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"How to load elephants on merchant ships?"

Recently a conversation broke out on this topic in the Facebook group of Jobships (

Here is a copy-paste work of what all conversation transpired during the above.

AT (Thread starter) :somebody tell me how to load elephant in a general cargo vessel? question asked in cochin mmd

The responses which this thread generated were a reflection of how the human mind becomes entrapped into its own design more specifically when its is overwhelmed by something or someone.
Here is a copy-paste of some various responses which came out and what I contributed in the topic

DS :hard to find mentally stable elephants in kerala......reject the cargo or signoff......

NG :surveyor who r asking for this type of question must sent in kerala forest for 6 months exp.

GC : Has Capt. Das reached Cochin.... its his fav question....

AS :Tell him to ask director prabu solomon who directed a movie about elephant.

NG :open the cargo hold, put the elephant, close the cargo hold

MS :Can livestock cargo be loaded on a general cargo ship? Does the certificate issued to the ship allow for the carriage of livestock cargo?

RMR : elephants or any animal cannot be loaded in a closed cargo hold..unless its a livestock carrier or a val that has forced ventilation ... to load elephants... the weight of an elephant is 2 to max gen cargo ship... put it in a cage or open type or oversized container ...lift it using the crane and lower it into the hold a general cargo vessel where the hold has ventilation and east access..feeding the elephant in the voyage is required deck not permitted as it is exposed to the weather... the cargo near the elephant should also not give out strong smell ... and the elephant also urinates and excretes waste that can damage. many things to take into account..preferably a empty hold on top of the tween deck. .. ..if the val has certificate to load animals that is..

AV : Jokes apart ....and think about loading them.....This question has originated from the actual loading of elephants required onboard the SCI ships at Andaman and Nicobar. There is a complete sensible procedure to load elephants onbaord those small ships and various requirements for keeping them onboard!!!!

GC :Appoint a Mahaout through shippers. ..............let the Mahaout walk the elephant into a cage..... check the manifest for Elephant's weight. ...check the swl of the cargo gear if it is suitable for lifting the elephant. ....check the SWL of wires, slings etc to be used.... meanwhile prepare deck for loading. .. check the load density of deck.... prepare lashing material and lashing points on deck for lashing of cage. ... prepare and lay dunnage prior loading cage. .... lift the cage and place it on prepared deck..... lash the cage...... if the surveyor is satisfied with this.... TELL OTHERS, if not TELL ME...... LOL!!!!!!!

DB :Depends on CP Clause...whether Hague/HV rules apply to B/ allows animal ondeck and other doesnt...if doesnt then carrier is not responsible fr the elephant.....I think they want to hear something in those lines....

RML :Why u cant load these days any specific reason?

RMR :We don't load elephant these days...yes off course..we don't...elephants have started swimming through water and flying using their Giant wing like ears...Lmao...they don't load it seems...hahahaha..

MS :reading all the comments above , it makes me recall one old tale from Panchatantra where some blind men touch one elephant's body parts and each of those blind men makes his wild guess as what it could be which he is touch-feeling. Our reactions to this question is no lesser funny tale comparable to the pronouncements of those blind men.

MS :I can see that the responses of we the ''blind men'' can be categorised into small clubs. 
    Club 1 , the "oh, it's harassment" club : Back in early 2000's , Capt Das in Kolkatta often asked such nuisance questions when life and shipping had already changed so much as to have forgotten loading cargo such as Circus troop, animals , etc. I have seen vintage photographs in Calendars etc where elephant is lying up-side-down suspended in air by a derrick while it is being loaded , using slings as lifting gear. These are testimonies to the fact that, in truth, cargoes such as Elephants were indeed carried by merchant ships some decades in the past. So when these cargoes became infrequent in course of time, people forgot the care and precautions, and those group emerged as today become the blind-men club of ''oh, it's harassment to ask such questions''. 
      Club 2 of the blind-men is ''stuck in time warp'' club: those who detected out where to find information about the care and precautions for cargoes such as elephants . Say from the publication 'thomas stowage'. This club is a book-collector club which keeps compiling books/notes/publications so much and so heavy that it forgets to create a method on how to reach the relevant information from its vast stockpile, the randomly stored book. You might choose to call there stockpile a library , but he truth is that this club has failed to create a library, which is a system to home onto ANY information being searched for in a methodical manner. This club works by a 'merciful recall of memory', when if you lucky , you randomly recall the book where the information is given. 
    Club 3, ''the methodical club'': the one's who have understood the challenges which have emerged due to changing times and epoch and develop a method, a technique from law, to use Memory, but with reduced information-overloading, to reach the desired question. Certification is the first answer for them. The law-makers and policy-makers have put in place a system to deal with these, we just need to know how to follow them. If a vessel is 'certified' to carry livestock, it will also be made duty-bound to carry publications pertaining to how to load-ramp or a Mahaout, or gangway or a sling from crane, etc. The ventilation, the food, precautions with respect to other animals such as camel-elephant instinctive rivalry, etc. These publications and laws will also be mandating the manning specialization for these livestock carriers. This club is a step more evolved from Club 1 , the 'oh, it's harassment' club. The question indeed was a harassment , but a methodical response had to be generated in time to come. It's logical that 'oh , it's harassment'' can only be a reaction and never a permanent entrenched-in-time answer to a question. 
    Club 4, the 'maskhara club": cracking jokes, use cranes, ramps, mahaout, etc.

