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Published by: sumanparvez on Feb 05, 2013
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Navigation (Advanced) for Mates / Masters Nadeem Anwar
Shipping is perhaps one of the most globalised industries. For such an industryto work with common standards, legislation is very important. Legislation affectsall aspects of shipping from construction to safe operations. Navigation is nodifferent.The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in consultation with the member states and using expert help from the relevant sub-committees produces draftproposals. Once a certain number of member states with a certain percentageof world tonnage agree to proposals, the Convention is formed. The actualregulation that a ship has to comply with is the national law of the country (flagstate) where the ship is registered. This Convention is the minimum standardthat a ship has to follow for international trading. Ship also has to meet the portand coastal state standards where the same are different to or above the IMOConventions.Navigation and related issues are covered under international instruments, likeSOLAS, STCW and Collision Regulations. In addition, the flag states adviseown ships through regulations, codes and notices. The main areas of interestare:
Safety of navigation (covered under SOLAS Chapter V, National Lawsand Bridge Procedures Guide by ICS)
Carriage of Navigational Equipment and Publications (covered under SOLAS and National Laws)
Training and Certification (covered under STCW’72 / 95)
Management (covered under ISM Code in SOLAS’74)
Collision Regulations (COLREGS’72)Significance of the relevant areas is briefly discussed in this chapter. Note isalso made of certain requirements that did not fit other chapters.
 Analysis of any accident or incident will show an element of human error or management failure. The so called “equipment failure” or “Act of God” incidentsalso have human involvement somewhere. Equipment or machinery may nothave been maintained as required or too much reliance may have been placedon a single system, or decisions may not have been taken in time. Similarly,management is an issue as error of judgement or mistake by one individualshould have been spotted in time and timely corrective action should have beentaken. In order to overcome the human error and management issues, generalprinciples and objectives so as to promote evolution of sound management andoperating practices within the industry as a whole were introduced into shippingthrough the ISM Code under SOLAS.The full title of the ISM Code is: “The international management code for thesafe operation of ships and for pollution prevention”. The objective was toensure safety, to prevent human injury or loss of life, and to avoid damage to
Navigation (Advanced) for Mates / Masters Nadeem Anwar
the environment, in particular, the marine environment, and to property.Navigation safety is an element that can help with achieving the objective, atleast, in part.
1.1.1 SMS
The Code reinforces the responsibility of the owner or company to beresponsible for the proper management of the ship and ship operations. To thisend, the owner or company are required to develop, implement and maintain aSafety Management System (SMS) for use by the company and the ship inorder to meet the objective. SMS has following relevant functional requirements: NAVIGATION POLICYThe company policy on safety and environment protection: The SMS shouldinclude a clear statement on navigation policy of the company. This may bebrief only highlighting the general aim of the company to be achieved throughsafe navigation. PROCEDURES A full set of instructions and procedures to perform the ship operations safelyand for environment protection, while satisfying applicable international and flagstate requirements: The procedures are likely to be covered in a lengthysection. The Code requires procedures to be available for all aspects of operations. This implies that all known aspects of navigation need to be coveredby the procedures. The procedures provide clear instructions – in line withcompany policy – to prepare for navigation, execution and monitoring, includingrelevant records and review of performance. The procedures will defineapplicable safety limits to be maintained in certain circumstances. Maintenanceand upkeep of equipment and associated material will also be covered. AUTHORITY AND COMMUNICATIONS An organisation structure defining levels of authority and lines of communicationbetween and amongst company and shipboard personnel: In addition to generalwatchkeeping duties, Master may delegate responsibility for certain aspects of navigation to officer(s). REPORTING PROCEDURESProcedures for reporting non-conformities with the provisions of ISM Code andany accidents are covered in full with the operations procedures. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESSProcedures for readiness and for responding to emergency situations:Company supplies the ship with standard contingency plans. The companyorganisation for response is also established and communicated to Master. AUDITS AND REVIEWSProcedures detailing internal audits and reviews: This sets out how theperformance can be judged, determine any deficiencies in procedures andresources, and what lessons can be learnt to improve further.
Navigation (Advanced) for Mates / Masters Nadeem Anwar IMPLEMENTING POLICYMaster must ensure that all officers and crew with navigational duties are fullyaware of company policy on navigation and understand the procedures set bythe company. Master should also make a judgement on the competence of individuals before allocating responsibilities. Master must also ensure that theindividuals are fit for duties and are adequately rested. MOTIVATING CREWTraining is the best motivator. The personnel with navigation duties should befully familiarised with and trained on shipboard equipment to be used for navigation. ISSUING ORDERS A full set of standing orders and daily night or bridge orders should be written bythe Master for the watch officers. In addition the use of standard marinevocabulary for all bridge communications should be standard practice. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTSMaster must be satisfied that all international and flag state requirements arebeing complied with. This covers the operational status of mandatory equipment(AIS, VDR, etc.), relevant records (Radio, etc.), regular reporting (danger messages, reporting systems, etc.) and receipt of information (MSI, etc.) aremeeting the requirements. REVIEW AND REPORTINGPrior to commencement, during the operational stages and on completion, theMaster should keep under review the navigation of the ship. The process startswith ensuring that appropriate resources are available and that all personnel arecompetent and properly trained. The plans (e.g., passage plan) are completedin a timely manner and are detailed enough to ensure safe navigation of theship on the current passage taking the environment into account. During theperformance stages, the resource allocation should be maintained and a checkshould be kept on safe and efficient progress. On completion or where anyproblems have been experienced, all the information and records must bereviewed in order to determine the possible improvements that need to be madein the future, including where necessary:
additional resources required
additional training
proposed amendments of procedures required
lessons to be learnt and communicated to othersMaster has overriding authority in cases involving safety and pollutionprevention. Master may override the procedure to complete the operationssafely but cannot amend it. Amendment will be done by the company.Similarly, Master may follow advice from external authorities (e.g., routeinginstructions) and may override it as well to ensure safety of vessel andprevention of damage to environment.

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