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As a Chief Engineer on a fully loaded ship you are stranded in an island near, the UK coast having no survey facility where the forepeak of the vessel is severely damaged. Explain your actions with reasons and the procedures to be adopted for making a safe return voyage to India?

Let us take a case of an Indian ship stranded near the U.K. coast and its forepeak is severely damaged. And the ship has to proceed towards India, let us see what should be done to make the voyage safe and seaworthy.

After stranding the following actions to be taken:-

  1. Reporting – Master should report the matter to follow authorities                                                                                   a) D.G. com center/ D.G. casualty investigation cell by e-mail       or fax                                                                                         b) Report to U.K. coastguard/ DOT authority by e-mail or fax   c) Classification society                                                             d) P&I local correspondent                                                           e) Owner
  2. Refloat the vessel after grounding:-Master should seek maritime assistance service from the U.K authorities. Arrangement of tug should be done. If the ship has got any pre-contract from any salvage association, the master should ask help from them. Master should follow a contingency plan given in the SMS manual. Tank sounding should be taken and sounding of the sea at various points to be measured. Any possible case for marine pollution to be kept in mind and a good lookout to be carried out. All these should be recorded and documented. Master should always remain in contact with the office for necessary guidelines and assistance.
  3. Underwater inspection:- Divers should be arranged from U.K mainland by a company for underwater inspection. Underwater inspection should be carried out according to the documented procedures and taking all safety measures like main engine isolation.
  4. Following actions to be taken in severe forepeak damage:-
a) See the extent of the damage. A portion of the damaged part underwater and above waterline should be assessed from the diver’s report. Vessel shell expansion plan should be studied to check which all plates or frames have got damaged.
b) All these damaged reports with a damaged plate number should be sent to class. The advice from the class should be taken for temporary and permanent repair.
c) If temporary underwater repair is possible it should be carried out, otherwise, some of the cargo will have to be offloaded to the barge and it should be arranged by the company.
d) After this make the vessel aft trimmed as possible. Proceed towards the nearest port where repair is possible.
e) Vessel repair should be carried out in the presence of class surveyor. After repair, it must be inspected and forepeak should be pressure tested.
f) While doing the above process, the P&I correspondent should help the vessel so that extra and unnecessary claims are not slapped on the vessel. Since the vessel has to proceed towards India, according to M.S.( construction of ship and survey) rule 1991, if the vessel has met with an accident and she has lost her seaworthiness then she cannot go to sea. So, in this case, the Indian administration would not allow the vessel to come to India with the damaged condition.

The vessel must carry out minimum repair at the nearest repair yard
and then proceed to India from U.K. coast. On arrival India, the ship should be inspected by D.G. approved surveyor. However, it is mandatory for any Indian shipowner to report to D.G. about any casualty happening onboard their ship. Similarly, it is mandatory for the D.G. to carry out the investigation in the casualty happening on their flagged ship.


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