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Manning Levels

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:24 pm
by JK
The Blog is giving my computer the caniptions, so I thought I would post this here. Maybe someone can explain to me what the policy is if a crew member is injured or hurt and are unable to do their emergency duties. If the ships are manned to such a minimal level that 1 person missing cancels a sailing, then obviously there must be grounds for concern if a crew member is unable to do their job for whatever reason.
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Crew member's absence grounds ferry

Gerry Bellett
Vancouver Sun


Monday, March 24, 2008


VANCOUVER - The absence of one crew member forced the cancellation of two sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland today.

Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries director of media relations, said the 5:15 a.m sailing of the Queen of Cowichan from Duke Point in Nanaimo to Tsawwassen was prevented when there were insufficient staff to operate the vessel under Transport Canada safety regulations.

"We needed to have a crew of 21 on board but we only had 20. We can't sail unless we have a full complement," said Marshall.

Vehicles that had been loaded onto the Queen of Cowichan at Duke Point for the early morning sailing were then unloaded, with travellers having to wait until the Queen of Alberni sailed at 7:45 a.m. Marshall said there were some disgruntled passengers.

"It was frustrating for them to have to wait another two and a half hours before leaving," she said.

The failure of the Queen of Cowichan to arrive in Tsawwassen resulted in the 7:45 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen to Duke Point being cancelled. Marshall couldn't say which member of the crew failed to arrive.

"It doesn't have to be an officer it could be someone who works in catering," she said.

Asked if there would be disciplinary action taken against the crew member for failing to show up, Marshall said that was an internal matter that would not be discussed publicly.

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:59 pm
by SSI Paul
I was wondering why the ferry didnt sail,not that i was wanting to get on it.If the ferry corp wants to blaim a crew member not showing up as the reason, so be it,maybe its the new excuss for a ship problem instead of telling the public again that the fleet is old and needs newer ships,which are coming over seas faster than and cheaper than here....But the question is can a vessel be delayed or not sail w/o proper crew..........YES it can be delayed or not sail.Each person on board as a active crew member has a part of a rescue,emergency duty,on board.Some may think that the crewmember that has the least amount of input,ie. cook ,steward etc dont count as part of the crew.The cook on a tug boat has been apointed the duty of loading all signaling devices ie flares,portable radios,SARTS EPIRB etc into the work boat and then making sure all lashing are free and the boat is ready for use.Hope this answers your question....................Paul

Anyone seen my mate ?

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:34 am
by The Dieselduck
Mmmm. I thought I had posted about this but I forget where.... Anyways, the word on the street is that it was a Mate that was MIA. Yup, you could have volunteered your services Paul, ehehehehe. What a pisser to be stuck ashore .

Manning levels

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:31 pm
by carbob
My understanding is that as long as you have the personnel required on the safe manning certificate, you are clear to sail. I don't know what you do if there was trouble, but the minimum 'safe' manning certificate isn't realistic in my view and TC should look at revamping the process of deciding what is the safe number of people to have manning the ship. But, if it as said, that it was a mate that was MIA, maybe his position was stated on the certificate.

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:38 pm
by JK
I understand safe manning, but cutting the positions on a ferry so that one person not showing up, cancels the sailing?
That tells me, they either fight the fire or the leak or abandon ship. They can't do both.
The thought of loading 400-500 passengers in a lifeboat, in the dark, in rough weather while everything is going to hell on the ship is rather daunting.

( don't even get me started on the cruise ships with up to 5000 people on them...after all what agency in the world is geared to rescue that many people at once)

Safe manning (?)

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:09 pm
by The Dieselduck
I was shocked the day I saw the safe manning certificate for the passenger vessels I was on. I cant remember what exactly it was but the ship was 80,000tons, with a pax capacity around 3100, and 75,000 hp. The certificate was like 9 people required to "safely" operate the ship. I was so stunned, that I forgot to check the caveats, but I'm sure that was for no passengers onboard, but still, youre lookign at a pretty big friggin ship.

Obviously we ran with quite a much larger crew, 60 some strong in the engine room / technical ops - 730 or so total. I guess you take a look at the Emma Maersk and their 13 man crew. I'm sure they always have a riding crew of 4-10 guys on board, but still, one has to wonder what the hell, why even bother carrying that certificate, what a joke. One has to ask, are all ship certificates so razor thin close to the absolute bare essentials ! I guess that why they call it the "minimum safe manning" for a reason.

Kinda makes for a scary picture.

Injured crew

Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:17 am
by Dieseldame
Don't know about the specific situation but we had a case recently when one of our crew was taken out of active service due to some chest pains. An alternate crew could not be located in time so the office had TC issue a certificate that would allow us to operate 1 short. Not sure how long that takes...maybe longer than 2.5 hours!

I think a good point is the safety aspect. The duties of this particular crew were not reassigned until a subsequent drill, a lesson learned about all the boxes to check when a "man goes down".

DD