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Scott Campbell, Chief Mate Unlimited, Simon Alleson.
First thing, he looked through my discharge book, and told me that he had done all initial surveys on my vessel, last year. He knew my superintendents by name.
So, tell me about your ship....open ended question.
Everything. SPS code, life rafts and boats, cargo, dry bulk, NLS, tanks, pumps, P&A manual, doc, cof, smpep, ORO, new anti rolling tanks fitted on my vessel meant change in tonnage, so volumes of new tanks, how they work, deck cargo, anti pollution certs.
Then more in depth to P&A manual. How do you load NLS? You are renewing NLS certificate, how do you prepare for survey.
IBC code, related to IMDG code. BC code, SLU and BLU mentioned briefly what they are.
I gave all I could on that. Standard survey format, smpep drill, objective evidence, including record books, checklists, officers familiarity, etc. He said what about the tanks? Check valves and structure, pumps, condition, not modified, seals, pollution and safety checks. He said what checks in particular?
He eventually wanted High Level and Low level alarms. I got there in the end. He was surprised because he said that supply boats never check these and it's a pain. He asked, 'do you actually physically check them on board? How?.' I bluffed, electric sensors, so engineers do it weekly, as per PS critical eqt. And emergency stops!
Inside that tank, agitator is fucked. How do you repair with shore contractors?
Full tank entry, risk assessment, sms, company policies, permits tow work, how is it in your company?
Emergency, at sea, unauthorized tank entry has happened, casualty in the tank, injured. You are C/o on bridge. Deal with it.
Then, you are safety officer. Casualty now medevacced. What are your duties as safety officer? Investigation. Reporting. MAIB in detail.
Then, the ship is now 3000GT and you are master. What would you do after such an incident.
Particularly asked about reporting. Full details. IRF. Means of sending iRF. When. Evidence. Insurers. Etc.
OLB. As chief mate, what entries are you involved with?
Narrative done by master usually, but assist in information and disciplinary hearings. Accommodation FW, sanitation Food inspection. Pilot hoists. Freeboard sheet and draughts. Drills. Wtds.
The oil price has tumbled, and your company send you for a job in Gulf of Guinea.
Chief mate, how do you prepare?
Voyage planning overview.
Charter instructions and type of charters.
Security, full detail, duties of sso, cso, and ssp review, listening measures. Possibility of changing safe manning document and Issc due to possible changes in area of operation/manning required. Spoke about special problem of bridge restricted area on DP ships with full control of engines from bridge. (He knew every computer and console on my bridge!)
Then he said what else?
Cargo. Si 336.
Volume, loadlines, deadweight, cargo appraisal. What info you use from 2nd mate, and why?
Spoke about stability a bit.
Then he probed, what else?
I said ballast. He was happy.
Full fucking detail! All methods, do and d2. My ship is d2, UV, so I spoke about that. He said, you are on D1.
Full discussion on flow through, empty/refill, pathogens, certificate, plan, management plan, tanks and pumps, procedures, instructing other officers, day/night, etc.
SF, BM, GM.
He asked, anything else.
Sediments. He said, yes, but not what I'm looking for.
Vent heads off, stresses on tank with pressure. Loading rates. Trim, suction, etc.
He said what else.
Eventually I said free surfaces.
Good. So what are free surfaces?
Full discussion. Assumed full free surface as soon as you start to load/unload tank. I referred to our anti rolling tanks, and how they work, and how supply boats have max trim info, and max draughts aft. Why we discharge deck cargo first to lower g before is offshore.
Then LSA. What inspection do you do on lifting gear relating to LSA? I thought I fucked it halfway through this. I spoke for ages on normal lifting gear, test loads, 5 yr proof, weights etc. But I could tell from his face that was wrong. In the end I realized he wanted proof load of lifeboat 5 yr. Full, full detail!
He made a bend in a river. Straight channel, 90 degree bend to port, then straight again. Tidal river, current 3 knots from behind you.
Describe the effect of the current on vessels navigating this.
Current strongest, adds to forward speed, etc.
I hadn't prepped this, but took a few minutes reasoning it out. He didn't seem to mind me thinking out loud.
Then, how would you, as master 3000GT, navigate this bend?
All I could think was don't do it, it's a trick, tide astern!
I asked, what kind of propulsion?
He said, does it matter?
So, finally I said, risk assess it to ensure vessel maneuvering is capable of the turn before entering channel, as contingency have anchor party forward and cock a bill anchor. I just wanted to say cock. Then reduce speed as much as possible, even operating astern propulsion to counter effect of tide, hug the port side of the bend, sound one long blast per rule 9, turn, kick ahead, then apply full speed ahead to avoid being set onto the outward bank.
No smarty board.
TSS. On pdv Crossing from inshore zone. In sep zone, two safe water marks. Head on, in sep zone is a PDV, and FV is half out of sep zone, facing me on stbd bow with risk of collision.
I asked if the buoys represent a safe water narrow channel? He said no.
To stall for time, I said 'series of compass bearings and radar ranges to ascertain risk of collision'
He interrupted me and said, what's that?
I quoted rule 7. Happy.
I had to think, but eventually I explained R18 says I gave way to FV, because I am not following the lane, he is not impeding me, However he is about to oppose the lane, so I will hoist Yankee golf and inform VTS. I said I could alter to stbd, or slow down. However, I'm in a R14 situation with the PDV, so I won't slow down. And I Can't Enter the lane as I'd be creating an impeding passage situation with the FV, so one short and alter to stbd, Staying within Inshore zone.
Being overtaken by CBD.
Again, overtaken by CBD With crossing me on stbd bow, both colrisk. Full explanation, and alter to stbd.
He then asked me to detail lights of all vessels.
What is a RAM vessel, plus examples.
What is NUC, plus examples.
I think that was it.
Sent me out to discuss with the second examiner.
It's hilarious. They have a poster outside the exam room, warning about the dangers of stress.
Cheers Vinil. I couldn't have done it without you.