Browsing the P&I Club’s websites can be quite enlightening. As the P&I Clubs bear the financial costs when mariners get injured or the ship is damaged, they can have insightful guidance. This month, one of the topics brings us back to the basics – routine inspections of the vessel by the captain.
The Club’s Ship Inspection Programme is aimed at the assessment of third party liability risks on entered ships on both the mutual and fixed premium products.
Many findings identified during a ship inspection are easily detectable by the ship’s officers and crew. It is relatively rare that findings are latent.
With increased commercial pressure upon the Master of a ship, some simple and potentially ‘old-school’ habits often fall by the wayside. For instance, we consider that one of the most useful tools for maintaining a quality operation and safe working environment is the weekly Captain’s rounds.
In considering this, first revisit the true prerequisites for the position of Ship’s Master – experience and superior certification.
The Master is the overseeing eye, carrying enhanced responsibility for all shipboard activities coupled with the role of motivating as the ship’s focal point.
Not all ships’ operational programmes allow for regular ‘Sunday Routines’ – but when an opportunity exists, an hour spent touring the ship with the Chief Officer can allow the Master to detect housekeeping issues as they develop.
The experienced eye of the Master can not only detect these issues early, but also assist the Chief Officer in populating the weekly job list.