CLASS (III) ORALS...................
After completing the 8–12 night watch at sea and hand- ing over to the 2nd Ofﬁcer, what would be your actions?
Answer:Having handed over the watch, I would complete writing up the Deck Log Book, and sign the book as a true record of events. I would proceed below decks and carry out ‘ships rounds’ and security checks, inspecting all accommodation alleyways, storage and domestic spaces.
What speciﬁc items/topics would you include, when handing over the navigation watch to another relief Ofﬁcer?
Answer:I would expect to follow any company policy and include the following:
(a)Appraise the relieving Ofﬁcer of the ship’s course, gyro and magnetic headings, highlighting any compass or gyro errors.
(b)Provide the relieving Ofﬁcer with the current updated position of the vessel and indicate the position respective to the chart.
(c)Draw attention to any visible shipping trafﬁc and provide details as to the current actions and intentions effecting relevant targets.
(d)Appraise the watch Ofﬁcer of the current weather patterns and advise on the past and present state of visibility, passing on the latest weather report. (e)The watch Ofﬁcer would be appraised of any night orders left by the Master.
(f)If it is relevant, I would draw attention to the next ‘way point’ and any expected alteration of course.
(g)If making a landfall or in coastal regions the under keel clearance would be noted and attention drawn to the least oncoming areas of depth.
(h)Any potential navigational hazards or possible security incursions would be discussed in conjunction with the ‘passage plan’
(i)Should any defects have occurred these would be brought to the attention of the OOW (as well as the Master, as they occur).
(j)The OOW would be appraised of all the operational instruments as to their performance. Radar speciﬁcs such as range and presentation would also be positively discussed.
(k)It would also be normal practice to discuss events and activities over the previous watch period that may or may not affect the overall performance of the vessel
Note:As the outgoing OOW it would be my duty to ascertain the state and condition of the relieving Ofﬁcer. Having let the incoming Ofﬁcer adjust his eyes to the light and visibility conditions I would note any adverse feelings, that may be affecting the relieving Ofﬁcer which may have been caused by sickness, over- tiredness, drugs or alcohol. (In such an event where an ofﬁcer felt that the reliev- ing Ofﬁcer was not in a ﬁt state to carry out normal watchkeeping duties he would be expected to inform the Master of his doubts.
While acting as OOW, you encounter deterioration in the condition of visibility. What action would you take?
As OOW I would take the following actions:
(a)Place the ship’s main engines on ‘stand-by’ and reduce the vessels speed.
(b)Advise the Master of the change in visibility conditions. (c)Commence sounding fog signals. (d)Switch on the navigation lights.
(e)Close all watertight doors in the vessel.
(f)Commence systematic plotting of any targets on the radar.
(g)Place a current position on the chart.
(h)Post additional lookouts.
(i)Stop all noisy work on deck.
(j)Enter a statement of my actions into the ship’s Deck Log Book
When would you consider it necessary, as OOW, to call the Master?
The OOW should call the Master in any of the following circumstances:
(a)In the event of visibility dropping below 4 miles (company/master policy may be more or less than this ﬁgure).
(b)If trafﬁc was causing concern effecting the safe passage of the vessel.
(c)In the event of failure of any of the ship’s navigational equipment
(d)If failing to sight a landfall when expecting to.
(e)If sighting a landfall when it is unexpected.
(f)If soundings are shelving when unexpected.
(g)In the event that difﬁculty is experienced in maintaining the course.
(h)If a scheduled position is unattainable or suspect.
(i)In the event that the man management of watch keepers becomes untenable.
(j)In the event of heavy weather or on receipt of a bad weather forecast.
(k)On sighting ice, or receiving an ice warning of ice being reported on or near the vessels track.
(l)If sighting oil on the surface.
(m)On any issue of security or shipboard alert.
(n)In any other emergency, such as ﬁre or ﬂooding, imminent contact or contact with a submerged object
When on watch at night, the alarm for the non-function of navigation lights is activated, what action would you take as OOW?
•I would immediately inspect the navigation light sentinel to ascertain which navigation light had malfunctioned and caused the alarm to be triggered.
•I would make a note of the defective light and switch the backup light on in its place and cancel the alarm.
•In the event the light circuit had failed I would activate the secondary circuit and cancel the alarm.
•During the hours of darkness it may not be prudent, following a risk assessment, to repair the light or circuit, before daylight hours. Provided navigation lights remain operational on one or other circuits. In any event the Master would be informed and repairs instigated during daylight hours
When approaching a pilot station, to take the Marine Pilot, you are sent down below to meet the pilot on deck at the ladder position. What actions would you take when at the ladder position?
•As a responsible Ofﬁcer, I would inspect the rigging of the ladder, especially the deck securing hitches of the ladders rope tails
•I would further ensure that the stanchions and manropes were correctly rigged.
•The pilot station would expect to have a heaving line and a lifebuoy readily available and I would check that these are on hand.
•It must be anticipated that the stand-by man would also be on station and the immediate deck area was safe and clear of obstructions.
•If all was in order I would report to the bridge (by two-way radio) my presence at the ladder station and that all was ready to receive the pilot on board.
•I would report again to the bridge that the pilot was on the ladder and when he had attained the deck position
Note:Pilot entry may be obtained via a shell door in some cases and access procedures may be changed to suit the opening and closing of the door
As the OOW, how often would you be expected to take an azimuth/amplitude in order to obtain a compass error?
Most certainly every watch, and on every alteration of course, within the watch period (exception under pilotage where transits maybe a possible alternative). Also in the event that I was concerned about the reliability of the ‘gyro’ or ‘magnetic compass’ (i.e. concern may be caused by magnetic anomalies)
Note:Some shipping companies policies may differ from this procedure
When the vessel is at anchor, what would you consider as the main functions of the OOW?
