INTRODUCTION Leaving Chardon Loading On completion of loading it is important that all ullages, specific gravities and temperatures of the cargo are checked in order to calculate the quantity of cargo loaded, and compare this figure with that pr


INTRODUCTION Leaving Chardon


On completion of loading it is important that all ullages, specific gravities and temperatures of the cargo are checked in order to calculate the quantity of cargo loaded, and compare this figure with that provided by the shore installations.

Preparations for departure include planning the voyage. The Navigator, together with the Captain, ensures that all charts to be used have been corrected and are up-to-date in respect of Navigational and Meteorological warnings. The distance and course to, and the estimated time of arrival (E.T.A.) at the ship's destination are calculated.


The "Mara" is alongside at Punta Cardon loading a Fuel Oil cargo for the U.S. It is 0930. The Captain telephones the Chief Officer, and asks him to come to his office. The Chief Officer arrives, and the two proceed to discuss the cargo loading and preparations for leaving port.

Captain: Good Morning, Jose. When do you expect to complete loading?

Chief Officer: I think everything will be finished by 1300, Sir. All the Fuel Oil 55444 is now loaded and we are receiving the 55322 at two thousand tons per hour with about 5000'tons yet to load.

Captain: Good. I'll leave you to warn the Engine Room and do the usual crew check. Meanwhile, I'll see to it that tugs and a Pilot are available when we are ready to sail. Tell me, how are the cargo temperatures?

Chief Officer: The loaded temperatures for both grades are averaging about 130°F. The heating coils are of course in operation. I've checked the temperatures of those tanks loaded in the early hours of this morning and they are perfectly all right.

Captain: Well, thank you Jose. I think that is all for now. On your way down, ask the Second Officer to come and see me, and please keep me advised of any changes in the loading rate.

Chief Officer: Yes, Sir. Actually, I think the Second Officer is on the Bridge.

Captain: In that case, don't bother. I'll go up and see him.

The Captain leaves his office and goes up to the Bridge where he meets the Second Officer in the chart room.

Captain: Good morning, Pablo. I'd like to go over the charts and navigation warnings for the voyage.

The Second Officer, who has been working on the charts which will be needed for the forthcoming voyage, places a large folio of charts on the table in front of the Captain. With the officer looking on, the Captain carefully examines each one in turn. He checks the courses that have been drawn for the voyage from Cardon around the Paraguana Peninsula northwards to the Mona Passage and from there to Cape Henry.

Captain: Yes. I think this all looks very satisfactory, but I would like you to mark on the chart the arcs of extreme range for Mona Island Light and Aquila Point Light. We are sure of being at the Mona Passage after dusk tomorrow. Also, I would like you to work out the steaming time from here to a position abeam of Mona Island Light at 14.25 knots.

Second Officer: Yes, in fact I have already worked out the steaming times for that leg at 14.0, 14.25 and 14.5 knots. I've written them on this chit for you.

Captain: Oh, good. Thank you. Now, let me see the navigation Warnings.

Second Officer: Here they are. I don't think there is anything that will affect us this trip. The Aquila Point Light which was working at reduced power a few days ago, is now back to full strength.

The Captain carefully checks through the sheaf of navigation warnings, and nodding agreement that none of them will affect the ship's intended voyage, thanks the Second Officer and leaves the Bridge.


It is not intended that use of the vocabulary shall be mandatory, but rather through constant repetition in ships and in training establishments ashore, that the phrases and terms used will become those normally accepted and commonplace among seamen. Use of the contents of the vocabulary should be made as often as possible in preference to other wording of similar meaning.

In this way it is intended to become an acceptable "language", using the English tongue, for the interchange of intelligence between individuals of all maritime nations on the many and varied occasions when precise meanings and translations are in doubt, increasingly evident under modern conditions at sea.

The typographical conventions used throughout most of this vocabulary are as follows:

( ) brackets indicate that the part of the message enclosed within the brackets may be added where it is relevant.

/ oblique stroke indicates that the items on either side of the stroke are

... dots indicate that the relevant information is to be filled in where the dots occur.

Navigational Warnings

There is a dangerous wreck /rock/shoal in position . (marked by

showing ...... ).

There is a drifting mine reported in position .............................

There is a gas leakage (from fractured pipeline) in position ......

There is a slick of oil in position .................. (extending ).

There are pipeline/cable-laying operations in position ..............

There are salvage/oil clearance operations in position ............
You are not complying with traffic regulations. You are not keeping to your correct traffic lane.

There is a vessel in position .................. on course .......... and speed which is not complying with traffic regulations.

There is a vessel anchored ahead of you in position ..................

There is a vessel ahead obstructing your movements.

There is a hampered vessel in position on course and speed .....

You will meet crossing traffic at ...............................................

There is a vessel crossing traffic lane on course and speed .......

in position ..................................................................................

There are many fishing vessels at ..............................................

Route/traffic lane has been suspended/discontinued/diverted.

FUNCTIONAL PRACTICE. Asking people to do things. Orders I.

Notice how we use the imperative to give orders. e.g.

See that tugs are available!

Tell the Second Officer to come here!

Politer forms would be:‑

  • Please remember to see that tugs are available.
  • Would you mind telling the Second Officer to come here? Other forms taken from the dialogue are as follows:‑

I'd like you to .................................................................................

I'll leave you to ...............................................................................

Keep me advised ............................................................................

Ask .................................................................................................

Let me ............................................................................................

Now using the polite forms give orders from the following prompts: e.g.

keep quiet/Bridge

Please remember to keep quiet on the Bridge.

warn/engine room/crew check check/temperatures/tanks tell/changes/loading rate

go over/charts

keep me advised/cargo temperatures examine/navigation charts work out/steaming time

make sure/clocks/synchronised batten/cargo openings

Orders II.

Various types of structures are used in giving orders. One of them is called the accusative/infinitive: e.g.

Tell him to report to me.

Now using this structure supply your own responses to the following statements: Chief Officer: He's waiting outside, Sir.

captain: Tell him to come in at once.

He's just come on board, Sir. Tell ...

They're loading the fuel oil, Sir. Remind ...

The crew are already on hoard, Sir. Ask ...

Visibility will be poor, Sir. Advise ...

He can? manage that weight himself, Sir. Help ...

We had a fire on our last voyage, Sir. Warn ...

He refuses to leave his cabin, Sir. Order ...

We're still not absolutely sure about the fuel oil burner, Sir. Get ...

We're way behind schedule, Sir, Urge ...

His English is poor, Sir! Encourage ...

COMPREHENSION PASSAGE A ship with a cargo of oil.

An oil tanker is a cargo ship specially designed and built for carrying petroleum in bulk. Below deck it is basically a long steel tank divided into a series of compart­ments. The forward spaces are designed to carry water, stores and spare bunkers, and the after-spaces contain the ship's boilers and engines, water, stores and oil bunkers. Between these end-spaces the rest of the ship is divided into a number of separate compartments for carrying the oil cargo and water ballast.

Each compartment is oil-tight and water-tight, with a steel access hatch. A vent pipe is fitted with a special valve to ensure that cargo tanks remain close to atmospheric pressure. The oil tanks are linked by a system of pipelines, by which each can be filled or emptied independently; these pipelines are controlled by numerous valves and are connected to the cargo pumps housed in the after-part. From these pumps, pipes rise to the ship's deck, terminating at manifolds con­veniently placed amidships for connecting to shore pipelines for loading and discharging the cargo. The oil cargo tanks are strengthened internally by framing. They are separated from the engine room by empty spaces called cofferdams, by permanent water ballast tanks, or by a combination of both.

The tops of these together form the ship's upper or weather deck. On this is built a large structure aft, comprising the navigating bridge and the accommodation for the ship's Captain, his officers and his crew.

Comprehension Questions

  • What is the simplest way of describing a tanker?
  • How is a tanker divided below deck?
  • How are the pipelines of each compartment controlled?
  • How is the oil discharged into shore pipelines?
  • What is the weather deck? And what is built on it?

READING PASSAGE Loading and Preparations

As with tankers the preparation (Ur departure for all ships requires the same careful attention. The captain of a passenger ship or cargo ship will need to verify that the charts are correct and up-to-date, that the navigational/ meteorological warnings are clear and understood and the ETA at the ship's destination has been calculated.

Loading procedures obviously vary with the design and construction of the ship and the type of cargo to be loaded. Different ships require different port facilities. Container ships, for example, usually go under container cranes; an oil or LNG tanker will require specialist facilities; a ro/ro ship will usually have its bow or stern up to the pier with the ramp down so that vehicles can easily drive on and off; a general cargo ship will go alongside the berth and cranes will load or off-load the cargo. In those ports that do not have suitable loading equipment, the ships will use their own gear to off-load to the pier or barges.

Important factors to be considered in regards to container ships would be how many cranes are available to work the vessel, how many 20' and 40' containers are to be moved on or off and the rate per hour. The answer to these questions would affect the length of time that the ships would be in port and how many gangs would be necessary to work the vessel. For a ro/ ro ship it would be important to know how many vehicles usually move on and off per hour. All these matters would be discussed by the Chief Officer and the Shore-cargo Operations Superintendent.

Comprehension Questions

  • What types of loading procedures are required for the following ships: container ships, ro/ro, and general cargo ships?
  • What factors must be considered for unloading container ships?
  • Who discusses matters concerning loading?

INTRODUCTION Preparations for the voyage

Amongst the several other preparations for departure `battening down' is very important. Not only are all the cargo openings and vents closed but also the cargo lines and the pumping system are shut down.

All Bridge equipment is tested and Bridge and Engine Room clocks are syn­chronised. The Captain will examine and sign any cargo statements and perform­ance reports. Port clearance too is a necessary procedure before leaving harbour and usually involves customs, immigration and other port officials.


It is now 13.15. The loading of the cargo has been completed on time and personnel from the shore are disconnecting the loading arms. On the deck some members of the crew are busy battening down the tank openings, closing valves in the cargo lines and stowing away various equipment which has been used during the loading operation — dip sticks, ullage tapes, sample cans and thermometers. In the cargo office, the Chief Officer is completing his calculations of the quantity of oil loaded. He has already checked the draught marks and is now waiting for shore officials to arrive to complete the documentation of the cargo.

Meanwhile, on the Bridge the Second Officer is preparing to test the steering and navigation equipment and to synchronise the clocks.

Second Officer: (On the telephone to the Engine Room): Hello, is it all right to test the steering gear? Yes? Thank you. The time is now 13.17.

Having tested the steering gear, the officer returns to the telephone and confirms with the engineer that the steering equipment is working correctly. He then telephones the Captain.

In his office the Captain receives the Second Officer's call.

Captain.Bridge equipment tested and satisfactory. Good. Thank you, Pablo.

The Chief Officer enters.

Captain: Good afternoon, Jose. Everything all right?

