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Ships navigation in restricted visibility check item

It is vital that an efficient lookout is maintained by the O.O.W. ensures at all times. In a ship with a separate chart room, the O.O.W. may visit the chart room, when essential, for a short period for the necessary performance of his navigational duties. However, he must previously satisfy himself that it is safe to do so and ensure that an efficient lookout is maintained. A continuous visual lookout all-around the horizon and a listening watch (including sound signals and radio messages) are to be maintained at all times. A constant watch solely by radar is not acceptable as an efficient lookout. During the hours of darkness and restricted visibility, a rating must be appointed lookout in addition to the O.O.W. He must remain on the bridge for the entire duration of his watch and may only leave the bridge, having first been relieved of his post.

Container ship laden voyage
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
In maintaining a lookout the following shall be observed:-
  1. The lookout must be able to give full attention to the keeping of a proper lookout, and no other duties shall be undertaken or assigned which could interfere with that task;
  2. The duties of the lookout and helmsman are separate, and the helmsman is not to be considered as the lookout 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 impediments to the keeping of a proper lookout;
  3. The O.O.W. must ensure that lookouts clearly understand their duties and the system of reporting. All reports must be passed to the O.O.W, or to Master if he has taken charge of the bridge and if a pilot is on board, to the Pilot.
  4. At the discretion of the Master, the O.O.W. may be the sole lookout in daylight under certain conditions provided that:
  5. The situation has been carefully assessed, and it has been established without doubt that it is safe to operate with a sole lookout.
Full account has been taken of all relevant factors, including but not limited to the following: It must be remembered that conditions can change at very short notice and therefore the OOW must be able to summon the additional lookout immediately if the situation requires. Accordingly the rating allocated to be the additional lookout must be either on stand-by or working within the vicinity of the bridge and be immediately contactable.


Below is additional check items during ships navigation in or near an area restricted visibility

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