AFO #17 - 三副经验分享 (英文) 2008.10.06

2008-10-07 15:34  浏览次数 122

三副经验分享 (英文)                


A Hell of an Audit

I’d been third mate on the ship for 12 months. One week before I signed off the ship, a company’s senior manager came and had an internal audit. To me it was like a final exam - an exam that tells whether a third mate is competent and how good he is.

Company’s internal audit is the most dreaded type of audit, because the auditor is very familiar with the system and knows everything. Aside from my navigation and cargo duties, I was responsible for all the lifesaving and firefighting equipments. According to the statistics, lifesaving and firefighting equipments is a major finding factor among all problematic sources. The auditor would surely allot a big proportion of attention to them. And these equipments are very eye-catching – when you walk around the ship you see them everywhere. It’s like you go looking for JFK and he’s right in the parading car.

The Preparation

My objectives were first to make sure there would be no finding and no observation on my stuff; secondly to maintain the equipments in their best condition as possible as I could that the auditor might look at the ship and give two thumbs up.

In order to achieve these two goals, a long job list was produced. I put these jobs into 3 categories.

1)       Know it all. You are supposed to know every piece of your equipments. The number, location, etc. Specifically a few Ws and Hs.

Example: Hydrostatic release for the liferaft.
How many are there?
Where are they?
At the boat stations on A deck.
When will be the dates of expiration, renewal, next test or next service?
All the expiry dates are Nov-2008.
How’s the working condition?
A Third Mate is able to tell anyone at any time the answer to the first 2 questions (how many and where). He keeps a list of all items. The last 2 questions (When’s the expiry date and how’s the condition) should be constantly checked and if the answers are not satisfactory, actions should to taken. If an item is near its expiry date, arrange for replacement. If the item is not working well, repair it.

This job is to be done as soon as possible when a 3/O goes to a new ship or just get handed-over to this new responsibility.

2)       Follow the schedule. On every ship there is a maintenance schedule. Physically follow it and also update it in the computer. It can be the evidence you show to the auditor that the whole system has been followed. Pay attention to the overdue items, especially those left by the previous 3/O.



Breathing Apparatus Compressed Air Type & Air Cylinder

Emergency Alarm Bells, Sirens & Switches


Emergency H.Q. and Supplementary Eqp Stations

Muster station/Emergency Station Lists

Signaling Lamp

International Code Flags

Foam Branch (Portable) & Foam Compound

Life jackets

Fire Extinguishers

Life rafts & attachments

Lifeboat Equipment

Safety Harness, Rescue Harness, Rescue Lines & Lifelines

Gas Detector "Draeger" Bellows Type

Atmosphere Sampling Equipment

Inspection, Monthly-Safety Equipment, Checklists etc.



International Shore Connection

Lifeboat Water

Training Manual

Third Officer Inspection file

Half Yearly                        

Retro-Reflective Material                        

Protective Clothing, Immersion Suits & Thermal Protective Aids

Fire Extinguishers                        

Fire Control Plan                           

Spare & Repair Equipment For Lifesaving & Firefighting Appliances         


Sand Bins                    

Fire Blankets                        

Pyrotechnics-Bridge & Lifeboats                     

Lifeboat Hulls                       

Fire Hydrants                     

Fire Hoses & Nozzles                   


Chemical Suits (Protective Clothing)             

Fire Extinguishers CO2                         

Breathing Apparatus-Compressed Air Cylinders

Two of the toughest jobs are flushing fire hydrants and fire hoses’ leak test.

Fire hydrants have to be
flushed regularly to clean the dirt (mud, sand and salt) accumulated inside. Otherwise there won’t be water out when you need to use it. One problem is that the pipe is jammed. You have to drain out the water in the fire main first. Then take out the hydrant, clean it and clean the pipe. And then put back the hydrant. The other problem is when you finish flushing by closing the valve, the hydrant is leaking. It happens all the time. Drain the water first also. Dismantle the hydrant, clean inside and grind the valve until it holds water under a certain pressure. Then put back. Sometimes a few hydrants leak at the same time. That will take a couple of days to quiet them down.

The other one is fire hoses’ leak test. Connect all the hoses on deck or in the engine room like a long snake. One side connects to a hydrant. Open the valve. Walk along the long snake looking for leakage. The problem is that sometimes you are so unlucky that the long snake’ body has a lot of holes. Mark the leaking positions. Repair each hose and test again.

It is certain that in every audit it will be tested that they ask you to rig a fire hose somewhere and shoot the water out. Be sure all these joints, emergency fire pump, general service pump, fire main, hydrants, hoses, nozzles, firebox and tools inside, are working properly.