Chief Officer: Good afternoon, Sir. Yes, cargo as planned at 13.05. Hoses are being disconnected and tanks battened down. I have the cargo figures here; our own, and those calculated by the shore. You will see there is very little difference between the two; about 25 tons overall.

The Chief Officer gives the Captain the cargo statement and a performance report of the loading operations. The Captain studies both these documents before signing each one and handing them back to the Chief Officer.

Captain: Thank you, Jose. A good job done. Now, we've already checked that everyone is on board. The engine room is ready and the bridge equipment has been tested. All we need now is a Pilot, the tugs, and our clearance papers.

At this point some shore officials arrive at the Captain's office and the Chief Officer leaves. The Captain invites the officials to sit down and together they go through the formalities of clearing the ship outwards. The immigration authorities are provided with details of the crew and there is a declaration of stores and cargo for the customs authorities. These, and other formalities completed, the Captain is given clearance to leave port.

FUNCTIONAL PRACTICE. Complying with orders: 1.

We can comply with orders in the following manner: e.g.

Order: Test the steering gear! Response: Aye, Aye, Sir, Yes, Sir.

Ok, Sir.

We may add a rephrased version of the response when we do not personally carry out the order e.g.

Order: Test the steering gear!

Response: Yes, Sir. I'll see that the steering gear is tested at once.

Now using this particular structure, comply with the following orders: Disconnect the loading arms!

Batten down the tank openings!

Test the Bridge equipment!

Close the valves in the cargo lines!

Stow the dip sticks!

Synchronise the clocks!

Check the cargo figures with the shore figures! Do a crew-check!

Ship the gangway!

Rig the derrick!

Complying with orders: 2.

Sometimes the act of complying with an order is in the process of being carried out when the order is given. e.g.

Order: Test the steering gear!

Response: The steering gear is being tested at the moment, Sir.

Now from the prompts (1), form responses using this structure. Complying with orders: 3.

On board ship it is very rare that a subordinate officer or rating refuses to carry out an order of a superior officer. However, there may be valid reasons for not being able to comply with an order. e.g.

Order: Tell Ricardo to take over the Middle Watch!

Response: I'm sorry, Sir. He's just been taken sick.

Now form orders from the following prompts and give a reason for not being able to comply.

serve/lunch check/crew list

radio/ashore disconnect/loading arms

change over/settling tanks rig/derrick

drain/fuel lines batten/cargo openings. COMPREHENSION PASSAGE

The Structure of a Tanker

Some of the oil tankers at present in service have three separate superstructures; a forecastle space used for stores, a midship deckhouse containing the navigating Bridge, stores and accommodation for the Captain and some of his officers and cadets, and a large poop deckhouse with more accommodation, messrooms, galley and stores. These superstructures are connected by a fore-and-aft gangway, which runs along the ship about eight feet above the weather deck; this permits the seamen to pass safely from one deckhouse to another if decks are awash in rough seas.

Oil tankers may be driven by diesel engines or by steam turbines, each of which method has certain advantages and disadvantages. Steam turbines need less attention, and steam from the main boilers can be used to drive the pumps for discharging cargo and to heat heavy oil cargoes to make them pumpable. A diesel ship, which has to have special steam raising plant for these jobs, may in other ways be more economical.

Tankers are permitted to load more deeply than conventional cargo ships because their division into watertight compartments makes them exceptionally strong and buoyant, and because the deck openings are less vulnerable to sea penetration than the hatches of dry cargo ships. The cargo is stowed safely in all weathers and all risks of instability, fire or leakage are fully met.

Comprehension Questions

  • How many separate superstructures do some tankers have? What are they?
  • How are the superstructures connected?
  • Why is the gangway eight feet above the weatherdeck?
  • What are the advantages of a steam turbine?

5. Why are tankers exceptionally strong and buoyant?

READING PASSAGE Final Preparations

The dialogue that you have just listened to would be similar to that of most ships. However, there are slight differences. On a container ship, important points for the Captain to check with the Chief-Mate would he to verify whether the lashing gang is finished, the containers have been secured and stowed on deck. On a ro/ro ship he would need to know whether all the cargo has been loaded in its rightful place and has been lashed down. He would also need to check that the ramp is up. On a general cargo ship he would need to verify whether all the loading has been completed, that the hatches have been secured and that all the long-shore gangs are off the vessel. The Captain should also check that hazardous or dangerous cargo has been correctly stored and labelled and that the appropriate documentation is available for the shore officials.

Hazardous cargo must obviously, be clearly indicated so that in the event of a fire, the most suitable fire fighting techniques and equipment would be used.

Comprehension Questions

  • What important points must the Captain check with the chief-mate for a container ship?
  • What points must he check for a ro/ro ship and general cargo ship?
  • What factors must be observed for hazardous cargo?


The operation of un-berthing, when the ship slips her moorings, should be preceded by a discussion amongst the ship's officers and the Pilot of the actual procedure for getting the ship away.

"Stand-by Fore and Aft" is announced after the ship's gangway is hauled aboard. The Pilot, with his special knowledge of local tides, currents and hazards, will conduct the operation, assisted by the Captain and his officers. Tugs are some-times made fast to the vessel, either on the quarter and/or the bow to assist in the handling of the ship.

When the ship has finally cleared the port and the Pilot has disembarked it is "Full Away on Passage" to the ship's next destination.


A short while later tugs are arriving alongside and the crew are standing by to remove the gangway. The Pilot arrives and the crew, using one of the ship's derricks, begin to remove the gangway. The Pilot is met by one of the officers and goes to meet the Captain on the Bridge. They quickly confer over the unmooring operation.

Pilot: The `Santa Rosa' will make fast on the starboard bow and the 'Santa Anna' will be on the starboard quarter. Single up to one spring and breastline each end.

Captain: Fine. Will we be using the ship's or the tugs' towing wires?

Pilot: We'll use the ship's.

Captain: (To Officers) Right, we'll go straight to stations now. Single up to a breastline and spring each end. Ship's wires to the tugs.

Two of the officers leave to take up unmooring stations; one on the forecastle, the other on the poop.

On the Bridge, the assisting officer has telephoned the engine room to warn the engineers that the ship is about to let go. The engine room telegraph is rung to "Standby."

The Captain and the Pilot stand together watching the moorings being let go. They can communicate with the Forecastle and Poop by hand radio or telephone.

Captain: (On his hand radio) "Mara" Fo'csle and "Mara" Poop. How do you receive me?

Chief Officer: (Replying on the radio) "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Fo'csle. Receiving you loud and clear.

Second Officer: (Replying on the radio) "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Poop. Receiving you loud and clear.

Captain: "Mara" Poop and "Mara" Fo'csle. Start singling-up.

Chief Officer: Starting to single-up, Sir.

Second Officer: Starting to single-up Sir. (Ten minutes later)

Chief Officer: "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Fo'csle.

(captain: Cone in, Fo'csle.

Chief Officer: Singled up forward, Sir; to one breastline and a spring. Tug `Santa Rosa' fast starboard bow. Ship's wire.

Captain: Roger , Fo'csle. Standby. (A few minutes later)

Pilot: Let go forward.

Captain: "Mara" Fo'csle, this is "Mara" Bridge. Let go.

Chief Officer: "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Fo'csle. Let go. "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Fo'csle. All gone and clear forward.

Captain: (to Pilot) All clear forward, Pilot.

Pilot: Thank you, Captain. Have the after breastline turned up on the winch and heave on it.

Captain: "Mara" Poop, this is "Mara" Bridge. Come in.

Second Officer: "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Poop.

Captain: Pablo, put the breastline on the winch and heave on it. Heave it easy.

Second Officer: Heave easy on the breastline, Sir.

The Captain and the Pilot stand together on the port Bridge wing, which over looks the jetty, watching the bow slowly swinging away from the berth.

Pilot: Let go aft.

Captain: "Mara" Poop, this is "Mara" Bridge. Let go aft.

Second Officer: "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Poop. Let go, Sir. (A minute later.)

Second Officer: "Mara" Bridge, this is "Mara" Poop. All gone and clear aft.

Captain: "Mara" Poop. All gone and clear aft, thank you. (To Pilot) All gone clear aft. Pilot.

Pilot: Thank you, Captain. Wheel amidships, slow ahead.

Captain: (To Officer in wheelhouse) Wheel amidships, slow ahead.

Third Officer: Wheel is amidships, Sir. Slow ahead.

The Third Officer rings the engine room telegraph to Slow Ahead. He watches the engine tachometer and when the engine starts he calls to the Captain.

Third Officcr: Engines moving ahead now, Sir.

Captain: Thank you.

Pilot: Starboard 20.

Captain: (To Helmsman) Starboard 20.

Helmsman: Starboard 20, Sir. 20 degrees of starboard wheel on, Sir.

Captain : Thank you.

With a sequence of helm and engine orders, given by this form of interchange between Pilot, Captain, Third Officer and Helmsman, the ship is manoeuvred away from the jetty. When the ship is well clear of the jetty, the tugs are let go and a launch approaches to disembark the Pilot.

Pilot: Well, Captain, I'll be going now.

Captain: Thank you, Pilot. (To the Third Officer) Take the Pilot down.

The ship, now clear of the jetty is moving at very low speed away from Punta Cardon. The Pilot climbs down a ladder into the launch, which immediately moves off at high speed.

The Captain instructs the Helmsman to bring the ship on to the first leg of the planned course, while the Third Officer, who has now returned to the Bridge is busy plotting the ship's position on the chart.

Meanwhile, on the Poop and Forecastle, all the mooring ropes and wires and the fire-fighting equipment -- hoses and dry-chemical extinguishers — are being stowed away and the watertight doors are being secured.

Some thirty minutes later, the Chief Officer arrives on the Bridge. By this time, the ship has built up to full speed and is heading northwards around the Paraguana Peninsula.

Captain: Hello, Jose. Well, is everything under control?

Chief Officer: All the moorings are stowed away. The Pilot ladder is secured, and the Fo'csle and forward facing doors have been battened down.

Captain: Good. Is the fire gear stowed away?

Chief Officer: Yes, Sir.

Captain: Have you double checked on the tank openings?

Chief Officer: Yes, Sir. All secure.

Captain: How about the Pumproom?

Chief Officer: I've checked it and it's been battened down.

Captain: Fine. Well, thank you, Jose. That's all for now.

The Chief Officer leaves the Bridge and the Captain goes to study the chart. With the ship now en-route to the U.S., he wishes to send a cable to his company's agents giving them details of his E.T.A. and arrival draughts.

Using a chit on which the steaming times at various speeds have been worked out, he prepares a message on a cable form and passes it through to the Radio Room for transmission.

The voyage has started.


Are you under' way ?

I am underway.

I am ready to get underway.

I am not ready to get underway. You must get underway.

I am making way through the water. I have/do not have steerage way. Vessel in position (make fast).

