What is Official Log Book – Regulations, Entries

Official Log Book means the log book kept at the bridge of the ship in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act. Offical logbook is considered to be a running log of all official events such as Arrival / Departure of the vessel to/from the port, Draughts, Freeboards, Onboard Emergency Drills, Crew onboard, Fuel/Fresh Water ROB, Master’s Handing Over/Taking Over, etc.

Although some flag states do provide a short guide for keeping the official logbook and while some don’t, it is imperative that all entries must be made in a professional and legible manner.

Official Log Book Entries

  1. Name of Vessel
  2. Port of Registry
  3. Official Number including letters and numbers
  4. Registered length
  5. Gross tonnage
  6. Registered net tonnage
  7. Name of Master(s)
  8. Certificate of Competency: type and number
  9. Nature of work undertaken
  10. Name and address of Registered owners
  11. Date and place where Log book was opened
  12. Date and place where log book was closed
  13. Delivered to the superintendent or proper office
  14. Received by registered general of shipping and seamen also included in the O.L.B.
  15. Record of Seamen employed on the vessel
  16. Records of births and deaths
  17. Records of injuries or illnesses not resulting in death
  18. Records of Casualties to the vessel
  19. Records of Muster Drills, fire-drills, training of crew
  20. Inspections of lifesaving appliances
  21. Inspections of fire-fighting appliances
  22. Records of test drills
  23. Records of tests and inspections of pilot hoists
  24. Records of crews accommodation
  25. Records of food and water provided for the crew

Points to be noted before doing a entry in Official Log Book:

  1. All entries should be made as soon as practicable after an event occurs, since all the logs are running records of the vessel it makes record keeping vulnerable if delayed in its entirety.
  2. Only Authorised personnel should make such entries. Master may designate personnel to do so.
  3. Entries to be signed as required by the person making such entry and by the person witnessing the event.
  4. All entries must have a date and time recorded
  5. It will be the Master’s responsibility to ensure the Official logbook is accurately filled and signed.
  6. Entries made in the log must not be amended or deleted under any circumstances unless the Master authorizes the cancellation. If it is to be done, it is a good practice to make sure the entry is stroked out with a single line and an initial put against the omitted entry.
  7. If the entries cannot be contained within the log books’ pages due to their length, they must be entered separately in a separate document, endorsed and attached to the logbook. A reference number may be given for easy record tracking.

– The master of a ship shall, on demand, produce to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, a superintendent, a proper officer or an officer of customs the official log book required to be kept in the ship. A master who fails to comply with this regulation shall be guilty of an offence.


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