Taking vessel to Dry dock? Follow these simple steps for Safety and Efficiency:
1. Scheduled Dry-docks are carried out as per class requirements, twice in five years. Though vessel might have to carry out an unscheduled dry-dock in case of any accidents like grounding, Fire etc. Being a very important aspect in a vessel’s service years at sea, Dry-dock preparation should start several months in advance where permissible.
2. Carry out regular meetings of all ship staff to discuss dry-docking. All dry dock specifications must include smallest details of job assigned to Shipyard & same must be brought to the knowledge of all ship staff. Put special emphasis on safety during these meetings. Emphasize that No matter how pressed you are with workload, Never give any crane operation / risky job to trainees. Senior officers are directly responsible in case of any mishap.
3. All deck & engine officers must familiarize themselves with drawings/plans before vessel goes to dry dock. Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer, Second engineer should specifically go through the plans as they will be required to discuss issues pertaining to them with dry-dock staff . Ship’s Officers should keep copy of docking plan with them & understand location of drain plugs.
4. Walkie-talkies/communication equipment must be in excellent working condition. Good communication is the key to safety & efficiency during dry-docking. Ten working walkie talkies along with spare batteries in good working condition should usually be able to manage the show.
5. Stores to be kept well organized. Make space in all stores for additional supplies to be received. All stores received must be checked with what was ordered. In case of any missing supplies, raise requisition immediately. Ensure actual stores matches with the inventory in PMS.
6. During last cargo discharge operation prior docking, ensure all cargo tanks/ holds are properly stripped /discharged/cleaned to prevent any cargo residue remaining on board. Owners/charterers/shore terminal/stevedores to be kept in loop on this issue well in advance. Usually dry-docks are planned in ports close to vessel’s discharge ports. Time available after discharging should be utilized prudently to prepare for dry dock entry.
7. At least two additional crew members should be on watch with second/third officer during night time.
Watch schedule need to prepare in advance and discussed among crew members.
8. Never plan long work list for ship staff during dry-docking. Instead ship staff should be engaged in monitoring of shore labour. Jobs planned for ship staff to be carried out before or after docking. This is to keep track on quality of work being done by dock labour & avoids chaos during dry-dock.
9. All stores must be kept locked during docking to prevent pilferage. At least three set of keys to be prepared for all locks. To be kept with Bosun/Chief Officer-Second Engineer/ Duty officer-Duty Engineer for better organisation.
10. Dry-dock’s permit system & regulations need to be followed for enclosed space entries, Hot work and work aloft during docking.
11. Ship staff & Dock staff should not be working on same job together as language & cultural barriers might become cause of accidents.
Edin Maritime wishes you a safe dry-docking.