When conducting an ‘anchor watch’ the ship is still considered as being at sea. As such the prime duty of the OOW is to maintain an effective lookout, by all available means, including visual, audible and radar. Neither would I allow the vessel to stand into danger and would check the position at regular intervals to ensure that the ship was not ‘dragging her anchor’. Position monitoring while at anchor would entail checking by primary and secondary position ﬁxing methods, i.e. checking Visual Anchor Bearings, Radar Range and Bearings, Global Positioning System (GPS) and optional transit marks if obtainable
While at anchor the OOW would monitor the state of visibility, the state of the weather, especially wind and tide changes, and trafﬁc movement in and out of the anchorage. Navigation signals should be checked continuously that they are visible and lights are correctly functioning. Access to the ship would also be of concern and The International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code controls would be implemented. The very high frequency (VHF) radio would be monitored throughout for communication trafﬁc. Log Books would be maintained, and the Master kept informed of anything untoward
When approaching a pilotage station, when you require a pilot, describe the actions and duties of the OOW.
As OOW, and when approximately 1 hour from the pilot station, I would comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) checklist and anticipate the following actions:
(a)Advise the Master of the expected estimated time of arrival (ETA) to the pilot boat rendezvous.
(b)Establish communications with the pilot station and advise the pilot of the ship’s name and ETA. It would be normal practice to ascertain the pilot ladder details (e.g. side for ladder and height above water). Also the local weather conditions at the rendezvous position would be established to enable the Master to provide a ‘lee’ for the launch.
(c)Continuous position monitoring should be ongoing throughout the approach.
(d)Under keel clearance would be monitored through out, on approach, by use of the echo sounder.
(e)An effective lookout would be maintained throughout the approach period.
(f)The bridge team would be established to include changing from auto to manual steering and the positioning of extra lookouts.
(g)Log Book entries would be made throughout.
(h)All correct signals would be indicated, prior to approach.
(i)Engines would be placed on ‘stand-by’ in ample time and astern propulsion tested.
(j)The ETA would be updated with the pilotage authority and the speed of engagement with the launch, clariﬁed.
(k)Radar reduced to 6 mile range on approach, and a sharp lookout maintained for small trafﬁc and through trafﬁc, affecting the area.
(l)Master would take the ‘conn’
When instructed to inspect, check and test the bridge navigation equipment, prior to sailing, what actions would you take?
I would follow the company ‘checklist’ with regard to checking the bridge equipment. This would necessitate the duty engineer monitoring the rudder and steering gear inside the ‘steering ﬂat’, as the steering gear systems are tested from amidships to hard over to each side. Rudder movement would be monitored by the movement of the ‘rudder indicator’ on the bridge. Radars would be switched on and performance tested, and left in the ‘stand-by’ mode, not switched off. All navigation lights and domestic lights would be tested, together with all instrument lights. Checks would be made on the echo sounder, communication equipment, signalling apparatus, inclusive of ship’s whistles and the engine room telegraph synchronisation. An entry would be made into the Deck Log Book, that all equipment was found satisfactory and in good order. The Master would be informed that the bridge equipment had been checked and no defects found
While at sea, during your bridge watch, a man is lost overboard from an amidships position. What would be your immediate actions as OOW?
I would immediately raise the alarm, place the engines on stand-by, release the MoB bridge wing lifebuoy, and alter the helm towards the side that the man has been seen to fall. The above four actions should be carried out as near simultaneously as possible. The helm movement would be an attempt to clear the pro- pellers away from the man in the water and move the vessel towards a Williamson Turn operation
Following a man overboard incident the OOW has carried out the immediate required actions of raising the alarm, SBE, MoB lifebuoy release and altered course. What subsequent actions should be carried out by the Ofﬁcer?
Additional actions by the OOW, should include the following:
(a)Post lookouts high up and on the foc’stle head.
(b)Activate the GPS immediate position indicator
(c)Inform the Master, as soon as practical.
(d)Reduce ship’s speed.
(e)Adjust the vessels helm to complete the Williamson Turn manoeuvre.
(f)Sound ‘O’ on the ship’s whistle.
(g)Hoist ‘O’ Flag during the hours of daylight.
(h)Change to manual steering.
(i)Order the rescue boat to be turned out and crew to stand-by.
(j)Order the hospital and medical team to a state of readiness.
(k)Obtain up-to-date weather forecast.
(l)Enter a statement into the Log Book of sequential events when practical. In the event that the Williamson Turn is complete and that the man in the water is no longer visible, the Master is legally obliged to carry out a surface search. This would mean that a ‘sector search’ would in all probability be conducted and the OOW would be expected to plot this pattern onto the chart. Note:With any incident of this nature, a ‘bridge team’ would be immediately placed in situation to handle support activities, inclusive of communications. Alternative manoeuvres to the Williamson Turn are available for use
When engaged in coastal navigation, would you use the Admiralty List of Lights and Fog Signals? And if so, how would you use it?
Yes, I would use the light list in conjunction with the naviga- tion chart. The lights are listed ‘geographically’ and it would act as an additional checking operation to match the coastal light order as pre- sented by the chart. The light list also contains more information about individual lights, than is normally contained on the chart, and this fact would further enhance the safe navigation practice of the vessel
While holding the watch at anchor, you see another ves- sel at anchor display the ‘Y’ Flag. What would you assume from this?
Answer:That the vessel displaying the ‘Y’ Flag is dragging her anchor
What three types of notices, promulgate marine infor- mation to ships and seafarers?
•The Merchant Shipping Notices (MSNs)
•The Marine Guidance Notices (MGNs)
•The Marine Information Notices (MINs)
What are the duties of the OOW when in pilotage waters, with a pilot on board?
The OOW remains the Master’s representative in the absence of the Master, despite the presence of a pilot (exception Panama Canal). During any pilotage period he would be expected to maintain an effective lookout at all times. In addition, he would continually monitor the ship’s position by primary and secondary means and ensure that the under keel clearance is adequate throughout. His duties will also include the management of the bridge personnel and he would ensure that the pilot’s instructions are executed in a cor- rect manner by the members of the ‘bridge team’. He would further ensure that the pilot is made familiar with the bridge instrumentation and advised of compass errors and any defects which may affect the safe navigation of the vessel
While on watch during a coastal passage, you sight a ves- sel aground, on a bearing of approximately one (1) point off the port bow. What action would you take?
As the OOW, I would place the engines on ‘stand-by’ and the situation may make it necessary to take all way off my own ship. My subsequent actions would include:
(a)Advising the Master of the situation of the vessel aground.
