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Bridge Standing Orders

These Standing Orders are to be read by all Officers before the commencement of a voyage and signed accordingly. A copy of these Orders will be available on the bridge for reference. 1. Responsibilities 1.1 The Master s responsibility is to control the movement of the vessel in accordance with the Rules of the Road and recommended Traffic Schemes. He Regulates the course and speed, supervises the safe navigation of the vessel and co-ordinates and supervises overall watch organisation. 1.2 The OOW navigates the vessel, reporting all relevant information as required in these Standing Orders to the Master. He will monitor the execution of the helm and engines, co-ordinate all internal and external communication, record all required entries in official navigation logbooks and perform other duties as required by the Master. A supplementary tape recorder or notebook for recording on the bridge, can be utilised. A supplementary movement book or course recording book, can be utilised. 2. General Requirements 2.1 There is a clear requirement that the OOW should be in no doubt as to what action the Master wishes them to take, therefore it will become practice to issue complete standing instructions supplemented by a Night Order Book. 2.2 Watch Changes At the end of a watch period ensure the following information is passed on to the next OOW y The ship s exact position on the chart, confirmed by any navigational aids or radar fixes. y The ship s present True course (i.e. Gyro) and Magnetic course. y Any coastal dangers or otherwise, which might require a course change. y All other vessels within sight and the radius of the radar, to be identified and their courses and CPA clarified and confirmed. 2.3 Please leave the bridge tidy at the end of your watch and remove all items brought with you to the wheelhouse. Food, drink or any other items which can soil or mark fixtures or fittings (e.g. chocolates), are to be handled carefully to avoid such occurrences. 3. Calling the Captain 3.1 The OOW must pay particular attention to the Captain s orders about calling him. The Bridge Standing Orders shall leave no doubt as to when the Captain should be called. If the OOW begins to think that the Captain should be called, the effect of the Standing Orders should prompt him to do so. The OOW should be encouraged to call the Captain if in any doubt whatsoever about the condition of safety of th ship or when any operational situation requiring the Captain s attention begins to develop. If you question in your mind should I call the Captain ? It is certainly already time to do so .

3.2 The Captain cannot obtain any real rest at sea unless he is confident that he will be called, and thoroughly roused if needs be: as soon as he is required. The OOW must never shrink from making sure that the Captain is called to the bridge, for any circumstances that the OOW feels the Captain should be present there for. 3.3 It is of paramount importance that the OOW make any reports verbal or otherwise to the Captain in a clear, logical and succinct manner. Always consider the content of your report, avoiding inaccurate or sloppy feedback. Be prepared to make immediate recommendations or propose solutions you are the person best informed and best suited to appraise the situation. In this way the Captain is told what he needs to know and can quickly make the necessary decisions. 3.4 If you have any doubt whatsoever about the behavior of any other ship, identification of lights, position of our vessel, or the correct functioning of equipment the Captain should be called. Always assume a situation to exist, if you are in any doubt at all about a given situation i.e. risk of collision, close quarters situation, traffic encroachment, navigational conflicts, significant weather changes. In any and all such situations, the Captain is to be informed immediately. 3.5 If vessels are approaching to within three miles of our own ship (unless in confined conditions and new distances are agreed), we are approaching within ten miles of land to make a landfall, or if unexpected land or soundings are detected, the Captain should be called immediately. 4. Emergencies 4.1 There are many types of emergencies that may arise suddenly, which will require the OOW to react immediately. The OOW must be thoroughly familiar with the particular action needed to respond to each emergency. It is good practice to run over in one s mind, during quiet periods of the watch, the correct procedures for handling each situation: then the reaction will be instant and correct in any emergency. Check lists and aide-memoires are provided for correct action in emergency and dangerous situations these should be read and the actions required, rehearsed frequently see the Bridge Procedures Manual. 4.2 Some of the more likely emergencies for which the OOW should be prepared are as follows: y Failure of main engines in own vessel or nearby vessel, particularly if in the vessel next ahead. y Outbreak of fire y Flooding y Rapid approach of fog in congested areas (See para.5.7?) y Encountering unexpected shallows, with risk of grounding. y Failure of other vessels to adhere to the Collision Regulation, in any situation. y Imminent collision with other vessel or object. y Man overboard from own vessel or nearby vessel see Bridge Procedures Manual. y Internal alarms signal including fire. y Steering gear malfunction in own vessel or nearby vessel. o Prepare drill for emergency steering procedure from different helm positions or steering flat

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Machinery and instrument malfunction Compass malfunction

