Always verify the condition of the sounding tape. Sounding tapes could be tampered with in many ways:
Deliberate altering of sounding tapes and using wrong size of bobs
Sounding bobs from tapes that have been switched over
Cutting the tape and re-joining resulting in non-lineartape
Check for calibration certificate for the gauging equipment in use
Use a ruler to ascertain the precise sounding/ullage when below the 20 cm mark
Use own sounding / ullage tapes
Pay particular attention to 'millimeter' soundings especially when the tanks are full and taking ullages as small errors will have a big impact on the total bunker quantity.
Remember whenever in doubt or have concerns always issue a letter of protest
Kaivan H. Chinoy is the Founder and Principal Marine Surveyor of AVA Marine Group, owners of Petro
Inspect and The Bunker Detectives.
About Petro Inspect and The Bunker Detectives
Petro Inspect, previous known only as The Bunker Detectives, are a dedicated team who primarily help ship
charterers' & bunker brokers deal with bunker quantity disputes (which do not fall under P&I cover for
charterers'), and also offer an exclusive service to ship charterers' dealing with 'Bad' Bunker dispute claims,
such as the supply of contaminated or off- specification bunkers.
The core services provided under the banner of 'Bunker Detective' are 221B Surveys (aka Bunker Detective Surveys),
Bunker Stem Surveys (aka Bunker Quantity Surveys - BQS) and Charter On/Off Hire and Condition Surveys, as well as a
bunker fuel concealment detection services.
About Kaivan H. Chinoy
A qualified Mercantile Marine Officer with an MSc Degree in "Technical Management of Ship Operations," prior
to founding AVA Marine Kaivan spent over 15 years involved in extensive marine operations including vessel navigation,
cargo handling, accident investigations, project cargo risk management, and marine cargo surveying.