Following a recent incident, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to remind Shipowners, Masters and Officers of their obligations under the STCW Convention.
These requirements are contained in the STCW Code, as amended: Part A, Chapter VIII.
If the Master considers it necessary, a continuous navigational watch shall be maintained at anchor. While at anchor, the Officer in charge of the navigational watch shall:
1. Determine and plot the ship’s position on the appropriate chart as soon as practicable.
2. When circumstances permit, check at sufficiently frequent intervals whether the ship is remaining securely at anchor by taking bearings of fixed navigation marks or readily identifiable shore objects.
3. Ensure that a proper lookout is maintained.
4. Ensure that inspection rounds of the ship are made periodically.
5. Observe meteorological and tidal conditions and the state of the sea.
6. Notify the Master and undertake all necessary measures if the ship drags anchor.
7. Ensure that the state of readiness of the main engines and other machinery is in accordance with the Master’s instructions.
8. If visibility deteriorates, notify the Master.
9. Ensure that the ship exhibits the appropriate lights and shapes and that appropriate sound signals are made in accordance with all applicable regulations.
10. Take measures to protect the environment from pollution by the ship and comply with applicable pollution regulations.
In addition, the Master of every ship at an unsheltered anchorage, at an open roadstead or any other virtually “at sea” conditions in accordance with chapter VIII, section A-VIII/2, part 4-1, paragraph 51, of the STCW Code should ensure that watchkeeping arrangements are adequate for maintaining a safe watch at all times. A deck officer should at all times maintain responsibility for a safe anchor watch.
In determining the watchkeeping arrangements, and commensurate with maintaining the ship’s safety and security, and the protection of the marine environment, the Master should take into account all pertinent circumstances and conditions and the guidance given in the STCW Code, as amended, Part B, Chapter VIII.
Other sources of information, such as the Admiralty Sailing Directions, local marine notices and advice from Harbour Masters and Vessel Traffic Services, should be taken into account by the Master
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