Move ahead/astern ( feet/metres).

Let go head/stern/spring/towing line.


Verifying that something has been done.

Notice how the Captain in the dialogue verifies that something has been done or an order carried out:‑

Captain: Have you double checked on the tank openings?

Chief Officer: Yes Sir, all secure.

Notice the affirmative answer and the clarification clause.

Now using the prompts below, verify that something has been done and give a suitable clarification clause in the response.

Example: Bridge equipment?

Captain: Have you checked the Bridge Equipment?

Chief Officer: Yes Sir, tested and satisfactory.

The Pumproom? Firegear?

Mooring ropes? Watertight doors? Forecastle doors? Gangway?

The clocks?

Cargo lines?

Value openings? Crew?

Steering gear?

Project 1.

Prepare a checklist detailing leaving port procedures.


The Captain of a large oil tanker has under his command a crew of some 32 to 40 officers and men. He may have three or four navigating officers, a radio officer, seven engineer officers, deck and engineer cadets, a catering officer or chief steward, petty officers and ratings employed in deck and engine or catering departments. For some time now it has been common to combine the ratings of the deck and engine departments into a general purpose department responsible to the Chief Engineer.

For efficient and economical operation, it is important to keep to a minimum the time spent in port. So before the tanker reaches her loading point the oil company sends the ship a radio message telling the Captain the types and qualities of oil he is to load, and where he is to deliver the cargo. With this information the Captain and Chief Officer work out a plan for any necessary tank cleaning and for the placing of the cargo in the ship's tanks. When the loading point is reached, the pipeline manifolds on the deck of the tanker are connected to the pipeline manifolds ashore by means of strong flexible hosepipes or articulated rigid pipes, and powerful shore-pumps load the cargo at rates varying from 3,000 to over 12,000 tons per hour in the case of a large crude oil carrier. As soon as she is loaded, the tanker sails away.

Comprehension Questions

  • I low large is the crew of a tanker? I low is it usually divided?
  • How are the ratings employed?
  • Which departments are now combined?
  • Why is it important to keep to a minimum the time spent in port?
  • What information is needed before plans can be made for tank cleaning and the loading of new cargo?


Before a ship slips her moorings, everything must be ready for voyage. At the completion of the loading of a ro/ro ship, a general cargo ship or a container ship that is equipped with hull openings, the Captain would need to verify that they have been closed and properly secured. A ship's draught plays a critical role in the manouverability and safety of a ship and precise draught levels must be given to the Captain and communicated to the Pilot.

Ships handle differently and at different loading conditions. Oil tankers, for example, often sail from one port to another with a full load of oil and return with ballast with a lighter draught. Some vessels are equipped with bow-thrusters and/or sternthrusters which will enable them to unberth under certain conditions without the assistance of tugs. Obviously, such factors as currents and winds will also affect the manouverability of a ship in an unberthing position.

The draught level can affect the time of departure in many ports due to the water over the bar under certain tidal conditions. This is particularly so if the vessel has to go out through locks where it is critical to get into or out of the lock at the right tidal level.


  • What does the Captain of a container ship need to verify before the ship leaves port?
  • What do some ships use to unberth without the assistance of tugs?
  • How does the draught level affect the handling of the ship?


Fire On Board!

Fire is probably the greatest danger on board ship. Fires are caused by such things as mechanical or electrical failure, discharge of static electricity, spontaneous combustion, or individual carelessness. It is important that all mariners be alert to this particular danger, and if they detect fire they must immediately raise the alarm before attempting to tackle the fire.

Effective fire-fighting depends a lot on instruction in the correct methods of fire-fighting, as well as the up-to-date maintenance of equipment such as extinguishers, foam installations and breathing apparatus. Both these aspects should be checked in regular safety exercises. These exercises normally include practice alarms, in which a variety of fires such as electrical, oil and chemical, can be simulated.

Techniques in firefighting on board ship include cooling and damping down the areas of the ship next to the fire as well as cutting off any ventilation. This has a twofold effect in that it not only prevents the fire from spreading but also starves it of the oxygen it needs.

Although there are no doctors on board most ships, the Captain and Officers of a ship normally have had some intensive basic medical training. In the case of an emergency, it is possible to have professional advice from a surgeon ashore, or sometimes from one on a passenger ship or warship who can advise the Captain by Radio telephone.


Time 23.50. The "MARA" is steaming northwards, some 70 miles west of the Bahamas. The night is clear, with a fresh south-easterly wind.

The 12 to 4 watchkeeping seaman Pedro Rodriguez is sitting in his cabin, finishing a cigarette, before leaving to take up his look-out duties. He glances over some letters he has written earlier that evening, then stubs out his cigarette and leaves his cabin, closing the door behind him.

On the Bridge, Pedro greets the 8 to 12 seaman Carlos Porto.

Pedro: Hello, Carlos. Looks like it's a fine night.

Carlos: Yes, it is. How are you?

Pedro: Fine, thanks, I've been writing letters home. My youngest daughter is to start school next week.

Carlos: Really? That's good, soon she'll be able to write to you. Well, as you can see the visibility is very good. We are seeing ships at about fifteen miles. There is nothing ahead at the moment. On the starboard beam is a small ship which we are slowly overtaking. Dead astern there's another one. It's been there all watch, so I think it's going at the same speed as ourselves.

This conversation continues for another minute or two, and then, when Pedro is fully accustomed to the night conditions, and aware of what is going on, Carlos reports to the watch officer and leaves the Bridge.

A little later in the crew's quarters, Carlos is returning to his cabin from the wash-room, when he senses a slight smell of smoke. Glancing up and down the passage-way, and seeing nothing amiss, he goes quickly to his cabin where everything appears normal with no hint of smoke.

Shortly afterwards, however, when Carlos is about to turn out his cabin light, there is again a faint smell of smoke. Quickly, he gets up and goes into the passageway, there it is, smoke is coming from under the door of Pedro's cabin!

Carlos moves quickly to switch on the nearest fire alarm. The alarms start ringing and Carlos telephones the Bridge.

Watch Officer: (On the telephone) What's going on? Where's the fire?

Carlos: There's a fire in Rodriguez's cabin. The door's shut but smoke is coming from under it, and it's getting worse all the time.

Watch Officer: OK. Now don't you or anyone else open the cabin door until either the Chief Officer or I get there. Make sure everybody has woken up and dressed, then go to your fire station.

(The Watch Officer rings off.)

Just as Carlos puts the 'phone down, the Bosun and three other seamen arrive on the scene.

Bosun: (To one of the seamen) Chico, give me that extinguisher! Quick!

He grabs a portable foam extinguisher and throws open the cabin door. As he does so, there is a sudden flash of flame and he falls backwards with burns on the face, chest and hands. The interior of the cabin is now enveloped in flames and thick choking smoke is pouring into the passageway.

Carlos and the others are now coughing badly from the effects of the smoke. They start to drag the injured Bosun away from the scene as the Chief Officer and Second Officer arrive with hose parties equipped with breathing apparatus.

Chief Officer: (To Second Officer) Get the first aid party to remove the Bosun on to the poop. Close the forward facing doors and clear everybody except the hose parties off this deck, then start cooling down the deck above. (Shouting through the smoke to seamen in breathing apparatus) Right. Now using the hoses, one on jet, attack the fire behind a water curtain. Quickly now, while we still have it contained in the one cabin.

The Chief Officer watches the hose team advance on the fire. The Chief Engineer arrives on the scene.

Chief Engineer: This looks bad Jose, what's the position now?

Chief Officer: We're just turning a couple of hoses on it now. I think we'll have it out very quickly.

Chief Engineer: We'd better. This smoke'll soon make it impossible for anybody to stay down here. The Second Engineer is cooling the underside, and we have the main engines slowed down. The Captain says he is turning to put the wind on the port quarter.

Chief Officer: Good. Look, I think they've done it.

The hose parties are enveloped in steam and smoke in the doorway of the cabin, but the light from the flames has gone. The leading seaman signals to turn off their hoses.

The Chief Officer gets closer to the scene of the fire to inspect it for himself.

Chief Officer: (To seamen) Keep a light spray of water damping and cooling down the cabin. (To Chief Engineer) Chief, we'd better have some emergency lights run up in this alleyway and start clear­ing up the mess.

The Chief Officer then checks each cabin in turn to see that the fire has not spread, or another been started in the confusion of the emergency. This done, he sends a messenger to check with the Second Officer that no fire has spread to the deck above. A little later, satisfied that the fire is out, the Chief Officer telephones the Bridge and speaks to the Captain.

Chief Officer: The fire is out. We're still damping down and cooling, but I don't think there's any danger of it breaking out again. The whole area is full of smoke and it's very difficult to breathe here. I'd like to start ventilating the accommodation as soon as I can.

Captain: We'd better avoid any through ventilation for the moment. Keep on cooling down for a little longer. I've just stopped the engines. As soon as I can, I'll leave the Third Officer here to look after things and come down and see the damage for myself. They've taken the Bosun to the saloon. Have you seen him yet?

Chief Officer: Just after the accident, that's all.

Captain: Get up there right away, if you can. He might need morphine if it's not already been given, and we may need urgent outside medical help.

Chief Officer: Yes, I'll be as quick as I can.

Leaving the Second Officer to keep watch over the scene of the fire, the Chief Officer goes to the officer's dining saloon where the injured Bosun is being cared for by the Catering Officer and others of the first aid party.

Chief Officer: (To Catering Officer) How is he?

Catering Officer: Not too bad, I suppose. The burns are bad enough but fortunately not too extensive. He was saved from a lot of the flash by his clothing and the extinguisher held out in front of him.

Chief Officer: What treatment has he been given?

Catering Officer: He's had one ampoule of morphine. The Second Officer doused his burns with water right after the accident. I've been gradually applying burn dressings and I'm still doing so.

Chief Officer: He's conscious, I take it?

Catering Officer: Oh yes, and as comfortable as can be expected.

Chief Officer: Have you removed any burnt clothing?

Catering Officer: No.

Chief Officer: Good. (To Bosun) How do you feel?

Bosun: It's pretty painful. Chief, I can tell you. I don't know what hit me.

Chief Officer: Don't worry. You'll be OK now. (To Catering Officer) have him taken to the hospital right away.

The Chief Officer telephones the Bridge and gives the Captain a brief report on the Bosun.

Captain: (To Chief Officer) Thanks, Jose. I'll examine him myself in the hospital later. I'm leaving the Bridge now to inspect the damage. Meet me with the Chief Engineer at the scene of the fire.

Half an hour later, after the three senior officers having satisfied themselves that there is no further danger, the Chief Officer issues orders to ventilate and re-occupy the accommodation.

The Captain returns to the hospital to take a further look at the Bosun before returning to the Bridge.

