It’s been expressed here what a horrible sin it is not to have cargo vents in good working condition.
I was on a RO/RO, the Mercury, my second ship as third mate after sailing about 10 years unlicensed and as C/M mate on coastwise tugs and the Aleutian freighters. One of my jobs was to inspection the louvres/fire dampers in the cargo hold vents. To get at them you had to get a ladder up inside the vent covers.
The very first time I checked them I found they couldn’t be budged. I tried oiling them up, banging on them but no luck. So I went to ask the C/M what to do? Well the C/M barely acknowledges my presence, I just get a grunt from him. Up until then I had been very impressed with the C/M’s knowledge of the ship etc.
So check to see what the previous 3/M was doing. The reports that the previous third had turned in each month all said the same thing, “all vent in the open position”. So I dig back further, what was the guy before doing? Same thing, “all vents are in the open position”.
Well, this ship uses fixed CO two for firefighting, how’s this going to work? So I filled out the inspection form “ventilators are all stuck open” with a note - I can’t get them closed. I turn that over to the C/M with a note saying what I’ve found.
So about a week goes by, no word from the C/M, no action on deck and the C/M is giving me the cold sholder. So I might have been a little naive about how politics can work on some deep-sea ships but I left a note on the captain’s door, that the vents couldn’t be closed.
The next day, the entire deck department is out working on the vents. But that C/M, from then on, as hard as I worked on there, did nothing but try to make my life miserable.
Point being I’ve seen a fucked up shit on ships where it’s all been signed off as OK. When ever I hear someone talking about how they did things properly when they were third mate I take it with a grain of salt. There are more then a few mariners out there not doing what that they say they are doing.