Marine Order 504 clearly specifies what must be recorded in your log book. Failing to record the required information may leave you exposed in the event of an incident.
Your vessels Log Book is one of the first things an investigator will look at when investigating an incident.
If the required information is not in the log then you may have serious trouble defending yourself so make sure you record what’s required!
What MO 504 specifies as must be recorded?
The Master must ensure the following details are recorded in the vessels Log Book:
- Any illness or injury of persons onboard;
- Any marine incident, other incident or accident involving the vessel or its equipment;
- Any assistance rendered to another vessel;
- Any unusual occurrence or incident;
- All communications/messages sent or received for an emergency;
- Any operation of the vessel for recreational purposes.
What we recommend as additional information?
- Time of departure and arrival;
- Time of any passenger briefing where passengers are carried;
- New crew inductions and training;
- Time of induction of any other persons onboard. This may be contractors, technicians, observers or any other person;
- Proposed destination or course;
- Summary of weather conditions on departure;
- Position at regular intervals;
- Any major changes in weather conditions;
- Bunkering if not recorded elsewhere;
- Dispensing of medical supplies if not recorded elsewhere
- Ongoing emergency training;
- Any safety issues
While all this sounds like a lot of writing it only takes a few seconds once you get the hang of it.
By keeping a detailed Log Book, you are effectively providing a layer of protection for yourself when an incident occurs.
Many Masters say to me that they’re too busy to do this, but my response is a few seconds every couple of hours can save you days or even months in court defending yourself!
Our primary recommendation is to ensure you record all of the requirements of MO 504 and we strongly recommend recording all new crew inductions, your position at regular intervals, any noticeable changes in weather and passenger inductions where applicable.
These few items are going to be a big help in the event of a marine incident and possibly time and money in legal costs.
Our number one recommendations is to get in the habit of keeping your Log Book up to date at all times because you never know when you may need it.
Vessel Log Books are a necessity but there are so many variations out there in size, format and levels of complexity. This is why we developed our Log Book in an easy-to-use format with only the necessary requirements to make recording your information easy. So many of our clients and non-clients have switched to our easy-to-use Log Book, why don’t you?