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Watchkeeping, Miscellaneous

Q. How do you test a parallel Ruler?
The parallel ruler must be procured from a renowned manufacturer instead of buying a local or a duplicate one. A good parallel Ruler should have the following features:

Q. Can you use a set square to transfer a line?
Yes, one of the perpendicular sides is placed along the line to be transferred. Transfer is made along the other perpendicular side. A well constructed set squares can be virtually error proof.

Q. How will you ensure that the navigation light that is supplied is appropriate for use?
The light must be supplied along with a certificate providing the following details:

  1. Name of the light manufacturer
  2. Number of Model
  3. Visibility of the light in nautical miles
  4. Date on which the light was type-tested
  5. Identification and specification of the bulb used in the compliance test.

Q. What safety precautions must be taken while changing a navigation bulb?
It must be ensured that the person who would change the light is comfortable and experienced in climbing on masts, etc. The person must take appropriate safety precautions using lifeline, etc. A seaman can assist him and remain standby on deck. The person changing the bulb must be well versed with the special type of the bulb and should be briefed about due precautions to be taken. The task should be performed in fair weather and in daylight hours. 

Q. What is the requirement in respect of fitting an AIS?
An automatic identification system (AIS) is to be fitted onboard the vessel to provide automatically to other stations, vessels and aircraft, the navigational related information. The automatic identification system (AIS) is to comply with IMO Res. MSC.74(69), Annex 3 “Recommendation on Performance Standards for an Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification System”.

Q. What static data should the AIS provide?
The static information provided by the AIS should include:

Q. What dynamic information should the AIS provide?
The dynamic information provided by the AIS should include:

The optional information includes:

Q. What voyage related information should the AIS provide?
The voyage related information which the AIS should provide is:

The optional information being the route plan (waypoints).

Q. Any thing else?
Yes, a short safety-related message.

Q. As a third officer, you see a vessel aground right ahead. What will you do?
Master is informed. Soundings must be taken immediately. The echo sounder may be kept  continuously on, at slow speed. The engine room is notified of possible requirement of engines. If there is a considerable difference between the soundings and the charted sounding at the charted position, possibly the position plotted is wrong. In coastal areas the position must be confirmed using different ways. In a situation as above, either the position is wrong or a new shallow patch is discovered. Second officer should be called to check if the corrections have been duly carried out. The navigational warnings must also be checked. The grounded vessel should be contacted to find the reason that the vessel is aground in the navigational route. In order to assess the situation speed must be reduced to minimum at which the course can be maintained. If the assessment does not make the situation clear, going at slow speed on the reciprocal course may be done till the position is determined with certainty.

Q. You are steering a course of 0400. You find a north cardinal mark right ahead. What action will you take?
A north cardinal mark is used to indicate north side of a danger or southern boundary of an east west running channel. Thus, the vessel must pass north of the buoy and keep well clear of the area, south of the buoy.

An uncharted buoy may be because:

  1. Position of ship is incorrect.
  2. Chart is not corrected.
  3. A new danger is marked by buoy. There must however, the duplication of the mark.
  4. Buoy might  have got drifted off from the originally moored position.

Master is informed. Soundings must be taken immediately. The echo sounder may be kept  at slow speed, continuously on. The engine room is notified of possible requirement of engines. If there is a considerable difference between the soundings and the charted sounding at the charted position, possibly the position plotted is wrong. In coastal areas the position must be confirmed using different ways. Second officer should be called to check if the corrections have been duly carried out. The navigational warnings must be checked. The speed can be reduced. Vessel must advance with maximum caution.  

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