3.18 SETTING THE LOADING WATCH
When cargo loading is well and safely started, the watch should automatically
shift into a prescribed routine which maintains complete control over
the ship and the loading operation.
Watch duties must be clearly defined, and the periods and times of breaks
understood and adhered to. Two men should be on deck at all times. One
person is assigned cargo duties and gangway watch. The other attends
the mooring lines, fire wires and other matters as directed.
If the cargo officer stands his watch on deck, he should not leave the
deck unless some other duty requires him to. During the cargo watch,
the watch officer should make frequent rounds of the vessel, checking
and re-checking the progress of the loading, and inspecting areas and
spaces where problems can occur. It is an amazing fact that problems
seem to occur when no one is present. When the deck watch sits around
waiting for something to happen, it usually does! The best way of preventing
problems, is to be everywhere on the ship frequently! Forward and aft
store rooms, cofferdams, pumprooms, deck machinery spaces, the surrounding
water surface, ballast tanks and topped off cargo tanks all deserve
The deck officer must carry the ship/shore communications radio with
him at all times.
3.18.1 Routine checks
Regular check should be made of each active cargo tank and the observed
ullages used to calculate the time when each tank will be ready for
topping off. The frequency of such checks is dictated by the loading
rate. The cargo loading rate should be calculated and compared with
the hourly figure provided by the shore. Any significant discrepancy
is cause for concern. If a discrepancy arises between ship and shore
figures, the tank ullages should be checked and the volumes re-calculated.
If the discrepancy still exists, alert the shore superintendent.
Cargo loading pressures and temperatures should be checked hourly and
logged. Fire fighting equipment should be checked once each watch. The
deck watch should be instructed in the use of any equipment with which
they are not familiar. The deck watch must be instructed in the use
of the shore emergency shut down device (if provided). Maintain the
cargo status board up to date, and double check the cargo orders once
during the watch to ensure that they have been understood and are being
If the cargo watch officer stands his watch in a Cargo Control Room
(CCR), his deck watch personnel must be his eyes and ears on deck. Any
unusual sight, sound or incident should be reported immediately to him.
The rounds they make and the points to be checked should be set out
by the watch officer. The watch officer should know what each of his
personnel are doing at all times. The man tasked with cargo duties should
use the portable ullaging unit at least once per watch to verify the
CCR ullage system readings. If a tank is being topped off, the portable
ullage unit should be fitted at that tank and readings provided at regular
intervals to confirm the CCR ullage readings until the tank valve is
closed and for several minutes after.
The watch member assigned to moorings and inspections should report
hourly to the cargo watch officer in the CCR, indicating the conditions
observed during his rounds.
During each tour round the deck, the deck watch must check the condition
of the aft scuppers, keeping them free of water or oil accumulation.
3.18.2 Unmanned machinery spaces
Watch personnel inspecting unmanned machinery spaces must advise their
watch officer before entering and when leaving the space. The Engineering
watch officer should be advised of the inspection and results. Any defects
must be reported immediately to the Engineering watch officer and any
remedial action take only with his agreement. Access ports and doors
and electrical lighting must be properly secured when leaving the space.
3.18.3 Fire patrol
The social behaviour of the crew in port and the extra repair and storing
activities both increase the possibility of fire on board. The deck
watch should regularly examine all spaces in the ship and verify that:
- No fires or obvious fire hazards exist.
- No galley, accommodation, or store room electrical appliances have
been left on without purpose.
- Repair workers are observing fire prevention procedures and maintaining
an adequate fire watch.
- Shore crews handling stores are observing smoking rules and using
3.18.4 Watch equipment
In severe weather, watch rotation and break frequency should be increased
without reducing the deck manning. Personnel who turn-to on deck insufficiently
dressed for the weather should be sent back for additional clothing.
If ear protection is required in certain areas of the ship, it must
be carried by watch personnel and used as appropriate. On CCR tankers
all cargo watch personnel must carry a portable radio unit, by which
the watch officer can make inquiries and indicate needed checks/inspections.
Crew members making pumproom inspections should report when entering
the pumproom, when safely at the bottom and when leaving the space.
3.18.5 Vapour accumulation
If high vapour pressure cargo is being loaded, a careful watch on the
wind speed is needed. If the wind speed drops below 5 knots, the cargo
officer should increase checks/tests for vapour accumulation and be
ready to shut off loading if vapour accumulation around the ship is
noted. The engineering watch should be alerted to be ready to shut off
accommodations power at the main switchboard if vapour enters
the accommodation spaces.
The watch officer must lead by example in setting the tone of his cargo
watch. If he takes an active, vigorous and professional attitude toward
his duties, and clearly instructs his watch personnel, they will respond
in kind, and the cargo watch will remain fully under control.
3.18.6 Manning level
At least 1/3 of the vessel's officers and 1/4 of the ratings should
be on board at all times while loading. Either the master or chief officer
must be on board. The master agrees the minimum manning with the chief
officer. Vessel manning must meet company, flag and local rules at all