Emergency planning of the ship and onboard training are closely related. The ship’s crew is divided into teams and all are allocated duties to perform in response to emergencies and to ensure personnel safety. On board ship this is achieved through muster lists.
All ships engaged on international voyages and ships of Classes II(A) and III must have muster lists. It is the duty of the Master of the ship to compile the muster list and keep it up to date. Copies of the muster list must be exhibited in conspicuous places throughout the ship and must be exhibited in the wheelhouse, engine room and crew accommodation.
The format of muster lists is usually prepared by the company under the SMS. For ships of Classes I, II, II(A) and III, the muster list should be approved by the Flag State Administration (MCA in the case of the UK).
The following is an example of a muster list.
MUSTER LIST – PART A
Name of vessel:……………………………………………………..
|Emergency Signal||Description of Signal|
|General emergency alarm||Seven or more short blasts/rings followed by one long on vessel’s whistle and internal bells|
|Withdraw to boats/rafts||Series of long blasts/rings on vessel’s whistle and internal bells|
|Abandon ship||Verbal command from Master or Officer in Charge|
|Man overboard||Three long blasts on vessel’s whistle, repeated as necessary. This signal may be supplemented as required on internal bells and/or public address announcement|
|Automatic fire alarm||Continuous ringing of internal bells|
|Emergency Signal||Action on Hearing Signal|
|General emergency alarm||All crew proceed to their emergency station, wearing suitable and sufficient clothing, footwear and protective headgear, carrying lifejacket, survival suit and hand-held VHF radios (where allocated), closing all doors behind them as they go. Team Leaders check off personnel and report to Bridge Team. Bridge Team ensures automatic fire doors closed (where fitted) and ventilation stopped (as appropriate). Specific duties are defined in Muster List – Part B. Additional duties will be allocated depending upon the nature of the emergency.|
|Withdraw to boats/rafts||All crew proceed immediately to their allocated boat/raft station, donning survival suits and lifejacket. Master or Officer in Charge arranges distribution of GMDSS VHF radios, SARTs, EPIRT and vessel’s current position.|
|Abandon ship||All survival craft launched, followed by evacuation of crew.|
|Man overboard||Master and deck officers to wheelhouse. Chief Engineer and motorman to engine control room. All other crew to their emergency station. (Refer to appropriate ship contingency plan)|
|Automatic fire alarm||During unmanned operation, either at sea or in port, protected space to be examined by two persons including a responsible officer. During manned operation, bridge or duty deck officer to be advised immediately of the situation. General emergency alarm shall thereafter be activated if the fire confirmed, or at any time if there is doubt as to the safety of the vessel or crew.|
|Emergency Station||Location for Muster|
|Engine Room Team||Location|
The Second Officer is responsible for ensuring that all life-saving appliances (LSA) and portable fire fighting equipment (FFE) are maintained in good condition and ready for immediate use. The Chief Engineer is responsible for ensuring that all fixed fire fighting equipment (FFE) is maintained in good condition and ready for immediate use. Any deficiencies and/or defects discovered must be reported to the appropriate officer immediately.
All crew members must familiarise themselves with the content of the vessel’s muster list (Parts A and B) and with their emergency duties assigned therein before the commencement of each voyage. All officers must familiarise themselves with the content of Shipboard Contingency Plans.
Any member of crew unsure as to the content of the muster list and/or their duties must consult a superior officer.