The American P&I Club and its managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau (SCB), have issued a warning to their members to consider the implications for ships in the Northern Hemisphere at risk for hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones.
Members were referred to a circular originally distributed in September of 2018.
“In view of the subject’s somewhat grim topicality given the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian on the southeast coast of the United States, your managers believe there is merit in repeating the contents of that alert both in relation to Dorian in particular and to such weather conditions in general, since the peak of the season for hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere occurs between July and October,” said Joe Hughes, chairman and CEO of SCB and Eagle Ocean Agencies.
The 2018 circular alerted vessels trading in extreme weather-prone regions to the possibility of being exposed to additional physical risks, including:
- Changes in currents and tides – particularly in rivers – occurring more rapidly and unpredictably than normal
- Increased loads on mooring lines
- Increased risk of contact with craft, debris and other objects that may have broken loose from moorings
- Increased risk of storm-surge damage
- Increased silting of berths creating reduced under-keel clearance
Vessels’ masters were advised to be prepared to take preventative measures, including:
- Increasing the number of mooring lines deployed upriver
- Ensuring brake settings are correct and making sure crew members monitor ropes during ebb tides and when other vessels pass downstream
- Maintaining engines in a ready state to be used immediately if necessary
- Ensuring cargo cranes are center-lined, two-blocked and secured
- Ensuring cargo ramps are stowed away from potential storm surges
- Monitoring peer sides to avoid vessels causing damage to piers, and ensuring pier boards are capable of handling increased stress on mooring lines
- When possible, taking photographs to document the condition of a berth before and after a storm