(b)Carrying out a ‘chart assessment’ to include my own ship’s position and the position of the vessel aground.
(c)Switch on the echo sounder and note the Under keel Clearance.
(d)Position lookouts and turn from auto pilot to manual steering.
(e)Communicate with the vessel aground, with station identiﬁcation, obtaining the draught of the aground vessel and the time of grounding.
(f)Carry out an assessment of the extent of the shoal that the vessel has run aground on.
Note:Once the Master was present on the bridge it would be normal practice for him to take the ‘conn’ but he would equally expect a detailed report from the OOW
When involved in making up a ‘passage plan’, what prin- ciples would you employ in its construction?
I would base any passage plan on the four fundamental principles:
I would construct the plan to operate from ‘berth to berth’ bearing in mind that any plan is meant to be ﬂexible and carry with it relevant contingency plans to cater for exceptional circumstances
When on watch at sea, speciﬁc signs indicate the possi- ble presence of a tropical revolving storm in the area. What positive evidence would you take into account to show this is so in the absence of radio information?
Assuming that the vessels position was between 5° and 35° latitudes N/S of the equator and that it was the seasonal periodfor tropical revolving storm (TRS), I would look for the following indications:
(a)A swell may be experienced at a distance of up to 1000 miles from the storm.
(b)A decrease in the diurnal range, showing on the barograph.
(c)A change of direction in the ‘trade wind’.
(d)An ugly threatening sky with black Cumulonimbus or Nimbostratus cloud formation
What is contained in the ‘Weekly Notices to Mariners’ and what would you use the information for?
The Weekly Notice contains six (6) sections, which include the corrections to Admiralty List of Radio Signals and the Admiralty List of Lights/Fog Signals. It also contains an index and chart correc- tion index in the front of the notice, followed by the respective, indi- vidual chart corrections. Additional notices for the correction of sailing directions and publications is also included
How would you ascertain the reliability of the naviga- tion chart?
The navigation chart is probably the best aid to navigation available to the OOW. However, it is not infallible and should be used with caution at all times. Its reliability can be judged from the date of the charts printing, found in the border at the bottom of the chart. It can further be assessed by inspection of the ‘source data block’ which provides the date/year of survey and the authority which carried out the survey. If the chart is corrected up to date this should be indicated by the last ‘small correction’ being inserted in the left-hand corner of the chart by the ship’s navigator. The correction should also be noted in the chart correction log
When on watch at night, how would you know that the visibility was deteriorating?
By observing the back scattering light of the navigation lights. This misting effect could be visibly seen. The visible range being established from radar observation of a target as and when it becomes visible to the naked eye
What is a ship reporting system and what is its function?
Ship reporting systems are organisations like Automated Mutual Vessel Reporting (AMVER), Australian Ship Reporting system (AUSREP), INSPIRES, JASREP, etc. They can be voluntary position reporting schemes like AMVER or compulsory reporting schemes like AUSREP, for vessels entering Australian waters. It allows the organisation to monitor ship’s positions during the ocean voyages and provides mutual assistance in the event of a marine emergency
While on watch at sea in the North Atlantic you receive an iceberg warning from the International Ice Patrol providing iceberg positions. What would you do?
The positions of the icebergs would be plotted onto the nav- igation chart along with the ship’s current position. The ship’s Master would be informed of the report and made aware of the proximity of the danger to the ship’s position
When involved in a coastal passage, in clear weather, how would you ascertain the vessels position to ensure that the ship is maintaining her course?
It would be normal practice to obtain the vessels position at regular intervals by both a primary and secondary position ﬁxing methods to ensure that the ship is proceeding on its intended track by using a primary and secondary system (each method becomes a self- checking procedure)
What is expected of you as the designated prime look- out when acting as OOW?
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision
What is a ‘Mason’s hygrometer’ and what is it used for?
It is the name given to dry and wet bulb thermometers, usu- ally contained in the Stevenson’s screen often found on the ship’s bridge wing. It is used for measuring the ‘humidity’
For what would you use a hydrometer when aboard ship?
A hydrometer is used to obtain the density of dock water. The obtained value is then used in conjunction with the Fresh Water Allowance (FWA) to obtain the Dock Water Allowance, i.e. the amount that the vessel may submerge her load line mark, in any water other than sea water
When reading the precision aneroid barometer, what corrections would you make to the reading?
The barometer is supplied with a calibration correction card which allows for a correction to be added to the reading to adjust to mean sea level (table of height in metres air temperature in °C)
How would you check that the azimuth bearing circle, of the compass was correct?
By taking a bearing of a terrestrial object, e.g. a lighthouse, with the arrow indication uppermost. Take a second bearing of the same object, with the arrow in the downward position. Both readings should be the same and the bearing circle can be used with conﬁdence
What is the liquid found inside a magnetic compass bowl?
The older design of liquid magnetic compass contained a mixture of one part alcohol to two parts distilled water. The more modern magnetic compass would be ﬁlled with a clear oily ﬂuid, derived from ‘Bayol'
The purpose of the alcohol in the liquid compass was to prevent the ﬂuid from freezing in cold, high latitudes. What was the purpose of the distilled water in the mixture?
Distilled water was included in the ﬂuid mixture to prevent the alcohol evaporating in warm latitudes
How would you check the performance of the radar on the navigation bridge?
I would operate the ‘performance monitor’ (if ﬁtted) on the instrumentation panel. Once activated the range of the ‘plume’ could be compared with the Radar Speciﬁcation Manual details
Note:New radars are usually ﬁtted with a self-test control to meet instrument speciﬁcations.
When taking a visual three-point position ﬁx, you ﬁnd the charted plot produces a ‘cocked hat’. What would you do?
I would consider the position as unreliable and take another set of bearings. It would be prudent to also obtain a secondary ﬁx by an alternative method, e.g. radar or GPS
How would you test the steering gear prior to the vessel departing from a port?
Having ascertained that the rudder and propeller area is clear of obstructions, I would turn the ship’s wheel, hard over each way to port and starboard. When in the hard over positions I would note the ‘Helm Indicator’ and the ‘rudder indicator’ are both shown in the hard over positions. The auto-pilot would also be tested to port and starboard, together with the tiller control. The rudder indicator should be noted to reach the hard over position on each occasion
What information can you obtain from a barograph?
