Captain’s Rounds

file photo courtesy of Alan Jamieson
file photo courtesy of Alan Jamieson

Published Nov 3, 2018 7:19 PM by Captain Richard Madden

Browsing P&I Clubs' websites can be quite enlightening. As they bear the financial costs when mariners get injured or the ship is damaged, they can have insightful guidance. This month, one of the topics discussed by the London P&I Club brings us back to the basics - routine inspections of the vessel by the captain.

Captain’s rounds 

The Club’s Ship Inspection Programme is aimed at the assessment of third party liability risks on entered ships on both the mutual and fixed premium products.

Many findings identified during a ship inspection are easily detectable by the ship’s officers and crew. It is relatively rare that findings are latent.

With increased commercial pressure upon the Master of a ship, some simple and potentially old-school habits often fall by the wayside. For instance, we consider that one of the most useful tools for maintaining a quality operation and safe working environment is the weekly Captain’s rounds.

In considering this, first revisit the true prerequisites for the position of ship’s Master – experience and superior certification.

The Master is the overseeing eye, carrying enhanced responsibility for all shipboard activities coupled with the role of motivating as the ship’s focal point.

Not all ships’ operational programs allow for regular “Sunday Routines” – but when an opportunity exists, an hour spent touring the ship with the Chief Officer can allow the Master to detect housekeeping issues as they develop.

The experienced eye of the Master can not only detect these issues early but also assist the Chief Officer in populating the weekly job list.

Let's be safe out there!

Read the rest of The London P&I Club's October 2018 Stop Loss here or check out our files of P&I club bulletins here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.