A ship’s emergency must be handled with assurance and composure because rash judgments and “jumping to conclusions” can worsen the situation.
Accidents involving ship grounding are mostly brought on by human error, occasionally by insufficient port-related information, or by unidentified coral reefs and rocks. Major ship grounding accidents frequently have faulty navigating procedures and inattentive maneuvering as their main causes. Inadvertent groundings or strandings can also be caused by defective navigational tools, poor weather, or engine failure. The worst-case scenario involves the loss of human lives, but such incidents also have an impact on the environment and the ship.
Continuous training and realistic drills on board ships can help crews handle emergencies more effectively. Nevertheless, it has been seen that even with proper preparation, people still experience panic episodes and ultimately fail to act appropriately in emergency situations.
The seafarer must, first and foremost, be knowledgeable about the various kinds of emergencies that might occur on board a ship. This would aid in a better understanding of the current situation and pave the way for remedial action to be taken in order to save lives, property, and the environment.
A Guide for Emergency Situations
The officers and crew should thoroughly study the ship’s fire and the training manual for lifesaving equipment.
In the event of an all-out alarm
- Hurry to the muster station equipped with your immersion suit and life jacket, and behave in accordance with the vessel’s Muster Lists.
- Comply with the in-charge officer’s instructions regarding the emergency.
- Emergency procedures should be followed in the event of a ship grounding.
- All interested parties should be informed.
- Report the incident to the port authorities.
- Immediately turn off the engines.
- Immediately inspect for interior damage, water intakes, or leaks, and close watertight doors.
- Signals using light, shape, and sound.
- Take charge of potential pollution.
- A record of the incident’s date, time, and location for the vessel.
Flood in the engine room
- The Chief Engineer should be contacted right away if the engine room floods and an all-out alert should be sounded.
- Emergency bilging from the engine room should be established in accordance with the Chief Engineer, and immediate action should be taken to stop more seawater from entering the engine room.
Cargo Hold Overflow
- The master must be notified right away in the event of a flooded cargo hold.
- To keep the flooding within that hold, every precaution must be taken.
- The general alert needs to go off.
When a fire alarm sounds:
- Alert the officer on duty.
- Determine whether the warning is true or false.
- Refer to your results.
- As soon as a fire is detected, sound the fire/general alarm. If you can’t put out the fire, muster in accordance with the Fire Muster List.
Signal for Man Overboard
- Hurry up to the deck and look for the crew member who has fallen into the water.
- Toss a lifebuoy and alert the crew.
Ship Abandonment Signal
If there is a signal to abandon ship:
- Hurry over to the muster station.
- Bring as much food, water, and warm clothing with you as you can.
- Comply with the Muster Lists for the vessel.
- The ship’s “Shipboard Oil Pollution Prevention Plan” should be followed immediately during an oil spill or pollution.
- In the event of an oil spill, SOPEP and the onboard SOPEP equipment situated in the deck stores should be employed.
Whatever the scenario, keep the Master, Chief Engineer, and Officer on Watch informed at all times. If there are any additional emergencies, please contact for assistance by using the phone or by triggering the Emergency Call.