The barometric tendency measured over the last three (3) hours
When joining a ship for the ﬁrst time, how would you ascertain if the vessel had any ‘Blind Sectors’ affecting the radar(s)?
It is common practice to display a diagram on a bulkhead, in close proximity to the radar, if its operation is hampered by Blind Sectors. Alternatively, the Radar Speciﬁcation Manual could be consulted and any Blind Sectors would be indicated in the manual
When ascertaining risk of collision with another vessel, it is normal practice to take a series of ‘compass bearings’ as per the COLREGS (Reference Rule 7(d)(i), see Appendix B). Why would you use ‘compass bearings’?
The compass card is a ﬁxed reference and eliminates the ‘Yaw’ of the ship’s head when taking the bearings
What are the three correctable errors that exist on a marine sextant?
The ﬁrst adjustment is for any error of perpendicularity, the second adjustment is for any side error, and the third adjustment is for any Index Error
Where would you ﬁnd the instrument error for a marine sextant?
The instrument error of the sextant is found on the certiﬁ- cate, inside the lid of the sextant’s box.
What is Collimation, with reference to the marine sextant?
Collimation is an error on the sextant caused by the axis of the telescope not being parallel to the plane of the instrument. With modern sextants the collar holding the telescope is permanently ﬁxed and no adjustment is possible
What are the non-correctable errors that are found with the marine sextant?
Non-adjustable (or non-correctable) errors of the sextant, include:
(i) shade error, (ii) prismatic error, (iii) graduation error
Where would you ﬁnd the ‘lubber line’?
The lubber line is found on the inside of the magnetic com- pass bowl, in line with the fore and aft line of the vessel. It is used to ref- erence the ship’s head on to a compass heading
While on watch you notice that the magnetic compass card is shuddering, what do you think might be wrong with the instrument?
Unusual movement of the compass card in this manner could be a reﬂection of dirty bearings or a lack of lubrication on the gimbals
When obtaining the density of the dock water using a sample bucket of water obtained from the dock, how would you ensure accuracy of your hydrometer reading?
When obtaining the water sample I would ensure that the bucket is allowed to sink below the surface and draw a sample that would be uncontaminated with surface debris
When using the hydrometer, I would spin the instrument to break any surface tension against the scale bar and so obtain an accurate reading
When taking a position ﬁx by use of the azimuth bearing circle, the charted position shows an enlarged ‘cocked hat’. What would you do?
Any ‘cocked hat’ of size would probably indicate that one or more of the bearings and respective position line(s) was incorrect. I would therefore consider that the position was unreliable and would look to take another position. It is expected that primary and secondary position ﬁxing methods are employed wherever and when- ever possible. Having conﬁrmed the position by an alternative system, I would inspect the azimuth mirror for defect and check its use by car- rying out another sequence of bearings. Any fault detected would be reported to the Master
How often do you test and check the ship’s steering gear?
The regulations state that the steering gear must be tested by the ship’s crew, twelve (12) hours before departure. In reality the steering gear is thoroughly checked out alongside the navigation equipment 1 to 2 hours before leaving any port. An entry is made into the Deck Log Book and the Master would be advised that the opera- tional features were effective and free of defects (ships will have an ISM checklist for such procedures)
How are the ship’s chronometers maintained?
Most vessels are now equipped with ‘quartz chronometers’ and as such they do not have to be wound at regular intervals like the 2- and 8-day mechanical chronometers. Most ships will keep the chronometer(s) in a robust wood box with the instrument slung on a gimbal arrangement. This box will in turn be mounted in an insulated cabinet with a glass, see through, dust protect- ive cover. It is normal practice to rate the chronometer daily by comparison with a radio ‘time check signal’
What is the compass error and when do you apply it?
The compass error is obtained by taking an azimuth or amplitude or by making a comparison on the chart with a known bear- ing. The error is made up of the algebraic sum of Variation and Deviation and is used to convert ‘compass’ bearings and courses to ‘true’ directions, and vice versa, true to compass
While on watch the ‘off course alarm’ is activated. What actions would you take as the Ofﬁcer of the Watch?
The off course alarm is an audible signal and I would cancel this and investigate the cause of activation. As the OOW I would ensure that the steering motor(s) is on and func- tioning correctly and immediately check the comparison course on the magnetic compass with the gyro heading and the auto pilot heading. The weather and/or sea state could have affected the course temporar- ily. If the cause cannot be ascertained and rectiﬁed, I would engage man- ual steering by the magnetic compass and inform the ship’s master of the defect. A statement would be entered into the deck log book to this effect
On a Roll On–Roll Off (Ro-Ro) vessel you are on sta- tions on the bridge prior to sailing. The cargo load has just completed. How would you know that the stern ramp, and bow door/visor are locked down and secured ready for sea?
It is a requirement that Ro-Ro vessels have closed-circuit tel- evision (CCTV) monitoring all access points into the vessel. It would be necessary to check the visual display monitor to see the watertight integrity of the ship is intact. This would additionally be checked by a red/green light tell tale, sensor-activated display showing all green lights. Each station operator or Deck Ofﬁcer would also verbally con- ﬁrm by radio that the respective aperture is closed and locked
Men are assigned to clean and paint the radar scanner tower. What precautions would you take as OOW? (Assume that the vessel is in open water and clear visibility.)
It would be expected to draw the fuses from the circuit box and place a notice on the Plan Position Indicator (PPI) screen to the effect that maintenance was ongoing on the scanner to prevent acci- dental switch on. The Master would also be informed
How is the pump room of a tanker, ﬁre protected?
Pump rooms on tankers are protected spaces and covered by a ﬁxed ﬁre extinguishing system, which is operated from outside of the compartment. (Usually a CO2operation. Note: Pump rooms are treated as enclosed spaces.) After July 2002, under SOLAS II-2 Regulations 4, 5.10.3/4, cargo pump rooms were required to be ﬁtted with gas detection/bilge alarm systems
What are the parts of a ‘stockless anchor’?
Anchor Crown ‘D’ shackle, shank, arms, ﬂuke, pea or bill, crown, tripping palms. The lower part of the anchor attached to the shank is termed the ‘head’ of the anchor
What is the length of a shackle of anchor cable?
