| Written by Michal Wozniakowski-Zehenter

Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels and drillships operate in some of the most challenging environments on Earth. One of the critical components of emergency preparedness is effective mustering, where crew members are accounted for at designated assembly areas. With the introduction of electronic mustering, this procedure has significantly changed and improved. In this article, we will describe, in detail, the importance of emergency response on FPSOs and provide a step-by-step guide on running electronic mustering drills. Shall we?
Electronic mustering

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Before diving into the process, it's essential to understand the significance of mustering drills and three parts of it - Safety First (really), Regulatory Compliance and identifying weaknesses:

These drills do more than just show escape routes. They help everyone on board feel safe and ready. By practising, sailors know where to go and what to do during emergencies. This can save lives in real crises. Imagine a time when things go wrong on a ship. Confusion can make things dangerous. However, because of their training, the sailors can act calmly and organized. They know where to go and what to do. This shows how important and effective these drills are. But it's not just about following steps. These drills bring the crew together. By facing fake dangers together, they build trust and teamwork. So, when real challenges come, they can rely on each other. These drills teach them to work together and face any storm as a united team (read more about EHS risk assessment).

Instead of just regular drills, these practices clarify the intricate guidelines of emergency actions for seafarers - whether it's handling fires, preventing crashes, or managing dangerous leaks. Through consistent practice of these manoeuvres, ocean experts reconfirm their commitment: each seafarer stays prepared, with rapid response instincts honed, even in the unpredictable moods of the ocean. Yet, it goes beyond mere human capability. Assembly drills serve as keen lenses, examining the core integrity of safety equipment and rapid reaction systems on board. This reflective journey allows ocean experts to identify vulnerabilities, prompting immediate reinforcements. Consequently, the scope of safety continuously progresses, aligning with the highest standards of maritime watchfulness. More than just fulfilling rules, these drills sing praises of deep-seated dedication to the seafarer, the vessel, and the boundless marine realm. They tell tales of steadfast commitment to an ethos where safety is both taught and practised. This philosophy, resonating beyond metal and masts, spreads throughout the maritime domain, emphasizing a sector-wide agreement: Before profit and pursuits, safety takes precedence. These drills also help find gaps in the emergency plans and improve them (read also more about the emergency response kit for FPSOs).



Embarking upon the realm of electronic mustering, you definitely stumble across the merger of maritime safety with cutting-edge technologies like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). This innovation automates the counting of crew members at muster points, expediting the headcount process and minimizing traditional manual trials. Such advancements not only elevate efficiency but also free up precious moments for other pivotal emergency tasks. An effective voyage into electronic mustering drills demands detailed planning. Though spontaneous drills test the ship's mettle, notifying crew members about impending drills paves the way for a mental readiness that yields authentic outcomes. Prior to setting sail on such drills, it's of paramount importance to verify the operational status of tools in the electronic mustering arsenal, be it handheld scanners or anchored RFID devices. The call to action resonates with the activation of the ship's emergency alarms. Alarms' cadence might vary, echoing the nature of the drill, from fiery blazes to overboard emergencies. As the alarms toll, the drill unfurls, beckoning crew members to their preordained muster sanctuaries.

In the throes of the drill, as crew members converge at muster zones, the marvel of RFID technology seamlessly logs their presence. Discrepancies, if they emerge, must be earmarked for introspection. The muster captains remain in constant dialogue with the ship's helm, offering real-time insights into the muster scene. Upon reaching the drill's culmination, either with a full crew muster or as the set time elapses, it's pivotal to convene a reflective assembly. Post-drill musings, where each sailor's voice resonates, cultivate an ethos of perpetual refinement, bolstering the ship's state of readiness. In the chronicles of electronic mustering, documentation stands as a stalwart beacon. Chronicle each drill with its timestamps, course, and any notable milestones or hurdles. This diligent record-keeping not only anchors regulatory compliance but weaves a tapestry of lessons for ensuing endeavours.

To keep the ship steady on the course of maritime safety, periodic audits and technological upgrades to the electronic mustering system are indispensable. Sift through the digital sands to discern the rhythm of each drill. Do certain muster points lag behind in the electronic embrace? Identifying and navigating these turbulent waters is essential. With technology's relentless march, updating the electronic mustering compass ensures the ship remains attuned to the latest technological horizons.



As technology gets better, the old way of using paper and pen to count crew is being replaced by faster electronic methods. Thanks to tools like RFID tags and other digital helpers, counting crew has become quicker and easier, bringing benefits we only imagined before.

A big plus of this new way is its speed. When emergencies happen, time is very important. Every second counts. Using electronic systems to count makes it fast and sure. This quick method doesn't just save time but adds an extra layer of safety, making sure every crew member is checked.

Another benefit is accuracy. People, especially in stressful situations, can make mistakes. But with RFID tags for each crew member, wrong counts are almost a thing of the past. This makes the counting process more reliable and less chaotic.

Finally, electronic counting gives real-time updates. This means that as things change, the information updates instantly. Knowing where each crew member is at any moment helps those in charge make the best decisions quickly. This helps keep everyone safe during emergencies (learn more about offshore safety equipment)



Using the experience from past drills and real emergency situations improves training methods and by keeping up with the latest safety rules, it helps the crew be ready for unexpected challenges. Making sure that the basis of the training on current industry standards and smart strategies means that sailors get effective training (using e-mustering at its best).

Staying updated is essential, especially nowadays, when technology evolves almost overnight. Checking and improving electronic counting systems regularly can offer new possibilities and make things work better. Using the latest tech tools, whether they're for better communication or for data analysis, improves the way of handling emergencies. In the world of sailing, being successful means always adapting and being quick to change. By updating the training methods and using the newest tech tools, the sailors are trained and are ready for anything the sea throws at them.



What is the purpose of FPSO?

Equipped with cutting-edge systems and equipment, it has the capability to process and treat crude oil directly from offshore wells. Being a floating structure, it can easily be relocated to different oil fields, allowing for optimal resource utilization. Once the oil has been processed and stored on the FPSO, it is transferred to tankers for transportation to refineries. These tankers, also known as shuttle tankers, are specifically designed to load oil from the FPSO safely and efficiently. 

What is a drillship?

A drillship is a maritime vessel that has been equipped with drilling apparatus and is often built on a modified tanker hull and outfitted with a dynamic positioning system to maintain its position over the well.



Sailing the rigorous tides of FPSOs and drillships, where each sailor's sanctuary stands at the helm, the call isn't merely a moral compass but a code etched in maritime law to shield their souls. The emergence of electronic mustering isn't just a nod to tech's embrace; it's akin to charting unexplored waters, ensuring that when the storm bell tolls, every sailor's presence echoes with clarity. By hoisting this beacon of innovation, maritime captains can amplify their guardian vows during crises and shrink the shadows of unforeseen tempests.

As we anchor this narrative, the voyage with electronic mustering charts an enlightened course in the demanding seascape of FPSOs and drillships. Through periodic drills, vigilant compass checks, and the embrace of tech's new dawns, enterprises can sculpt sailors not just ready to brave storms but skilled to dance with them. With this reimagined compass in hand, the maritime odyssey pledges to cradle its kin, crafting a legacy of unyielding safety and sanctuary amidst the waves.

Electronic Mustering Whitepaper

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