After completing the safety and procedural brief, the crew accomplishes these steps:
1. All communications systems shall be tested prior to commencing any well deck evolution.
2. Ballast the ship properly. The ship's ballasting bill is the primary reference for determining the proper depth of water in the well to meet operational requirements. Sea state and cargo stowed in well are major factors.
3. Ensure positioning lines are properly made up. A minimum of four lines will be used for positioning individual craft and eight lines for positioning boats nested together. Spare positioning lines will be readily available, on station, for emergent use. Four- to five-inch, double-braided, nylon lines with an 18-inch eye splice shall be used for all well deck positioning lines.
4. Test traffic control lights and the engine order light display.
5. Ensure all red and green signal flags are on station and well deck control lights are tested.
6. Energize the well deck ventilation systems 30 minutes before the evolution.
7. Ensure all personnel working in the well are in the proper battle dress, including an inherently buoyant or auto-inflatable life preserver and a properly color-coded protective helmet.
8. Ensure all wingwall or catwalk cleats and T-bitts are properly color coded (from aft to forward they should be red, white, blue, yellow, and green; repeat the sequence as necessary).
9. While moving vehicles or cargo to or from craft in the well, ballast and adjust lines, as necessary, to ensure craft are grounded in the well. No movement of personnel or vehicles is authorized until the craft are sufficiently grounded to reduce the possibility of damage or injury.