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Ships operation- Emergency procedure for gyro compass and bridge telegraph failure



Gyro failure

The following actions are suggested as a minimum in event of failure of vital bridge equipment gyro compass.


1) Inform to the Master

2) If the 2nd gyrocompass is available, activate it. Otherwise, following measures to be taken.

3) Change over to Hand steering for steering with magnetic compass with applying Compass deviation value with Deviation curve and observation, or to TMC (Transmitting Magnetic Compass) Autopilot, where fitted.

4) Consider effect on other navigational and communication equipment which have a gyro feed especially Radar/ ARPA and ECDIS and enter headings manually.

5) Plot positions more frequently to confirm course made good and accordingly allow correction to course steered. In coastal waters, make good use of parallel indexing technique to keep vessel on charted track.
Also secure True course run (Course made good) by plotting GPS position and verify with Heading of Magnetic compass.

6) Reduce speed if considered necessary.

7) In the meantime, to check Instruction Manual for troubleshooting guide.

8) Inform to the office, to enable to arrange repair at next port

9) Caution pilots at next port, about Gyro unavailability.



Bridge Control Telegraph Failure

Inform to the duty in E/R and C/E, and then switch to Engine Room Control

Inform to the Master

Establish Emergency Communication with E/R

E/R to be in Manned condition

If unable rectify, to advise to the office for arranging repair.



Entries to be made in the Deck Log Book should cover, but not be limited to the following information:-

Standard Meteorological data which must be carefully assessed

Record of Navigational and Pilotage events during watch

Record of Vessel Position at regular intervals

Behavior of Vessel and Effect of Heavy seas

Change from Hand to Auto steering and vice versa including Trial of Hand Steering every watch

Verification of Compass error also including mention if unobtainable.

Record of Inspections, Trainings and Emergency drills (preferably in Red pen)

Information on Cargo work and other activities in port

Visits by various Officials and Authorities

Stemming of Bunkers, Freshwater, Stores, etc

Search for Stowaways, Contraband and SSP related items

All other information considered pertinent to the watch

Related Information

Navigational guideline for ships - use of bridge movement book

What is navigation in heavy weather ? ....

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Passage planning guideline for navigation in confined water ....

What is navigation in restricted visibility ? ....

What are the steering gear check item ? ....









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Welcome Shipsbusiness.com! Our articles are based on various shipboard activities, safe operation, maintenance and onboard procedure. These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Based on user feedback we endeavored to summarize each article to serve the international shipping community