This module should provide guidance for shipboard personnel in an emergency when the ship is
under way, berthed, moored, at anchor, in port or in dry dock.
18.104.22.168 In an emergency, the best course of action to protect the personnel, ship, marine
environment and cargo requires careful consideration and prior planning. Standards for shipboard
procedures to protect personnel, stabilize conditions, and minimize environmental damage when an
incident occurs should therefore be developed.
22.214.171.124 In this context reference is made to the guidelines already developed by the
Organization,* which contain information to provide a starting point and to assist personnel in the
preparation of plans for individual ships.
* Reference is made to Guidelines for the development of Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans(see resolution
MEPC.54(32)). Reference is also made to Guidelines for the development of Shipment of Shipboard Marine
Pollution Emergency Plans under consideration by the Organization (See BCH 24/WP.8).
126.96.36.199 The variety of plans to be incorporated into the system should be simple documents
which outline procedures different from those used for daily routine operations. With normal
operational procedures very difficult problems can be handled, but an emergency situation, whether
on the ship at sea or in a port, can extend those involved beyond their normal capabilities.
188.8.131.52 In order to keep the plans held by ship and shore identical, and to reduce possible
confusion in an emergency as to who is responsible for which action, plans should make clear
whether the action should be taken by shipboard personnel or shoreside personnel.
184.108.40.206 Taking these particulars into consideration, the module "Response actions" should
comprise main groupings of emergency shipboard situations.
220.127.116.11 Potential emergency situations should be identified in the plans, including, but not limited to, the following main groups of emergency;
- Damage to the ship
- Unlawful acts threatening the safety of the ship and the security of its passengers and
- Personnel accidents
- Cargo-related accidents
- Emergency assistance to other ships.
In order to give the company the necessary flexibility for identifying, describing and responding to
further shipboard emergency situations, more specific types of emergency should be included in
the main groups.
18.104.22.168 The majority of shipboard emergencies can be classified under the above-mentioned main groups. For example, the main group "Damage to ship" can be subdivided to cover other shipboard
emergencies, which may require very different responses, such as:
- heavy weather damage
- hull/structural failure, etc.
The detailed response actions should be formulated so as to set in motion the necessary steps to
limit the consequence of the emergency and the escalation of damage following, for example,
collision or grounding
22.214.171.124 In all cases priority should be given to actions which protect life, the marine environment
and property, in that order. This means that "initial actions" which are common for all ships,
regardless of their type and the cargoes carried, should be fully taken into account when
formulating "subsequent response" procedures.
126.96.36.199 The planning of subsequent response actions should include information relating to the
individual ship and its cargo, and provide advice and data to assist the shipboard personnel.
Examples of such information are listed below:
.1 Information on:
- the number of persons aboard;
- the cargo carried(e.g. dangerous goods, etc.);
.2 Steps to initiate external response:
- search and rescue co-ordination;
- buoyancy, strength and stability calculations;
- engagement of salvors/rescue towage;
- lightering capacity;
- external clean-up resources;
.3 Shipdrift characteristics;
.4 General information:
- co-operation with national and port authorities;
- public relations.
188.8.131.52 Although shipboard personnel should be familiar with the plan, ease of reference is an
important element in compiling and using an effective plan. Allowance must be made for quick and
ease access to essential information under stressful conditions
Appendices 3 and 4 show a detailed picture of the sequence of priorities for "initial actions" in an
emergency situation and their link with the "subsequent response"
184.108.40.206 In summary, the module should guide those responsible for developing the system on
what should be included emergency plans, namely;
- co-operation of response efforts;
- response procedures for the entire spectrum of possible accident scenarios, including
methods that protect life, the marine environment and property;
- the person or persons identified by title or name as being in charge of all response
- the communication lines used for ready contact with external response experts;
- information concerning the availability and location of response equipment;
- reporting and communication procedures on board ship.
A seven-step approach flow-chart for emergency plan(s) implementation is presented on