Procedure post cold layup
At the start of any vessel activation it is important to
consult a classification society and / or flag state prior to trading. The
classification society must be involved at every stage of activation. There is
an extensive reactivation process that I have divided into eight separate stages. These stages are as follows.
From day one, it is a good idea to find out if the crew
responsible for the layup is the same crew taking part in the reactivation.
This will make things run smoothly because they crew will already be familiar
with the vessel and its operation. All crew, whether new or from the layup must
be aware of company procedures and be trained sufficiently in safety drills and
highly organized from the start. In order to ensure there is enough crew at
every stage of reactivation you should refer to the minimum safe manning
Usually when a vessel is laid up, a classification society
is notified. The same must be done for reactivation in order to change the
vessel class from ‘laid up’ to ‘in operation’.
Inspections must be carried out before putting the vessel
into active service by flag state control, who must be notified well in advance
to ensure their attendance at the early stages of reactivation.
Because the vessel in question has been laid up for a year,
we can assume that signs of neglect are present. Therefore a proper assessment
of the hull and structure must be performed before trading to make sure the
vessel is structurally sound.
The basic checks include a careful examination of the hull.
If has to be free of excessive fouling, corrosion and any other signs of
damage. Also it is recommended to check the sea chests, propellers and rudders
for marine fouling. You should arrange a dive survey to inspect any damage and
to confirm the above mentioned equipment is clear of debris and secure.
Deck equipment has to be in good working order for
operational reasons and to ensure safety of life at sea for all staff and crew
on board. For example, deck walkways, external ladders and gratings must be
safe and free from trip hazards.