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5.13 INSPECTIONS AND CHECKLISTS TO PREPARE FOR CARGO DISCHARGE

Preparations for pumping oil cargo to a shore terminal include a significant number of detailed operations and inspections. To ensure that all necessary preparations have been completed, a written procedure must be in place and fully utilised by both shore and ship staff. When all checks are complete, a 'declaration of inspection' can be completed by both parties to document completion of the necessary preparations and indicate an agreement to begin the transfer of cargo.

5.13.1 Inspection checklist
The transfer preparations checklist is made up for the procedures and checks which must be completed prior to cargo transfer operations, including the preparations which are peculiar to that vessel only. The list for a particular ship will be more detailed than the listing contained in most mandated pre-transfer checklists of declarations. More detail is required on the ship's list because of the number of specific actions which must be checked to address the general requirements listed on the statutory lists.
Many precautions will be common to all tankers preparing to discharge cargo. The following are some basic checklist items which should be performed on all tankers:

Adequate mooring arrangements
These should include condition of the wires/ropes and winches, the number of wires/ropes used considering the conditions of the berth and the anticipated weather and tidal current conditions.
Adequate breast lines, properly tended are the most efficient way to keep the ship from ranging along the berth.
A procedure for making an emergency departure from the berth should be in place and agreed with the shore terminal.

Emergency towing
Towing-off wires should be made up on bitts at the offshore quarter and bow. The wires should be hung to the water's edge, stopped off with light line and laid out on the deck so that a tug can pull them to full extension without entanglement.

Safe access
Safe access to the shore may be provided by the ship's gangway or accommodation ladder, or by a shore gangway or gangway-platform combination.
The means of access must be properly lit, fitted with safety rails and net, non-skid treads and proper hand rails. It must be kept clean and free of oil or grease.
Careful tending of the means of access is essential. Changes in the level of the vessel relative to the dock can quickly damage or destroy any gangway or ladder which becomes jammed or caught.
If access to the ship is not restricted by a shore gate and watchman, then a continuous gangway watch must be maintained by the ship's crew at the head of the gangway. All arriving persons who are not members of the crew must be challenged regarding their business, asked for identification and required to sign a visitors log. Persons with no reason to be aboard must be refused access to the ship.
A copy of the ship's fire-fighting plan must be kept in a red, watertight container near the top of the gangway.

Vessel repairs
Unless approval is otherwise granted, the ship must maintain its ability to move under its own power. If critical engine components must be disabled for repair while alongside, prior approval by the harbour master and/or terminal manager is required.

Supervision
Continuous, vigilant, pro-active supervision of the ship's discharging operation is required. The moorings, cargo deck and cargo control equipment must be constantly attended with the objective of preventing any hazardous situation from developing. Personnel must be sufficiently rested, informed, trained and experienced to deal with any situations which arise. Effective communications between ship and shore are essential.

Communications
Communications between ship and shore must be reliable, immediately available at all times and appropriate for the conduct cargo transfer. Interruption or loss of communications is cause for stopping cargo transfer until they are restored. VHF or UHF portable radiotelephones are the most effective means of communication. The calling station must always clearly identify itself and the station it is calling. 'Ship-to-dock' does not correctly identify a call by the tanker 'Neverspill' to 'Berth 17'.

Transfer procedures
These must be reviewed in detail. A copy of the ship's discharging plan should be provided to the shore terminal. Details of shore lines and tanks to be used, discharging rate for each cargo grade, discharging sequences (for multiple-grade cargoes), static electricity precautions, shore emergency signals for shutting down, cargo stripping rates and sampling procedures should be discussed and agreed. (See section 5.14.1 and 5.14.2.).
The ship should have a details of its important cargo handling equipment available and a copy provided to the terminal.

Emergency shutdown (ESD) procedure
This must be discussed and agreed. ESD command may be passed by portable radio. In that case a secondary radio system must be provided as a back up. Emergency trips/stops for the vessel's cargo pumps must have been recently tested.

Fire-fighting equipment
Fire-fighting equipment must be ready for immediate use. Fire/foam monitor should be pre-positioned in the direction where they are most likely to be needed: the cargo manifold and pumproom areas. Portable equipment should be positioned near the amidship cargo manifold. Hoses should be led out and fitted to the hydrants at selected locations on the main deck. If possible, the fire pump should be run continuously while discharging (discharging relief provided through the hawse pipe wash-down system) so that fire water is immediately available if needed.
Verify the location and availability of both the shore and ship international ship/shore connection flanges.

Cargo hoses/arms
These must be properly connected and supported. The operating envelope of cargo transfer arms must be discussed and any draft/ freeboard restrictions resulting agreed. The chief officer should inspect hoses/arms for condition and reject any which appear to be damaged or otherwise unserviceable.
All cargo hoses offered should have stencilled markings indicating their installation date or a latest test date. If the hoses are not stencilled or the test date is more than one year old, they are subject to verification. Where hoses are not marked with test/installation dates, the shore terminal representative should be asked to produce the appropriate hose manufacture or test certificates before the hoses are accepted for use.

