JollyJack wrote:Seems that they don't "get it" as regards part II of the MPR. "Minimum Manning" regulations deal with safe navigation of a vessel. Mariners on "Safe Manning" documents are required to take a vessel from a departure port to an arrival port, that's all. It does NOT cover bodies for working cargo, maintaining machinery, chipping, painting or cleaning. It does not, on fishing vessels, cover personnel fishing or, on ferries, opening or securing ramps, tying down cargo vehicles.on supply boats working the deck or the towing winches. Personnel on safe manning documents get the ship from A to B safely, deal with emergency situations and abandon ship. THAT IS ALL!
Every SMD I approve follows these Regulations.
That presents an interesting dilemma. If the Ship Owner insists on operating a vessel under the Minimum Manning Regulations and the Crew are not permitted, once the vessel arrives at it's destination to do anything with respect to Cargo or any other such operations. Who's going to be responsible for loading the vessel, with maybe little more than a generic Load Plan sent from some Ship Management Office somewhere else in the world, the Grain Trimmers?
Based on my experience being on vessels loading in Thunder Bay I can see where this can be a real problem especially where Load and Ballast Plans are always being modified or updated due to the availability of various grades of cargoes in a particular elevator, combined with the possibility of having to move the vessel to any number of elevators to get the cargo needed for the load.
If an Owner thinks he can save money by using the Minimum Crew required or what essentially is a "Delivery Crew" to get a vessel fro one port to another. The owner had better be prepared to pay the additional costs, which ain't cheap, especially in a port like Thunder Bay for;
A Crew to prepare the vessel including cleaning the Cargo Holds for the mandatory Health Canada Inspection
Longshoremen to tie up, shift the vessel and operate the deck machinery while loading. Grain Handlers do not and will not handle mooring ropes or wires or operate ship's machinery.
Cargo Surveyors to verify the loading, complete Dead Weight Calculations for Bills of Lading and to insure final vessel Drafts do not exceed the maximum allowable for the Seaway System
A qualified Mate or Captain to monitor the loading progress and adjust the Load and Ballast plan as necessary to facilitate what ever moves necessary in order to load the vessel without jeopardizing the stability or safety of vessel.
I would guess these extra costs, which would be very difficult to recoup from a market set or contracted freight rate, could easily out strip any saving gained by operating the vessel with a Minimum Delivery Crew. If the Owner is unwilling to pay the costs of the additional shore labour or provide the necessary qualified crew capable of preparing and loading the vessel. The vessel simply will not be loaded.
There is a lot of money to be lost sending a ship up and down through the Seaway without any kind of Back-Haul because an Owner wanting to save a few bucks on Crew Costs.
Troubleshooting 101 "Don't over think it - K.I.S.S. it"