A shackle length is 15 fathoms, or 27.5m (90ft)
How are shackle lengths joined together?
The most popular method of joining anchor cable shackles is by the use of ‘Kenter Lugless joining shackles’ alternatively ‘D’ lugged joining shackles may be used
How would you secure the Stockless Anchor, when the vessel is about to proceed outward bound to sea?
Once the anchor is ‘home’ and stowed correctly into the ‘hawse pipe’ the windlass brake would be ﬁrmly applied. The hawse pipe cover would be set in position and the bow stopper would be secured. A devils claw would be set and tensioned with the bottle screw and additional chain lashings may be passed through the Anchor Crown ‘D’ shackle and shackled on deck. Finally, the ‘spurling pipes’ would be sealed with either designated covers or by means of a stufﬁng pudding and cement
What is considered ‘Good Holding Ground’ for the anchor?
Mud or clay
What is considered ‘Bad Holding’ ground for the anchor?
Ooze, marsh, soft sand, rock, pebble
How does the anchor arrangement hold the ship teth- ered in one position?
It is the amount of chain cable that effectively keeps the vessel in the anchored position, not just the weight or size of the anchor itself. When anchoring the vessel, the objective is to lay the chain cable in a line on the seabed and avoid the cable piling up. This action is meant to provide a horizontal pull on the anchor to drive the ‘ﬂukes’ into the holding ground. Note:A short length of cable would have tendency to pull upwards and cause the anchor to ‘break out
What type of braking system, do you ﬁnd on the ship’s windlass?
There are several types of braking systems commercially available but probably the most widely used is the ‘band brake’. Alternative system would be a ‘disc brake’
How is the ‘bitter end’ of the anchor cable secured inside the chain locker?
The last link of the last shackle is usually an open link which is held in check by a through, draw bolt, in a bracket or clench, quick release arrangement.
Securing the Bitter End. Current regulations require that the chain cable can be slipped from a position external to the cable locker. The bitter end attachment being achieved by an easily removed draw bolt system or similar arrangement
How would you break a Kenter, Lugless joining shackle?
To break a Kenter joining shackle, ‘punch and drift’ the ‘spile pin’. Movement of the spile pin will push out the ‘lead pellet’. Once the spile pin is removed, knock out the centre stud then separate the two shackle halves by hammer blows to the side of the link
What prevents the spile pin from accidentally falling out of the joining shackle with the vibration caused in the cable when operating anchors and cables?
Once the tapered spile pin has been inserted into the shackle, a lead mould pellet is forced into the ‘dove tail chamber’, a space above the top of the pin. This shaped cavity prevents the lead from dropping out, while at the same time retaining the spile pin
Where would you ﬁnd the ‘ganger length’ on an anchor cable?
The ganger length is the term given to the few additional links found between the Anchor Crown ‘D’ Shackle and the ﬁrst (1st) joining shackle. The ganger length may or may not have a swivel piece within it.
What and where is the ‘snug’ on a windlass?
The snug is the recess found on the gypsy of the windlass or cable holder – that holding position where the individual links drop into onto the gypsy
How do you know, after letting go the anchor, when the vessel is brought up?
By watching the cable after applying the brake once the required scope has been played out. If the cable rises up, to long stay and then bows, to form a ‘catenary’, then rises again. This cable movement is an indication that the vessel is riding to her anchor not dragging her anchor. If the cable stays taught all the time it may be assumed that the anchor is dragging under the tension
How would you normally pump out the chain locker, aboard a general cargo vessel?
Normal practice would be to use a manual ‘hand pump’ operation. The reason for this is that the construction Regulations only allow the ‘collision bulkhead’ to be pieced once and this is usually ssigned to the fore peak tank because of its regular use, the chain locker being traditionally positioned forward of this bulkhead.
Note:Deep draughted vessels would usually employ an educator process
What is the advantage of mooring using two anchors as opposed to a single anchor?
Use of two anchors is used where weather is causing problems and a second anchor is employed usually to prevent the vessel from dragging her single anchor. Where a designated moor is used, like a ‘running moor’ operation, two anchors are employed to reduce the ‘circle of swing’
How would you measure the size of anchor cable?
Measure the size of the bar that the link is manufactured from, by use of ‘external callipers’
How would you prepare an anchor for ‘letting go’ when coming in from sea?
Having received orders to prepare the anchor, I would obtain power on deck from the engineers and proceed to the foc’stle head with the stand-by man:
(a)Ensure that the windlass is out of gear, and turn the machinery over. The gears and moving parts would be oiled as the machinery is stopped.
(b)Place the anchor in gear
(c)Remove the hawse pipe cover of the speciﬁed anchor.
(d)Remove the ‘devils claw’ and any additional chain lashings.
(e)Remove the bow stopper (guillotine or compressor type).
(f)Remove the brake on the windlass.
(g)If spurling pipe covers are employed these would be removed. (If cement and pudding has been used – walk back the anchor a small amount, approximately 0.2m. This will be enough for the cement to crack and clear the mouth of the spurling pipe. Waste cement can then be cleared with ease.)
(h)Continue to walk back the anchor, until the anchor is clear of the hawse pipe and above the water surface.
(i)Place the brake on hard, and check that the brake is holding.
(j)Once the brake is seen to be effective, take the anchor out of gear.
(k)Report to the bridge that the anchor is ready for letting go.
Note:Not all ships ‘let go’ the anchor and it is common practice with the large and heavy anchor arrangements to walk the anchor back all the way to the seabed.This would also apply to ‘deep water anchorages’
How would you test the brake on the windlass?
Once the brake has been turned on, it can be tested by the following methods:
(a)Having walked the anchor clear, reverse the movement of the windlass and turn the gear plates back to provide a small space between them. Turn off the power and watch to see if the gear plates close up on themselves. If the gear plates remain stationary and the ‘gap’ does not close the brake is effective.
(b)Alternative method would be to put the brake on and provide a burst of power to the chain movement. Provided the anchor chain does not move forward, it will be observed that the windless bed shudders under the stationary weight. The brake can be considered as being effective. (This is not the best method as over time it could strain the securing of the windlass bed.)