Captain: (To the Third Officer) Telephone the Engine Room and tell them we shall now be resuming passage. Ask the Chief Officer and the Catering Officer to join me here. (To the Radio Officer) I may wish to have a radio link with a doctor. Possibly in Bahamas. Look into it, will you, and make the necessary preparations.

The Chief Officer and the Catering Officer arrive on the Bridge.

Captain:Well, what do you think about the Bosun? Do you think we should land him?

Catering Officer: I think he'll be OK now. He should make the next two or
three days to the U.S. without difficulty.

Chief Officer: Perhaps so, but I'm not sure we should proceed without getting medical advice.

Captain:We'll see how he is by tomorrow and if necessary I'll radio for help.

COMPREHENSION PASSAGE Safety on board ship

Safety on board ship has become increasingly important over the last few years. Loss of life and cargo worth millions of pounds are important con­siderations. Fire is obviously one of the major hazards as well as collision, stranding, going aground etc. Various drills, precautionary methods and safety programmes are in use. Efficient communication is naturally an important factor in any safety programme.

Many crews are multi-national and it is imperative that all on board under-stand orders that are being given out in a casualty situation. As well as on board communication, ship-to-shore communication is also important. Eng­lish is the international seafaring language and programmes usually contain a language training input.


  • If you were designing a safety programme on board ship, what factors would you consider important?
  • Name the different types of accident situations that can occur on board ship?
  • How important do you consider on board and ship-to-shore communi­cation is?


I am sinking I am on fire

I need help I have been in collision I am aground

I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board.

in the engine room

in the hold/cargo tanks

I am on fire in the accommodation/living spaces

I have lost a man overboard (at ....). Please help with search and rescue. What is your position/What is the position of the vessel in distress? What assistance is required?

I require a lifeboat/helicopter/medical assistance/fire-fighting assistance/tug/ tugs, etc.

I am coming to your assistance.

I expect to reach you at hrs.

Please send a boar/raft

I am sending a boat/raft to you.

Make a lee for me/the boat/the raft.

I will make a lee for you/the boat/the raft.

I cannot send a boat/raft.

I will attempt rescue by Breeches-buoy.

Is it safe to fire a rocket?

I t is/is not safe to fire a rocket.

Please take command of search and rescue.

/ am/Vessel ......... is in command of search and rescue.

Assistance is not/no longer required. You may proceed.

You must keep radio silence in this area unless you have messages about the casualty.

FUNCTIONAL PRACTICE Advice, Precautions, Warnings.

Notice the language we use for giving advice, precautions or advice, e.g.


We'd better .....................................................................................

I think we should ...........................................................................


Make sure .......................................................................................

I'd like you to avoid .......................................................................


Quick! ............................................................................................

Don't ..............................................................................................

Clear everybody .............................................................................

Now using the three types of structures above supply your own responses to the following statements. e.g.:

Chief Engineer: There's been an accident, he's lying on his hack.

  • Advice.
  • Precaution.
  • Warning. Chief Officer: Don't move him!

Chief Officer: I don't think we should move him until we know what's
wrong with him.

Chief Officer: Make sure that there's a light and nobody falls over him.

There's smoke coming from under that door! 'there's been an explosion in the Engine Room! The fire's spreading to the steering gear! Collision on the Port Bow!

I can smell gas!

He's in a state of deep shock!

The Chief Engineer has been badly burned! The steam pressure is falling!




  • Are SMOKING regulations being observed?
  • Are GALLEY requirements being observed?
  • Are NAKED LIGHT requirements being observed?
  • Are electric cables to portable equipment disconnected from power?

5 Are the ship's main transmitting aerials switched off? 6. Are hand torches of an approved type? Are portable R/T sets of approved design?

8. Are all external doors and ports in the amidships accommodation closed?

!1 Are all doors and ports in the alter accommodation that are required to be closed in fact closed?

I- 10. Are ventilators suitably trimmed with regard to prevailing wind conditions?

11. Are unsafe air conditioning intakes closed?

1 12. Are window-type air conditioning units disconnected? 13. Is ship securely moored and agreement reached on use of tension winches?

14, Are cargo/bunker hoses in good condition?

  • Are cargo/bunker hoses properly rigged?
  • Are unused cargo/bunker connections blanked?
  • Is stern discharge line (if fitted) blanked?
  • Are sea and overboard discharge valves (when not in use) closed and lashed?
  • Are scuppers effectively plugged?
  • Is the agreed ship/shore communication system working?
  • Are all cargo/bunker tank lids closed?
  • Are cargo tanks being loaded or discharged open to atmosphere via the agreed venting system?
  • Are fire hoses and equipment ready for use?
  • Are emergency towing wires correctly positioned?
  • Is the ship ready to move under its own power? REMARKS:

We have checked with each other the items on the above Check List and have satisfied ourselves that the entries we have made are correct to the best of our knowledge.

CHECKED BY : ..................................................................

(for Ship) (for Terminal)

Project 2.

Refer to the check list above and write a short report on safety precautions to be observed.

Prohibition Notices


  • Only persons AUTHORIZED by CHIEF ENGINEER to use welding equipment.
  • Endeavour to wear full protective clothing, particularly dry gloves.
  • Use D.C. welding only, never A.C.
  • Check voltage Reduction Device. Do not weld if this is discovered faulty or inoperative. (Not M.G. sets.)
  • Check that welding lead, welding return and workpiece earth(s) have
  • Wear safety harness when welding on stages or platforms.
  • Never weld on deck or in the vicinity of flammable materials.
  • Isolate power source before inserting electrodes.

adequate conductivity, are properly connected and adequately insulated.

Welding return lead must extend the full distance from work to set.

  • Detail a standby man to disconnect at site in case of accidents and to assist changing electrodes.
  • Arrange adequate ventilation. Some electrode flux gives off toxic gases.
  • Take particular care to avoid accidental contacts in damp and/or con­stricted situations.


Smoking, which includes the use of matches, mechanical lighters and naked lights, is allowed on board only at times and in places designated by the Master on notice boards.

Smoking is prohibited at all times in any of the under noted spaces:‑

Forepeak and forecastle head, cargo and ballast holds and tanks, deep tanks, double bottom tanks, cofferdams and pumprooms, centrecastle, provision, lamp, paint and rope storerooms and on the open deck forward of the funnel.


Ventilating fans must be in operation on all occasions before entering this pumproom and are to be run continuously while cargo, ballast, tank cleaning operations, or pumproom maintenance are being performed unless a gas-free certificate has been issued.

Entry is forbidden without breathing apparatus unless pumproom is gas-free and safe for entry.

Look at these notices. Using them as a guide make your own notices under the following headings:- Shore Leave', `Toxic Hazards in Painting', 'Access Prohibited', 'Fire Regulations'.


Arriving in the U.S.A. — Manoeuvring

Before arriving in any US port the Captain will notify his agents of the ETA, draught and any currency, laundry or other requirements. Later, when contact has been established with the Port Pilots and Port Authorities, preparations for entry and berthing are made. This would include the rigging of the Pilot Ladder as well as derricks or cranes and other equipment that might be used.

On approaching the Pilot station, the Pilot will normally be brought. to the vessel by a Pilot Cutter, and the ship will reduce speed and manoeuvre to facilitate the Pilot's boarding of the ship. Under pilotage, the vessel will manoeuvre at the Pilot's direction through confined waters to its destination. Sometimes a berth might he unavailable or meteorological conditions or other circumstances might be unfavourable for berthing, requiring a vessel to lie at anchor until a more favourable opportunity occurs for going alongside.

After berthing there are still many formalities to go through before the ship is permitted to commence discharging her cargo. Various officials, such as Customs, Immigration and Coastguard Officers, require certain documentation to be com­pleted. An example would be the "Coastguard Declaration of Inspection" which must he signed before discharging can commence. This document is designed as a check of anti-pollution measures and is strongly enforced by the US Coastguard. Examples of these anti-pollution measures are the sealing of the sea-valves in the pumproom by a Coastguard Officer.

When the documentation is completed and the officials have left, liaison between the ship and shore is established so that a discharge plan can be worked out. Pumping rates, back pressure levels and any other feature of discharge are discussed before discharge commences.


At least 96 hours before arrival at the Pilot Station at Cape Henry, the Captain will have sent a cable' to his agents, thus:



MARCH 10th.




('ASH: (IS DOLLARS 3,000





The ETA must be confirmed 48 hours prior to actual arrival and any changes in ETA of more than one hour must be advised to agents as they become evident.

It is 06.00 on March 10th. The Captain is on the Bridge as the ship, now some thirty miles from the Pilot station, heads 340° (T) off Currituck Beach light.

Captain: (To Chief Officer) We should be seeing the Chesapeake Beacon Light soon, Jose.

Chief Officer: Yes, Sir. I've marked the extreme range on the chart, although it'll be getting light soon and we may have some difficulty in seeing it at this range.

Captain: Yes, true. However, keep a sharp look-out for it, and see if you can identify it on the radar.

Later. The Captain is studying the chart after the Chief Officer has plotted a fix of the ship's position.

Captain: (To Chief Officer) Warn the Engine Room that I shall require the engines to be ready for manoeuvring in one hour's time.

The Chief Officer telephones the Engine Room.

Chief Officer: Good morning, Fernando. We are now twenty miles from the outer channel buoy. Please take one hour's notice of `standby'.

The ship proceeds inwards, the Chief Officer telephones the Bosun asking him to come to the Bridge.

The Bosun arrives.

Bosun: Good morning, Sir.

Chief Officer: Good morning, Luis. Take two men now and rig the Pilot ladder on the starboard side. Be sure to have a life buoy with a light attached and a heaving line ready.

Bosun: Yes, Sir. Tell me, when are we due to arrive?

Chief Officer: We should be at the Pilot Station by 08.30, possibly a little before then. There is a long way to go afterwards, so there is no need to have the crew out before the usual time.

Bosun: Fine. Shall I call the Pumpman?

Chief Officer: No. Leave him for now. I'll be checking the cargo temper­atures after breakfast.

The Bosun leaves, the ship proceeds inwards. (Sometime later).

Chief Officer: I can see the Chesapeake Beacon now, Sir — also the buoy three points to port.

Captain: Good, thank you. Yes, I see them too. Plot the position, please.

The Chief Officer takes bearings of Chesapeake Beacon, Currituck Beach light and the `4A' buoy. He double checks by taking radar ranges, and checks that the buoy is in the correct position. The Captain examines the fix.

Captain: Good. I'll try calling the Pilot Station soon. (Later).

Captain: (On the VHF Radio telephone) Cape Henry Pilot Station, Cape Henry Pilot Station, Cape Henry Pilot Station. This is the Venezuelan Tanker 'MARA' calling you on Channel 16. Do you receive me?

VHF: (Voice) "MARA" this is the Cape Henry Pilot. Receiving you loud and clear, Captain. Go to Channel 12 please.

