March 21 - The London P&I Club has highlighted a recent increase in incidents of deck cargoes shifting in heavy weather to support a recommendation that a warranty surveyor is appointed to supervise high-risk marine construction and transportation project

Paul Walton, a director with international marine consultant LOC (Hong Kong), said: "In the past year, LOC has seen many deck cargoes shifting in heavy weather. Invariably, after further investigation, it has been discovered that the stowage and securing of these cargoes did not comply with the ship's Cargo Securing Manual (CSM) or the practices laid down within the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) or other applicable codes of safe practice.

"Such losses have prompted the view that a suitably qualified marine warranty surveyor should be recommended to attend such load-outs. This would ensure that the port captain carries out the operation correctly, and that the master is satisfied with the stowage, securing and tensioning requirements, as is his responsibility under SOLAS."

The London P&I Club says that there is a fundamental objective to employing a marine warranty surveyor to provide independent third-party technical review and approval of high-value and/or high-risk marine construction and transportation project operations, beginning at the planning stage. That is to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that the risks associated with the specified operations are reduced to an acceptable level in accordance with best industry practice. 

Walton said: "By appointing an independent third-party marine warranty surveyor to review the whole operation from start to finish, carriers and charterers will reduce the high-risk factor associated with deck cargoes. The attendance of a marine warranty surveyor will ensure that the regular areas of failure within a deck stow such as poor lashing equipment, insufficient use of lashing equipment, and non-compliance with all relevant safety codes will be avoided."

Paul Walton during a marine warranty survey of ferries being loaded on deck