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Personnel Arrangement During Cargo Operations In Oil Tankers

Principle / Watch Schedule

The Chief Officer shall prepare a detailed Watch Keeping Schedule and Person In Charge List for all personnel directly involved in Cargo Oil Transfer operations, and the schedule shall be posted in the CCR and on the Navigation Bridge. The Chief Officer shall ensure that sufficient personnel is available to safely conduct all activities required for Cargo Oil transfer operations.

Safety meetings

The pre-transfer safety meeting onboard vessels should include all the necessary steps and precautions and these should be discussed and documented. Moreover, cargo lines must be promptly and properly blown through upon completion of cargo operations to avoid freezing of cargo/blockage of lines. If cargo lines are found to be blocked, any attempt to clear the lines should only be made after a proper risk assessment has been undertaken and vetted by the company shore superintendent or the Designated Person Ashore.

All crewmembers and officers must be well briefed about the cargo being carried and the Personal protective equipment to be worn. The emergency procedures must also be discussed prior to arriving at the berth.



All ship staff must be aware of the Material Safety Data Sheet of the products on board and specifically the measures to be taken in case of accidental release of the product so that immediate action can be taken by ship staff.


Carrying oil cargo

Supervision Of Operations

The Chief Officer shall attend cargo & ballast operations to direct as to the operations at the beginning and end of work, before and after the beginning of deballasting operations, under rough weather and sea conditions, during tank cleaning and at all other major steps of the operations.

Personnel Arrangement During Cargo Operations

The Chief Officer shall arrange deck crew as follows:

At the beginning and end of cargo work, all officers and deck ratings should be available and positioned at the site in principle.
As far as possible at the beginning of operations the number of officers present in the Cargo Control Room and monitoring the operations should be more than one.
During cargo work, at least one officer and two deck ratings (including the watch keeper in port) must be on duty as to the cargo work, and one of them must be placed near the manifold. Sufficient crew should be available to man the manifold at all times, as well as to attend the moorings.
The Second and Third Officers should be on duty as cargo watch officer in two shifts, and the Chief Officer must give adequate instructions to the officer on duty. Such instructions, so as to effectively be passed on and monitored for completion, should, as far as possible, be noted down for confirmation.

The duty officer should make use of the white board provided to verify and confirm such instructions execution.

Deck ratings should be on duty as to cargo operations in two or three shifts depending on the case. The watch keeping in port in two or three shifts must be maintained all the times, but the assigned watch keeper in port should also participate and attend to cargo operations, provided his duties are being attended to.

The Chief Officer shall ensure that sufficient personnel is available to safely conduct all activities required for Cargo Oil transfer operations.



The Chief Engineer shall arrange engineers and ratings as follows:

During cargo transfer operations, the Chief Engineer shall have an engineer & crew member who are well familiar with the cargo handling equipment and machinery of the vessel stay on board in case of any break downs or trouble.

At least for the following operations, assign an engineer on duty to monitor the related machinery and to take necessary measures.

> Start / stop of inert gas system

> Start / stop of cargo pumps

> Crude oil washing

> Start / stop of deck steam or stripping pump

> Start/ stop of ballast pump.

The 1 asst Eng’r shall be present during starting & stopping of cargo operations. Also all critical steps in between shall be attended by 1 asst engineer.

The junior engineer shall keep the watches in Two shifts.

Further chief engineer may decide to regulate watches as per case by case.

The Chief Engineer shall decide the personnel arrangement and number to be present, in case of any emergency operation of the cargo work equipment and machinery taking crew’s ability and the actual conditions of the equipment and machinery into consideration.

The Chief engineer shall ensure that sufficient personnel are available to

The support group must be organized as follows :

When operations are taken over by the port helpers, the ship’s crew shall give necessary and detailed information including the characteristics and conditions of machinery and equipment of the vessel. Any specific matters that require attention, cargo operations plan, duty system, emergency response system and communication system, should also be given, so as to enable the port helper to efficiently cope with an emergency during their stay onboard.

However, All operations of the port helpers are carried out under the sole responsibility of the person in charge of operations, of the vessel side.


Duty Schedule

The Chief Officer & Chief Engineer shall affix the duty schedule both for deck and engine departments to the cargo operations plan, and put it up in the Cargo Control Room and Engine Control Room.



Related articles:

How to ensure safe working area onboard oil tankers The basic procedure

Ballast water management system

Oil pollution prevention method

General precautions for tankers

Pumproom inspection for tankers

General guidance for oil tankers

Basic procedure on pumproom management

Toxic gases hazards and related countermeasures onboard oil tankers





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