COMPASS launches SIRE and Tanker Vetting Seminar

Posted Dec 08, 2011

COMPASS continues to make way in the intensely competitive Philippine maritime education and training.

 The training institution, the first in Southeast Asia to earn accreditation from the global tanker group INTERTANKO as provider of Tanker Officers’ Training Standard (TOTS), has again upstaged its competitors.

 It further strengthened its niche in the market as training provider for people serving onboard tankers with its latest course offering – Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) and Tanker Vetting Seminar.

 The two-day course aims at familiarizing the participants with the how and why’s of SIRE, chartering, risk management, company inspections, inspection reports and their effective management.

 A welcome pioneering effort, the new course is the provider’s response to an apparent need to assist companies whose marine officers need some help to enhance their performance onboard during vetting inspections.

 Last November 28-29, COMPASS commenced with the training course led by no less than the acknowledged guru of SIRE Program, Capt. David Savage, the person responsible for developing SIRE during his stint as SIRE manager of OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum, 1994-2009.  He is the director of Winfield Marine Services that specializes on Tanker Vetting and Training.

 His partner, Capt. James Lim, has been into chartering business of oil majors in the last 22 years after taking command of diverse types of vessels, provides the commercial implications of SIRE.  His company, jJaana Services conducts seminars on chartering in Singapore, Vietnam, and only recently, in the Philippines. 

 With such resource speakers, one could not get better people to handle the special course.

 Announced only two weeks prior, yet close to 40 key officials of crewing company mostly superintendents, training managers, senior marine officers both from deck and engine department showed up at JSU-AMOSUP Mariners’ Home on Nakpil St. Malate, Manila to participate in the seminar.

Absolutely a must

Emphasizing the need for any tanker man to be familiar with SIRE, Capt. Savage, said it is “absolutely, totally imperative for the ships” to perform well during vetting inspections.

 “It is not only the key to company’s success, but also the (key to) company’s survival,” he emphasized.

 The outcome of the vetting as contained in SIRE could spell success or disaster to the vessel and its owners. Capt. James Lim said a bad vetting result or SIRE could lead to losses as customers mainly oil majors would not hire the vessel.


The wealth of knowledge accumulated through the years of Capt. Savage while serving as OCIMF SIRE manager gives him an unmatched grasp of the common pitfalls and weaknesses besetting Filipinos seafarers during vetting that need to be corrected to enhance their performance during inspections.


“Nervousness of officers” and “sometimes timidity” are just some of the few observations he gathered regarding the Filipinos conduct during SIRE inspections.  “They make bad impressions (to inspectors),” he commented.

 Inspector’s shoes

At the second day of the seminar, Capt. Savage disclosed that he would simulate inspection scenarios onboard. “We will walk around, physically walk around.  We will take off our clothes; put on cover alls, hard hats and safety belts. 

 “They would put themselves on the inspector’s shoes, approaching and boarding the vessel, discussion with the gangway watchman, interview with the master and the management team before inspection,” explained Capt. Savage, who once certified qualified SIRE inspectors.

 “They will look at all the likely areas, where observations are maybe located,” he said.  They will do the “walk around” using hundreds of photographs which support specific situations.

 Hence, participants to SIRE and Vetting Inspections Seminars would definitely learn invaluable lessons from both Capt. Savage and Capt. Lim who admittedly they were impressed by the facilities of COMPASS as well as its training staff.

“(And) we have seen the facilities; they have the latest equipment,” said the 67-year old former OCIMF official, who is involved in charity work for seafarers through the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS).

 So far, we have good experience with them.  We have spoken to the people; they are very professional,” observed Capt. Lim.

 Companies that failed to send representatives to the seminar can look forward to the next batch early next year.

 “We plan to do it three times a year,” said Mr. Daks Villanueva, president of COMPASS, who was excited over the unexpected turnout of the first seminar despite the short notice.

 The tandem of Capt. Savage and Capt, Lim will be back, Mr. Villanueva promised.

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