When in Dry Dock, it is decided to ‘end for end’ the anchor cables. Once this operation is completed, what action must now be carried out before the cables are returned to the chain lockers?
Following end for ending, the cables would need to be re-marked.
When weighing the anchor, when would you inform the bridge that the anchor is ‘aweigh’?
The ship is still considered to be anchored all the while the anchor is in contact with the seabed. Once the anchor clears the bottom, the up and down chain will be seen to fall away, back to the ship and it can be assumed that this moment in time is when the anchor is termed ‘aweigh’.
Note:The experienced Ofﬁcer is generally not in any hurry to signal to the bridge, ‘anchor aweigh’. He would much prefer to see the anchor hove up, to a position of being ‘sighted and clear’.This avoids embarrassment later, in the event that the anchor has been fouled
What is the difference between ‘short stay’ and ‘long stay’?
Short stay is a term used to express a short amount of visible cable at a steep angle from the hawse pipe to the water surface. Whereas long stay is a term which describes where the cable is in a more horizontal direction towards being parallel to the surface of the water. The cable is said to ‘grow’ from a shorter stay to a long stay aspect
What ‘day signal’ must a vessel display when lying to her anchor?
A vessel at anchor must display a ‘black ball’, in the fore part of the vessel, where it can best be seen. The ball shall be not less than 0.6m in diameter
What is the fog signal for a vessel at anchor?
A vessel at anchor, in fog, will sound a rapid ringing of the ship’s bell, in the forepart of the vessel for a period of about 5 seconds, at intervals of not more than 1 minute. If the vessel is more than 100m in length, the bell signal would also be followed by the gong signal, in the aft part of the vessel
Where would you expect to ﬁnd a swivel link in the anchor cable?
If the cable contains a swivel piece this would normally be found next to the Anchor Crown ‘D’ shackle set into the ganger length before the ﬁrst joining shackle of the cable.
What type of bow stoppers do you know?
There are two popular types of bow stopper employed. These are the ‘Guillotine Bar’ type and the ‘Compressor’ type. The tanker and offshore vessels often employ an auto-kick down (AKD) type stopper, which is counter weighted to wedge against the links of the chain
What is the range of the anchor lights of a vessel over 50m in length?
Three (3) miles.
What is the difference between a ‘fouled anchor’ and a ‘fouled hawse’?
The fouled anchor is the description given to when the anchor itself is fouled by some object like a cast off ﬁshing wire, or even by its own cable turned around the ﬂuke. A fouled hawse occurs when the vessel has moored with two anchors and ship’s anchor cables have become entwined, usually caused by a change in the wind direction, causing the vessel to swing in opposition to the lay of cables
While acting as OOW aboard a vessel riding to a single anchor, you observe that the vessel is yawing excessively from side to side. What are the dangers of this and what action would be expected?
If excessive yawing is taking place there is a danger that the anchor will be broken out of the ground allowing the vessel to subse- quently drag her anchor. The OOW would be expected to inform the master of the vessels movement and he would probably order more cable to be laid. The position and the weather conditions should be tightly monitored and the state of any tidal stream should be checked.
What do you understand by the term ‘stowage factor’?
Stowage factor is the volume occupied by unit weight and expressed in either ft3/ton, or m3/ton. (No account is taken of broken stowage)
What is ‘broken stowage’?
Unﬁlled spaces between cargo packages is termed ‘broken stowage’. It tends to be the greatest amongst assorted sizes of large cases where the stow is at the turn of the bilge or where the vessel ﬁnes off, in the fore and aft regions
What is ‘Grain Space’?
This is the total internal volume of the cargo compartment measured from the internal side of the shell plating to the shell plating on the opposite side. Also measured from the ‘tank tops’ to the under deck. This measurement is used for any form of bulk cargo which could completely ﬁll the space. An allowance being made for space occupied by beams and frames, etc
What is ‘bale space’?
Bale space is the internal volume measured from the under- side of beams to the tank tops and from the inside edges of the spar ceiling and bulkhead stiffeners
How could you separate similar cargoes but destined for different Ports of discharge?
Depending on the nature of the cargo parcels would depend on the type of separation that could be employed. Clearly the best form of separation is to stow cargoes in alternative compartments. In the event that the loading plan does not permit this, paint, paper, dye mark, dunnage, burlap or nets can be used on a variety of general cargoes.
How would you prepare a cargo hold for the carriage of ‘Grain’?
I would ensure that the hold was thoroughly clean and dry. It should be seen to be free of rust and infestation. The hold should be free of any ‘taint’ from previous cargoes. I would test the hold bilge suc- tions and ’tween deck scuppers and ensure that the bilge bays are cleanand dry. The bilges would then be covered with ‘burlap’ (sack cloth- ing) to allow passage of water but not solid matter. The vessel would be expected to comply with the ‘Grain Regulations’ and may need feeder construction or the rigging of shifting boards. Prior to commencement of loading it would be anticipated that the hold may be inspected by a cargo surveyor to provide National Authority Approval, for the carriage of grain.
Note:Bulk carrier type vessels require a ‘Document of Authorisation’ and do not require the National Authority Approval
What is the purpose of ‘dunnage’?
Dunnage is wood plank boards laid under cargoes to provide ventilation and in some cases assist drainage of moisture from cargoes. Some cargoes require ‘double dunnage’. All dunnage must be clean and free of oil or grease contamination as this could spoil cargo quality. Dunnage can be used as a separation mode between cargo parcels but its prime function is to separate cargo from the steel decks and avoid cargo sweat
While engaged in loading a tanker, a malfunction occurs in the inert gas system (IGS). What should the Cargo Ofﬁcer of the Deck do?
Any failure in operation of the IGS would immediately cause all loading operations to cease
What are the main concerns for the Chief Ofﬁcer if the vessel is scheduled to carry timber as deck cargo?
When carrying timber as deck cargo there are two main concerns:
(1)the securing of the timber cargo,
(2)the absorption factor of timber, effecting the stability of the vessel
How would you load bags of ‘Mail’ and what precautions would you take aboard a general cargo vessel?
