In the final hours before completion of cargo or passenger operations, what preparations should a shipmaster make for sailing?

He should: (1) check the weather forecast; (2) review the voyage plan with the navigating officer; (3) liaise with the chief engineer and chief officer about readiness for sea; 

(4) liaise with the ship’s agent about completion of cargo operations, cargo documentation, and outward clearance; (5) notify the agent and port authority of departure intentions; (6) retrieve any ship’s certificates and documents taken ashore by the agent; (7) order pilot, linesmen and tug(s) if required; (8) obtain outward clearance from customs; (9) obtain cargo documents when/if available; (10) check that all crew are on board; (11) test the gear; (12) make a stowaway search if necessary (depending on the risk); (13) if carrying passengers, have a count made in accordance with The Merchant Shipping (Passenger Counting and Registration) Regulations, ensuring he is informed of any persons declaring a need for special care or assistance in emergencies; (14) record the names and gender of all persons on board and communicate all details to the company’s passenger registrar ashore; (15) either hold a passenger muster or comply with The Merchant Shipping (Emergency Information for Passengers) Regulations, as appropriate for the vessel’s class and voyage.


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