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Navigational guideline for cargo ship in restricted visibility conditions

What is restricted visibility ?

Restricted visibility conditions mean those in which the visibility is Three Nautical Miles or less, or is not more than that designated separately by the Master. Conduct of vessel’s navigation in restricted visibility is covered in COLREG Rule 19.

Action of the OOW in restricted visibility conditions

The officer of the watch shall take the following actions under restricted visibility conditions or if such conditions are expected:

• Inform Master, report existing conditions

• Intensify watch of surrounding conditions, e.g. by posting additional lookout(s)

• Comply with latest International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea

• Inform engine room and sound appropriate fog signals.

• Take other necessary action mentioned in the “Navigation in Restricted Visibility Checklist"

Master's action under restricted visibility conditions

When receiving the report from OOW, that restricted visibility conditions are present or expected, the Master shall confirm the navigation situation and if necessary, shall take the command of the ship.The Master must ensure that all watchkeepers understand the use of safety related equipment, prior to them keeping a watch.

Master shall take appropriate measures as needed such as posting additional Lookout(s), Reduction to safe speed etc.


The check list “Navigation in Restricted Visibility Checklist" shall be used and recorded.

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