GUIDANCE TO MASTERS AND NAVIGATING OFFICERS 1. BRIDGE ORGANISATION 1.1 General 1.1.1 The competence and vigilance of the Officer of the Watch provides the most direct means of avoiding dangerous situations.

​GUIDANCE TO MASTERS AND NAVIGATING OFFICERS

GUIDANCE TO MASTERS AND NAVIGATING OFFICERS

1. BRIDGE ORGANISATION

1.1 General

1.1.1 The competence and vigilance of the Officer of the Watch provides the most direct means of avoiding dangerous situations. However, analyses of navigational casualties show that weaknesses in bridge organisation are a contributory cause in very many cases. Well defined procedures clearly laid down in company instructions and/or Master's Standing Orders, supported by an efficient organisation, are essential.

1.1.2 Clear instructions should be issued to cover such matters as:‑

  • calling the Master (2.9)
  • reducing speed in the event of restricted visibility, or other circumstances
  • posting lookout(s);
  • manning the wheel;
  • the use of largest scale charts and navigational aids, such as echo sounder, radar, etc.

(f) an established drill for changing over from automatic to manual steering and, if applicable, change-over from hydraulic to electric steering and vice-versa

(g) the provision of additional watchkeeping personnel in special circumstances, e.g. heavy traffic or restricted visibility.

1.1.3 There is a clear requirement that Officers of the Watch should be in no doubt as to what action Masters expect them to take and therefore it is good practice to issue the foregoing as standing instructions, supple­mented by a bridge order hook.

1.1.4 It is the responsibility of the Master to ensure that, when practicable, the departing officers 'hand-over' correctly to officers joining. Newly joined officers should read and sign Standing Orders and any other directives. It is essential they be shown how to set up and operate all appropriate bridge equipment (see Routine Bridge Check List No. 1.)

1.2 Passage Plan

1.2.1 The Master should ensure that a plan for the intended voyage is prepared before sailing. It is of particular importance that this procedure is adopted for that part of the voyage in coastal waters. In pilotage waters, it may be appropriate to have available a forecast of the times of alteration of course, speed and sets expected (see attached example at Annex 1).

1.3 Safety Systems - Maintenance and Training

1.3.1 In addition to the above, the Master should ensure that all safety systems (for example, life-saving appliances, fire-fighting equipment) are properly maintained and that Officers of the Watch and other crew members are trained, as appropriate, in the use of these systems. Regular drills should be carried out, especially at the early stages of a voyage.

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