By Capt. Mukesh Kumar Singh, Marine Manager, Tanker Division
Arranging a SIRE and CDI inspection before the current expires is one of the important aspects required for the commercial acceptability of a tanker vessel. Our performance of CDI and SIRE inspections has been positive in general and we appreciate the support of our ship staff. Our vessels are maintained in a state of readiness so these inspections can take place at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is not the most conducive for conducting a vetting inspection. The situation is fluid and very dynamic and there are also challenges in arranging an inspection because of travel restrictions. In order to ensure that a vetting inspection is conducted in a timely manner, we are now endeavouring to arrange inspections on our vessels about 2 to 3 months before the expiry of the previous inspection. This measure will give sufficient time to find a suitable port where an inspection can be arranged. We remain in close contact with our vessels so that proper planning and preparation for an inspection can be carried out.
Both OCIMF and CDI have come up with guidance to inspectors for ensuring that these inspections are carried out safely while giving due consideration to precautions including social distancing and any health and safety considerations depending on location. Inspectors are required to exercise stringent control measures for ensuring that they remain free of any infection.
Thome has developed robust procedures for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infection during an inspection. Following the inspections which took place last month, we received positive feedback from the Masters of our vessels where these inspections took place. Masters have praised the professional conduct of the vetting inspectors who came on board, being properly equipped with PPE and then cooperating with our ship staff in the implementation of our company procedures for dealing with visitors.
These are challenging times and our goal is to maintain our ships’ approval with oil majors while ensuring the good health and safety of all our sailing staff. We appreciate the support of all our colleagues at sea during these difficult times and we are positive that we will overcome this challenge together.