Sustaining Strict Adherence to Australian Maritime Safety Rules
Indicative of how it primordially puts premium to the safety of its seafarers and vessels trading in different parts of the world, the TMS Group of Companies ensures that its officers and crew are regularly updated on the current compliance status, latest trends, and developments with regards to Port State Control regulations as governed by maritime safety bodies.
With Australian harbors having become familiar ports of call to TMS vessels, the company deems it important for its officers and crew to be abreast on the particulars of Port State Control inspections in Australia as mandated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The Greece-based ship management Group, composed of TMS Tankers, TMS Bulkers, TMS Dry, TMS Offshore Services and TMS Cardiff Gas, initiated a day-long Fleet Officers Meeting for its off-duty Filipino officers on May 21, 2019 at the Pan Pacific Hotel located in the heart of Manila. The meeting primarily focused on Port State Control related matters, including performance status and an overview of good practices to be followed with the intention of fostering sustained strict adherence to them by the seafarers serving on TMS vessels.
The Fleet Officers Meeting was organized by Cardiff Crewing Filipinas Inc. (CCFI), the exclusive manning agency of TMS Group in the Philippines, under the care of Owner’s Representative Capt. Theodoros Alegkakis and was attended by over 150 Filipino officers and ratings of CCFI’s pool.
The meeting also drew the participation of TMS Group executives from its headquarters in Greece led by Mr. Demetrios Koukoulas, Managing Director of TMS Bulkers, TMS Dry and TMS Offshore Services as well as an official of AMSA Capt. Dilip D’Souza, Principal Regional Port Marine Surveyor, Operations West, and Mr. Steve Ainscough, a Director of the independent Australian maritime consultancy firm MER Solutions.
Mr. Koukoulas pointed out that while TMS dry cargo sector has reached a satisfactory level of Port State Control performance, especially in Australia, there is always room for further improvement thus it is important for the fleet officers to keep up the pace and to remain vigilant when it comes to executing company’s safety policies and procedures on board.
Filipinos account for a great majority of the crew complement of the vessels under the management of TMS Group and they work well with other European officers from Greece, Romania and Ukraine.
Premium on safety
Capt. Dilip D’Souza, Principal Regional Port Marine Surveyor, Operations West of the AMSA, confirmed the good record of TMS vessels calling the ports of Australia in recent years.
He said that while there were a handful of deficiencies found on some TMS vessels in 2018, all these appear to have been properly addressed by the company.
“In 2018, the number of PSC deficiencies (on vessels operated by TMS) in Australian ports went down significantly as compared to previous years. These results can normally be credited to companies taking a strong stance in relation to crew and vessel safety, including motivation of the crew and good shore-based support from Management. This meeting itself speaks volumes of how the Company values safety in its operations because it allows the Company to communicate directly to its’ personnel the importance it places on regulatory compliance” explains Capt. D’Souza.
Capt. D’Souza talked about guidance to vessel operators and senior officers during the morning session of the Fleet Officers Meeting, following the opening statement and introduction of TMS Group delegation and guests by Capt. Alegkakis.
Mr. Steve Ainscough of MER Solutions, an Australian maritime consultancy firm, paced the afternoon session of the Fleet Officers Meeting by talking about recent observations and trends in Port Hedland, one of the most common ports of call in Australia among TMS dry cargo vessels.
An analysis of the deficiencies identified during Dry Vetting and Port State Control inspections was presented by Mr. George Ntourmas, Training Manager for TMS Bulkers/TMS Dry. Subsequently, Capt. Stuart Fraser, Training Consultant of Cardiff Crewing Filipinas, talked about the importance of effective communications among officers and crew, citing that some of the deficiencies or problems on ship operations are often due to miscommunications.
Lastly, Mr. Koukoulas talked about the Coaching Program Onboard which had been recently rolled out by the company with an eye to enhance crew safety culture aboard. The Managing Director highlighted the importance of senior officers offering mentoring to junior officers and ratings because of its positive impact on seafarer wellness, safety culture and development of skills.
In concluding the meeting, Mr. Koukoulas pointed out that the next TMS Group seafarers’ meeting or conference in the Philippines will be held sometime in September 2019 and that it shall be mainly tailored for the Filipino ratings.
It was a productive day for the attending Filipino officers with most of them already eager and excited to execute the things that they have learned from the Fleet Officers Meeting on their next shipboard assignment.
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CCFI is committed to conduct its operations in a manner which promotes safety, protects human life, the environment and property. Safety, Health, Quality and Environmental responsibilities extend throughout the organization. Everyone is expected to take a personal, proactive and constructive role in our drive for flawless, efficient, competitive and Principal’s focused operations and to participate in our efforts to achieve our targets of zero incidents and zero pollution.
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