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EMERGENCIES: POLLUTION

The following text prepared is keeping in mind, the resolution A.1072(28) adopted on 4 December 2013, ‘Revised guidelines for a structure of an integrated system of contingency planning for shipboard emergencies’. The following objectives are kept in mind:

  1. Identifying and following common action items to avoid confusion.
  2. Crew is arranged into various teams and the team structure does not change as various emergencies are tackled.
  3. Similar duties are assigned to crew members, as far as practicable.
  4. None of the important duties are missed out.
  5. Precious time is not lost.

Emergency: Pollution

Signal: Continuous sounding of ship’s electrical bell or ship’s whistle for not less than 10 seconds. ‘Pollution forward portside or Starboard side, etc’ is spoken on ship’s address system.

Emergency: Pollution of Sea

Sr. NoRankGen Specific duties for pollution
 Bridge Team
1MasterOverall In charge with stations at Bridge. Reduce speed and adjust heading considering emergency. Head in a direction to direct off the vapours from ship. Stop any transfer of Cargo / Oil / bunkers. Shift bunkers / Cargo to mitigate pollutionSend message to nearest Port Control, Coast Station and Flag State Communication CentrePrepare for transmission of Urgency / Safety message. Situation report. Urgency / Safety as per situation. Report name call sign, position, pollution of sea (standardized format)Ensure record keeping.  Call for external response (if necessary)
63rd OfficerAssist Master in communication. Assist Master in navigation and course keeping. Log keeping.
161 H/manOn bridge
 Attack Team
2Ch OfficerIn charge Attack Team. Brief specific duties after head count.  At site, do damage assessment. Monitor pollution. Make assessment of polluted content. Determine cause / source of pollution. Make assessment of stability, stresses, etc in consultation with Master. Take immediate measures to prevent oil flowing out with crew 3, 4 & 5 and saloon 3 and 4. SMPEP initiated.  
9Fitter1Fire fighting appliances, SCBA at site.
17Crew 3After taking soundings assist Ch Officer.
18Crew 4Portable firex at site.
19Crew 5Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc.
22Salon 3Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc.
23Salon 4Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc.
 Engine Room Team
3Ch EngineerOverall In charge E/R. Brief specific duties after muster. In communication with Master and 2nd engineer. While bunkering and oil transfer take charge of operations. Suspend each transfer operation at spillage.
84th EngineerAssist Chief Engineer
14ER 1Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc
15ER 2Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc
 Technical Team
42nd EngineerAssessment of oil tanks. Cause finding with Ch Officer and Chief Engineer. Closing of required valves, redirecting bunkers to alternate tank, etc in consultation with Ch Engineer. Maneuver engines if sailing, otherwise assist Chief Engineer.
73rd EngineerAssist 2nd engineer
10Fitter 2Soundings E/R,
11ElectricianAssist 2nd Engineer Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc
24ER 3Assist 2nd Engineer Marine Spill Kit, saw dust, absorbent, pads, rolls, etc
 Support Team
52nd OfficerHead Count, Back up to Ch off. Attend to immediate operations on deck regarding suspending the operations.
12Crew 1Assist 2nd officer
13Crew 2Assist 2nd officer
20Saloon 1Assist 2nd office
21Saloon 2Assist 2nd  officer

[A] “Initial actions”

Person who detects pollution in water must first ring nearest alarm.
The headcount of Attack Team, Support Team and Technical Team may be done at site with crew attending to immediate action at the same time. Engine Room Team may report from scheduled location in engine room. Reports are made to Bridge. Briefing of specific duties considering emergency. The ship’s speed is reduced if underway. The vessel is headed in the direction in which vapours are deflected off.

The initial report is prepared and transmitted to Port Control and Designated Coastal Authority. IMO format is used for initial notification. ‘Emergency Response Services’ is notified. Urgency / Safety message is transmitted as appropriate.

[B] Master’s Responsibilities

The Master is responsible for the organizing emergency handling and for the availability and immediate use of the systems and equipment available but should delegate the various tasks to suitable qualified officers. He should conduct brief meeting with senior officers or instructions by radio phone.

[C] Measures to be taken
SMPEP is activated. Immediate suspension of oil transfer, etc is executed. Three most important things are:

  1. Immediate action to mitigate pollution by operation of controls, etc and controlling spill by equipment.
  2. Reporting is very important in appropriate format, stating the action being taken by ship’s staff.
  3. Preventive safety measures including readiness with FFA.

In case of a tank damage, damage stability computer and damage control plan is kept handy. ERS is updated. Buoyancy, strength and stability calculations are done if required. Guidance taken from similar condition of loading and damage, in case the hull breach is discovered.

[D] Consider immediate Mitigation and Repairs if possible
Consider reduction of damage, attending root cause. Consider blocking small holes, prevent / reduce damage, making cement box, etc. In case of operational spill, crew members should mobilize the oil spill equipment. The damage to pipeline may indicate a problem in pipeline, valve, hose or metal arm, etc. The operations should be stopped immediately. The removed bunker oil and the used clean-up material should be retained on board in proper containment units until it can be discharged to a reception facility. If there is a tank overflow all bunker operations should be stopped immediately. The vapors must not enter accommodation or engine room. If operational oil spills are caused by a failure of equipment in machinery spaces any further operations of this equipment should be stopped immediately In the event of a casualty, the crew’s first priority is to ensure the safety of the other personnel, and to initiate actions which may prevent escalation of the incident and the marine pollution.

[E] Reporting
Updating the concerned bodies with timely report is important. Thus,

[F] Steps to initiate external response:
Master must:

Thereafter, a report is prepared in respect of the cause of pollution and proposed solution and sent to owners and coast guards considering the following areas:

[G] Non-conformity report
All non-conformities/deficiencies becoming known by the Master, officers and responsible crew members in connection with measures should be collected, recorded and sent to the company/designated person(s) or other, nominated person(s) as soon as possible.

[H] Restore normal ship routine/operation
The final report is sent to all concerned parties regarding updated status.

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