In a recent report, it was mentioned that a bridge watch keeper was not paying attention even when the visibility was not very good, he did not call the master. He was busy listening to loud dance music on his mobile phone. Masters generally do not object strictly to the use of mobile phones during official working hours as they want to remain in the good books of junior officers.
In engine room watch keeping, officials don’t move out of the control room and check things physically using the senses of smell, touch and hearing. Many times they tend to over protect themselves vis-à-vis noise protection and are likely to miss several fault indications. It is desirable to wear ear protection which is more necessary while working near the turbochargers. There is a marked tendency of not seeing the boiler water level from local position but only from remote glass in the engine control room. Therefore the practice of blowing through the gauge glasses has almost vanished.
Too much discussion is happening pertaining to the use of heavy fuel oil and diesel oil. Environmental concerns must be addressed but 1% Sulphur fuel (low) is quite okay in almost all SECA areas and 0.1% LSGO is good enough on berths in these areas. There is no point in discussing endlessly if the cut off date should be 2018 or 2020, let this work for say five years and in the meantime devote attention to good maintenance. For, example, if you keep your injection viscosity 13-14 Cst at the injector, things will improve but if you conduct a reality check then Viscotherm will not be functioning properly in half of the vessels. I had suggested earlier that this equipment be made part of the machinery survey but the IACS has failed to take any action.
No doubt they are performing a good job, but they must also incorporate good suggestions mentioned through GlobalMet news letters. LT and HT temperature controllers for engine cooling water, steam dump condenser controller should also be included in the continuous survey of machinery items. In the recent past, while sailing on some older vessels, the control of LT temperature ( central cooling) has been taking most of our time. Such operational difficulties are not revealed to the class surveyor but he himself must try to unearth the problems faced on board by interviewing the crew and checking the log books.