Captain: Going down to Channel 12, Cape Henry. Cape Henry Pilot Station, this is the `MARA' on Channel 12. How do you receive me?

VHF: (Voice) "MARA" this is Cape Henry Pilot. I have you loud and clear, Captain. What is your ETA at Cape Henry and what is your maximum draught?

Captain: I will be at your station at 08.30 local time. My maximum draught is 11.5 metres. I am now 10 miles south east of the 'CB' buoy. My speed is 14.0 knots. I will have my Pilot ladder rigged on the starboard side.

VHF: (Voice) OK, Captain. We have that. Your ETA Cape Henry is 08.30. Your draught is 11.5 metres and the ladder is on the starboard side. Please tell me if your ETA changes. That's all Captain. We'll be on 16. This is Cape Henry Pilot, Cape Henry Pilot off.

As the ship approaches the port the Captain begins to slow down.

Captain: Half Ahead.

Chief Officer: Half Ahead, Sir. (A little later).

Captain: Slow Ahead, Starboard 5.

These orders are repeated by the Chief Officer and Helmsman, and with a series of such exchanges the Captain manoeuvres the ship to rendezvous with the Pilot cutter. The Pilot boards. He is met by an officer and is conducted to the Bridge.

Pilot: Good morning, Captain.

Captain: Good morning, Pilot. Well I am on slow ahead, steering 310°(T). There is no gyro error and the maximum draught is 11.5 metres.

Pilot- OK, Captain, that's fine. 1'd like to go through a few details with you if I may, please. First, can you show me your ship's manoeuvring data and general particulars.

The Captain produces for the Pilot details of the ship's turning circles and stopping distances; the speed/rpm table, maximum length, breadth and draughts fore and aft. The two then discuss the pilotage, with the Pilot all the while giving helm and engine orders as he manoeuvres the ship towards the Chesapeake Channel.


The use of these messages does not relieve vessels of their obligations to comply with local bye-laws and the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

I am altering my course to port/starboard. I am maintaining my course and speed. I am going astern.

I am not making way through the water. What are your intentions?

Keep well clear of me.

I wish to overtake ( .. ).

Do not overtake ( ..... ).

Ship astern/vessel . wishes to overtake Ion your port/starboard side).

You may overtake ( . ).

Vessel ............ nearing an obscured area ( ) approaching vessels please

I am not under command.

I am a hampered vessel (because ).

I am manoeuvring with difficulty. Keep clear of me. Advise you alter course to port/starboard.

I will alter course to port/starboard.

I cannot alter course to port/starboard.

Advise you stop engines.

I will stop engines.

Do not pass ahead/astern of me.

Do not pass on my port/starboard side.

//Vessel will overtake (............ ).

Advise you pass ahead/astern of me/vessel ..........................

I will pass ahead/astern of you/vessel ...................................

Wait for ......... to cross ahead of you.

I will wait for to cross ahead of me.

Advise you pass North/South/East/West of vessel/mark.

I will pass North/South/East/West of vessel/mark.

Wait for ........ to clear ( mark/position) before entering fairway/getting
underway/eaving berth.

I will wait for to clear ( mark/position) before entering fairway/getting
underway/leaving berth.



Draught and Height

What is your draught?

My draught is .............................................................

What is your draught forward/aft?

My draught forward/aft is ..........................................

Vessel .........................................................................

Vessel ........ is of deep draught.

Do you have any list?

I have a list to port/starboard of degrees.

Maximum permitted draught is ..................................

What is your freeboard?

My freeboard is ..........................................................

What is your height?

My height is ...............................................................

Note 1: When necessary it must he specified whether salt or fresh water

draught is given.

Note 2: Height is the highest point of the vessel's structure above the


FUNCTIONAL PRACTICE Requesting and giving information.

Notice how the Captain in the dialogue requests information about the arrival of the tanker.

'Tell me, when are we due to arrive?"

There are various ways of obtaining information.

  • Direct question forms using question words. WHEN are we due to arrive?
  • A direct question form preceded by a CLAUSE (usually a polite form). Could you tell me/when we are to arrive?
  • Question Tag forms. We're due to arrive at 08.30, aren't we'? The cable has been sent to the agent, hasn't it?
  • Laconic question forms. Draft? (rising inflection) = What's your draft? Visibility? = What is the visibility at

WHAT is our ETA?

WHO is on the Bridge?

Would you mind telling me/what our arrival time is?

Do you know/what time we arrive? etc.

Make questions from the prompts given, using (1) direct question forms (2) clause question forms.

How far/from/Pilot station? What/maximum draught? What/ETA?

Which side/pilot ladder rigged? What range scale/using?

Where/come from?

What was/last port of call? Which hospital/he/taken to? When/berth be clear?

Who/been taken sick?

Now answer the questions above and add question tags. e.g. Answer. We're thirty miles from the Pilot station, aren't we?

INTRODUCTION Pilotage Exchanges

Most ships are now fully equipped with modern navigational aids. These include "true motion" and "relative motion" radar which is used for navigation as well as detecting the presence of other ships; echo-sounders for measuring the depth of water under keel and Radio Direction finders.

There are many different types of navigational aids. It is important that the Pilot understands the operation of each one fitted in a particular ship, as well as knowing the accuracy of each instrument and the reliance he can safely put on it. Regular checks should be carried out by the crew on each instrument, for example, comparing the ship's gyro heading with that of the heading marker on the Radar.


Pilot: Captain, can you please show me how to use the variable range marker on this radar, please?

Captain: Yes, Pilot. The brilliance control is this small knob at your lower right here. By turning it clockwise you bring up the strobe, by turning it fully anti-clockwise it is removed from the screen altogether. You vary the range by operating the control at your lower left (points is out) here.

Pilot. Is this a 3 or 10 cm. set, Captain?

Captain: This is 10 cm.

Pilot: OK. How do we work the clutter controls?

Captain: The Rain clutter control is here (points to a control knob on upper right hand side) and the Sea clutter - swept gain — is the control immediately under it. The brightness is there (pointing to another control on the bottom left of the set) and here is the control for the range rings.

Pilot: I see. Thank you, Captain. Oh, by the way, is this the Range selector switch here?

Captain: Yes, that's it.

Pilot: Fine. A little later on I'd like to change the display from gyro stabilised to a north-up mode Captain. That OK with you?

Captain: Yes, that's all right. Here's the control switch (pointing it out.)

Pilot: Is there any error in the heading marker, Captain?

Captain: No. We checked that out before you embarked, but we can run another check on it now if you like.

Pilot:Yes, please. Captain. The Captain moves to the radar.

Captain: (To Helmsman) What's your heading now?

Helmsman: 353˚, Sir.

Captain: Thank you, and now?

Helmsman. 353' ,Sir.

Captain: OK, that's fine. (To Pilot) No problems, the alignment is perfectly all right.

Pilot: Thank you Captain. What is the print-out on your Depth-meter?

Captain: Depthmeter, Pilot?

Pilot Yes, Captain. You know, the sounding machine.

Captain: Oh, I see. You mean the Echo Sounder. Yes over here, Pilot. They both move over to the sounding machine and examine the trace.

Captain: The machine is working on feet at the moment. You can change to fathoms by operating this switch here.

Pilot: I see. OK, Captain. That's fine, thank you.



I require a Pilot.

Do you require a Pilot?

Is the Pilot boat on station? Where can I take Pilot?

YOU can take Pilot at point ..... /near ............... (at . hrs)
At what time will the Pilot he available?

Is pilotage compulsory?

You may navigate by yourself or wait for Pilot at ................

Pilot is coming to you.

Pilot boat is approaching your vessel.

You must rig Pilot ladder on port/starboard side.

Pilot ladder is rigged on port/starboard side.

Pilot suspended/resumed for all/small vessels.

You most rig gangway combined with Pilot ladder.


What is your position?

What is my position?

My/your position is .................................................................

Your position is ........... degrees .............. miles from ....

You are passing.......................................................................

You are entering area ............................................................
What is your present position, course and speed?

My present position, course and speed is ...............................

What is the course to ..............................................................

The course to ................................. is .....................................
What is the course to reach you?

Course to reach me is ..............................................................

Do not arrive at ..................... before ........................... hours.

Do not arrive at ........................ after ............................ hours
Say again your position to assist identification.

Has your position been obtained by radar/decca/astronomica/ observation/ ?

Is your radar working?

My radar is/is not working.

I do not have radar.

I have located you on my radar,' (your position is...... degrees

miles from ...............................................................................

I cannot locate you on my radar.

You must alter course/speed for identification.

I have altered course to ......... /speed to .... for identification.
I have lost radar contact.

Have you altered your course?

Report your position to assist identification.

This message may only be used when the vessel is positively identified.


STANDARD MARINE NAVIGATIONAL VOCABULARY continued... . RADAR — SHIP TO SHIP/SHORE TO SHIP/SHIP TO SHORE continued... . Vessel ahead of you is on the same course.

You are getting closer to the vessel(s) ahead.

Your position is ......................................................................

My position is ........................................................................

What range scale are you using?

I am using ................................................... miles range scale.
Advise you change to larger/smaller range scale.

I require shore based radar assistance.

Is shore based radar assistance available?

Shore based radar assistance is/is not available.

I am at/approaching way point/reporting point/C /. P . course

........................ speed .............................................................

I will stop at position , ...... at ................. flours. You are in the fairway.

Vessel on opposite course passing your port/starboard side.

Vessel is ...................... miles/metres ahead on port/starboard bow. Vessel ahead of you is on opposite course.

Vessel following will overtake you on port/starboard side.

You are leaving my screen.


Showing people how to operate things. Instructions. This is the brilliance control.

Dial is the range selector.

By turning .................................

First press ...............................

Then push ....... hold ........ turn ........ look......... make sure ...... etc.

You are explaining the radar equipment on board ship to a layman. First describe the equipment and then how to operate it. Use some of the expressions above.

Describe a compass repeater and how to take a bearing.

Describe the procedures for starting the main turbines of the ship.

Now choose any apparatus on a ship and write clear instructions on how to operate it, checking procedures and what to do in the event of a breakdown.

Project 3.

Give a verbal, followed by a written, description of equipment. COMPREHENSION PASSAGE

Navigational Aids

Whilst the basic principles of coastal and ocean navigation remain unchanged, there have been notable advances in the science of navigation since physics came to the aid of the mariner. This has resulted in the development of many highly complex navigational aids to improve the safety of ships, their crews and cargo. It is to this end that the modern well-found tanker is equipped with radar, the Decca Navigator, direction finder, gyro compass, off-course alarm, echo-sounding equipment, speed log equipment, and rudder angle indicators. World-wide positionfixing systems and satellite navigation are also in use in ever increasing numbers. Most of these instruments are grouped together in a combined wheelhouse and chart room so that the Officer on Watch is better able to maintain an efficient look-out.