Mail bags are treated as a ‘special cargo’ and would be loaded by nets or in a container under the supervision of a Security Ofﬁcer.They would normally be tallied aboard, if loose and given ‘lock up’ stow
If your vessel is ﬁtted with 5ton safe working load (SWL) derricks could you load a 4.5ton weight?
Yes, the load could be lifted but not on the single whip, cargo runner. Normal practice would dictate that the derrick is ﬁtted with a 24mm FSWR cargo runner and the SWL of the wire would be exceeded. In order to lift this weight the derrick would need to be doubled up, so providing a ‘gun tackle’ (two parts of wire in the purchase). This would effectively place 2.25ton on each part of wire, each under the SWL
Tanker vessels employ an IGS when engaged in loading. What prevents inert gas ﬂowing backwards, towards the accommodation?
Inert gas is prevented from going into a reverse ﬂow, because each system is ﬁtted with a ‘deck water seal’ effectively a non- return valve
What alarms would you expect to ﬁnd on an IGS?
All IGSs must carry the following alarms:
(a)Low water rate/pressure in the scrubber.
(b)High water level rate inside the scrubber.
(c)High gas temperature.
(d)Failure of inert gas blower.
(e) High oxygen.
(f)Power supply failure on automatic control.
(g)Low water level in the deck water seal.
(h) Low gas pressure.
(i)High gas pressure
How would you stow 500 drums of corrosive liquid as deck cargo?
It would be normal practice to check the product with the IMDG Code, to ensure that it was not incompatible with any other deck cargo being carried. This publication would also advise on any special stowage conditions. Unless otherwise advised these drums would be stowed in small batches so as to allow access to any leaking drums whilst in transit. In the event of a leaking drum developing while at sea, it may become necessary to ‘jettison’ the effected drum(s). Each batch of drums would be lashed and netted against movement, alongside protected bulwarks and/or ship’s rails. Securings would be inspected daily and re-tensioned if found to be slack during the passage
What ventilation would you expect to provide to a full bulk cargo of coal?
Coal gives off gas which rises through the cargo to the top surface and therefore must be given, ‘surface ventilation’ in order to clear gases. It is customary to lift hatch edges on old ships, when in good weather to clear coal gases. However, hatches should not be opened in adverse conditions that could in any way have a detrimental effect on the watertight integrity of the ship
New ships must comply with the BC Code and be provided with permanent venting systems
What is the ‘ullage’ in a cargo oil tank?
Ullage is deﬁned as the amount of liquid that a tank requires in order to be full. The ullage measurement is often measured by means of a gauge or a calibrated ullage stick
What type of slinging arrangement would be employed to lift steel ‘H’ girders on board?
Most steelwork, including ‘H’ girders would use chain slings. A spreader may also be employed depending on the overall length of the girders
Cargo ‘pump rooms’ must be ﬁtted with certain alarm systems. What are these alarms?
Since July 2002, cargo pump rooms must have a gas detection alarm and a bilge alarm system
What do you understand by the term ‘ﬂashpoint’?
Flashpoint is described as the lowest temperature at which a liquid gives off sufﬁcient vapour to form a ﬂammable mixture with air, near the surface of the liquid
What goods require a magazine stowage?
Class I and II, explosive goods require a specially constructed magazine stowage
What is cargo sweat?
Cargo sweat occurs when the vessel is going from a cold cli- mate to a hot climate and ventilating hatches at the wrong time. When the temperature of the hold and cargo is below the dew point of the incoming outside air cargo sweat can occur. Contrast is made to ‘ships sweat’ which is caused by not ventilating the cargo spaces
What is the function of a cargo plan?
The purpose of the cargo plan is to show the disposition of cargoes, showing the amount and type of cargo together with its port of discharge. It is a pictorial display which is meant to prevent cargo being over carried. It also allows the Chief Ofﬁcer to order the necessary labour/equipment to facilitate the discharge at respective ports
How would you stow 40ft drop trailers in the vehicle deck of a Roll On–Roll Off Vessel?
Vehicle decks on Ro-Ro vessels are ﬁtted with star/dome lashing points. Drop trailers would be stowed and lashed in accord with the Cargo Securing Manual which would provide examples of securing methods. This size of trailer would normally be secured by a minimum of six (6) chain lashings each ﬁtted with a tension load binding bar, the trailer being landed on a trestle at the front end while the rear is balanced by back wheels. A manual brake system would also be applied
How is the maximum load on a vehicle ramp determined?
Permitted ramp loads are determined by axle weight, namely the weight of the load divided by the number of wheel axles
What precautions would you take prior to loading chemicals?
I would be expected to check the IMDG Code with the correct name of the commodity and note any stowage recommendations. It would also be prudent to note the procedures to take in the event of spillage of the product, making any reference to the Medical First Aid Guide. Documentation of hazardous goods would be supported by emergency contact names and numbers for relevant shore side assist- ance. These would normally be held on the bridge for immediate use
While working cargo in port the ﬁre alarm is activated. What would you do as the Duty Cargo ofﬁcer at the time?
It would be prudent to stop all cargo work operations and remove all unnecessary Personnel from the ship, e.g. stevedores. I would instruct the ship’s foreman to check his men are clear of the ves- sel by head count and report back to the Chief Ofﬁcer that his men are clear and in safety. It would then be expected that the Cargo Ofﬁcer would report to his designated ﬁre muster station
What is the difference between a ‘hounds band’ and a ‘spider band’on a derrick?
A hounds band is the lugged band found around a mast to support the shrouds and the supporting stays. A spider band is found around the head of a derrick, to secure the guys, topping lift and lifting purchase
What marking would you expect to ﬁnd on the binding of a metal block?
The safe working load and the certiﬁcate number
What is the difference between a ‘head block’ and a ‘heel block’?
Very little difference other than the head ﬁtting on the head block is an oval becket, while the ‘heel block’ will be ﬁtted with a ‘duck bill’ ﬁtting to accommodate the gooseneck arrangement
As Ofﬁcer of the Deck, when would you inspect the rigging of the derricks or cranes?
Every time they are used
When doubling up a derrick, what lifting tackle is made?
A gun tackle
What is the purpose of the heart inside a ﬂexible steel wire rope?
