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Ships navigation - preparation for departure

Oceangoing cargo vessels preparations for departure ports involve many complexities and careful consideration will need to be made for safe unberthing.
Summarized below are some basic check items that need to be complied with. Watch officers should also kept in mind the procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Also specific ship will have her own characteristics The Master shall announce the estimated time of departure by having the sailing notice board updated soon after berthing. He shall ensure that “Departure Checklist” has been completed and that all items in the checklist have been complied with, prior departing.

Safety station for engine trial on a berth

The Master shall arrange Deck Officers and Deck Ratings at the following stations at Main Engine Trial after ensuring it is safe to do so.

• The Second Officer shall be at the Stern to ensure all mooring lines are taut and there is adequate clearance Aft.

• The Third Officer shall attend to the Engine Telegraph on the Bridge and keep contact with the Bow, the Stern and the Engine room

• The Bosun or an Able Seaman shall be on the Bow to ensure all mooring lines are taut and there is adequate clearance Fore.

• An Able Seaman shall be stationed at the Gangway to take care of it.


Station for departure port


Confirmation for preparation for departure

The Master shall ensure that the vessel is seaworthy in all respects before departing from a port.




Related procedures and rules

The Master and crew shall make preparations for the departure in compliance with the following related procedures in addition to these procedures:
  1. Securing arrangement for cargo ships - Design ,stack weight distribution & Metacentric height (GM)


  2. Procedures for securing for sea


  3. Procedures for Confirming Stability and Hull Strength


  4. Procedures for cargo securing and causes of lashing failure


  5. Procedures for Confirmation of Closure of Openings


  6. Procedure for pilotage


  7. Procedures for Smuggling Prevention


  8. Procedures for Robbery and Stowaway Prevention


  9. Procedures for Navigational Watchkeeping


  10. Measures to prevent drug trafficing


  11. Procedures for GMDSS Communication


  12. Local laws and port regulations ( also CFR, etc.)


  13. Ship Security Plan (SSP)


Related forms

“Departure Checklist”
“Passage Plan”
”Stability and Hull Strength Checklist”
“Stevedore and Cargo Security Statement” (as required)
“Visitor’s Record Book” (control of Visitors’ pass)
“Crew Shore Record Book”
“Ship Search Checklists”
“Stevedore No Injury Report”



More information


Cargo ships checklist for Departure

Deck officers guideline for watchkeeping in port

Passage planning guideline for oceangoing ships


More shipboard operation and safety matters

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Anchor watch check item - deck officers guideline ....

How to deal with a damaged anchor? ....

How to recover a lost anchor ? ....

What is stranding ? Investigation of possibility of self-refloating and urgency of danger ....

What are the emergency procedures for loss of anchor and chain? ....

In case of damage to anchor and chain when to claim for '' general average"? ....

Ships arrival in ports - check item prior entry

Ships navigation in restricted visibility check items

Rules of ships navigation in restricted visibility

Ships navigation in confined water - matters that require attention

Securing your vessel for sea passage - when to check and what to check

Collecting Information and Data for Passage Planning








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Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
Questions from user and feedback Read our knowledgebase
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