Communications play a vital part in the operation and control of ships today. In addition to all the company's tankers being fitted with high and medium frequency radio installations for long and medium range communications, all ships are fitted with radio telephone for long and short-range ship to shore com­munications. The latter facilities are being increasingly used to enable quicker and more accurate advice to be passed between Masters and Head Office and between Masters and Agents. For on-board communication, ships are often fitted with public address systems, auto-telephone exchanges and portable 'walkie-talkie' equipment.

A more recent development in the telecommunications sphere is the teleprinter system for communicating directly into the international telex system.

Comprehension Questions

  • What type of navigational aids is the modern tanker equipped with?
  • What other systems are in use?
  • Where are most of these instruments located?
  • What are the advantages of radio telephone?
  • What is the most recent development in telecommunications?


The "MARA" is proceeding through the Chesapeake Channel. The Captain and Pilot are together in the wheelhouse. The Chief Officer is standing by. A seaman keeps watch on the Bridge-wing. A helmsman is steering.

Captain: Would you like some breakfast, Pilot?

Pilot: No thanks, Captain, but I could use some coffee.

Captain: Certainly. (On the telephone to the steward). Would you please bring some coffee up for the Pilot? (To the Pilot) Pilot, do we have any details yet of our times for berthing at Piney Point?

Pilot: No, Captain. You'll get them from your agents of course, but the latest we have is that the berth is occupied until noon tomorrow. We'll anchor for the night at the entrance to the Potomac River. (Breaking off the conversation) Starboard 20.

Helmsman: Starboard 20, Pilot. 20 degrees of Starboard on, Pilot.

Pilot: Midships now. Steady up on course 350 degrees.

Helmsman: Steady on 350. (A little later) Steady on 350.

Pilot: OK, thank you. Captain, when we get up to the anchorage we'll use the starboard anchor to about five shots. (US terms for shackles.)

Captain: Five on the starboard. All right, Pilot.

Pilot: Half Ahead.

Chief Officer: Half Ahead, Pilot.

The ship slows a little to negotiate a bend in the Channel. The passage continues to the anchorage and with some four miles to go the Captain telephones the Chief Officer.

Captain: Jose, Captain here. We'll be anchoring in about 20 minutes. We'll use the starboard anchor to five shackles. I know both anchors are cleared away, but be on the Fo'csle in plenty of time to walk the anchor out. Oh, and Jose, make sure you've got an anchor buoy attached.

Later, the Chief Officer, Bosun and a seaman are standing by on the Fo'csle.

Chief Officer: (On hand radio) "MARA" Bridge. This is the Fo'csle.

Captain: Come in, Fo'clse.

Chief Officer: Starboard anchor is ready, Sir.

Captain: Thank you, Jose. Stand by. (To Pilot) Starboard anchor ready, Pilot.

Pilot: OK, Captain. We'll be about another ten minutes. Slow Ahead. Port 15 degrees.

Chief Officer: Slow Ahead.

Helmsman: Port 15, Pilot.

(Later with the ship stopped at the anchorage position.)

Pilot: Let go. (The Captain relays this order on the hand radio.)

Chief Officer: Let go, Sir.

The starboard anchor is let go. As the ship drifts back under the influence of the wind and tide, the Chief Officer slowly lets out more chain (cable) until the required amount has been let out. He keeps the Captain informed of what is happening.

Chief Officer: (On hand radio) Fo'csle to Bridge. The cable is leading one point on the starboard how, three shackles (shots) in the water and very little weight on it.

Captain: (On hand radio) Thank you, Fo'csle.

Chief Officer: (On hand radio) Fo'csle to Bridge. Cable now leading two points to port, four shackles on deck, more weight coming on now.

Captain: (On hand radio) Thank you, Fo'csle.

Chief Officer (On hand radio) Fo'csle to Bridge. Brought up try five in the water, the cable is leading one point to starboard, and very little weight on it.

Captain: (On hand radio) OK. Thank you, Jose. You can secure for now and stand-down.

The following morning the "MARA" weighs anchor and proceeds upstream towards the oil jetty at Piney Point. A berthing Pilot boards from a launch and two tugs are standing by.


I am anchored (at ..... )

I am heaving up anchor.

My anchor is clear of the bottom.

at ........... hours,

in .......... position, until Pilot arrives,

You must anchor until tugs) arrive,

until there is sufficient water,



Do not anchor (in position ). Anchoring is prohibited.

I will anchor (at )

Vessel is at anchor (at ...... ) Are you dragging/dredging anchor? My/Your anchor is dragging.

Do not dredge anchor.

You must heave up anchor.

You must shorten your cable to shackles. My anchor is foul.

You are obstructing fairway/other traffic.

You must anchor in a different position .................
You must anchor clear of the fairway. What is the anchor position for me?

You have anchored in the wrong position.

I have slipped/lost my anchor (and cable) (and buoyed it) in position

Study the drawing above and using the information given, carry out the objectives indicated below.


S.S.1 at Point C — Course 180 (T)

S.S.2 at Point E — Course 320 (T) Speed 15 knots.


  • To pilot and give orders to bring own ship "MARA" from "Puerto Alpha" to "Puerto Bravo."
  • To radio instructions to shore stations and other vessels on own vessel's actions.
  • Give an oral followed by a written account of what is happening.

INTRODUCTION Mooring Operations

Coming along any jetty can sometimes he a complex operation. It is always potentially dangerous. A discussion beforehand between the ship's officers and the Pilot will decide the details of the procedure to be adopted. As in this particular case not only are the ship's anchor and mooring lines made ready for use, but tugs are engaged to assist the vessel's berthing. It must be decided at the pre-mooring discussion exactly which moorings are to be used and where they are going to lead. Each officer must know in advance precisely the part he is going to play in the berthing operation.

Amongst the preparations for mooring should be a last check on the condition of any wires or synthetic ropes which are to be used. Officers must also check that stoppers, heaving lines, etc., are also avaliable at each mooring station.


The Captain and Pilot are standing together on the Bridge wing as the "MARA", now moving very slowly, edges gently towards the terminal jetty at Piney Point.

Pilot:Captain, we'll be taking the tugs in about ten minutes. Would you have the men stand-by please?

Captain: Yes, though first I'd like to have a brief discussion of the mooring operation. I'll have the officers come up now. (To Second Officer, in wheelhouse) Ask the Chief Officer and Third Officer to come to the Bridge for the mooring conference, and tell the Bosun to have the hands stand-by fore and aft.

A few minutes later the Captain, Pilot and the three officers are grouped around the instrument console at the front of the wheelhouse as the Pilot outlines the berthing plan. He is sketching the operation on a sheet of paper.

Pilot:We'll berth heading up stream stemming the current. The tugs will be used just to push her alongside.

Chief Officer: Where will the tugs make fast?

Pilot: Starboard side, fore and aft on the main deck. I think the fairlead just abaft the Fo'csle would do for one and the lead just forward of the after house will do for the other.

Chief Officer: Tugs' lines?

Pilot: Yes, they'll just give you a light wire to help them stay in position. They'll be pushing us in of course, so there's no need to use a heavy towing spring. (Looking at the sketch, turns to Captain). When we get up to the berth, we just stem the current off the jetty and let her ease gently down on to it from about 300 yards off. I'll be wanting to lay out the starboard anchor as we come in, but (to Chief Officer) as we come in, you mustn't let any weight come on it Chief. OK? (The Chief Officer nods and the Pilot continues) The first lines ashore will he two rope headlines, which you'll give, one from each bow, to the mooring boat.

Chief Officer: Will the boat take both ropes at the same time?

Pilot: Yes. After that the boat'Il come back and take the after spring, (turning to Second Officer) — we'll run it from the main deck to this dolphin (pointing to the sketch plan) which will lie about amidships when we're alongside. Later we'll take a second spring from the poop.

The Pilot continues to explain the mooring plan. When he finishes and everybody is fully in the picture as to what is required, the Chief and Second Officers leave to take up their mooring stations.

A little while later on the main deck, the Chief Officer is standing with a group of seamen as a tug approaches on the starboard side.

Chief Officer: (To Bosun) Have a man stand-by with a heaving line. The tug will pass a light wire.

Bosun: He'll be pushing, I suppose.

Chief Officer: Yes. (As the tug comes close he turns to the seaman standing at the rail with the heaving line). OK, throw it over now.

The heaving line lands on the tug's fore-deck and two tug hands quickly make fast the wire and signal to the "MARA" to heave it in.

Chief Officer: Heave away!

The wire is pulled on board the "MARA" as the tug comes alongside. When the wire is fast the Chief Officer talks to the Bridge on his hand radio.

Chief Officer: "MARA" Bridge. This is "MARA" Fo'csle.

Captain: Come in, Fo'csle.

Chief Officer: Tug 'River Ranger' fast on the starboard shoulder.

Captain. Thank you, Jose.

The Chief Officer moves on to the Fo'csle head with the forward mooring gang.

Chief Officer: (To Bosun) We'll be using the starboard anchor. After it is let go the cable must be kept slack as the ship drops alongside. (On radio to the Bridge) "MARA" Bridge. This is "MARA" Fo'csle. Starboard anchor is already walked out, out of gear and ready to let go, Sir.

Captain: Thank you Fo'csle. Send away the headlines as soon as the mooring boat is ready.

Later having dropped the anchor the mooring boat approaches under the how. Bosun: (To seamen) Lower away the headlines.

The seamen lower two synthetic mooring lines, one from each bow, through roller fair-leads to the mooring boat below. The boatmen gather the eyes of the ropes into the well of the boat and secure them to a samson post.

Boatman: (Calling up to the crew on the Fo'csle) Slack away.

Chief Officer: OK, slack away. Stand clear of the ropes as they run. (On the radio to Bridge) This is "MARA" Fo'csle. Running the headlines out now, Sir.

A few moments later the boatmen have got the two headlines ashore and put the eyes around bollards. They signal to the ship to heave-away.

Chief Officer: Take the headlines to the drum-ends; no more than three turns, and heave away. (On hand radio to Bridge) "MARA" Fo'csle to "MARA" Bridge. Taking up the slack on the headlines now.

Captain: (On hand radio) "MARA" Fo'csle. Heave easy on the head-lines and keep the anchor cable slack. (To Poop) "MARA" Poop. The mooring boat is coming now. When it arrives send away the spring.

Later, after the spring has been sent away from the main deck.

Captain: (On radio to Poop) "MARA" Poop. Send away the breast-line and heave it clear of the water as quick as you can, but don't put any weight on it. "MARA" Fo'esle. Fast heaving forward. Just pick up the slack as she conies in.

Chief Officer: (On radio to Bridge) "MARA" Fo'csle to "MARA" Bridge. Alongside forward, Sir.

Captain: (On radio) "MARA" Bridge to Fo'csle and Poop Stations. We have 10 metres to come ahead. Heave on the after hack spring. (To Third Officer) Dead Slow Ahead.

