Emergency Procedures

Damaged Stability

Loss of stability can occur for a number of reasons :

  • Too much weight in the upper part of the vessel due to:

    • bad distribution of cargo in the holds (e.g. during loading)
    • fuel and/or water consumption in double bottom
    • heavy seas on deck due to adverse weather conditions
    • in winter, forming of ice on deck

  • Slack tanks due to fuel and/or water consumption
  • Wrong internal transfer of fuel or water in the double bottom tanks
  • On tankers, tanks that are not sufficiently filled
  • Shifting of the cargo on ships carrying bulk cargoes (e.g.; heavy swell)
  • Seawater infiltration due to hull leakage
  • Pipeline leakage in the holds
  • Shifting of general cargo due to very bad weather
  • Very bad weather with vessel laying across the waves
  • Extreme condensation of cargo
  • etc.

What to do
  • Inform Master
  • Reduce speed
  • Exhibit "Not under command" shapes or lights
  • Use minimum rudder angle
  • Manoeuvre ship according to the weather and external situation
  • Update vessel's position in radio room, satellite terminal and other automatic distress transmitters (GMDSS)
  • Check reason of the loss of stability
  • Sound bilges and tanks
  • Consider distress call
  • Consider abandon ship
  • Inform Company and, if necessary, any third party
  • Once condition is improved, inform all parties contacted
  • Duly enter all decisions actions taken in log book.