To maintain good watch keeping onboard ship is a major obligation of all seafarers.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to point out things that characterize proper watchkeeping onboard ship;
- Safety: while taking over the watch, the first thing you have to know is; the safety of all crew ( including you) is in your hands. Any mistake you do on the bridge or engine room much lead to loss of life and prosperity. Therefore your responsibility is to make sure that you don’t take any alarm, sounds, rules, recommended issues, etc for granted.
- Fitness : It’s important that before you take overwatch, you check your fitness to carry out the 4 or 6 hours duty. Sometimes you will notice some crews who will watch movies from when they left to watch, till resume time. That is very wrong because your body will eventually need rest. Therefore sleeping on duty could lead to casualty’s you will not expect.
- I know it all : sometimes you will feel you know it all. But believe me, there are things you need to call for the assistance of other crew who knows it better. Try always to call for assistance when required. This will not only make the work easier but also make it safer and well understood.
- Laziness : This is the worst thing you could develop during watchkeeping. Try to avoid laziness. Always be responsive to all areas around your duty post. You may sometimes wait for alarms to ring up, sorry they many not and things may be going wrong in some area you don’t expect.
Example of what laziness may lead to ; two officers are on the duty ” 2nd mate and 3rd Engineer” fire alarm systems detector activated, the 2nd mate from the bridge accepted and reset the alarm without confirmation of the area.
The 3rd engineer saw the act but didn’t call to confirm since the 3rd mate didn’t call. The 2nd mate believes it was a faulty alarm.
What happened later?
It happened that the auxiliary generator high pressure leaked, spread fine fuel towards the hot exhaust outlet.
This alarm activated not only once, but both officers need to be responded to it. It later leads to a fire outbreak.
With the above example, I will conclude that these two officers were not competent of there watch keeping.
The laziness, unfit, I know it all and not considering safety precautions makes them totally incompetent.
When you go to the bridge for watchkeeping always remember the lives under you. God help those who help themselves. Think safe, work safe and earn safe.
If you have more things to share regarding this article or more examples; feel free to drop some comments below. We will be happy to read from you too. Share if you learn something from this article.