Among the many question we get another common one is “what is a DP?”
DP stands for Designated Person which used to be called Designated Person Ashore (DPA) but for DCV’s a DP can be the owner operator and may be onboard when at sea.
Section 4 of Marine Order 504 specifies:
“The owner of a vessel must designate a person to be responsible for monitoring the safety of the vessel, the environment and all persons on or near the vessel and ensuring appropriate resources and shore support are provided to the vessel.”
What’s required to be a DP?
Ideally a DP will have a solid working knowledge of the vessel, its operations and crew requirements so as to be able to provide appropriate assistance and/or advice to the crew in the event of an emergency situation.
While this is the ideal situation it’s not always possible for owner operators as they are usually the ones that have all the knowledge about their vessel and operations. In these situations its quite often the wife or partner who is listed as the DP.
Larger organisations and multi-vessel operators usually have someone who is up to speed with the organisations vessels and operations and is listed as the DP. These people usually have the knowledge and resources to deal with emergency situation efficiently.
No matter whether you’re a single vessel operator or operate multiple vessels your DP must have the owners authority and resources to act in emergency situations involving the safety of the vessel, all persons onboard, infra structure and the environment.
And the good part is to ensure your DP is available at all times when your vessel is operating which for many operators this means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! If you’re a DP you must answer all calls from the vessels when they are operational, the safety of the vessel and/or persons onboard may depend on it!
Ensure your DP has the appropriate authority to act in the event of an emergency situation as well as the resources that may be needed.
Have a list of emergency contact numbers ready including emergency services (Police, Ambulance and Fire) 000 and any other numbers that can assist in specific situations; e.g., mechanics, volunteer marine rescue organisations, etc.
Our best tip is to have an alternative DP listed in your SMS in the event the primary DP is unavailable for any reason whatsoever.
If you and your partner take holidays together and you’re listed as primary and alternative DP’s then you may have an issue with who deals with an emergency situation if both parties are absent.