V. Are the following statements true or false? Correct the false statements.

1. Watch officer isn’t allowed to leave the bridge under any circumstances.

2. OOW isn’t responsible for the ship’s safety if Master is on the bridge.

3. Operation tests of shipboard navigation equipment needn’t be recorded.

4. OOW is obliged to take over his watch at the fixed time notwithstanding the ship performing some manoeuvres.

5. Watch officer should invite Master to the bridge in all doubtful cases.

6. Proper lookout is an essential factor providing safe navigation.

VI. Rearrange the words to make meaningful sentences:

1. Speed, should, position, the (3), find, and, relieving, out, officer, ship’s.


2. Watch, by, officer, be, navigational, over, sick, taken, a, shouldn’t.


3. Out, operational, frequently, be equipment, tests, must, navigational, of, carried, the. - _____________________________________________________________


4. Encountered, be, restricted, is, master, if, notified, visibility, shall.


5. Conventions, at, with, comply, officers, requirements, times, on, International, the (2), watch, all, of. - _________________________________________________


6. Environment, to prevent, necessary, pollution, the, taken, are, be, precautions, to, of. - _____________________________________________________________


7. Too, watch, but, ratings, only, includes, each, not, officer.


VII. Match words and expressions in the left column with their synonyms from the text in the right column:

to be responsible for smth cause to consider properly to inform to acknowledge to meet operational area to estimate to get suddenly to notice to take place abovementioned confined to make sure concerning mistakes to believe to notify errors to sight congested reason encounter appreciate foregoing to be in charge of to occur to obtain standing effectively unexpectedly to be aware vicinity confirm regarding

VIII. Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with some of the words and expressions from the exercise above.

1. There are a number of people which being _______________ the vessel, are either unfamiliar with the “Rules” or do not know how to apply them.

2. The problem facing many watchkeepers in a potential collision situation is to _______________ what “the other” ship is going to do.

3. Some watchkeepers fail to anticipate the limitations or likely intentions of other vessels underway in heavy traffic or in _______________ waters.

4. Pressures, commercial or perceived, are a common feature in the _______________ of accidents.

5. To provide the information necessary to ensure a safe passage, radar must be _______________ set up to the most appropriate scale and settings.

6. Until the give-way vessel shows, by positive action, that she has _______________ you and the situation is under control, it is safer _______________ she has not.

7. If you are asked to take control of any unfamiliar operation _______________ that you are fully aware of what is required.

8. _______________ induced by fatigue, can only be prevented by having adequate rest and sleep.

IX. Match the beginning of the sentences with their continuation:

1. The need for a good, effective lookout … 2. Some radar echoing areas can be very small and there is every prospect that … 3. The good watchkeeper will remember that radar will not tell him … 4. In thick fog we assume the radar and ARPA enable us to determine whether… 5. An overreliance on radar and the common practice of proceeding at full speed in fog … 6. The best watchkeepers find visual lookout … 7. Good sea manners, a sound knowledge of the Rule of the Road and the importance of making your intentions clear … 8. No matter who or what you are you must follow … 9. Speed at sea must be judged … 10. A watchkeeper who is alone, sitting down and doing nothing is more likely to fall asleep than one … 11. Mistakes induced by fatigue can only be prevented by … 12. If the compass bearing of the approaching vessel doesn’t appreciably change … 13. Ordinary practice of seamen requires the … ___. … having adequate rest and proper sleep.   ___. … standard agreed procedures and instructions.   ___. … superior to radar.   ___. … are contributing factors in many collisions.   ___. … has never been so important.   ___. … who is walking around the wheelhouse, getting fresh air and using all the navigational aids available to him.   ___. … what the other vessel’s heading is.   ___. … appropriate action to be taken in good time and in such a way that your intentions are clear to the other vessel.   ___. … will do much to ensure a safe passage.   ___. … certain small craft will not be detected until they are close.   ___. … then risk of collision exists.   ___. … a close quarters situation is developing or risk of collision exists.   ___. … according to the conditions.

