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Cargo watchkeeping procedures in port - guideline for ships officer

On any ship safely moored or safely at anchor under normal circumstances in port, the master should arrange for an appropriate and effective watch to be maintained for the purpose of safety. Special requirements may be necessary for special types of ships propulsion systems or ancillary equipment and for ships carrying hazardous, dangerous, toxic or highly flammable materials or other special types of cargo.

Watch arrangements for keeping a deck watch when the ship is in port shall at all times be adequate to:
  1. ensure the safety of life, of the ship, the port and the environment, and the safe operation of all machinery related to cargo operation;
  2. observe international, national and local rules; and
  3. maintain order and the normal routine of the ship.
The master shall decide the composition and duration of the deck watch depending on the conditions of mooring, type of the ship and character of duties.

containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Ships cargo handling at port and watchkeeping procedures, however, involved many complexities, and careful consideration will need to be made for all aspects of loading and unloading. Summarized below are some essential check items that need to be complied with. Cargo watchkeepers should also bear in mind that the procedures discussed here are only indicative, not exhaustive, and must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

Watchkeeping duties at ports : The duty Deck Officer (OOW) and the crew of the watch shall carry out their duties in compliance with the below procedures:
  1. All relevant rules, regulations, and laws must be observed at all times
  2. The OOW shall observe the weather and report any drastic changes to the Master or the Chief Officer. In one of the following cases, the OOW shall call the Master in case of excessive wind velocity and if any other abnormal condition has arisen or is expected to arise.
  3. Gangway watch and patrols should be carried out following the vessel Ship Security Plan. All restricted areas must remain secured or manned.
  4. The OOW and the crew of the watch shall periodically monitor the water surrounding the vessel, for marine pollution, especially during de-ballasting and oil transfer operations.
  5. While moored at a shore facility, the OOW shall periodically check and tend the gangway and moorings, and take any action necessary to ensure the safe mooring of the vessel, considering local changes in weather and tide, as well as changes in the draft due to cargo transfer operations, ballast operations or bunker fuel transfer operations.
  6. The vessel must always provide safe access, well illuminated and with a gangway net .
  7. In case severe weather is expected, the frequency of Mooring checks should be increased, and the possibility of passing extra lines considered. At specific berths, the surge caused by passing vessels can cause ropes to part and the deck crew should standby at stations when vessels are scheduled to pass by at close range
  8. While at anchor, the OOW shall periodically check the vessel's position and immediately notify the Master if dragging suspected. He shall also pay attention to the movement of other vessels in the vicinity and notify Master if any causing concern.
  9. Rat guards are always in place on mooring ropes while at berth.
  10. Deck scuppers are to remain plugged at all times except briefly opened to drain rain water
  11. Ballast is not to be overflowed, and all DB tanks on containerships must be filled by gravity.
  12. a typical mooring rope drum
    Peridically check mooring ropes
    to keep vessel alongside

  13. Bilges are not to be pumped out
  14. The OOW and the crew of the watch shall monitor the emission from the vessels funnel and immediately report any signs of black smoke, soot or sparks to the duty Engineer
  15. Whether at anchor or moored at a shore facility, the OOW shall ensure that all lights, shapes, and flags are displayed, and sound signals ( at anchor, in fog) used following the Rules of the Roads (COLREGS).
  16. For Tankers and Gas Carriers, the safe operating envelope of the shore arms/connections should always be noted. The deck watch shall initiate Emergency Stop procedure if the risk of pollution is expected.
  17. Before taking over the deck watch, the relieving officer shall be informed of the following by the OOW as to:
  18. The OOW shall immediately notify the Master or the Chief Officer if he has any doubt for whatever reason, whether the relieving Deck Officer is physically or mentally fit for duty.
  19. In un-manned machinery operation, the OOW shall carry out arrangements for patrol of the Engine Room
  20. The OOW shall make a periodical inspection according to the Check List for Watch in Port.
  21. When an incident or accident has occurred onboard resulting in any injury, death or damage; the Master is to be notified.
  22. These standing orders may be supplemented by additional orders from the Master and the Chief Officer if required.

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