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Gard Guidance Masters


After taking over the command of the vessel, and prior to the commencement of each voyage, the Master should satisfy himself that the vessel is maintained in a fully seaworthy condition for the safety of the vessel, crew, passengers and individuals as well as the safe carriage of the cargo. The provision of a seaworthy vessel, adequately manned and provisioned and capable of undertaking and withstand the voyage, is the fundamental obligation of every shipowner. As the Company’s representative, the Master plays a vital role in meeting this obligation.

If the Master finds deficiencies which may affect the safety and/or seaworthiness of the vessel, he/she should immediately report these to the Company, even where the Master believes there may be insufficient time to rectify the deficiencies before the commencement of the voyage. However, the classification society and/or flag State administration may, nevertheless, require the deficiencies to be rectified, which may mean having to delay the commencement of the voyage.

Similarly, any non-conformity with maintenance procedures or relevant sections of the SMS should be reported and corrective action taken.

It is important to remember that records must be maintained of all maintenance and inspections.

Repairs to be carried out by the vessel’s crew should be in accordance with
  • the technical standards required
  • the manufacturers’ and suppliers’ repair instructions.