A few years ago there might well have been questions on why a leading
P&I Club would be sponsoring a Handbook for modern tankship
operations with its underlying IMO principle of 'safer ships and
cleaner seas'. At that time the view of the industry might have been
that ship operations should be left to those operating vessels and that
the role of P&I Clubs was to protect owners from possible liabilities
and to indemnify those who had claims against such owners. Although
I doubt if such a view was ever correct it would certainly not be so
Today P&I Clubs must not only provide their traditional services
to their members but must also be more proactive in the prevention of
accidents. This is not an altruistic aim. 'Safer ships and cleaner seas'
means fewer liabilities and smaller claims. That, in turn, means lower
costs all round. In other words the principle is simply good business!
Card is, of course, fully conscious of some of the problems which are
plaguing modern tankship operations. An ageing world fleet, the difficulty
of maintaining crewing and operational standards and a greatly enhanced
global regulatory system cause difficulties for all P&I Clubs and
Card has not escaped the serious tanker claims which arise from time
to time. Yet almost each and every such claim appears to have some sort
of human error as its root cause. Furthermore, often some of the most
modern, best-equipped and apparently well-managed vessels do not escape
maritime disasters. Accordingly, we encourage anything which attempts
to address this problem.
This handbook is such an attempt. It provides a checklist of the obvious;
a return to the basic routine which could and should prevent accidents.
The work is addressed to all those involved in modern tankship operations
- as the authors state - from board room to pump room! In fact, we hope
that management especially will take note of the many messages contained
in the book. A number of recent legal cases and formal enquiries have
revealed that ultimate management responsibility for events leading
to maritime accidents, as well as ship-source marine pollution, is today
perceived to be more clear-cut than it ever was.
The handbook has been compiled by three specialists with a great deal
of experience in tanker operations, tankship safety, ship management,
pollution control and prevention as well as the broad-ranging regulatory
aspects related to all of these. Captain John Dudley, the principal
author, combines the skills of many years of tankship experience, maritime
training and operational ship management. Captain Barry Scott, the handbook's
technical advisor, has spent all his professional life in the tanker
industry and, for some years has operated a leading tanker safety consulting
group, well-known to Card. Finally, the overall responsibility for this
work has rested with Professor Edgar Gold to whom, once again, Card
owes a tremendous debt of gratitude. Professor Gold, mariner, admiralty
lawyer and maritime law professor started working with Gard more than
twenty years ago. This handbook has taken painstaking preparation and
has called on all his talents - technical, legal and organisational.
Without him, it certainly would not have been possible and I am sure
it will join his other work for Gard, the Handbook on Marine Pollution,
as an invaluable aid to all those concerned with tankship operations.
Captains Dudley and Scott and Professor Gold have formed a winning combination
and Gard is delighted to be the sponsor of their outstanding efforts.
Arendal, Norway August 1994
N B Herlofson ManagingDirector Assuranceforeningen Gard