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Practice of watch in port - Cargo ships procedures

Ships cargo handling at port involve many complexities and careful consideration will need to be made for all aspects of loading and unloading. A careful consideration should be given while planning watchkeeping arrangements for deck personnel & engineers working in machinery spaces. Applicable Port / Terminal Rules & Regulations should always be complied with.

The Master and Chief Officer may not go ashore simultaneously. Likewise, in the Engine Dept., the Chief Engineer or the 1st Engineer has to be on board at any given time.

At least one deck Officer and one deck rating shall be on watch at all times during stay in port.

Seagoing container ship prior loading


The total complement onboard should be at least 50% in each department, at all times, to be able to deal with any unforeseen event or emergency.

The Master or Chief Officer may assign additional personnel for watch duty whenever deemed necessary for whatever reason.

The Chief Officer shall prepare and post the port watch schedule on the bridge and in the CCR. The Chief Engineer may do so for his departmental staff.


Practice of watch in port

The Master may add necessary matters to the Standing Orders as he deems necessary.

The gangway (or any other access to the vessel) shall be manned at all times, in compliance with the SSP (Ship Security Plan). Identification and recording of visitors, securing of all restricted spaces and other measures listed in the SSP, commensurate with the Security Level are to be strictly complied with. The applicable ‘MARSEC” level board is to be displayed at gangway.

The Chief Engineer should not commence any work that will make the Main engine or vital auxiliaries inoperative, without Master’s and Port authority’s permission.

A board displaying the vessel’s estimated departure time and cessation of shore leave should be placed near the gangway.

Reference Rules : STCW 95 Section A-V/2 Part 4-3, “PERFORMING THE DECK WATCH”




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