X. Self-assessment questions:

1. In what cases is hanging over the watch to another watchkeeper prohibited?

2. What are the main points requiring relieving officer’s attention at the moment of taking over the watch?

3. How does Master’s presence on the bridge influence the watchkeeper’s responsibility for the ship’s safety?

4. What kind of tests should be carried out during the watch and how frequently?

5. What knowledge should OOW always bear in mind?

6. What kind of aids require the watchkeeper’s particular attention?

7. In what circumstances shall Master be immediately notified by OOW?

8. What is officer’s on watch duty in regard to watchkeeping personal?

9. Requirements of what conventions should all watchkeepers comply with?




I. Vocabulary. Study the following words and word combinations:

1. wheel [wi:l] =helm – штурвал

2. log book – вахтовий журнал

3. watertight integrity – водонепроникність

4. to rig pilot ladder – озброїти лоцманський трап

5. deployment [dI'plOImqnt] – використання

6. to plot – прокладати курс

7. alteration [ˏO:ltq'reIS(q)n] – зміна, змінення

8. accuracy ['xkjqrqsI] – точність

9. to summon ['sAmqn] – викликати

10. to impair [Im'pFq] – погіршувати, псувати, завдавати збитку

11. to be obliged [q'blaIGd] to – бути зобов’язаним

12. uninterrupted [ˏAnIntq'rAptId] – безперервний

13. to acquaint [q'kweInt] – знайомити, ознайомити, інформувати

14. appraisal [q'preIz(q)l] – оцінка

15. tedious ['ti:dIqs] – нудний, утомливий, тривалий

16. tiring – виснажливий

17. acknowledgement [qk'nOlIGmqnt] – підтвердження

18. countermand [ˏkauntq'mRnd] – відміняти розпорядження, наказ

19. to execute ['eksIkju:t] – виконувати

20. rudder indicator – аксіометр

21. pay off – відклонятися від курсу

22. answer the helm = respond to helm – слухатися руля

II. Read and translate the following text:

General duties

Various duties are carried out by watchkeepers was either individually or as a bridge team. Experience has shown that the bridge becomes the operational centre for the watch period, with all relevant information and orders processed through it.

The deck log book is maintained on the bridge by the office of the watch (OOW), together with continual observation and supervision of the following items:

(a) Watertight integrity of the hull, together with the opening and closing of watertight doors.

(b) Fire watch, with continual observation of smoke detector systems.

(c) Special cargo surveillance, as and when required.

(d) Correct display of all lights and shapes.

(e) Weather conditions affecting the ship and its course.

(f) Routine working of the deck, inclusive of rigging pilot ladders, deployment of logs, organising boat and fire drills etc.

(g) All emergencies affecting of the safety of the vessel.

Duties of the officer of the watch (OOW)

He must supervise the efficient running of the watch and ensure the safe navigation of the vessel throughout the watch period, his main duty being to maintain a proper lookout whenever the vessel is at sea, regardless of other personnel engaged on a similar duty. His navigational duties include the regular checking of the ship’s course and the comparison of the gyroscopic compasses with the magnetic compass. The former should be checked by obtaining the compass error at least once to watch or on every alteration of the vessel’s course.

The position of the ship should be plotted at regular intervals. Depending on the circumstances, the time interval between separate positions will vary, especially when navigating in coastal waters.

The OOW should make full use of navigational aids such as echo-sounder, whenever possible to check navigational accuracy.

He should not hesitate to summon the Master at any time, day or night, should he require assistance. In any event the Master should be kept informed by the officer of the watch of all the movements and events affecting the vessel’s progress.

Calling the Master

The officer of the watch should notify the Master immediately in the following circumstances:

(a) If restricted visibility is encountered or suspected.

(b) If the traffic conditions or the movements of other vessels are causing concern.

(c) If difficulty is experienced in maintaining course.

(d) On failure to sight land or navigation mark, or to obtain soundings by the expected time.

(e) If land or navigation mark is sighted or a change of soundings occurs unexpectedly.

(f) On the breakdown of the engines, steering gear or any essential navigational equipment.

(g) In heavy weather, or if in any doubt about the possibility of weather damage.

(h) In any other emergency or situation in which he is in any doubt.

The requirement for the OOW to call the Master in the above situations does not relieve him of taking any immediate action necessary for the safety of the vessel.

Duties of the lookout

The principal duty of the lookout is to maintain a continuous watch for all hazards that may impair the safe navigation of the vessel. He is obliged to give his full uninterrupted attention to this duty, reporting any of the following to the officer of the watch:

1. All ships irrespective of size or position in relation to the vessel on which he is sailing.

2. All navigation marks or lights.

3. All floating objects.

4. Any sightings of ice, no matter in what form.

5. Sandbanks or prominent navigational features.

6. Derelicts and any other hazard considered dangerous to navigation.

7. The malfunction of the ship’s lights, and their correct functioning at hourly intervals.

The lookout is also obliged to remain at his position until correctly relieved of his duties. On being relieved, he should acquaint his relief with relevant information concerning the items he has reported.

The lookout has a very responsible job. Rule 5 of the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea states, “Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.”

Duties of the helmsman

The function of the “helmsman” is to steer the vessel when it is not engaged on automatic pilot. The duty can be tedious and tiring and regular reliefs are employed to maintain efficiency, since the responsibility for the safe passage of vessel lies in the hands of the man steering.

At the change-over the course being steered should always be repeated out loud, from one man to another, in order to allow all personnel on the bridge to be aware of the course being steered. Once the wheel has been relieved, the helmsman whose duty has finished should report the course to the officer of the watch, who will repeat it in acknowledgment.

When a vessel is navigating in coastal waters, a pilot is often employed and manual steering is used. The helmsman should take orders for the wheel movements from the pilot and repeat each order, word for word, back to the pilot before executing the movement. The man at the wheel should bear in mind that the pilot is an adviser to the Master and his representative (OOW), and at any time the Master or the officer of the watch may countermand the orders of the pilot.

