1. The officer of the watch is the Master's representative, and his primary responsibility at all times is the safety of the ship. He is responsible for ensuring that the planned passage is properly carried out during his watch. 2.

Bridge watchkeeping standing orders

Maritime blog

1. The officer of the watch is the Master's representative, and his primary responsibility at all times is the safety of the ship. He is responsible for ensuring that the planned passage is properly carried out during his watch.

2. The officer of the watch should keep his watch on bridge, in no circumstances should he
leave the bridge until properly relieved.

3. The officer of the watch is responsible for the maintenance of a continuous and alert watch. This is the most important consideration in the avoidance of collision, stranding and other casualties. In order to keep an efficient watch the officer of the watch should ensure the following:

an alert all-round visual and aural lookout to allow a fullrasp of the current situation, including the presence of ships and landmarks in the vicinity;

close observation of the movement and bearing of approaching vessels;

identification ship and shore lights;

close monitoring that the course is being steered accurately and that wheel orders are correctly executed;

observation of the radar and echosounder displays;

observation of changes in the weather, especially the visibility.

4. The officer on the watch should make regular checks to ensure that:

the helmsman or the automatic pilots steering the correct course;

the standard magnetic compass error is established at least once a watch and also is
possible after major alternation of course;

the standard magnetic and gyro compasses are compared frequently and repeaters syncronized;

the automatic pi lot is tested in the manual mode at least once a watch;

the navigation and signal lights and other navigational equipment are functioning properly.

5. The officer on the watch should notify the Master immediately under any of the following circumstances;

if visibility deteriorates to the level laid down in the Master's standing instructions:

if the movement of other vessels are causing concern;

if difficulty is experienced in maintaining course due to heavy traffic or to meteorological or sea conditions;

on failure to sight land or navigation mark;

if either land or a navigation mark is sighted unexpectedly, or if an unexpected reduction of sounded depth occurs;

on the breakdown of the engines, steering gear or any essential navigational equipment;

in any other situation about which he is in doubt.

6. When ship at anchor, on the bridge a continuous watch should be maintained. The officer on the watch should:

ensure that the vessel exhibits the appropriate lights or shapes and that in restricted visibility the appropriate sound signals are made;

ensure that an efficient look out is maintained;

ensure that the state of readiness of the main engines is in accordance with the Master's instructions;

determine and plot ship's position, and at sufficiently frequent intervals check this position by taking bearings of fixed navigational marks or identifiable shore objects;

notify the Master if the vessel drags its anchor and undertakes all necessary remedial measures;

notify the Master if visibility deteriorates;

in appropriate circumstances maintain anti piracy precaut ions.

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