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How to avoid hull damage by stevedores or damage of cargo due improper handling ?
In case a third party including stevedores is responsible for an accident caused by work, such as Cargo handling, Bunkering, or Loading ships stores or the like, the Master shall handle the accident with appropriate steps ships owner to claim for damages.
In case a hull damage accident has occurred due to stevedores, the Master and Chief Officer shall take necessary measures .
If possible, the Master shall, try to have the stevedores repair the damaged portion to restore it to the original state before departure.
If any damage has affected the seaworthiness of the vessel, the Master is not to depart from port until suitable repairs are carried out and Class Survey done as necessary.
Fig: Kyoto express incident
Tender of claim notice
The Master shall carry out the on-the-spot investigation with attendance of steve-dores side, tender the Claim Notice (Stevedore Hull Damage Report to the stevedores (Terminal superintendent or Manager only, not foreman) immediately after confirmation of the state of accident, and have him sign it.
In case there is a big damage or one affects seaworthiness, Master shall advise the Company by telephone immediately and if necessary prepare a detailed statement.
Sometimes the Claim Notice shall be tendered directly to the stevedore, other times to the Charterer, depending on the provisions of the Charter Party.
Pay attention to that some Charter Parties require Charterer to be notified within 24 hours after the occurrence of an accident.
Give a copy of the signed Claim Notice to the stevedores and agent and fax or email same to Company and Operator.
Report to company
The Master shall notify the Company without delay of the following:
Whether damage will affect seaworthiness of the vessel
Whether cargo operations are / will be affected
Whether personnel working safety would be affected due to this damage
Has damage been repaired by the stevedores or will they repair it next voyage
Can damage be repaired by ships staff and is sufficient material available
Any arrangements like shifting cargo or keeping slots vacant required, to facilitate repairs
Will hot work be required and presence of any IMDG cargo in vicinity
Any scaffolding / staging required for repair and availability on board
While Company shall endeavor to have the Operators repair the damage, there may be circumstances when it will be requested to be done by ship staff. On receiving such request from operators, the company shall consider repair by ship staff and if necessary, instruct master to carry out such repair.
Upon completion of repair, the Master shall advise office of following:
Ships name and voyage number
Date and port where damage occurred
Location and extent of damage
Details of repair work carried out
Material used, also including oxy-acetylene gas, electrodes, paints etc
Man-hours utilized (separately for repair and painting work)
Other pertinent remarks.
Arrangement of survey
If the extent of the damage requires the arrangement of a Class Surveyor or Damage Survey, the Master shall consult with the Company.
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