Bulk carriers are the workhorses of international maritime trade. Those responsible for operating them need to manage significant risks inherent to the dry bulk trade. Certain cargoes can deplete oxygen, catch fire, explode, corrode holds or simply deteriorate. At terminals, the Master came under pressure to accept cargoes that are too hot or too wet, which could endanger vessel and crew.
The dry bulk sector has made huge efforts to improve safety, but “there is no room for complacency and more work is needed,” says Intercargo Secretary General Dr Kostas Gkonis.
The Nautical Institute, in collaboration with Intercargo and vetting organisation RightShip, has responded by publishing A Guide to Bulk Carrier Operations.
In the words of RightShip General Manager David Peel, the book has been designed as “a comprehensive end-to-end guide to exemplary safety practices that will be useful for all participants in our workforce, including shipowners, ports, terminals, charterers and associations”.
This highly practical guide draws on the expertise of more than 20 contributing authors representing a wide range of disciplines involved with the dry bulk trades. The book takes the reader through the essentials at each stage of the voyage, from preparation and loading, to care of the cargo and ship at sea, and finally arrival and discharge.
Subjects covered include strength and stability, hatch cover care, enclosed spaces, charterparties, legislation, draught surveys, deballasting, monitoring hazardous cargoes, spontaneous combustion, fumigation, coal fires, liquefaction and oxygen-depletion, safe mooring and access, ship-shore communication and ship/shore damage.
Clear diagrams and photographs complement the text along with tips, checklists and case studies.