The American Club has published helpful guidance specifically when third party surveyors are prevented from attending vessels about to load finished steel products.
All systems and equipment should be checked to make sure they are operational. During the voyage to the load port, ballast tanks adjacent to cargo holds should be pressure tested prior to loading, but only if the holds are free of cargo and safety permitting in every respect.
The UK MCA has released a marine notice, MIN 542, which highlights the specific risks of using non SOLAS or non-pyrotechnic distress flares, for example Electronic Visual Distress Signals (EVDS).
To be effective, distress signals need to be internationally recognised. Not all EVDS provide a distress signal listed in COLREGS Annex IV (such as SOS), and the MCA knows of no EVDS device which is compliant with the SOLAS technical performance standards for distress flares. Consequently, the international carriage requirements do not recognise EVDS and the UK national carriage requirements have not been amended to formally recognise them either.
The US Coast Guard has issued an interim safety alert to address its concerns regarding vessel stability and watertight integrity, especially in light of a recent marine casualty in the Bering Sea that resulted in multiple fatalities and the total loss of the fishing vessel involved.
Although the investigation is not complete, testimony and fact finding indicate that vessel owners, operators, and crews should give special consideration to vessel stability concerns.