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.