(A few moments later)

Captain: (To Third Officer) Stop engines. (On radio to Poop) "MARA" Bridge to "MARA" Poop. Hold on to the spring. "MARA" Bridge to "MARA" Fo'csle. Heave the headlines, tight now, and make sure there is no weight on the anchor cable. Send away the breast-line.


Captain: (On radio to Fo 'csle and Poop) "MARA" Bridge to "MARA" Poop and Fo'csle. She's in position. Make fast fore and aft; three headlines, two breastlines and one spring forward, two stern lines, two breastlines and two springs aft.

The Chief Officer and the Second Officer each repeat the orders and continue to run moorings and make them fast.

Later on the Fo'csle.

Chief Officer: Heave a bit more on the breastline and stopper it off. That's OK. Make fast.

Bosun: (To seamen) Carlos, put a stopper on this one. Ready. Yes? OK. (To winchman) Walk it hack easy. Got it Carlos? Right, turn it up.


Second Officer: "MARA" Poop to "MARA" Bridge. All fast aft: two stern lines, two breastlines, two springs.

Captain: "MARA" Bridge to "MARA" Poop. Thank you, Poop. Stand down, send your men forward to help with the gangway.

Chief Officer: (On radio to Bridge) "MARA" Fo'csle to "MARA" Bridge. All fast forward.

Captain: "MARA" Bridge to "MARA" Fo'csle. Thank you .Jose. Stand down. (To Third Officer) Finished with engines.

Having successfully berthed the Captain meets with various shore officials in his office. The officials are the Immigration Authorities, the Coastguard, the Customs Officers and the Company Agent and Cargo Receivers.

Immigration Captain, may I have the US Crew List, Form 1-418. Thank

Officer; you. Has this been certified by the American Consul at your last port? Oh Yes, I see it has. Fine. Now Captain, may I see the Identity Cards?

Captain: Yes, here you are. Also here are the completed forms 1-95A, Crewman's Landing Permits. It's a new crew this time.

Customs Official: Captain, do you have the Inward Foreign Manifest ready? Captain. The manifest? Do you want the cargo manifest?

Customs Official: Yes, Captain. The US Form 7-527-A with the cargo in long tons and barrels.

Captain: Yes, of course, here you are. Also here is form 1303 (7/71), US Custom Form, and I have the Crew Effects Declaration Form 1304 (7/71).

Customs Official: OK, Captain. Have you inserted a list of narcotics on the Form 1303?

Captain: Yes. You will see there are 50 grammes of morphine. I have had the value of the crew effects inserted in US dollars. Is that OK for you?

Customs Official: Yes, Captain. That's fine.

Agent: Captain, will you check your US currency requirements please?

The Captain takes a large sum of US currency and hands it to the Catering Official to check.

Agent: Captain, the two men for the dentist will he needed at two o'clock this afternoon. May I have their names and personal identification details please?

The business between the officials and the Captain continues this way for some forty minutes until all items of business are complete. The officials leave and the "MARA" is free to start discharging cargo.




I require a tug/.... tugs.

Must I take tug(s)?

How many tugs must be taken by my ship?

You must take .. tug(s).

Where will tug(s) meet me?

Tug(s) will meet you at (positron /(near I (at hours). Tug services suspended/resumed.


In the dialogue, the Pilot explains his plans for the mooring operation.

A plan obviously denotes an intended future action, and the Pilot uses suitable tenses in his dialogue to express this.

We'll be taking the tugs ........................

We berth ...............................................

The tugs will be used ............................

I'll be wanting .......................................

After that, the boat will come back.......

Now using these tenses explain the mooring plan. Use the following prompts. We berth/head/up stream

The tugs/use/push her alongside

Where/tugs make fast?

Tugs' lines? They/give/light wire/help stay in position

The tugs/push/us in

We/stem the current off/jetty

I/want/lay out/starboard anchor

The first lines ashore/two rope headlines

The/boat/come back/take/after spring

We/take/second spring/poop

Now give a verbal, followed by a written, description of the mooring procedure. Project 5.

Prepare a written Entering Port Checklist.


At the discharge port, the correct quantity of oil is pumped from the tanker by means of her cargo pumps into storage tanks ashore. Speed is important, and the pumping rate is rarely less than 1500 tons per hour on a general purpose carrier, and up to ten times as much on the big ships. During discharge the tanker takes on fuel oil bunkers, fresh water and stores. It may be necessary to pay off some of the crew and sign on new men. The ship may either reload with a different grade of oil cargo for another destination, or ballast water is pumped into a selected number of cargo tanks, and the ship is once again ready to sail.

A way of tackling the problem of a port with draught restrictions is to use a single-buoy mooring out at sea in deep water. The tanker is moored, by two bow lines, to the rotating top of a large circular metal buoy. The buoy is anchored to the sea bed by means of steel chains and ground tackle. Submarine and floating hoses provide connections, via the buoy, for the loading and unloading of oil. Submarine pipelines link the single-buoy mooring system to a shore installation.

The tanker is able to swing freely through 360 degrees as weather conditions dictate, and lies heading into the strongest wind and tidal conditions prevailing. This would not be possible if the tanker were lying between a set of fixed buoys. The single-buoy mooring system therefore provides a permanent deep-water terminal where very large tankers can load or unload crude oil securely, even in poor weather conditions.

By these and other means oil companies are able to obtain the financial benefit derived from the use of very large tankers, where suitable harbours are not avail-able. But there is a limit to the saving as size increases further. From the engineer­ing viewpoint, a l,000,000 dwt tanker is technically feasible, but it is doubtful when or whether circumstances may arise when such a vessel could be efficiently employed.

Comprehension Questions

  • What normally happens while a tanker is discharging?
  • Which system is used for discharging in harbours with draught restrictions.
  • What is the advantage of this system?
  • Why does the writer suggest that 1,000,000 dwt tankers would he impractical?


Oil Pollution - Prevention measures

In view of the damage to the environment, and the cleaning-up costs which could arise as a result of a major oil spillage, it is important that all officers be aware of the consequences of oil pollution, and of the measures necessary to prevent it.

Spills of oil on board need not result in pollution of the sea if simple safeguards are observed. Included in the various Company and Government anti-pollution measures are a series of checks which the United States Coast Guard require to be carried out when handling oil cargoes in the United States. These include, plugging of scuppers, inspection of the line connections at the manifold, as well as sealing of the overboard discharge valves. The United States Coast Guard use a check-list to ensure that no precaution is overlooked, and a similar check-list should always be used by ships' personnel at any port. Another important aspect of pollution precaution is good communication between ship and shore. It is essential that there be complete understanding between the shore operatives and the ship's officers over every aspect of the planned operation.


While the Captain is conferring with health and immigration officials, the Chief Officer is supervising preparations for cargo discharge.

Uppermost in his mind is the need to ensure that the ship observes the United States Coast Guard measures for pollution prevention. He is sitting in the cargo office, putting the finishing touches to the cargo plan. The Third Officer enters.

Third Officer: We've just finished opening the tanks now.

Chief Officer: Good. Got. flame arresters in every opening?

Third Officer: Yes, all the scuppers are plugged too.

Chief Officer: Yes, I know. I've checked that myself. Actually, they were done yesterday. Since then, I've had deck water drained off at intervals. It's always safer to have the plugs in, when within port limits, whether you're working cargo or not.

Third Officer: Yes, I think you're right. Oil could always get washed into the sea from deck machinery or something else, I suppose.

Chief Officer: I'll just finish off this plan and post it up on the bulkhead. Then I'll come out and check around for myself. I'd like you now to see that all the fire-fighting equipment is in place. It should be. I'll be with you in a minute.

The Third Officer leaves.

The cargo plan finished, the Chief Officer posts it on the bulkhead behind the desk, and putting on his safety hat goes out on to the main-deck. The cargo plan he has posted allows anyone in an emergency, who might be strange to the ship, a US firefighting chief for example, to see quickly the arrangement of the ship's cargo tanks, the quantity and type of oil they contain, the layout of the pumping system and planned order of cargo transfer. Also available for inspection in the cargo office, is the ship's record of its recent pressure tests on the cargo lines, and a list of names of each deck officer and the watch for which he is responsible.

Out on deck the Chief Officer glances briefly at a safety check-list which he always carries with him during his inspection of accident and pollution prevention measures. lie notes that the Pump Room Ventilation System is working and that no doors or windows in the accommodation are open. He double checks that none of the Scupper Plugs have been removed; that all the valves in the cargo system are shut; that flame arresting gauzes are in position in tank openings (the ship is not fitted with an Inert Gas System).

The Chief Officer pays particular attention to the drip-trays under the cargo connections, seeing that they are empty and that the drains are free. He checks too that spill-check buckets are in place on air vents to bunker tanks, and that bunker tank lids and sounding pipes are shut. He checks too that the offside manifold blanks are secured in place.

A little later, while the Chief Officer is checking the rigging of the gangway, the Third Officer and the Pumpman approach.

Chief Officer: Hello, Juan. Seen anyone from the installation yet?

Third Officer: No, not yet. I've spoken to the jettyman to get telephone numbers for the fire-brigade and check out the ship/shore fire connection. lie says someone should he on board at any time.

('hief Officer: Well, I hope they won't be long. While were waiting, I'd like to do another check of the Pumproom. (To 'Third Officer) Juan, keep a watch at the top while Ricardo and I go down.

The Chief Officer and Pumpman together proceed to check that the Pumproom valves are correctly set by trying each one in turn. In particular, the Chief Officer checks that the overboard discharge valves and the sea suctions are firmly shut and lashed in the closed position.

A few minutes later, when the Chief Officer and the Pumpman emerge again on deck, they find the Third Officer standing with two representatives of the installation.


Representative: Good morning, Mr Mate. Everything OK?

Chief Officer: Good morning. Yes, everything's fine. Like to come up to the office?

The Chief Officer and shore representatives go into the cargo office. They leave the Third Officer and the Pumpman to watch fitters from the installation bolting hoses to the ship's cargo manifold connections.

The Chief Officer and the shore representatives together go through the safety check list. They discuss details of the cargo to he discharged, including the target rate, and every aspect of the operations that will he conducted while the "MARA" is in port, paying special attention to an agreed system of ship/shore communications.


Notice in the introduction the phrase "It is important that all officers be aware of the consequences of oil pollution." This structure is often used in formal announcements. We also use the verb "to be" + past participle for example. "are to be inspected". The other verbs of obligation "must", "should", "ought to" are also used.

A Complete the following sentences so that they are shown to he obligatory.

  • The U.S.C.G. require a series of checks ........... carried out.
  • It is essential that complete understanding between the shore operatives and the ship's officers.
  • The scuppers .................. plugged.
  • It is up to the Captain his crew observes the United States Coastguard regulations.
  • The correct anti-pollution procedures must ........................
  • The overboard discharge valves checked by the Chief Officer.
  • You ....................... all valves in the cargo system are shut.
  • All fire fighting equipment ........... kept in its correct place.

