1. In recent past various incidents/casualties occurred on vessels deployed on various support duties, including towing, anchor handling, supply duties, etc., during inclement weather conditions. These vessels continued with their assigned duties despite having adequate warning of the imminent adverse weather conditions. This caused major damages to ships and even loss of life in some cases.
2. These incidents provides an opportunity to re-look at Standard Operating Procedures and Safety Management System implemented by Management Companies involved in decision making. It infers that the vessels did not take the most important action of moving away from the site of the inclement weather, despite warning.
3. Few effective ways to prevent this type of incident in future could be:
a) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are in place for actions to be taken in case of inclement weather condition / monsoon period and exercises and drills undertaken onboard ship, within company and external parties.
b) Preparedness of vessel for inclement weather condition / monsoon period to ensure that weather tightness of vessel is maintained, all essential machineries working in satisfactory condition, all communication equipment & lifesaving appliances are readily available for use in-case of any emergency.
c) Risk Assessment and Mitigation measures based on weather forecast are undertaken to take vessel to safe / shelter area.
d) Risk Assessment & Mitigation measures based on weather forecast are undertaken to ensure safe towing operations during fair or foul weather season and flag instruction/guidelines for towing operations are complied with as applicable.
e) Manning of vessel is maintained at all times as per flag requirements to ensure operational capability of vessel.
4. Ship Owners & Managers are advised to take note of above in order that preventive actions are taken to avoid occurrence of similar situations in future.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.