Seagull AS, provider of computer based training (CBT) for seafarers, has introduced a new module that incorporates the regulatory changes made through the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code that became mandatory under the SOLAS Convention from January 1st, 2011. The new Code, which covers the loading, discharge and transportation by sea of dry bulk cargoes, replaces the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (The BC Code), and has to be followed by all bulk carriers.
Working closely with experts from South Tyneside College, Seagull has completely revised its previously BC Code-compliant training module in order to implement the necessary changes and bring it in line with the new IMSBC Code. The company’s recently released IMSBC Code CBT module incorporates a total of 12 chapters, dealing with different aspects of the Code, introducing best practice and also setting out optimum safety measures for the loading, discharge and carriage of solid bulk cargoes.
The CBT module aims to enhance awareness of correct procedures and methods for stowage of solid bulk cargoes; the compatibility of different cargoes; the need for precautions with dangerous cargoes; aspects relating to ship and crew safety; and environmental protection. In particular, the training module focuses on the particular requirements in respect of solid bulk cargoes that are liable to self heat and thereby combust; how to maintain the structural stability of the ship by eliminating stresses on bulkheads and other parts of the vessel; and how to ensure the safety of personnel onboard.
According to Captain Jim Dibble of Seagull UK, “We have designed the new module so that it is easy to follow and is useful from a practical point of view for seafarers onboard bulk carriers, rather than being too long-winded and legalistic. The new training module allows seafarers to grasp the new IMSBC requirements in an intuitive way, so they can more easily comprehend what is now required of them.”
Taking about two hours to complete, Seagull’s IMSBC Code CBT also gives practical examples of real situations that have occurred on bulkers in the past. “We have illustrated the dangers of non-compliance with actual accidents or incidents that have occurred within the industry. Introducing real scenarios helps focus the minds of seafarers on the task in hand which will ensure the safety of themselves and their colleagues, as well as the safety of the vessel itself,” said Captain Dibble.
At the end of each of the chapters there is an assessment section which will enable seafarers to get a good idea of the level of understanding they have reached. The results of this assessment can also be accessed by the company’s training administrators, via a database, so that they can easily see how much of the training has been completed and the level of comprehension that has been achieved.
“One of the strengths of the Seagull training package is that it allows the owner or operator to assess not only the training but also how it is taking place onboard the vessel,” said Captain Dibble. “As well as being highly cost effective, it also allows shore-based staff to continuously monitor the progress that is being made.”
Seagull's new IMBSC CBT training module is aimed primarily at seafarers sailing on bulk carriers, particularly those at STCW Management and Operation level who are involved with cargo operations. Captain Dibble said however, “This is also a very useful tool for management at the shore-based offices of shipowners and operators as it can give staff in these locations a very detailed view of the issues involved in loading, discharging and transporting these types of cargoes.”