The following are guide lines basis my knowledge & fifteen years of command experience on board different types of ocean going vessels:
1- Conduct a thorough inspection of the vessel, preferably accompanied by chief officer/ chief engineer well in advance of arrival at the next port of call.
Special attention to be given to safety & pollution prevention.
Hygiene and cleanliness to be well in order on deck, in engine room, galley, provision stores.
2- Prepare a report and instruct deck/ engine department to deal with the deficiencies/ defects.
3- Conduct a management meeting prior to arrival at the port and instruct all departments to be ready for PSC inspection.
i- Make sure there are no defects left, if any, should be recorded in defect lists.
ii- Advise senior officers to use guidelines (published by flag/ company/ P&I clubs) to make sure they are familiar with PSC inspections.
iii- Review the previous records of PSC inspections and make sure all defects are dealt with & removed.
iv- Prepare a list of the defects that needs shore assistance/ workshop and send to the company.
v- Request all departments to observe safety & hygiene at all times and to make sure crews are using proper safety wears, gears.
vi- MLC requirements are to be fully complied.
vii- Confirm with heads of departments that all Work hours’/ rest hours are properly filled, signed & Watch schedules be posted where they are easily accessible in a standardized format in the working language or languages of the ship and in English.
viii- Instruct all deck officers & engineers to get well familiar with the operation and proper use of the respective equipment & navigational aids.
(ECDIS- GMDSS in bridge/ Oily water separator in E/R)
4- Make sure all drills, trainings, activities are properly recorded in the respective record books.
5- Make sure all records are properly filled/ signed by responsible officers and Master.
(Oil Record Book, GMDSS log book, RADAR log book, Garbage Record Book,
Log books, ODS, Bunker delivery notes, SOLAS record book, record of oil spill drill in SOPEP manual, SOPEP inventory in SOPEP manual, ETA manual, cargo record book)
6- Make sure all vessel certificates are valid and on board.
7- Make sure Fire control plans are updated and correspond with the actual FFA/ LSA equipment on board.
8- Make sure all documents/ manuals are available and approved by flag/ classification societies. (cargo securing manual, stability booklets, COW manual, ODME manual, SEEMP, Garbage management plan, SOPEP, VOC plan, VEC plan, survey reports)
9- Make sure there is available on board an updated “list of National Operational Contact points”.
10- Keep all evidences ready for inspection (Garbage certificate, Bilge/ Sludge certificate)
11- Keep all documents related to crew members available & ready for inspection.
(COC, certificates, yellow cards, medical fitness, Recognition certificates)
12- Cargo related documents are to be ready for inspection.
13- Ballasting/ de-ballasting documents are to be ready for inspection.
14- Make sure all publications/ charts are updated & all NTMs are available on board.
15- Make sure all drills are conducted as per scheduled and records are available.
16- Make sure all equipment/ devices are tested as per manufacturer/ requirements & records are available on board. (Oxygen meter, gas analyzer, computer software for stability calculation, UTI, …)
17- FFA/ LSA equipment are to be in perfect order.
18- Appropriate symbols, signs, guidelines, instructions, policies are to be posted in prominent places.
19- Prior arrival, if possible and time allows, conduct a Fire/ abandon ship drill to make sure all crew are familiar with their duties.
At the end of drill warn them about the possibility of being inspected by PSC at the next port.
20- Next passage plan is to be prepared & ready for inspection.
21- On arrival port:
i- Make sure the vessel is clean and tidy and all safety precautions are well observed. Gangway properly rigged and fitted with a safety net.
Always remember that the first impression plays an important role in dealing with PSC officers.
ii- Security measures to be taken properly.
iii- Crew are to wear proper & tidy safety wears.
iv- Gangway to be properly manned at all times.
v- Minimum safe manning to be observed.
vi- PSC officer should be taken to Master office accompanied by a responsible officer.
22- After briefing with the Master, PSC officers start the inspection and at all times they should be accompanied by a responsible officer.
23- Make sure normal routine/ cargo operation of the vessel is not affected by the process of inspection.
24- At the end of the inspections a debriefing meeting will be conducted and defects, if any, will be discussed and finally recorded in their reports.
25- Sometimes it may require to challenge, respectfully & calmly, with the PSC officers if the Master does not agree with the report.
26- If agreed with the report, sign and stamp and send a copy to the company for further actions.
Capt. Mehrdad Behforouzi
04. 11. 2018
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