complete details to be entered
  16. If there is an oil spill or other pollution accident, position of the ship, time and complete incident to be recorded
  17. Record of general watch routines performed including fire watch
  18. Time of arrival and departure and ETA.
  19. If berthing or anchoring is planned, time for the same to be noted.

Other entries as required by master, company and administration should also be recorded in the log book without fail.

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.

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