Securing Deck Cargo:
The Merchant Shipping (Deck Cargo) Regulations provide general guidelines for securing deck cargoes. These guidelines aim to ensure the safe and proper distribution and stowage of deck cargo. Here are the key considerations:
1. Avoid Excessive Loading: Deck cargo should be distributed and stowed in a manner that does not exceed the strength of the deck and integral supporting structure of the ship.
2. Maintain Adequate Stability: The ship must retain adequate stability throughout the voyage. Considerations include the vertical distribution of the deck cargo, expected wind moments, weight changes in the ship (fuel, stores, water absorption, icing), and potential weight increases of the ship or deck cargo.
3. Preserve Weather-tight Integrity: Deck cargo should not impair the weather-tight or watertight integrity of any part of the ship or its fittings and appliances. Proper protection of ventilators and air pipes should be ensured.
4. Avoid Interference: Deck cargo should not interfere with the navigation or working of the ship. It should not obstruct access to the ship’s steering arrangements or impede safe access by the crew to their quarters, machinery spaces, or other working areas. Openings giving access to these positions should remain unobstructed and easily secured.
Causes of Loss of Deck Cargo:
Despite available loss prevention guidance, there are still incidents of collapse and loss of deck cargo items. The causes of these losses can be attributed to various factors, including:
- Severe adverse weather conditions
- Lack of understanding of the forces involved
- Ignorance of relevant rules and recommendations
- Cost limitations or budget constraints
- Insufficient time and personnel to complete necessary work before the vessel departs
- Ineffective utilization of dunnage
- Inadequate strength, balance, or number of lashings
- Incorrect wire attachment methods, including improper use of bulldog grips
- Lack of strength continuity between securing components
- Lashing materials taken around unprotected sharp edges
- Incorrect or unbalanced stowage and inadequate weight distribution
- Improper lashing performed by shore-based labor
- Underutilization of supplied and approved securing arrangements during the voyage.
It is essential to address these factors and adhere to proper securing practices to mitigate the risk of loss or damage to deck cargo during transit.