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The Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd, one of the most reputed shipping companies of the world, is well known for keeping its fleet clean. David Birwadkar, Vice President-Fleet Management, speaks about ship cleaning and maintenance.

The ships are subjected to inspections at various ports in different countries. In case they are found deficient, the crew could be penalized, heavily fined or even detained till the findings are corrected. Ships would be off hired for this period. Hence, we as a company need to ensure standards for crew accommodation in compliance with the requirements of Maritime Labour Convention 2006.

“Documented inspections are carried out on board every fortnight by or under the authority of the Captain with respect to supplies of food and drinking water; all spaces and equipment used for storage and handling of food and drinking water; and galley and other equipment for the preparation and services of meals. If any pest or vermin is discovered, immediate steps have been taken to eliminate them.

“The ships are routinely inspected by the attending technical superintendent (office representative). The continued compliance to the mentioned standards is verified and accordingly documented in the Technical Superintendent’s inspection report. Thus, senior staff is also involved in ship cleaning.

“We have a garbage management programme to maintain cleanliness onboard the ship. Hence, ships are not people dependent but are system driven.”

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