General Procedure for ship departure and arrival to port

Before ship departure and arrival to port or anchorage, the duty officer has a lot to check for safe arrival or departure of the ship.

Departure and arrival forms are to help checklist information regarding ship equipment, regulation rules which might lead the vessel into coast guard problem, immigration problem, etc.

It’s well understood that every Maritime company do provide departure and arrival check list. But in most occasions, the officers on duty do take them to be for formality purpose. Therefore the main objective of this article is to guide and recommend why all navigators need to take the check list and/or other required documents to be prepare before arrival very serious.

Tanker ship on arrival

Who is responsible to prepare ship departure and arrival ?

The master of the ship is responsible for preparing for departure and arrival. This is carry out by a crew members from the appropriate department according to the structure. Before leaving or arriving the berth, all documented procedures must be follow according to the company safety arrival and departure form.

The master cannot commence departure from the berth or maneuvering, if ready for sea operation report has not been given. Also the master cannot commence estuary navigation, if the ready to proceed or maneuvering reports are yet to be given.

What are the things to check ?

To shorten this article, I will like to use bridge arrival forms as case study; on arrival, it’s important to check the followings :

  • Prepare pilot ladder ready for use, in case pilot required.
  • Start and test mooring winches, to make sure they are operational.
  • Arrange and prepare mooring ropes.
  • In case your ship required tugboats, also prepare wire ropes.
  • Secure and close areas which required.. ie. Spaces, lockers, unauthorized areas, etc. This is a security requirements.
  • Prepare gangway (only by masters order)
  • In case of ship anchoring, prepare the anchor ready for letting go.
  • In case of another country entering, check and raise the appropriate flag.

The above mentioned are examples of the main things bridge team need to check during arrival. Other list maybe added depending on your company’s form.

Furthermore, I will like to give live example of bridge watch keeper mistakes that may lead the ship into big fine. “I was on a ship during my 2nd mate, we left Italy and arrived Algeria early morning during Chief mate watch. Unfortunately, the ship went into Algeria with Italian flag up, instead of Algerian.

This little mistake from the officer on duty failing to play his rules lead the ship into coast guard harassment and fine. ” Some flags may look alike, yes, but every flags most put in a box with tags or name of the country, for easy access and understanding. Now, with the above story, someone may take it to be a small mistake, but NO, it’s not.

The coast guard also need somewhere to generate revenue incomes to the country, about all they are there to keep the law. So your mistake can be very expensive and unacceptable to the company involved.

Follow the rules , act when required and remind anyone who forgot his duties. When all hand on deck, that makes the team more strong and courageous output. You can add your opinions on below comment box, also don’t forget to subscribe and recommend this blog to friends. Wish you safe career at sea.

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