14 - Ships' Manning
Governments to ensure their ships are properly manned
to have a Safe Manning Document
language to be established
Governments undertake, each for its national ships, to maintain,
or, if it is necessary, to adopt, measures for the purpose
of ensuring that, from the point of view of safety of life
at sea, all ships shall be sufficiently and efficiently manned.
ship to which chapter I applies, the administration shall:
.1 establish appropriate minimum safe manning following a transparent procedure, taking into account
the relevant guidance adopted by the organization*; and
.2 issue an appropriate minimum safe manning document or equivalent as evidence of the minimum safe manning
considered necessary to comply with the provisions of paragraph 1.
all ships, to ensure effective crew performance in safety
matters, a working language shall be established and recorded
in the ship's log-book. The company, as defined in regulation
IX/1, or the master, as appropriate, shall determine the appropriate
working language. Each seafarer shall be required to understand
and, where appropriate, give orders and instructions and to
report back in that language. If the working language is not
an official language of the State whose flag the ship is entitled
to fly, all plans and lists required to be posted shall include
a translation into the working language.
ships to which chapter I applies, English shall be used on
the bridge as the working language for bridge-to-bridge and
bridge-to-shore safety communications as well as for communications
on board between the pilot and bridge watchkeeping personnel**,
unless those directly involved in the communication speak
a common language other than English.
Refer to the Principles
of Safe Manning adopted by the Organization by Resolution
** The IMO Standard Marine Communications
Phrases (SMCPs) (Resolution
A.918(22), may be used in this respect.
1 addresses Contracting Governments requiring them to ensure
that ships are efficiently and safely manned.
2 requires all SOLAS I ships (i.e foreign going ships,) to
have on board a safe manning document.
3 requires the establishment of a common working language
on board. The term "Company" means the owner of
the ship or any other organization or person such as the manager,
or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility
for operation of the ship and who on assuming such responsibility
has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibilities
imposed by the International Safety Management Code."
4 requires English to be used as the common language on the
bridge of all SOLAS I ships unless a common working language
has been established on board and between ship and shore.
The working language on the bridge of UK-flagged ships will
normally be English. Under Section 51 of the Merchant Shipping
Act 1995, UK ships may be detained if crew members cannot
understand orders given in English and there are no arrangements
for giving orders in a language which they understand.
The regulation also draws attention to the use of the IMO
Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCPs) which are annexed
to IMO Resolution A.918(22).
mandatory UK requirements for ships' safe manning are contained
in the Merchant
Shipping (Safe Manning, Hours of Work and Watchkeeping) Regulations
1997 (SI 1997/1320). The Regulations implement the requirements
of the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 78), as
amended in 1995 (STCW 95). For further information refer to
MSN 1767 - Hours of
Work, Safe Manning and Watchkeeping - Revised Provisions from
7 September 2002.
manning should take into account the minimisation of fatigue.
For further information and guidance refer to MGN
211 - Fatigue: Duties of owners and operators under Merchant
MCA will consider a ship to be safely manned if the crew includes
sufficient officers and ratings with appropriate skills and
experience to ensure that the principles set out in IMO
Resolution A.890(21) as amended (Set out in Annex 6,)
are complied with and that the capabilities spelt out
in that Resolution are available. The Resolution should be
consulted when determining safe manning levels.
6 - Contains the text of Resolution A.890(21) as amended, Principles
of Safe Manning