Scuppers
Scuppers must be effectively plugged and the tightness of the plugs verified before discharging begins. In addition, an arrangement must be put in place to:
Remove any accumulation of rain water from the deck without permitting oil to flow overboard and
Transfer any oil spillage from the natural accumulation poipt(s) on the deck to a safe holding area, without exposing crew members to direct oil contact.
The best way to prepare for removal of water or oil accumulations is to set up air operated pumps, such as diaphragm pumps, with suction hoses at the accumulation points, discharge hoses led to a slop tank and compressed air hoses rigged such that the pump can be started from a compressed air supply connection distant from the suction hose. (See section 3.31.1).
Drip trays under all ship and dock manifolds should be empty and prepared to receive any spillage (covers removed), before discharging begins. Any accumulation in the dock trough limits the capacity of that catchment to receive spillage/drainage for the ship following an incident. The dock trough should be checked by the ship's officer in charge before discharging begins.

Unused connections are blanked
On all manifolds unused connections are blanked. Each blank must be fitted with a gasket and fully fastened with proper size stud bolts made tight. This requirement includes bunker connections. Each offshore manifold blank must also be confirmed to be wrench tight, since it will be under the same pressure as the discharging manifold connection if the offshore manifold valve leaks.

Sea chest and overboard valves
These must be closed, lashed and sealed until required for the loading of ballast. Seal numbers to be recorded on the declaration of inspection. When ballast loading is complete and the last sea valves closed, they should be sealed again and the seal numbers recorded along with the time of sealing.

Cargo tank openings
Cargo tank openings must be closed gas tight before discharging commences. On non-inerted ships, the P/V valves should be set to admit air freely to the tanks as they are discharged. The suitable condition of flame screens or arrestors in the vent lines should be confirmed. On inerted ships, only closed gauging or sampling points should be used.

Cargo tank venting
Cargo tank venting arrangements must be described to the shore terminal representatives and their agreement received for the intended procedure. If closed-discharging procedures are required, these must be observed.

Approved hand lights
Approved hand lights bearing an embossed hazardous atmosphere certification issued by a competent authority are the only type of hand light approved for use on tankers.

Portable UHF/VHF transceivers
These must be intrinsically safe and operate on the internationally agreed frequency bands only. The intrinsically safe certification of such units is void if they are damaged or modified.

Ship's radio transmitters and radars
These must be turned off for the duration of the cargo transfer operation. The ship's main antennas must be grounded. The radars should not be operated until thirty minutes after all discharging has been completed.

Portable/temporary cables
Portable/temporary cables including the telephone cable, must be routed outside of the ship's hazardous zones.
Weather/exterior accommodation doors These must be closed and dogged. One door on the windward side of the accommodation and above the main deck, should be dedicated for access to the accommodation and all other doors labelled not to be opened throughout the operation.
All accommodation windows/ports must be closed.

Air conditioning
Accommodation or machinery intakes which could entrain concentrated cargo vapours and portable/window-type air conditioning units must be secured while discharging. Window type units must be disconnected from power and adjusted to the recirculate setting. Central air conditioning intakes should be fitted with a central gas detection and shut-down system if normal practice is for them to remain in use during discharging and they are located where hydrocarbon vapours may accumulate.

Designated smoking areas
These must be identified by the master, communicated to the crew and shore personnel and rigidly enforced. Designated smoking areas should be internal compartments with no direct access to an external deck or opening. Smoking is prohibited in all other areas of the ship and berth.

Galley fires
Galley fires should not be the open type. Galleys with open type fires must be arranged or equipped so that flammable gas cannot enter or accumulate in the galley.

Work permits
Hot work permits must be withdrawn or cancelled while handling cargo. No hot work repairs should be conducted in any part of the ship until thirty minutes after discharging is completed and then only with the permission of the terminal management. No other naked lights/flames may be used on board except in designated smoking areas. Cold work permits should only be issued tor essential repairs which cannot be completed while the ship is at sea.

Emergency escape plan
An emergency escape plan for the crew should be in place and have been rehearsed. An aft lifeboat swung out and ready for immediate use should be included in the plan. If the vessel has an accommodation deluge system and the fire main is not continuously pressurised, then the valve for the deluge system should be opened and that fact noted on the CCR status board.

Sufficient crew
Sufficient crew must be on board the ship at all times to deal effectively with any situation which may arise during the cargo transfer operation. It is the master's responsibility to see that the flag state manning requirements of the certifying authority are met.

Cargo transfer connection insulation
This must be verified before hoses/arms are connected. If shore cannot verify that the hose strings contain an insulating flange, then a non-conductive hose section must be used in each string. If there is any question about the effectiveness of insulating flanges, the vessel officer in charge must request a test of the insulating flange resistance. The measured resistance should not be less than 25,000 ohms.

Pumproom ventilation
Pumproom ventilation must be established well before arrival at the discharge berth and maintained through departure. The pumproom should be inspected regularly for leakage and any inspection observations logged along with the performance of the cargo pumps.

Warning signals
Unless alternative signals are required by local authorities, a vessel handling petroleum cargo at a berth must display:
By day, the Bravo flag of the international code of signals. By night, an all-around red light, visible for at least two miles, positioned so as to show over as large an arc of the horizon as possible and positioned so that it cannot be mistaken for any other navigation light.

5.13.2 Declaration of inspection
When all items on the vessel's pre-transfer inspection checklist have been conducted, the officer in charge prepares the 'declaration of inspection' (or other corresponding document), to indicate that the required inspection has been completed. Both the inspection and the declaration must be diligently completed. If an incident occurs and an investigation reveals that necessary inspection items were not done, the responsible officer's license is as good as confetti!
The declaration of inspection is prepared in the form prescribed by the owners, or by the regulatory authority having cognisance over the receiving terminal.

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