5. General Items 5.1 Lookout A good lookout must be maintained at all times. LOOKOUT IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE.This means visually all round the vessel and also by radar and any other means available (i.e. CCTV Thermal imaging Camera). All ships which are identified by radar should be noted on the radar and their course duly determined and recorded/plotted. Immediate assistance must always be available to the OOW. The OOW must not hesitate to summon further assistance to the bridge if needed. The OOW shall under no circumstances, leave the bridge, unless properly relieved. A proper lookout must be maintained during visits to the chartroom, or radio room and such visits shall be kept brief. Provision of extra lookouts for special circumstances is required in certain situations i.e. restricted visibility, pilotage in confined waters and dense traffic situations etc. At all times there will be an efficient and unimpaired visual and listening lookout. 5.2 Position Close and continuous monitoring of the vessel s position shall take place, ensuring as far as possible that different means of determining position are used to check against error in any one system i.e. visual checking against Charts, Radar, Compass Bearings, Plotting, GPS, Depth Sounder and Sextant. Continual checking of position information by all watchkeepers should take place regularly: to avoid transcript and chartwork errors. Each relieving OOW should check carefully the plotted position on the chart and agree to the vessel s position as depicted, before taking over responsibility of the watch. Positions are to be kept up-to-date by all available means. Visible Landmarks, properly identified, should always be the principle method of fixing the vessel s position always noting time and log reading, for any fix. Radar fixes are to be carried out as regularly as possible, using land features etc., again noting time and log reading. All GPS fixes to be noted along with local time and log reading. If the OOW is doubtful about the position of the vessel and the possibility of grounding exists, he must inform the Captain immediately of his misgivings and suggest that the vessel be stopped at once: until the position has been accurately determined. 5.3 Restricted Visibility Check list for entering or approaching an area of restricted visibility: 1. Call the Captain and advise him of the situation. 2. Reduce to and maintain a safe speed (Rule 6 Coll. Regs.).

3. Increase lookout vigilance by all means available, including extra watchkeepers, outside the wheelhouse with radios, if necessary. 4. Test manual steering. 5. Make sure engine controls are available for immediate manoeuvre. 6. Use fog sound signal in confined water it is to be used at all times, in open waters well offshore when absolutely sure of the traffic situation, use if vessels are within 6nm of our position. 7. Illuminate the running lights, including daytime. 8. Increase awareness of all situations and considerations. 5.4 Cross Checking There shall be continual cross-checking of decisions, watch-keeping information, position plots etc., so that errors can be detected and corrected as early as possible. 5.5 Radar Plots Information from plots of other traffic is to be used carefully, to ensure against over-confidence: bearing in mind that other vessels may alter speed and course. 5.6 Navigation Information Ensure that optimum and systematic use is made of all information that becomes available, to OOW and watchkeepers. 5.7 Weather Because the weather may changes gradually over a number of hours, the OOW may not always fully appreciate when the moment has come to inform the Captain. During the night, a change in the condition of sea-state, wind direction, wind strength, etc., may affect the desired course and speed made good. If action is postponed until morning drastic remedies may then be necessary. It is very important, for this reason, to inform the Captain if any significant changes occur in the observed and recorded weather conditions. Equally important, is to inform the Captain immediately on receipt of any forecast weather information that could affect the voyage plan. Special significance should be given to navigational safety information, storm warnings and securite broadcasts etc. 5.8 Watchkeepers The composition of the watch shall take into account the weather conditions, visibility, whether it is day or night, navigational hazards, traffic conditions, use and condition of navigation equipment and automatic steering. Watchkeeping is not to be impaired by fatigue. All persons taking over a watch must be fully rested and both ready and capable of undertaking the watch. The OOW shall not undertake any duties which will interfere with the safe navigation of the vessel. Safe navigation is the prime responsibility of each watchkeeper, this overrides all other

