Rate this article:  

Table of contents

Gard Guidance Masters


Whilst this publication is addressed to the Master and his/her officers, it should be emphasized that the Master is also finally responsible for compliance with the maintenance plans for the engine room as established under the Company’s and the vessel’s SMS. The highly automated propulsion systems and other machinery in particular require constant maintenance and vigilance. With today’s engines incorporating automatic remote control from both the bridge and the engine control room by so-called ‘Universal Monitoring & Controls (UMS/UCS)’, and with alarm and control panels in the accommodation and the bridge, the Master should, in close co-operation with the Chief Engineer, ensure that inspections of these systems under the vessel’s SMS are held at appropriate intervals as required by the ISM Code.

The reliability of equipment and technical systems, the sudden operational failure of which may result in hazardous situations, needs to be regularly checked and tested to prevent a breakdown and as such, a danger to the vessel, the crew, third party property and the marine environment. This is a requirement under the ISM Code, section 10.3.

The Master and the Chief Engineer should not be mislead by the supposed reliability of electronic systems, as this may provide a false sense of safety and security.

Any deficiency noted during such checks and tests need to be rectified immediately to maintain the operational reliability of these systems.

For further details please refer to Gard News 166, Computerisation of bridge and engine rooms – Progress or recession?