Weather has been a critical aspect of life at sea from times immemorial. It remains as crucial to today’s seafarers as it was centuries ago. With the advancement in technology and improved communication systems, weather forecasting has radically improved, becoming more detailed, accurate and extending further out in time.
However climate change in recent times has brought about a change in weather patterns and more unusual and severe weather phenomena are being witnessed. The impact of this change has been felt in the Club where an increasing number of weather related claims, including multiple casualties linked to a single weather event, have been experienced.
To assist Members in being better prepared to deal with the challenges posed by heavy weather, the Club has created a checklist that details aspects to be considered from an operational perspective.
In the context of this guidance, it may not be appropriate to define heavy weather, since it would vary for different vessel types and be dependent upon factors such as particulars of a voyage, operational conditions, limitations of the vessel, trading area, season of the year. Therefore, what constitutes to be heavy weather would vary largely between a larger ocean going vessel and a smaller vessel operating only inland or within port limits. Nonetheless, operating procedures of a company would usually define various parameters regarding heavy weather for each vessel type operating in the fleet. These procedures would also offer guidance towards forecasting, preparing for and encountering heavy weather. It must be ensured that all shipboard and shore personnel are familiar with such procedures to ensure full compliance with the same.
We trust that Members will find this checklist useful in providing guidance to their personnel.
The Club would like to emphasise that the checklist is for guidance purposes only and to complement, not replace, any statutory / local requirements or Members’ own due diligence and individual operating procedures.
The full guidance is available to download by clicking the download PDF button above or you can view the individual sections by clicking each link below:
Preparation for Heavy Weather
During Heavy Weather
At Anchor/ Mooring Buoy
After Encountering Heavy Weather