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Before the cargo pumps are started, the chief officer will assign the deck watch to designated tasks to begin the discharge. One crew member will stand by the manifold valve ready to open it. The pumpman will be standing by his pump controls. The cargo watch officer may be in the CCR or on deck if assigned to check the ullages of all tanks when the discharge begins. If the cargo is viscous or high-pour oil, the pumproom bulkhead valve must remain closed until just before the pumps are started, so one man will be assigned to open it when told to do so. The objective of carefully assigning the deck watch personnel is to maintain as complete control as possible over the start of the discharge operation.
Watch duties and routines to be followed after cargo transfer is started 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, the other attends the mooring lines, fire wires and other matters as directed. All personnel involved in cargo operations must know the location of the cargo pump stop switches and that whenever they see cargo escaping from the ship discharge piping or from piping ashore, it is their duty (after passing the alarm by radio), to activate the nearest pump stop.
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 rechecking the progress of the discharge and inspecting areas and spaces where problems can occur. It is an amazing fact that problems most often occur when no one is present. When the deck watch sits around waiting for something to happen, it usually does ... somewhere else!
The best way of preventing problems then, 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 empty cargo tanks all deserve frequent attention.
A regular check should be make of each active cargo tank and the observed ullages used to calculate the time when each tank will be ready for stripping. The cargo discharge rate should be calculated and compared with the hourly figure received by the shore. Any significant discrepancy is cause for concern. If a significant difference is noted, then ullages should be checked and recalculated. If the discrepancy still exists then stop the discharge until the cause of the difference is determined.
Cargo discharge 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 perfectly familiar. Verify that the cargo status board is up to date and double check the cargo orders once during the watch to ensure that they have been properly understood.
If the cargo watch officer stands his watch in a cargo control room (CCR), his watch subordinates 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 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 and the mooring adjustments he has made.
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 hearing protection is required in certain areas of the ship, such as the pumproom, it must be either available at the entrance to the space or carried by watch personnel and used as appropriate.
All cargo watch personnel must carry a portable radio , through 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.
If high vapour-pressure cargo is being discharged, the pumps must be carefully watched for signs of cavitation due to vapour formation. As the tanks are drawn down to a low innage level, it may be necessary to operate the vapour extraction system (if fitted), or to partially open a full tank of cargo to supply sufficient flow to the pump to prevent vapour from forming.
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.

5.18.1 Duties of the pumpman
The pumpman is charged with operating and maintaining the cargo and ballast pumps. It is his responsibility to see that they are ready in all respects to discharge cargo at the time the shore is ready to receive cargo. During the discharge, he should make regular checks of the pumproom to verify that everything is in order and to make minor adjustments if necessary. He should undertake no repairs while discharging, unless he first consults with the chief officer and chief engineer and the appropriate work permit is prepared.
The pumpman operates the stripping pumps and crude oil washing equipment to maximize the recovery and outturn of cargo.
Despite his obvious qualifications, the pumpman remains a subordinate assistant to the cargo watch officer. If the pumpman should initiate an action which is illegal (likely to cause pollution), or unwise, the cargo watch officer should stop him and suggest an alternative. If the pumpman persists, he must be ordered to stop and the matter referred immediately to the chief officer.
Fatigue is a significant problem for the pumpman (if only one is carried) and the cargo watch officers should give him an opportunity to rest whenever the discharge is expected to continue routinely for several hours.

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