Captain/ Master mariner/ DBA/ MBA/ Intl Maritime College Oman/ member of IMLA
28 Oct 2018 5:40 (GMT+1)

Procedures to be taken before dropping the anchor:

Capt. Mehrdad Behforouzi/ 28.10.2018

1- Well in advance, Anchor party is to be briefed clearly about the procedures to be taken, anchorage position, which anchor to be used, how many shackles to be used.

2- Advise one-hour notice to engine room considering the fact that the vessel is to be ready to maneuver or slow down well before approaching to the anchorage area. This is also related to traffic density, the state of visibility & proximity of navigational hazards.

3- OOW to be instructed when to call the Master.

4- Anchors additional lashings to be opened. Cement of hawse pipe is to be removed.

5- As soon as the engine is ready for maneuvering, end of the passage (E.O.P) to be advised to engine room and RPM should be reduced to maneuvering RPM. (SBE)

6- The wheelman should be in bridge and steering to be changed over to hand steering.

7- Before reaching to the anchorage area & preferably clear from traffic/ shallow water, reduce speed from full ahead to half ahead and consequently to dead slow head and finally stop the engine.

8- Wait for the propeller to completely stop and then try engine on Astern movement. Dead slow astern or slow astern for a short time. Then stop the engine. This is to make sure that the engine is working properly after a sea passage.

9- Resume proceeding to the anchorage area with a safe speed.

10- Contact port control/ VTS and request them your anchor position.

11- Plot the anchor position on the chart/ ECDIS or feed the position to GPS as the final way point (WP).

12- Whilst close to the required position to anchor, instruct anchor party to proceed to forward station.

13- With the anchor party in the forecastle, instruct the responsible officer to prepare the desired anchor and walk back until it’s about one meter above the sea level.

14- Maneuver with safe speed and approach to the anchor position.

15- Make sure the required flags are hoisted.

16- The approaching speed should be 4-5 knots as you need to steady the ships heading.

17- It is recommended to maneuver such that when in or near final anchor position to have the same headings as the other vessels at the anchorage. (This will help you to keep the current in ship’s head and to avoid side drifting)

18- Reduce your speed to 2 knots when very close to the required position on Dead Slow ahead.

19- Stop the engine when you are 2-3 cables away from the anchor position and let the vessel drift slowly towards the position. (this depends to wind/ current direction & force as you may need the engine to keep the vessel’s heading on a steady course)

20- Advise forward station to be stand by and once again remind them as to hold on letting go after the agreed amount of shackles are in the water.

21- Check position on ECDIS & make sure the vessel is in the desired position with a safe distance away from the other vessels at anchor.

22- Check the profile of the seabed on the echo sounder. (it’s desirable to drop the anchor in a flat sea bed)

23- With RPM at zero, order Dead Slow Aster (sound 3 short blasts), Slow Astern and if required Half Astern to stop the vessel and to start astern movement.

24- When the astern speed is about 0.5 knots order Stop engine.

25- Instruct the forward party to let go the anchor. (note ship’s position)

26- Hoist anchor ball, change the AIS status.

(At night: switch off navigation lights and turn on the anchor lights, switch on deck lights)

27- Inform port authorities/ VTS of the time of anchoring.

28- Request responsible officer to report the length & direction of the cable.

29- When the required length of cable is in the water order the officer to hold on paying out.

30- Wait for the anchor’s cable to brought up.

31- Frequently check position.

32- When the anchor is brought up, order forward party to pay out the cable until it reaches the required length (this depends to the weather condition, depths of water, strength of current, distance from the other vessels, duration of stay at anchor)

33- Instruct the responsible officer to secure the anchor by applying the brake and bar.

34- Order “Finished With Engine (FWE)” & switch off the steering gear pumps.

35- Set anchor watch alarm on GPS/ RADAR.

Author :

Capt. Mehrdad Behforouzi

28. OCT. 2018


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