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  • What would you do?

    As second mate on a ship you are involved in ballast tank cleaning, when the oxygen meter battery runs out. You go off to the bridge to plug it in and recharge it and when you come back the mate has sent the crew back into the tank. You confront him about this and he reluctantly removes the guys from the tank until the oxygen meter is charged enough to finish the job (a delay of about 20 mins), the job is then completed without any further incident.

    What do you do at this point?

    A couple of weeks later you find that the mate has sent someone into an empty dry bulk tank just to place a ventilation fan in the bottom of the tank to dry it without a permit, by the time you discover this the job is finished and no-one was hurt.

    What do you do now?

    Before everyone jumps on their high horses and screams "safety first", bear in mind that:

    a) the chief mate and master are both of the same nationality (different to you) and are close friends
    b) you are new to the company and they have both been here for some time
    c) the company has a fairly strong policy on safety and seems to genuinely mean what they say
    d) you have a mates ticket and have been told that promotion should be quite rapid, which is good as you have just bought a house

  • #2
    Ask him about it. Mention to Master/Safety Officer. Maersk have an anonymous means of reporting an unsafe act/near miss onboard, does your company have similar?

    I don't think you can let your own personal interests get in the way of preventing this from happening again and potentially being a fatality.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

    Comment


    • #3
      This is what I would do:

      1. Inform the Master.
      2. Complete Near Miss Report - this should be recorded and sent to the company.
      3. If you dont get a satisfactory answer from the Master, make a detailed report - who, what, when. Once complete send to the DPA either whilst on board or when home, thats your own call.

      Without a doubt you MUST inform the Master before taking any other action. Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Very difficult situation to be in, because I appreciate that the atmosphere between yourself and the Captain/Chief Officer could become very difficult once reported. You are also likely to be in a you against them situation to prove what happened.
        As Chief Officer I've been in this situation with a Master who entered a chain locker without a permit or any preparations, he was reported and subsequently fired after a thorough investigation. That company had previously had 3 people die in similar circumstances on a ship a few years prior. That was one of the toughest situations I've faced because I had to work with him for a few days until we reached port and the guy had a serious temper and obviously wasn't happy. He believed what he was doing was in the commercial interests if the company.

        The correct action would be to report it, but you should exhaust all options on board first and realise that without proof the company may not take you seriously (depending on the company). Have a chat with the Captain.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had actually sorted this out to some extent before I posted this, I just wanted to see what others would have done.

          I actually confronted the mate about this, and told him that I wasn't happy working like this, he became quite angry and the whole thing got a bit heated.

          The captain came to see me afterwards to say that the mate had come to him to complain about my attitude and that I was trying to avoid work by using safety as an excuse, the old man told me that he had told the mate that if this was repeated he would contact the company and have them send a new mate out. He also told me that if the mate tried to give me s**t about this that I was to go straight to the captain and he would make sure that it was sorted out.

          It has stayed onboard which I am reasonably happy about as I think the mate will have realised that this sort of thing is simply not acceptable, they are both permanent here so the old man will be watching closely for this sort of thing in the future.

          My biggest worry was that the old man, being very good friends with the mate would simply side with the mate and I would find myself on the wrong end of a pack of lies and that the crew would be too scared for their jobs to tell the truth if someone came onboard to investigate. I had photos of the vent fan in the tank and there was obviously no permit for it, but it would have been very easy for everyone to claim that this was from a different date and found a previous permit for that tank.

          Unfortunately the company don't have an anonymous reporting system, and even if they did it would have been fairly obvious who had reported it and even more difficult to prove any wrong doing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well done on resolving a difficult situation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like you have it under control, and more importantly it sounds like you have quite a decent old man!!

              To add to this, I notice a point that seems to have been missed, which is the crew followed the mates orders and went back in the tank. I don't know what your companies safety culture is like, but in my company the crew are actively encouraged to challenge behaviour that is unsafe. I would certainly suggest that this is a worthwhile point to bring up at a convenient meeting etc, because it should not just be officers challenging unsafe behaviour!!

              Cheers,

              Phil

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by thebrookster View Post
                Sounds like you have it under control, and more importantly it sounds like you have quite a decent old man!!

                To add to this, I notice a point that seems to have been missed, which is the crew followed the mates orders and went back in the tank. I don't know what your companies safety culture is like, but in my company the crew are actively encouraged to challenge behaviour that is unsafe. I would certainly suggest that this is a worthwhile point to bring up at a convenient meeting etc, because it should not just be officers challenging unsafe behaviour!!

                Cheers,

                Phil
                I think I will e-mail the DPA anonymously when I get home and explain the situation without vessel details or names (the company manage almost 100 vessels) and recommend that the company's policy on enclosed space entry is re-iterated throughout the fleet.

                Comment

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