AV :MS, which club do you fall into? unless you have a suitable answer

AS :Writers club

MS :ye, I would also like to be a member of Maskhara Club. Here is my contribution Put a big-arse woman in front of the elephants and ask her to lead. Elephants will follow her arse to reach into the cargo hold.

MS : I think Capt Das himself can be enrolled as a member of Maskhara Club , under a sub-group 'Capt Das harassment' club: here the ghost of Capt Das will possess the body of any of us, and that person will start speaking 'Englis' in the typical grammar and accent of Capt Das and ask those nuisance questions just like him. Like ''Manis, how you phind('find') big-arse women then? I meen wherephrom??''

AR: in a pure academic sense answer would be .1)vet mus be present for voyage 2)hold must be prepared for elephant 3)adequate FW and food for elephant...4)documents for cargo and acceptance from the port of discharge

BS :Well said manish. H'ever all said and done, in front of surveyor we have to have an answer.

MS :To have an answer before surveyor, or to have answer to meet with the real life challenge of loading Elephant cargo , the difference is same as between the Reel Life and the Real Life. it's a quite a psychometric seizure to start viewing everyquestion/ challenge from the ''sitting before a surveyor in an oral examination'' life-frame.
  Many cinema actors are reported to become psychometrically troubled after having undergone a good professional life as an actor. They start seeing their day today life too as if they are watching a movie of themselves, from the Camera's point of view.
    MMD should intervene to prevent such seizures of the candidates on his life term. Candidates should build self-awareness to this effect.

MS :Friends, sorry for this but it looks like I have myself taken some story-writer's psychometric seizure to see this post in parallel relation with the Panchatantra Tale of 'Elephant and the Blind men'. 
  The tale was made to give the moral lesson of 'Always look at the larger picture. Otherwise, blind or not you too shall give pronouncement like the Blind-men do to the elephant'. 
   In my own story-writer's psychometric seizure , I cannot stop evaluating different response into different groups and lay bare the relation between each. Indeed the response that 'we need to have an answer for the MMD surveyors' is a Club 2 the 'stuck in time warp' response. Imagine the evolution of this club as the next quick successor of Club 1, the 'oh, it's harassment' club. When the question was first time asked , Club 1 responsers emerged. They came out of the examination room and complained their reaction 'the harassment' to their friends at the tea-stalls, coffeehouses, seamen club, etc. The next batch managed to figure out where to find that answer from - the Thomas Stowage publication. Thus came the next generation which was Club 2, the 'stuck in time warp' club. This club kept the focus only on Elephant, not on the larger sense of dealing with the strange cargoes. One response was generated for one special case of strange cargoes, but not a method of dealing with the entire spectrum of strange cargoes. Then decades later the Methodical Club emerged, club 3. amongst all this fanfare over a period of time, the Maskhara Club remained unchanged, drowned in their beer glass. 
   Let some madness be the eye-opener. Thanks for being my audience.

CS :Wo wo wo lots of comments dear ! So it's just in mmd, how cum u can face sum idiots on board if u don't hav onboard Internet facility, cum on mate take a chill pill

AM :Its easy...Open the hatch...pick up the elephant...put the elephant in the hold...close the hatch...! FINITO! SIMPLE!

CS :Buddy one more advice long back there was a advertise of Ceat tyres sayin dat the street are filled with idiots now it's same applies to all over, not only in MMD.

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