Monthly Archives: October 2015

OOW Question-Fitness for Duty-The Answer


Question: Who can be an officer of the watch (OOW)

Answer: An officer in charge of a navigational watch shall be qualified in accordance with the requirements of STCW 95. Under no circumstances is it permitted for an un-qualified person to take charge of a navigational watch

Note-It is the responsibility of the owner or operator, and Master to ensure that every navigational watchkeeping officer is appropriately qualified with respect to the size of the vessel and limitations in the area of operation.

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OOW Question- Who can be the officer of a watch?


These series of questions now move on to the subject of fitness for duty as officer of the watch.

Question: Who can be an officer of the watch (OOW)?

A bit of Revision

Rule 7 Risk of Collision
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.


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COLREG weekly question- Sole lookout-The Answer

Question: What is the UK’s MCA’s view on the use of the OOW as sole lookout?


Answer: The MCA considers it dangerous and irresponsible for the OOW to act as sole look-out during periods of darkness or restricted visibility.

Note-The UK M Notice MGN 137 covers the subject of Look-out during periods of darkness and restricted visibility. Some of the key points from this notice are:

Ships are not operate with the OOW as the sole lookout during periods of Darkness

An additional lookout should be posted at any other times during restricted visibility or when the prevailing circumstances require.

All ships must maintain a proper look-out 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.

Failure to maintain proper look can result in prosecution, including custodial sentence.

Watchkeeping arrangements for the ship are at all times adequate for maintaining safe navigational watches, having regard to the STCW Code.

For some Really Handy Kindle Books to learn and revise the Collision Regulations click here.

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COLREG weekly question-Sole lookout


This week’s question is the final one of the general OOW questions, next week the posts will be moving on to ‘fitness for duty’.

Question: What is the MCA’s view on the use of the OOW as sole lookout?

Whilst pondering on the answer have a quick revision of this paragraph of Rule 3, Definitions:

(l) The term “restricted visibility” means any condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms or any other similar causes.


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