B Complete the sentences below saying what, will happen if the following situations occur. Use the conditional tense.

  • If oil is discharged at sea ....................................................
  • If all necessary precautions are taken .................................
  • If the scuppers are plugged ................................................
  • If the crew do not observe the United States Coastguard regulations ..............
  • If the overboard discharge valves are not checked ............
  • If the valves in the cargo system are not shut

Project 6

Prepare an Action Checklist to be taken when pollution occurs. COMPREHENSION PASSAGE

Keeping the seas clean

Oil tankers are necessary and useful ships, for they bring us the oil we need for so many of the necessities and comforts of modern life. But they are sometimes blamed for spoiling the environment in which we live by allowing oil to escape into the sea.

People used to believe that the world's great oceans were so vast, it did not matter if a lot of rubbish was discharged into the sea. Today we know that even the deep oceans can be damaged by dumping unwanted materials of many kinds and that the seas round our coasts can be made unpleasant or unhealthy.

No oil tanker Captain wants to put oil into the sea. Oil is a valuable cargo that has to be delivered to the receiving terminal, probably at an oil refinery. Modern methods and procedures now make it unlikely that oil will pass into the sea as a result of normal operation.

The load-on-top method is used by the majority of the world's tankers. By this method oil washed from tanks on the ballast voyage is not discharged into the sea (as it used to be), but is retained in a special slop tank on board the ship. The next oil cargo is loaded on top of the oil and water mixture, and both are dis­charged at the receiving terminal. As this oil may require desalting or further treatment before entering the refinery separate storage tanks are provided on shore.

However, in the unlikely event of oil being spilled into the sea, several methods are available for cleaning up the oil quickly so that it does no damage to inshore waters or beaches or to marine life. The oil can be sprayed with a dispersant, which will help it to break up harmlessly. It may be removed by absorbents or by mechanical skimming.

Tanker owners and operators have agreed on international schemes for preventing pollution of the seas by oil, for cleaning up accidental oil spillages, and for paying compensation for any damage caused.

Comprehension Questions

  • Why are tankers sometimes blamed for spoiling the environment?
  • Why in the past, did people not worry about polluting the sea?
  • Describe what is meant by `load-on-top' method.
  • What methods can be employed if a spillage takes place at sea?
  • Do you think that international agreements on controlling pollution can be totally effective?

INTRODUCTION Engine breakdown

An engine breakdown is a phenomenon which occurs either through human error or machine failure. Hence the necessity of a well organised, continuous main­tenance programme.

A total lack of power, or "black-out" could be serious, especially if the ship is in congested waters, or encountering heavy weather. A black-out would entail loss of steering and propulsion, with all the consequent dangers of not being able to manoeuvre.

When the Engine Room alarm sounds all engineers report to the Engine Room in order to help in the emergency, for a number of auxiliaries have to be started in sequence. Total black-outs are rare, as engineers are often able to act quickly to avoid a total plant failure. However, if it did occur, it could take a few hours for the engine to be ready to start up again.


On the return voyage to Cardon the "MARA" is in the Caribbean steaming south-wards from the Mona Passage. It is 11.55, and in the Engine Room the 12 to 4 watchkeeping engineers are standing on the control platform, preparing to take over from the previous watch.

Third Engineer: (To Fourth Engineer) All right, Raphael. I'll have the settling tanks changed over now.

Fourth Engineer: (Who is at the desk writing in the Engine Log). Yes, OK.

Third Engineer: (To his Junior) OK, Pedro? Time to change over the settling tanks now. Have they been dipped and drained?

Fifth Engineer: Er, yes they have.

He leaves the platform to change over the settling tanks.

A few moments later the Fourth Engineer finishes writing up the log and is about to leave the platform when ...

Third Engineer: Raphael, the steam pressure's failing! What's up?

Without waiting for a reply the Third Engineer moves quickly to the fuel burners at the boiler fronts. He calls back to the Fourth Engineer.

Third Engineer: Sound the alarm and shut off steam to the turbines. Some-thing's gone wrong with the change over, the fires are out! Seems like water in the fuel oil. Get Pedro to change back to the port settling tank!

As the Third Engineer shuts the fuel valves to circulate the fuel through the fuel oil pump, the alarm is sounded, and the Fourth Engineer shuts off the steam to the main turbines, using the main throttle valve on the control platform.

Meanwhile the 12 to 4 Junior has returned to the platform. The Third Engineer rushes past on his way to start the emergency (diesel) generator.

Third Engineer: (To Junior) Come with me. Let's get the generator going. (To Fourth Engineer) Start draining the water out of the fuel lines.

The Fourth Engineer who has by now stopped the main turbines goes to the boiler front and begins slackening back the union nuts on the fuel oil burner hose.

Just before noon the Chief and Second Engineers had been in the Chief's office discussing the next scheduled cleaning of the starboard boiler.

Chief Engineer: At this time of the year we have always to consider the

possibility of a hurricane. We should carry the cleaning out

on the next ballast leg, and at as southerly a point as is


Second Engineer: OK. I take it you'll let me know after talking to the Captain. Chief Engineer: Yes, I'll see him shortly. (The alarm rings.)

Second Engineer.. (Thinking it is the noon-time alarm test) Noon already. I'll see you at lunch, Chief.

The Second Engineer walks towards the door, but the alarm is still ringing. He turns and looks quizzically at the Chief.

Chief Engineer: He's letting it ring on a bit, isn't he? Second Engineer: Yes, unless it's a real alarm.

Chief Engineer: (Getting quickly to his feet) If it is, we'd better not hang about here — after you Second!

The Chief Engineer grabs a boiler suit and both men rush to the Engine Room. Arriving on the control platform they find the Fourth Engineer returning from the boiler front.

Second Engineer: What's the trouble, Fourth?

Fourth Engineer: We lost the fires while changing over the settling tanks. The Third and his Junior are getting the emergency diesel going now. My Junior is draining the fuel lines.

Chief Engineer: OK, Fourth, stay here. Second. You'd better see that the Third is OK with that, generator. I'll see how the Junior is getting on.

Two more Junior Engineers arrive on the platform. Chief Engineer: You two. Quick, with me.

At the boiler front the Chief Engineer directs the Juniors in draining water from the fuel lines and re-tightening the unions. A few moments later the 2nd and 3rd Engineers arrive. The latter goes immediately to help the three Juniors.

Second Engineer: (To Chief Engineer) Diesel's on the board now. How are things here?

Chief Engineer: Going as fast as they can. We'll be through in a few minutes. They've done nearly a third of them. Not a lot of water so far.

The Chief Engineer leaves and walks back to the control platform. A few moments later he returns. The engineers, racing against time, are trying to clear the water from the fuel lines and re-start the fires before the steam pressures fall drastically, causing the alternator, and with it all the auxiliaries, to be stopped, which would result in a total blackout.

Chief Engineer: (To Second Engineer) We've not long left to us now. Second Engineer: Yes, I know, but we're nearly there.

The Second Engineer now goes to each fuel oil line and checks the securing of the joint flanges.

Second Engineer: (To Chief Engineer) OK, that's it. I'll try flashing her up again.

The Second Engineer proceeds to direct the others in the flashing-up procedure. Meanwhile, on the Bridge the Second Officer, who so far knows only that the ship has lost power and is rapidly slowing down, has hoisted the Not Under Command (N.U.C.) signal and changed from automatic to manual steering.

(Engine telephone rings.)

The Captain, who had come to the Bridge as soon as he realised that the engine-room alarm had not been a test, answers.

Captain: Yes?

Chief Engineer: Hello, Chief here. We've had water in the fuel oil line, but it seems OK now. The fires are back on, and I think we'll be under way again in about a half hour.

Captain: Thanks very much Chief. Let us know when you are ready to move off again.

Later, whilst the ship is steaming normally, the Chief Engineer enters the Captain's Office.

Captain: Ah, Miguel, come in. Have a seat. Everything all right now?

Chief Engineer: Yes, all OK now.

Captain: Good. Well, at least the delay is negligible, and there was no navigational or collision danger. What was the cause of the trouble?

Chief Engineer: Water in the fuel lines. I can only think they didn't check the starboard settling tank for water before changing over to it.

Captain: Well, they'll know next time. I take it you'll be talking to those concerned and making sure that everybody knows what's expected in future.

Chief Engineer: I certainly will, Sir. We don't want to go through this kind of
experience again.


Using the dialogue as a guide, answer the following questions with the verb construction indicated.


Question: In the event of an engine breakdown, what is the first action which must be taken?

Response: In the event of an engine breakdown, the alarm must he sounded.

  • If the breakdown occurs during the change-over of the settling tanks, what must be shut off immediately?
  • Which valve should be closed in order to shut off the steam to the main turbines?
  • Why must the union nuts he slackened on the fuel oil burner hose?
  • Why has the water got to be drained from the fuel lines as quickly as possible?
  • Why should the N.U.C. signal be hoisted?

Project 7

Give a verbal, followed by a written, description of the consequences of an engine room breakdown.



On the return ballast voyage a number of other (empty) cargo tanks are cleaned with high velocity water washing machines. The wash water, which will have oil mixed with it, is sucked out leaving clean tanks which are then filled with fresh ballast water from the sea. The 'dirty' ballast is then disposed of. This is done by first pumping out to sea the clean water lying under the oily layer on the surface of the ballast water. The oil and oily-water mixture which forms the surface layer of the 'dirty' ballast is then pumped out to a collection tank -- the same one as holds the dirty wash water from the 'clean' ballast tanks. This tank, called the slop tank, will then hold all the oil and oily water recovered from the ballast and tank washings.

After having a day or two to settle, free (clean) water which will have settled out under the oil may be carefully run off to sea, but the slops remain on board to be discharged ashore with the next oil cargo.

On short voyages there will not be time to clean tanks, take on clean ballast and separate out the oil slops. In these circumstances the 'dirty' ballast is retained on board. At the loading port, instead of being pumped to sea, it is discharged ashore to a ballast reception facility. There, the oil is recovered and the oil-free water is pumped back into the sea. With tank cleaning complete, the ship's company revert to normal maintenance programmes. The shipboard management system defines work targets which must he completed, identifies parts to be replaced at fixed intervals, gives basic instruction for each job, and even lists the tools needed.

All over the world other tankers are loading their vast cargoes of crude oil, trans-porting them to refineries where they will be processed and converted into products which, in turn, their small sisters will carry to consumer areas; fuels for transport, heating and agricultural uses, lubricants for machinery of all sizes and descriptions, raw materials for the plastics and petro-chemical industries, for fertilisers and even for animal protein production.

Oil is the life-blood of the 20th Century. For its supply, modern civilisation depends on tankers and the men and women who sail in or support them.

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