The London P&I Club said it has seen a rise over the past 12 months in the number of deficiencies relating to Temporary and Preliminary (T&P) notices to mariners, and an increase in negative findings in relation to the management of radio navigation and meteorological warnings.
In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club said its Ship Inspection Programme has identified failure to manage T&P notices, or to apply them to the ship’s chart folio, as a commonly recorded occurrence. It said, “If T&P notices are not consistently applied to the chart folio, the ship’s navigating officer and officers of the watch may be deprived of valuable passage planning information. T&P notices contain a vast array of information which may influence the planning or conduct of a passage. Efficient passage planning requires the assimilation of good-quality information which ought to leave the mariner better equipped to decide how to conduct the passage of a ship.”
The club also points to a failure to properly observe navigation/meteorological warnings and/or systems by which information is collected, applied and displayed for watchkeeping officers to monitor. It says a lack of observation of the meteorological information provided by the Navtex system on the bridge of a ship entered with the club recently contributed greatly to a significant oil spill claim.
The Navtex equipment on the bridge of the ship, which was anchored at the time of the incident, was fully operational and properly set. Unfortunately, there was no established system by which the information – whether navigational or meteorological - was read, considered and applied on the bridge. Heavy weather was forecast by various means, including Navtex, but was quite unexpected at that time of year. By the time the poor weather struck, it caught the bridge team by surprise in the early hours of the morning. In the time that it took to get the main engine on-line, the ship had dragged its anchor approximately one nautical mile onto a rocky shoreline, puncturing its bunker tanks. The resultant spill clean-up and associated claims amounted to more than $44m.
The club concluded, “Officers should be reminded of the full extent of the chart and publication folio to which corrections apply, and of the risks of ignoring sources of navigational and meteorological information.”