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The actions of the cargo watch officer and his watch personnel will be guided by the chief officer's loading plan, the chief officer's standing orders and the cargo night orders. The loading plan has been covered earlier, in section 2.20. Cargo watch officers should read all three documents at the beginning of their watch, review them again during a quiet moment in mid watch and a third time before the end of the watch.

3.19.1 Chief officer's standing orders
The chief officer's standing orders cover the general requirements for safe port operations and must be used in all ports along with the loading plan.
Standing orders vary in scope, but should contain the following principal points:
- All officers are to read, understand and sign the relevant loading/discharging plan (cargo orders).
- On taking over the watch, the relieving officer must check that all valves have been correctly set for the operation(s) in progress.
- At regular intervals throughout the watch period he should check that valves remain correctly positioned.
- On completion of each grade, the relevant valves no longer in use are to be closed. On completion of cargo and draining of top lines, all valves are to be closed.
- On completion of all cargo, (and after any required waiting period for static accumulator cargo), all ullages and/or tank dips are to be checked.
- At regular intervals, the rate of loading/discharging is to be calculated by the cargo watch officer and any departure from the norm or expected rate is to be investigated.
- The cargo watch officer should call the chief officer immediately if he is in doubt regarding any cargo handling situation or operation.
- The cargo watch officer must maintain an adequate number of men on deck at all times to meet the operational requirements.
- Cargo operations must be immediately stopped in the event of:
Fire, on the vessel on or the pier.
Overflow, leakage or spill of cargo onto the deck of the ship or into a space other than a cargo tank.
Surging of the vessel along the pier.
Lightening storms in the vicinity of the vessel.
Occurrence of any accident or incident which requires the full attention of the cargo watch officer, or significantly detracts from his ability to manage the cargo operation.
Discovery of a cargo contamination situation.
Apparent misunderstanding with the shore regarding a significant cargo function.
Hazardous situation on the ship or pier which could deteriorate quickly into a spill or fire.
Call the chief officer immediately after ordering a loading stop for any of these events.

3.19.2 Night orders
The chief officer will supplement the loading plan and standing orders when necessary, by making up night orders. These are usually an update of the cargo situation. Night orders may also contain a list of tasks which the watch is expected to complete. As each of these tasks is completed it should be ruled out with a single line and marked 'done' and the time completed, along with the watch officer's initials.

3.19.3 Logbook entries
Each significant activity of the watch should be entered in the deck logbook, to provide a fully detailed record of the cargo loading and other activities. Logbook entries should be neatly written, easy to understand and include:
- Change of master or officers.
- Names and ratings of watch personnel at the start of the watch and any changes during the watch.
- Brief description of the cargo loading situation at the beginning of the watch.
- Changes in cargo orders or instructions received during the watch.
- Each opening/closing of critical valves or tanks.
- Each start, stop, resumption and finishing of cargo loading or loading of any grade and the reasons for any stoppage.
- Each start, stop, resumption and finishing of ballasting operations.
- Embarkations/disembarkation of all shore personnel, arrival of parts or stores and any significant telephone/radio communications.
- The weather observation at mid-watch and the end of the watch.
- Loading rates.
- Adjustments to sailing time and notices given.
- Inspections of pumproom and other critical areas.
- Sighting of any oil slicks which are not from the vessel.
- Vessel's draft at the beginning and end of the watch.
- Any accidents, incidents, or extraordinary occurrences; (junior officers should write up such entries in rough form for review by the master before entering them in the deck logbook).
Any errors should be ruled out with a single line and initialled. The watch entries must be signed by each watch officer at the end of his watch, and the logbook signed by the master and chief officer daily. If the officer's signature is not legible, the full name must be printed alongside the signature.

3.19.4 Cargo status board

A cargo status board must be diligently maintained on deck and in the cargo control room to provide an accurate picture of cargo operations progress.

The cargo watch officer updates the cargo status board periodically throughout his watch. The board is a plan-view diagram of the vessel's cargo tanks. Using chalk or erasable marker pen, the board is marked to indicate the status of each tank. If the ship is CCR control, one board is maintained in the CCR by the cargo officer and a second board is maintained on deck by the pumpman or leading seaman.
The purpose of the status board is to provide a quick visual reverence to the status of the loading operation. The illustration on the previous page is an example of a cargo status board and the symbols used.
Any defective cargo equipment should be noted on the status board.

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