III. Study the following table:

Example of helm orders

Order (by OOW, Pilot or Master) Helmsman’s reply Helmsman’s actions Helmsman’s final report
Starboard twenty degrees Starboard twenty, sir Turns the wheel until twenty degrees to starboard is shown by the rudder indicator Twenty degrees of starboard helm “on”, sir
Midships Midships, sir Returns the wheel to the midships position. Checks that rudder indicator shows midships Wheel amidships, sir
Hard-a-port Hard-a-port, sir Turns the wheel as far to port as it will go. Checks that rudder indicator shows maximum port helm Wheel hard-a-port, sir
Ease the wheel to port ten degrees Ease the wheel to port ten degrees, sir Allows the wheel to return towards the midships position, but retains ten degrees of port helm as shown by rudder indicator Wheel eased to port ten degrees, sir
Check her (should be understood to mean, check the swing of the vessel) Check her, sir Turns the wheel against the swing of the vessel, up to approx. ten degrees of opposing helm being applied to reduce the rate of swing. Eases the wheel back to the midships position once the vessel stops swinging  
Steady Steady, sir Observes compass heading, or land reference point, and steadies the ship’s head in/on that heading. Applies helm as required in order to maintain a steady course Steady on course, X, Y, Z (or whatever the heading happens to be)
The supervising officer may, in addition, use the following phrases: “How is your heading?”, a question as to the ship’s compass heading. “Alter course to …”, ordering the helmsman to apply helm to change the ship’s course to whatever is stated. “State when the vessel stops steering”, or when vessel no longer responds to helm movement because she has reduced her way, i.e. helm hard-a-port and the vessel paying off to starboard. “Finished with the wheel”, when the helmsman is no longer required. The wheel is returned to midships and the helmsman can stand down.

IV. Make-up word combinations and translate them:

1) floating lights 1)____________________________

2) navigation action 2)____________________________

3) heavy ladder 3)____________________________

4) various waters 4)____________________________

5) watertight objects 5)____________________________

6) pilot weather 6)____________________________

7) fire indicator 7)____________________________

8) compass marks 8)____________________________

9) traffic steering 9)____________________________

10) steering duties 10)___________________________

11) immediate drill 11)___________________________

12) uninterrupted doors 12)___________________________

13) coastal gear 13)___________________________

14) navigational conditions 14)___________________________

15) ship’s error 15)___________________________

16) manual equipment 16)___________________________

17) rudder attention 17)___________________________

V. Fill in the gaps choosing the necessary words:

In compliance with the _______________ (GMDSS; COLREGS) a proper _______________ (lookout; exercising) must be maintained at all _______________ (hours; times) to serve the purposes of:

- Maintaining a _______________ (short-termed; continuous) state of vigilance by sight and _______________ (hearing; watching) as well as by other means.

- Fully appraising the _______________ (situation; moment) and the risk of _______________ (collision; falling), stranding and other dangers to navigation.

- Detecting ships or _______________ (motor vehicles; aircraft), shipwrecked persons, wrecks and other _______________ (hazards; aids) to safe navigation.

A _______________ (motorman; helmsman) while steering should not be considered to be the _______________ (lookout; navigation duties).

Full account should be taken to all relevant _______________ (messages; factors):

- State of _______________ (people on deck; weather).

- Visibility.

- _______________ (traffic; signaling) density.

- Proximity of _______________ (dangers; assistance) to navigation.

VI. Fill in the gaps using the following words: ship’s deck log, prepare himself, is ready to relieve the watch.

1. The relieving watch officer should ____________________ prior to his watch.

2. After conducting the checks, the officer should report that he _______________.

3. The change of the watch should be noted in the ____________________.

VII. Fill in the gaps choosing the right form of the verb:

1. The watchkeeping of the OOW _______________ (including; includes) maintaining a lookout and general surveillance of the ship, collision avoidance in compliance with the COLREGS, _______________ (to record; recording) bridge activities and _______________ (to make; making) periodic checks on the navigation equipment in use.

2. The OOW should not _______________ (leave; left) the bridge unattended.

3. The OOW should _______________ (knew; know) the location of all the safety equipment on the bridge and how _______________ (operating; to operate) them.

4. The OOW _______________ (should not hesitate; should be able to hesitate) to use helm, engines or sound signaling apparatus at any time.

5. The OOW _______________ (need; needs) to be fully conversant with shipboard obligations with regard to pollution prevention, reporting and emergency situations.

6. General communications, cargo monitoring and control of machinery and the _______________ (supervision; to supervise) and _______________ (to control; control) of ship safety systems _______________ (are; be) typical examples of additional duties for the OOW.

7. Procedures for _______________ (handed; handing) over the watch and _______________ (called; calling) for support on the bridge should _______________ (to be; be) in place and understood by the OOW.

VIII. Self-assessment questions:

1. By whom is the deck log book maintained?

2. What are the navigational duties of the OOW?

3. In what cases should the OOW call the Master?

4. What is the principal duty of the lookout?

5. Why is the lookout a very responsible job?

6. What is the function of the helmsman?

7. What will your actions be when you are given order “Port ten degrees”?

8. What will your actions be when you are given order “Hard-a-starboard”?


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