An officer on one of our ships noticed that a foreman of the stevedores had brought on board a small gas cylinder and was using that for making hot coffee on deck. It was close to an area where dangerous cargo was loaded. The officer informed him that it is strictly forbidden to use any open fire. We have shared our deep concern with the charterers and the stevedoring company.
One of the problems identified is as to how the gas burner (small pocket sized camping stove) was taken through the container terminal security and then brought onboard past our watchman. We have instigated improved security, with the watchman now required to search all bags even though the vessel remains at security level 1. While this may cause delays with the stevedores before cargo operations it has to be done.
It is fundamental to improving maritime safety that individual mariners must be prepared to intervene to correct an unsafe situation. We commend the ship’s officer for his prompt action in this case. It is encouraging that the matter was reported to the ship’s manager you via its incident reporting system.