There are a number of recognised industry standards, which have been put in place to protect and continuously improve life for those at sea. And ensuring our seafarers understand what they can expect as a result of these standards is an important part of V.Group’s training matrix.
While governance of these standards primarily rests with the flag state, an additional level of assurance is applied by Port State Control (PSC). PSC officers are employed to inspect ships to ensure they meet international standards to ensure the safety of the crew and ship, crew welfare and protection of the environment.
Regional PSC organisations and agreements are in place covering key trade regions: Europe and North Atlantic, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Riyadh and the US (undertaken by the US coast guard).
Neville Jayant, operations manager of our SeaTec Safety department explains more: “Today’s ship operators are under constant pressure to demonstrate that their vessels are safe - both in the material sense and with respect to the ability of the crew to operate ships safely. We see PSC inspections very much a part of ensuring that our crew and the vessels we manage are operating safely.”
The master and his crew are supported by a fleet management team ashore, who ensure they meet the requirements of the local PSC authority. When the PSC officer arrives on board, an initial meeting is conducted and a plan of the inspection areas is drawn up. The relevant crew member will accompany the PSC officer to ensure all required areas are covered and any drills conducted are done so according to the policy for work and rest hours.
Our training business, Marlins, is currently developing an elearning course, which will further support our safety and compliance training by helping our crew understand the importance of PSC inspections for their welfare. Importantly, the elearning course helps to highlight the role of crew in assuring safe operations on board. The new course is due to be released next month.