Annex 2 Suggested Master/Pilot Information Exchange



1. Familiarisation with Bridge Equipment

2. Daily Tests and Checks

3. Preparation for Sea

4. Embarkation/Disembarkation of Pilot

5. Master/Pilot Information Exchange

6. Navigation, Coastal Waters/Traffic Separation Schemes

7. Changing over the Watch

8. Navigation, Deep Sea

9. Preparation for Arrival in Port

10. Anchoring and Anchor Watch

11. Restricted Visibility

12. Heavy Weather

13. Navigating in Ice

14. Navigating in Tropical Storm Area


1. Main Engine Failure

2. Steering Failure

3. Gyro Failure/Compass Failure

4. Bridge Control/Telegraph Failure

5. Imminent Collision/Collision

6. Stranding

7. Fire

8. Flooding

9. Boat/Liferaft Stations

10. Man-overboard

11. Search and Rescue.



1.1 General

1.1.1 The competence and vigilance of the Officer of the Watch provides the most direct means of avoiding dangerous situations. However, analyses of navigational casualties show that weaknesses in bridge organisation are a contributory cause in very many cases. Well defined procedures clearly laid down in company instructions and/or Master's Standing Orders, supported by an efficient organisation, are essential.

1.1.2 Clear instructions should be issued to cover such matters as:‑

(a) calling the Master (2.9)

(b) reducing speed in the event of restricted visibility, or other circumstances

(c) posting lookout(s);

(d) manning the wheel;

(e) the use of largest scale charts and navigational aids, such as echo sounder, radar, etc.

(f) an established drill for changing over from automatic to manual steering and, if applicable, change-over from hydraulic to electric steering and vice-versa

(g) the provision of additional watchkeeping personnel in special circumstances, e.g. heavy traffic or restricted visibility.

1.1.3 There is a clear requirement that Officers of the Watch should be in no doubt as to what action Masters expect them to take and therefore it is good practice to issue the foregoing as standing instructions, supple­mented by a bridge order hook.

1.1.4 It is the responsibility of the Master to ensure that, when practicable, the departing officers 'hand-over' correctly to officers joining. Newly joined officers should read and sign Standing Orders and any other directives. It is essential they be shown how to set up and operate all appropriate bridge equipment (see Routine Bridge Check List No. 1.)

1.2 Passage Plan

1.2.1 The Master should ensure that a plan for the intended voyage is prepared before sailing. It is of particular importance that this procedure is adopted for that part of the voyage in coastal waters. In pilotage waters, it may be appropriate to have available a forecast of the times of alteration of course, speed and sets expected (see attached example at Annex 1).

1.3 Safety Systems - Maintenance and Training

1.3.1 In addition to the above, the Master should ensure that all safety systems (for example, life-saving appliances, fire-fighting equipment) are properly maintained and that Officers of the Watch and other crew members are trained, as appropriate, in the use of these systems. Regular drills should be carried out, especially at the early stages of a voyage.


2.1 General

2.1.1 The Officer of the Watch is the Master's representative, and his primary responsibility at all times s the safe navigation of the vessel Ile Is parti cularly advised, where possible, to arrange for another officer to check basic navigational decisions. He must at all times comply with the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

2.1.2 The Officer of the Watch should keep his watch on the bridge which he should in no circumstances leave until properly relieved. A prime res­ponsibility of the Officer of the Watch is to ensure the effectiveness of the navigating watch. It is of especial importance that at all times the Officer of the Watch ensures that en efficient lookout is maintained. In a vessel with a separate chart room, the Officer of the Watch may visit this, when essential, for a short period for the necessary performance of his naviga­tional duties, but he should previously satisfy himself that it is safe to do so and ensure that a good lookout is kept.

2.1.3 The Officer of the Watch continues to be responsible for the safe naviga­tion of the vessel despite the presence of the Master on the bridge until the Master informs him specifically that he has assumed responsibility.

2,1.4 The Officer of the Watch should not hesitate to use the sound signalling apparatus at his disposal, in accordance with the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

2.2 Keepinga Good Lookout

2.2.1 The Officer of the Watch is responsible for the maintenance of a con­tinuous and alert lookout. This is the most important consideration in the avoidance of casualties. The keeping of an efficient lookout requires to be interpreted in its fullest sense which includes the following:

(a) an alert all-round visual and aural lookout to ensure a full grasp of the current situation including the presence of ships and land-marks in the vicinity;

(b) close observation of the movements and compass bearing of approaching vessels;

(c) identification of ship and shore lights;

(d) the need to ensure that the course is steered accurately and that the wheel orders are correctly executed;

(e) observation of the radar and echo sounder displays;

(f) observation of changes in the weather, especially the visibility.

2.3 Main Engines(see Emergency Bridge Check List No. 1)

2.3.1. The Officer of the Watch should bear in mind that the engines are at his disposal. He should not hesitate to use them in case of need. However, timely notice of engine movements should be given when possible. Ile should also keep prominently in mind the manoeuvring capabilities of his ship, including its stopping distance.

2.3.2 Control of Main Engines

There are two aspects with which the Officer of the Watch is mainly concerned:

(a) Control of Revolutions ahead and astern.

The Officer of the Watch should be familiar with the operation of the engine/propeller control mechanism. He should appreciate that the type of engine and configuration of the plant have implica­tions when changes in speed and direction are required. Direct drive diesel, diesel through gearbox/clutch, turbo electric and gas turbine engines have relatively quick responses to change provided the engines are on "stand-by". Geared turbines are not as res­ponsive, nor is their change from ahead/astern quickly achieved.

(b) Condition and Readiness.

(i) "Stand-by" or manoeuvring conditions.

The Officer of the Watch should know the time taken to achieve an emergency and routine stop from "full-away". Sometimes the full speed at "stand-by" is different from that at "full-away". This difference should be known to the Officer of the Watch.

(ii) "Full-away" condition. The engine-room staff adjust controls for revolutions required for the sea passage.

2.4 Changing over the Watch (seeRoutine Bridge Check List No. 7)

2.4.1The relieving Officer of the Watch should ensure that members of his watch are fully capable of performing their duties and in particular that they are adjusted to night vision. He should not take over the Watch until his vision is fully adjusted to the light conditions and he has personally satisfied himself regarding:

(a) standing orders and other special instructions relating to the navigation of the vessel;

(b) the position, course, speed and draught of the vessel;

(c) prevailing and predicted tides, currents, weather, visibility and the effect of these factors upon course and speed;

(d) the navigational situation including:

(i) the operational condition of all navigational and safety equipment;

(ii) errors of gyro and magnetic compasses;

(iii) the movement of vessels in the vicinity;

(iv) conditions and hazards likely to be encountered during the watch;

(v) the possible effects of heel, trim, water density and squat on underkeel clearance.

2.4.2 If at the time the Officer of the Watch is to be relieved, a manoeuvre or other action to avoid any hazard is taking place, the relief of the officer should be deferred until such action is completed.

2.4.3 The Officer of the Watch should not hand over the watch to the relieving officer if' he has any reason to believe that the latter is under any disability which would preclude him from carrying out his duties effectively.If in doubt, the Officer of the Watch should inform the Master.