The purpose of the heart to the wire, is to provide ‘ﬂexibil- ity’ and ‘lubrication’
What is the construction of a crane wire?
Crane wires have a multi-plat construction known as ‘Wirex’ this type of lay having non-rotational properties
Where would you expect to ﬁnd a ‘Union Plate’ on a derrick rig?
Union Plates are employed on derricks which operate with a single span ‘topping lift’ as opposed to a ‘span tackle’, topping lift. The downhaul of the single span topping lift is shackled to the apex of the Union Plate, while the bull wire, and chain preventer are secured to the base of the plate. They are also employed to secure the runners and hook arrangement in a union purchase rig, where a triple swivel hook is not used
What is a ‘schooner guy’?
A schooner guy is set to replace the crossed inboard guys of two derricks when rigged in union purchase rig. The schooner is shackled between the spider bands of each derrick and acts to brace the two derricks within the rig
What is the difference between ‘standing rigging’ and ‘running rigging’?
Running rigging is any wire or cordage which passes through a ‘block’. In the case of steel wire ropes, running rigging would be of ﬂexible construction. Standing rigging, is generally steel wire rope, which does not pass over the sheave of a block. Its construction is 6 6, or 6 7 and is employed for such items as stays or shrouds.
How would you normally secure a pilot ladder?
Modern day tonnage is usually constructed with a pilot board- ing station and a designated gateway either side of the vessel. This station is generally ﬁtted with twin deck ‘pad-eyes’. The rope tails of the pilot ladder are secured to the pad-eyes, by means of round turns and two half hitches. If the ship is ﬁtted with bulwarks, the ladder is passed over the gun- wale capping and the rope tails are passed through the ‘freeing port’ and turned and secured about the ladders side ropes
When would you expect a steel wire rope to be condemned?
In the event that 10% of the wires are broken in any 8 diam- eter lengths of the wire, it should be condemned
How do you know a rope has been approved and designated for use with Life Saving Appliances?
The rope will carry a speciﬁed ‘colour yarn’ rove through the lay of the rope. The yarn was originally referred to as a ‘Rogues Yarn’, and was designated to a speciﬁc port of origin to prevent one Royal Navy ship from stealing the ropes of another Royal Navy ship, from a different port. The term ‘Rogues Yarn’ still survives but for identiﬁcation purpose
How would you supervise the breaking out of a new coil of mooring rope?
I would instruct the Boatswain to use a suspended turntable, and ﬂake the new rope the full length of the deck (approximately 120 fathoms in a new coil). It would then be coiled and stowed in the rope locker ready for future use
How would you supervise the painting of the ship’s bow by use of stages?
With any operation overside, I would carry out a ‘risk assessment’ and make reference to the Code of Safe Working Practice(CSWP) for relevant precautions when rigging stages. These would include the following. Load test and inspect the stages for possible defect prior to use, ensure adequate lengths of new ‘gantlines’ are cut to secure stages by ‘stage hitch and lowering hitch’. Order personnel to wear harness and secured lifelines. Have a stand-by man in attendance to the stage operation, and rig appropriate side ladders to accommodate stage positions. A lifebuoy and heaving lines would be readily available for this operation. Many ships have a steep ﬂare under the bow region, and this oper- ation would necessitate the rigging of a bowsing in line around the bow. Paint rollers would require man-helpers attached in order to paint extended areas.
When taking a docking tug, how would you secure the tugs wire towline?
Instructions from the pilot or the ship’s Master may dictate the method of securing the tugs wire. However, in the absence of posi- tive instruction it would be anticipated that the towline would be obtained initially by heaving line, followed by a rope tail messenger. The wire would then be heaved on board and turned about the bitts in ﬁgure of ‘8’ fashion, leaving the eye clear. The turns on the bollards would then be secured by a light lashing
When acting as the Mooring Ofﬁcer, at the ship’s aft station, what would be your main concerns and priorities?
My prime concern in any mooring operation would be the safety of personnel engaged on the mooring deck. To this end I would pay particular attention to ensure effective communications to and from the mooring station. The ropes and associated resources would be inspected to make sure that heaving lines were in place, winches fully operational, and that all personnel had been briefed on the mooring procedures. Ropes and wires would be cleared and ‘ﬂaked’ ready for running in a manner as to avoid kinking. Stoppers would be rigged and seen to be in a good condition and the whole area would be adequately illuminated during the hours of darkness, also since the propeller could be run at any time I would take special care not to foul my lines with the propeller.When tugs are approaching near aft should inform the bridge, so that propeller movements can be restricted
How would you apply a chain stopper to a mooring wire when transferring the mooring from the winch drum to the ‘bitts’?
The chain stopper is employed on a mooring wire by means of a ‘cow hitch’ and then turned up against the lay of the wire (if the chain is turned with the lay the links could cause the wire to distort)
When employing ‘bulldog wire rope grips’, how would you secure them?
When securing wire rope grips the positioning of each grip must be considered essential to the security of the hold. When securing grips the bolted brace part of the grip must be placed on the standing part,
What would you use ‘seizing wire’ for?
Seizing wire is employed for various uses including: mark- ing of anchor cables at the shackle length ends, also for mousing the bolts/pins of shackles to prevent them from coming loose. The wire can also be secured to prevent bottle screws (US Turnbuckles) from accidentally unwinding
When splicing an eye into a mooring rope, what tools and implements would you need to use?
Mooring ropes are heavy and of a large diameter. In order to affect an eye splice a large ‘setting ﬁd’ would be needed with a heavy mal- let to open up the strands of the rope in order to complete the splice
How would you join two wire hawsers together (without eye splicing) to take exceptional weight as in a towline?
Turn the ends of the hawsers into a ‘diamond carrick bend’. Take the weight on the hawsers and then secure the tails with lashings. The use of the carrick bend is preferred to the ‘double sheet bend’ because it will not jam when under tension and will release easily.
Note:The weight needs to be taken before the lashings secure the tails or the lashings will be pulled adrift.
When would you employ a Spanish eye? (Sometimes referred to as a reduced eye or a Flemish eye.)
This eye is found in a runner wire bolted onto the barrel of a cargo winch by means of a ‘U’ bolt
What hitch would you use when securing a boatswains chair to a gantline?
A double sheet bend only