Watchkeeper

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STCW Convention: General requirements for ratings

According to STCW Convention, ratings must meet minimum standards of medical fitness, minimum age (if designated with watchkeeping duties), competence (if designated with watchkeeping duties), and seagoing service time (if designated with watch- keeping duties).

STCW Convention at a glance

In 1978, IMO adopted a landmark Convention for all seafarers across the world to establish high standards of competence and professionalism in their duties on-board. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, the STCW Convention in brief, establishes the minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.

50% of seafarers frustrated with bridge alarms, survey finds

A recent shift to automation and new technologies makes imminent the need of additional skills for seafarers to adequately respond to new requirements. In 2017-2018, the Shipowners Club ran a survey to investigate whether alarms on the bridge affected the attention and focus of bridge watchkeepers.

Improper course alteration, insufficient lookout lead to collision

ATSB issued a report on the collision between the container ship ‘Beijing Bridge’ with the fishing vessel ‘Saxon Onward’, in the Tasman Sea, off Gabo Island, on 23 January 2018. The report identified the ship’s alteration of course and the insufficient lookout in darkness as the key causes of the accident. 

South Africa signs up to IMO treaty on fishing vessel personnel

South Africa has become the 25th State to sign up to the IMO treaty on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F). The Convention sets the certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above.

Alcohol a significant factor of ‘Ruyter’ grounding

On 10 October 2017, the Netherlands-flagged general cargo vessel ‘Ruyter’ ran aground off Rathlin Island when the master, who was the watchkeeper, left the bridge unattended. The UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the incident, noting that the master had been consuming alcohol prior to taking over the watch.

Finland amends law to promote automation in maritime

Finnish Government submitted a bill on ships’ crews and the safety management of ships, promoting autonomous tests in maritime transport. Under the submission, in future, exemptions to minimum vessel manning requirements and watchkeeping may be made for a fixed term in order to promote technological innovations. 

Improper lookout the cause of ships’ collision off Australia

On 23 June 2015, in daylight with clear visibility, ‘Jag Arnav’ and ‘Total Response’ collided about 26 NM north-west of Bunbury, Western Australia. Jag Arnav sustained minor damage and no injuries to the crew. The ATSB investigation identified the poor lookout and lack of alertness as key causes of the accident. 

Fatigue causes barge’s sinking and marine oil spill

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued an investigation report on the grounding of articulated tug-barge composed of the tug’ Nathan E. Stewart’ and the tank barge ‘DBL 55’, resulting in the barge’s sinking and an oil discharge into the water. The report indicated fatigue as the key cause of the accident. 

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