How to Get Safe and Efficient Lightering Services
Transfering cargo from one ship to another can be a daunting task if not handled with precision and accuracy. Regardless of the size and type of the cargo, you want to get quality service in the long run. Safety is a key concern when it comes to lightering, so you should pay attention to how the process is handled from start to finish. In case it is your first time, the chances are you don’t know what the process involves, and you can easily fall for anything. Apart from outsourcing the services of a lightering expert, you should have a list of the things to expect and various ways of ensuring quality and satisfactory service. Here are some of the tips for safe and efficient lightering on ships.
The person in charge: Every STS operation must be supervised keenly to avoid chances of accidents which would otherwise lead to massive losses. Once you have a particular company in mind, find out their procedures and the profile of the STS. In some cases, you might find relevant information about the credentials of the person in charge of the operations on the website of the company. On the other hand, some companies hire agencies that provide these services. Nonetheless, ensure that you do your due diligence so you can be sure of the background of the superintendent who will oversee the operations. The chances are they are ex-mariners but of course that is not an ultimate qualification requirement.
The other thing you need to pay attention to is the master’s knowledge in the entire operation. Although they are expected to be familiar with the risks involved and the best ways to ensure safety for the crew and everyone else, that might not be the case at all times. However, they must have the knowledge. They should know the dangers of overlooking even the minutest of risks especially during mooring or unmooring. Then there is the aspect of communication. Proper and efficient communication between the vessels is crucial in ensuring success for the entire lightering process. Some of the most reliable modes of communication include working marine VHF frequencies. The operators and crew should also communicate in a common language to avoid chances of distorted information. Find out if there are functional and reliable emergency contact points.
Don’t forget to check the cargo handling equipment. The last thing you can imagine is that the equipment is neither compatible with the cargo nor in good shape. Ensure that you check whether cranes and derricks are tested and certified to handle the load. Similarly, in case of wet cargo transfers, check out details about the sizes of hoses. Everyone should be informed about dangerous cargo and how to maintain safety. Lastly, ensure the operation is done under the right weather conditions. Although some weather conditions are suitable for certain operations, investigate to know the best time for what function. If these factors are looked into, it will be easier to transfer cargo without worrying about various risks.