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Part C Emergency Checklists

Part B Bridge Checklists

Familiarisation with bridge equipment

Preparation for sea Preparation for arrival in port Pilotage

Passage plan appraisal Navigation in coastal waters Navigation in ocean waters Anchoring and anchor watch Navigation in restricted visibility Navigation in heavy weather or in tropical storm areas Navigation in ice Changing over the watch Calling the master

Part C Emergency Checklists

85 C1 Main engine or steering failure

86 C2 Collision

87 C3 Stranding or grounding

88 C4 Man overboard

89 C5 Fire

90 C6 Flooding

91 C7 Search and rescue

92 C8 Abandoning ship





Safe navigation is the most fundamental attribute of good seamanship. An increasingly sophisticated range of navigational aids can today complement the basic skills of navigating officers, which have accumulated over the centuries.

But sophistication brings its own dangers and a need for precautionary measures against undue reliance on technology. Experience shows that properly formulated bridge procedures and the development of bridge teamwork are critical to maintaining a safe navigational watch.

The first edition of the Bridge Procedures Guide was published 21 years ago, in 1977. Written to encourage good bridge watchkeeping practices, the Guide, updated in 1990, quickly made its mark and became acknowledged as the standard manual on the subject.

This third edition is the product of many months of revision and is intended to reflect best navigational practice today. Close attention has been paid to guidance on bridge resource management and in particular on passage planning, while the section on bridge equipment has been considerably expanded to take account of the more widespread use of electronic aids to navigation.

The assistance of experts from ICS member national shipowners' associations in the preparation of this Guide is warmly acknowledged. Special thanks are also due to colleagues from other maritime organisations, particularly the International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations, the International Maritime Pilots' Association and the Nautical Institute, who have willingly given their time and expertise to ensure that the Bridge Procedures Guide continues to offer the best possible guidance on the subject.

This Bridge Procedures Guide is divided into three parts and embraces internationally agreed standards, resolutions and advice given by the International Maritime Organization. Bridge and emergency checklists have been included for use as a guide for masters and navigating officers.

In particular, this Guide has been revised to take into account the 1995 amendments to STCW, the ISM Code and also the provision of modern electronic navigation and charting systems which, on new ships, are often integrated into the overall bridge design.

Above all the Guide attempts to bring together the good practice of seafarers with the aim of improving navigational safety and protecting the marine environment. The need to ensure the maintenance of a safe navigational watch at all times, supported by safe manning levels on the ship, is a fundamental principle adhered to in this Guide.

Finally, an essential part of bridge organisation is the procedures, which should set out in clear language the operational requirements and methods that should be adopted when navigating. This Bridge Procedures Guide has attempted to codify the main practices and provide a framework upon which owners, operators, masters, officers and pilots can work together to achieve consistent and reliable performance.

Seafaring will never be without its dangers but the maintenance of a safe navigational watch at all times and the careful preparation of passage plans are at the heart of good operating practice. If this Guide can help in that direction it will have served its purpose.


ICS attaches the utmost importance to safe navigation. Safe navigation means that the ship is not exposed to undue danger and that at all times the ship can be controlled within acceptable margins.

To navigate safely at all times requires effective command, control, communication and management. It demands that the situation, the level of bridge manning, the operational status of navigational systems and the ships' engines and auxiliaries are all taken into account.

It is people that control ships, and it is therefore people, management and teamwork which are the key to reliable performance. People entrusted with the control of ships must be competent to carry out their duties.

People also make mistakes and so it is necessary to ensure that monitoring and checking prevent chains of error from developing. Mistakes cannot be predicted, and once a mistake has been detected, it is human nature to seek to fit circumstances to the original premise, thus compounding a simple error of judgement.

Passage planning is conducted to assess the safest and most economical sea route between ports. Detailed plans, particularly in coastal waters, port approaches and pilotage areas, are needed to ensure margins of safety. Once completed, the passage plan becomes the basis for navigation. Equipment can fail and the unexpected can happen, so contingency planning is also necessary.

Ergonomics and good design are essential elements of good bridge working practices. Watchkeepers at sea need to be able to keep a look-out, as well as monitor the chart and observe the radar. They should also be able to communicate using the VHP without losing situational awareness. When boarding or disembarking pilots, handling tugs or berthing, it should be possible to monitor instrumentation, particularly helm and engine indicators, from the bridge wings. Bridge notes should be provided to explain limitations of any equipment that has been badly sited, pointing out the appropriate remedies that need to be taken.

The guiding principles behind good management practices are:

clarity of purpose;

delegation of authority;

effective organisation;


Clarity of purpose

If more than one person is involved in navigating it is essential to agree the passage plan and to communicate the way the voyage objectives are to be achieved consistently and without ambiguity. The process starts with company instructions to the ship, as encompassed by a safety management system supported by master's standing orders and reinforced by discussion and bridge orders. Existing local pilotage legislation should also be ascertained to enable the master to be guided accordingly.


Before approaching coastal and pilotage waters, a ship's passage plan should ensure that dangers are noted and safe-water limits identified. Within the broad plan, pilotage should be carried out in the knowledge that the ship can be controlled within the established safe limits and the actions of the pilot can be monitored.

In this respect early exchange of information will enable a clearer and more positive working relationship to be established in good time before the pilot boards. Where this is not practicable the ship's plan should be sufficient to enable the pilot to be embarked and a safe commencement of pilotage made without causing undue delay.

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 840

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