        Flush the fire hydrant                    Fire hose’s leak test

3)       Excel yourself. On the ship most of the jobs don’t require your passion. If everything’s running smoothly, that’s good enough. But as young third mates, you always want to find an angle to spend your extra energy. Fortunately, lifesaving and firefighting equipments can provide you this punch bag.

Before the audit, I wanted everything to look positively different.

a)          Painted red all the fire hydrants and chipped the rust. All the hydrants looked like new.

b)         On the compass deck changed the dirty halyards with brand new ones and washed all the flags.

c)          Cleaned both lifeboats inside and outside. The lack of tidiness is often a reason of getting findings.

d)         Sharpened the marks on lifebuoys and other places.

e)          Renewed a lot of reflective tapes.

f)           All the safety signs cleaned, repaired or re-pasted.

g)         Re-arranged my safety equipment store. Updated the inventory list. Damaged items must be marked and movable items must be lashed.
The other thing is to reduce the possibility of getting findings.

Information from recent correspondence can’t be ignored. This includes recent findings or observations on other ships, experience sharing, checklists, etc.

For example, my ship received an email saying a PSCO boarded M.V. “XXX” and had 4 observations. 1) In the lifeboat, the instruction manual of the engine tools was not waterproof; 2) The emergency light of the boat station wasn’t painted red; 3) The wire of the remote control for the lifeboat wasn’t long enough; 4) No operation instruction was posted near the emergency fire pump.

I checked these 4 items on my ship. 1) The instruction manual was not waterproof. I separated the pages and put a plastic cover on each then sealed them; 2) I already painted the emergency lights when the new chief mate came onboard; 3) the remote control on my ship was long enough; 4) a new operation instruction was posted.

Another email was a history list of findings and observations of the whole fleet. I read them one item by one item and associated them with my ship to see if there was anything I could do. By this more possibilities were covered


       Lifeboat waterborne test             Fire extinguishers annual service

The Audit 

The audit began when the auditor got on board in Singapore. The first thing he did formally was bridge observation while the ship was unberthing. The master, a cadet and I were on bridge. Everything was normal and the auditor said nothing. Later he went to engine room to observe them working. 

Day 2 he interviewed the master and all the engineer officers. And he interviewed most of the crew randomly.

Day 3, in the morning it was interview of chief mate, deck inspection, interview of 2nd engineer and engine room inspection. On this day my lifesaving and firefighting equipments were to be exammed.

In the afternoon, all the crew gathered in the office. Two ABs and a cadet were asked to tell when and how to use the 3 types of fire extinguishers we carried on board – CO2, foam and dry powder. The electrician cadet was asked to wear an immersion suit. The No.1 was asked to wear an EEBD (Emergency Escape Breathing Device). The mechanic was asked to wear the fireman’s outfit. The electrician was asked to put on the breathing apparatus. Gas detectors were also prepared to be tested. 

All crew went to the emergency generator room and demonstrated how to start the emergency generator.

Emergency fire pump was tested. One hose was put to forward and one aft. Alarms like bilge alarms, fire detector alarms, fire push button, elevator alarm and others in the engine room were tested.

Abandon ship drill was carried out. By the way the auditor inspected the lifeboats. The 3rd mate was asked to demonstrate how to launch the liferaft and the use of the hydrostatic release.

After the drill, it was the interview of 2nd mate and 3rd mate. Each mate got half an hour.

My conclusion is that during the audit a third mate can dive into these things:

1)       Be the expert of all the equipments. You are the one they turn to when they lost the clue of how to test the breathing apparatus. If you don’t know how to operate yourself, it’s a huge embarrassment.

2)       Be familiar with the shipboard management system. In the interview the auditor talked to me and asked me questions in order to know whether I was with the system.

3)       Be able to tell your job description and your security duties.

4)       Update the maintenance records in the computer.

Closing meeting was on the final day. No finding and no observation. Everybody was smiling.

The auditor was not here looking for trouble. He came here for 2 things. One was to see if the ship was operated according to the system; the other to see if there was any problem on the ship that the ship could not deal with it by herself and the shore could show support.

For new third mates, this job - maintenance of lifesaving and firefighting equipments - is new to us, because in the school we focused on navigation. However, it is a rehearsal of the chief mate’s job – maintenance of the whole ship, together with a crew. Grab every opportunity to gain experience. Enough experience of a third mate makes you a better chief mate! 

提供:   上海海大殷同学

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