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5 Things Deck Officers Should Check During Cargo Watch

Are you planning to ship goods using the marine medium? Did you know the Deck Officer-in-charge will have a vital role to play? Responsible for the navigation, safe handling of vessel and cargo, communications between the ship and shore, handling and delivery of the shipment, the Deck Officer dispenses several crucial roles and responsibilities in getting your freight delivered safely to the destination.

Let’s take you through some of the significant duties carried out by deck officers in getting your cargo ferried.

  • Plan & Monitor the Loading & Discharging of Cargo: The priority of the Deck Officer is to ensure the smooth loading and discharge of the cargo from the port. They go out on the deck for round marks to identify on which bays the gantry cranes are working and make a note of the gantry number. In some cases, at this point itself, they suggest loading of cargo to avoid vessel healing and continuous running of the auto-healing system and heeled pumps. There is special attention given to the safe removal of hatch covers without damaging the superstructure of the ship. If anything is not going as per the plan or if the ship’s superstructure gets damages due to crane operations, the Deck Officer needs to get informed and stevedore damage report gets prepared. They should also have knowledge of IMDG containers loaded and have the know-how of handling reef containers with care.
  • Visual Inspection of Ship’s Draught: The arrival and departure draughts need to get checked visually and logged down. If in certain ports the depth is less, a close watch on the draught and under keel clearance is necessary as it can vary when large boxes get loaded. A thorough visual examination of the draught needs to be carried out at least once during the watch as draught gauges may not always be accurate. Besides, timely checking the draught can help avoid many dangers. 
  • Check the Ballast & List: The Deck Officers have comprehensive knowledge about the ballast operations and sometimes execute it according to the advice of the chief officer. When carrying out a ballast operation, it is essential to keep a close watch on the inclinometer of the vessel. Sometimes, when water ballast gets pumped into the same side where cargo is getting loaded, the ship can happen to list. So, Deck Officers need to stay well-informed about the ballast water management plans.
  • Execute Change of Watch Procedure: The change of watch procedure happens on the port and in the sea and during both the times it is crucial. The Deck officer needs to provide all the necessary details regarding progress on deck, ballast operations and cargo operations. As part of this change process, they also undertake deck rounds to stay updated and provide the latest information to the next officer-in-charge. They also pass on any out of ordinary details that are necessary for the relieving officer.
  • Ensure Safety & Security onboard Ship: Security and gangway watches get executed during the port stay of the vessel. According to the ISPC code, there are different security levels and security measures that need to get followed.

From loading to unloading of cargo, to security of the shipment, vessel and personnel fall on the Deck Officer. When you plan to enter into an agreement with any marine services firm, it is necessary to know about the Deck Officers. The experience and working knowledge of deck officers play a crucial role. If you are looking for shipping companies that have such seasoned officers on board, then it’s time to introduce you to industry veterans at Alphard Maritime. Managed by Master Mariners, Chief Engineers, trained technicians and qualified professionals, you can depend on the marine services by Alphard team. The group company Athena specialises in dry cargo chartering. Capable of providing offshore shipping and customised solutions rely on the services of the highly professional and versatile Alphard an Athena team. Outperforming every transit without compromising on safety, when it’s cargo services shipment required, connect with Alphard Maritime.