Discuss the contents of the BLU code (code of practice for the safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers) and briefly comment on the use loading discharging plan which is contained within the code. (900 Words)
As mentioned earlier the Bulk carriers that were operating in the 19th century were highly accident ad incident prone due to the nature of their architecture as well as dye to the characteristics of the cargo being transported through them. As a result there was required an established set of codes for the operations, maintenance and the handling of bulk vessels as well as the cargo which was being loaded in it and being unloaded form it. “Following a spate of losses of bulk carriers in the early 1990s, IMO in November 1997 adopted new regulations in SOLAS containing specific safety requirements for bulk carriers, Chapter XII – Additional Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers. In the same month, the 20th Assembly of IMO adopted the “BLU Code” – the Code of Practice for the safe unloading and loading of bulk carriers (resolution A.862(20).” (‘Bulk Carrier Safety’, 2002)
The procedure for loading and unloading the bulk carrier vessel is usually very dangerous and as a result The BLU Code has specifically laid down principles and guidelines for the shippers to undertake when undertaking loading and unloading of bulk vessel. These guidelines are present in the section 5 and the section 6 of the IMO’s BLU Code. The procedure for the loading and unloading is usually dangerous as the cargo is loose in nature and tends to be in bulk form. The international regulations depict that the loading and unloading procedures should be planned for beforehand taking into account any incidents or accidents that can take place. Moreover measures have to be taken which help avoid such accidents. According to the BLU code the process of loading and unloading is planned out by the captain of the ship himself who is aided by the chief mate. The deck officers however are people who actually oversee and supervise the operations of the loading and the unloading of the cargo. As a result it is important that these people are specifically trained to follow the plan as well as take into account the contingencies which might occur.