considerations, at all times: to the exclusion of all other duties, or requirements, excepting any emergency action, as the circumstances of the case warrant. The OOW is responsible for the safe navigation of the vessel, even when the Captain is on the bridge, until the Captain shall inform him that he has assumed full responsibility and this is mutually understood ( an order from the Captain directly or through another person to the helmsman, or taking over the engine control, will in effect relieve the OOW of his responsibility for handling the vessel: verbal interrogation should be made by the OOW to clarify this is the case). The OOW should not hesitate to use engines and sound signaling apparatus if required. If a helmsman is in use on the bridge it is important to ensure that he is not confused between a specific order and general discussion as to what the next course should be. 5.9 Risk of Collision There are four stages relating to the required or permitted action for each vessel, when in a closing situation and where risk of collision may be deemed possible: by virtue of no change in compass bearings of the closing vessel: i) At long range, before risk of collision exists, both vessels are free to take any action ( >9nm range ). ii) When risk of collision first begins to apply, the give way vessel is required to take early and substantial action to achieve a safe passing distance and the other vesselmust keep her course and speed ( <6nm range ). iii) When it becomes apparent that the give-way vessel is not taking the appropriate action in compliance with the Coll. Regs., the stand-on vessel is required to give the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34 (d) five or more short blasts on a sound signaling device ,supplemented by correct light signal if necessary and is permitted to take action to avoid collision by her manoeuvre alone, but a power driven vessel must not alter course to port to avoid another power driven vessel, crossing from her own port side. The give-way vessel is not relieved of her obligation to keep out of the way (2-3nm range). iv) When collision cannot be avoided by the give-way vessel alone, the stand-on vessel isrequiredto take such action as will best aid to avoid collision (<0.5nm ). At long range( >9nm ) assessment should be made to ascertain risk of collision. If it is apparent that continuation of present courses by both vessels will result in a close quarters situation, appropriate action shall be taken to open up the situation: if circumstances permit (make a bold alteration of course to port or starboard in ample time, to avoid all close quarters situations). Minimum closing distance (CPA) to other vessels, in normal open sea conditions is to be 2nm. Action shall be taken well before a close quarters situation develops, to ensure this condition is met.

If risk of collision is deemed to exist by a series of compass bearings remaining constant and we are the stand-on vessel, the Captain must be called immediately if the range closes to 4 nm, with no action by the give-way vessel. The following actions are to be taken immediately in the above circumstances: y y Manual steering should be adopted, well before a closing situation develops Make engines ready for immediate manoeuvring, give wake-up call on horn (five or more short blasts) and supplement with manoeuvring light (have signaling lamp available and ready to repeat wake up light signal, if necessary). Be ready to take all way off and/or make sufficiently bold course alteration to starboard( with sound and light signal one short blast) to establish diverging course.

5.10 Equipment Checks on Each Watch Period y Operational tests of navigational equipment should be carried out at sea as frequently as practicable and as circumstances permit: in particular when hazardous conditions affecting navigation are expected. Where appropriate these tests should be recorded. Regular cross checks of standard compass and gyro are required. Repeaters should be synchronized and checking (by celestial or other means) of the standard compass,is required during each watch. Compass error should be determined after each maor course change. The automatic pilot should be checked regularly during each watch to ensure that it is steering the correct course. The automatic steering should be tested in manual mode, at least once on every watch. All navigation instruments to be checked regularly during and on the hour and log entries made. All instrumentation to be checked verified frequently, for correct operation. Engine monitoring gauges to be checked frequently and if there are any noticeable changes, the engineering OOW is to be informed. Navigation lights are to be switched on at sunset or in decreased visibility (lights are to be physically checked that they are illuminated). If there are defects or breakdowns of any instrumentation or equipment necessary for safe navigation, call the Captain and advise immediately.

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5.11 Distress

Call Captain for distress, urgency calls or any safety calls or transmissions that can affect the vessel directly. Log details in official navigational logs (GMDSS).

5.12 Fuel Distribution Fuel transfer from holding tanks to day tanks (controlling stability) and usage are under bridge control and should be monitored closely and frequently: free surface and cross flooding (if applicable) considerations are of paramount importance. The vessel must never be allowed to develop a list (lurching to one side or the other may be the first indication and should always be looked for). Engineering must be informed immediately to correct the situation, if a list is detected. 5.13 Crew on Deck All crew movement or activity on deck is to be constantly monitored, by all means available i.e. VHF radio, CCTV cameras, or personnel checks. All crew (or at least one in each party) shall carry an operational radio, which is to be checked for correct operation, immediately upon going on deck. Frequent and regular calls are to be made between the bridge and each crewmember on deck with a radio. In any adverse conditions or at night, PDF/life-jackets are to be worn during deck checks or activity, with no exceptions. Immediate response is to be taken to a MOB by advising the bridge by radiio and thereafter keeping the vixctim in sight until assistance arrives. The bridge will immediately on receipt of a radioed MOB call, initiate all standard MOB procedures and activate the GPS MOB feature.

Despite the requirements to inform the Captain immediately, in all the foregoing circumstances, the OOW should in addition, not hesitate to take immediate action for the safety of the vessel, where circumstances so require .