There are many reasons why ship owners choose to have more than one loadlines on their ships. However there are number of things Masters and ship staff need to be aware of while sailing on ships with more than one load lines. Masters and ships staff are encouraged to check these points to be very sure that their ship is not detained by port state controls or issued Condition of class during annual load line survey.
1) Both the load line certificates kept in the certificate folder
It is a requirement by all the flag states, vetting companies and the classification societies to display only one loadline certificate that is in use. The other one MUST be kept in sealed envelop in master’s locker or other safe custody.
2) The painted loadlines on ship side do not corresponds to the loadline certificate in the certificate folder
This situation can arise because of any of these two facts. The loadline marks on the ship side were not changed during last documented change of loadline and just the load line certificates were replaced. OR The loadline marks on ship side were changed but the master forgot to replace the loadline certificate. Whatever the reason, the deficiency has the potential of having the ship detained by the port state control.
3) The Loadline marks on starboard side do not correspond to the loadline marks on port side
This might look silly but there have been detentions by many port state controls due to this deficiency. The most common reason for this deficiency is not because only one side of loadline marks were painted but because on one side the old marks were removed and then mistakenly same were painted again.
4) No entry is made in official log book for the change in loadlines
All flag states & classification societies require that whenever the loadlines are changed, Masters must make appropriate entry in the official log book.
5) The second loadline certificate (kept in locker) is not stamped for annual class endorsements
It is very important that all the loadline certificates are stamped for annual surveys. During annual class survey, it is quite possible that other than the loadline certificate in use are not stamped, as these are not in the certificate folder.
6) Wrong loadline certificate is displayed in the accommodation
A small mistake but can be pointed out by Port State control inspectors. In ports where PSC inspector tend to make big issues of smaller things, this issue can give rise to unfavourable situation with PSC inspectors.
About Capt Rajeev Jassal
Capt. Rajeev Jassal has sailed for over 19 years mainly on crude oil, product and chemical tankers. He holds MBA in shipping & Logistics degree from London. He has done extensive research on quantitatively measuring Safety culture onboard and safety climate ashore which he believes is the most important element for safer shipping.