Wednesday, March 12, 2008

deck watchkeeping

Principles applying to watchkeeping generally

8 Parties shall direct the attention of companies, masters, chief engineer officers and watchkeeping personnel to the following principles which shall be observed to ensure that safe watches are maintained at all times.

9 The master of every ship is bound to ensure that watchkeeping arrangements are adequate for maintaining a safe navigational watch. Under the master's general direction, the officers of the navigational watch are responsible for navigating the ship safely during their periods of duty, when they will be particularly concerned with avoiding collision and stranding.

10 The chief engineer officer of every ship is bound, in consultation with the master, to ensure that watchkeeping arrangements are adequate to maintain a safe engineering watch.

Protection of marine environment

11 The master, officers and ratings shall be aware of the serious effects of operational or accidental pollution of the marine environment and shall take all possible precautions to prevent such pollution, particularly within the framework of relevant international and port regulations.


12 The officer in charge of the navigational watch is the master's representative and is primarily responsible at all times for the safe navigation of the ship and for complying with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972.


13 A proper look-out shall be maintained at all times in compliance with rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 and shall serve the purpose of:

.1 maintaining a continuous state of vigilance by sight and hearing as well as by all other available means, with regard to any significant change in the operating environment;

.2 fully appraising the situation and the risk of collision, stranding and other dangers to navigation; and

.3 detecting ships or aircraft in distress, shipwrecked persons, wrecks, debris and other hazards to safe navigation.

14 The look-out must be able to give full attention to the keeping of a proper look-out and no other duties shall be undertaken or assigned which could interfere with that task.

15 The duties of the look-out and helmsperson are separate and the helmsperson shall not be considered to be the look-out while steering, except in small ships where an unobstructed all-round view is provided at the steering position and there is no impairment of night vision or other impediment to the keeping of a proper look-out. The officer in charge of the navigational watch may be the sole look-out in daylight provided that on each such occasion:

.1 the situation has been carefully assessed and it has been established without doubt that it is safe to do so;

.2 full account has been taken of all relevant factors including, but not limited to:

- state of weather,

- visibility,

- traffic density,

- proximity of dangers to navigation, and

- the attention necessary when navigating in or near traffic separation schemes; and

.3 assistance is immediately available to be summoned to the bridge when any change in the situation so requires.

16 In determining that the composition of the navigational watch is adequate to ensure that a proper look-out can continuously be maintained, the master shall take into account all relevant factors, including those described in this section of the Code, as well as the following factors:

.1 visibility, state of weather and sea;

.2 traffic density, and other activities occurring in the area in which the vessel is navigating;

.3 the attention necessary when navigating in or near traffic separation schemes or other routeing measures;

.4 the additional workload caused by the nature of the ship's functions, immediate operating requirements and anticipated manoeuvres;

.5 the fitness for duty of any crew members on call who are assigned as members of the watch;

.6 knowledge of and confidence in the professional competence of the ship's officers and crew;

.7 the experience of each officer of the navigational watch, and the familiarity of that officer with the ship's equipment, procedures, and manoeuvring capability;

.8 activities taking place on board the ship at any particular time, including radiocommunication activities and the availability of assistance to be summoned immediately to the bridge when necessary;

.9 the operational status of bridge instrumentation and controls, including alarm systems;

.10 rudder and propeller control and ship manoeuvring characteristics;

.11 the size of the ship and the field of vision available from the conning position;

.12 the configuration of the bridge, to the extent such configuration might inhibit a member of the watch from detecting by sight or hearing any external development; and

.13 any other relevant standard, procedure or guidance relating to watchkeeping arrangements and fitness for duty which has been adopted by the Organization.

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