Being a deck officer of a ship is not an easy task. It is a challenging job wherein the responsible person has to ensure that the ship is navigating safely on the correct path and complying with all the navigational rules i.e. Rules of the Road (ROR).
It can be said that as far as the navigation of the ship is concerned, the safety of the ship’s staff is solely in the hands of navigating deck officer and the bridge assistance. An agile watch by these people ensures that the ship is never in troubled situations such as collision, grounding etc.
Utmost safety can be ensured by following the rules and regulations of the sea, company checklist and last but not the least, filling out the log book which keeps the record of the previous situation tackled by the ship while at sea.
The log book of a ship is an important document that is used to record various data, scenario and situations (including emergency situation and action) which is later used for reference, case study and for insurance purpose in case of damage to the ship or loss of ship’s property. For this reason the log book of a ship should be properly filled without any errors.
Following are the entries which must be filled up by the Deck officer during his/her watch:
- Position of the ship in Latitude and Longitude at different intervals
- Time to be noted when Navigation marks are passed
- Time, details and reason if there is any course alteration
- Condition of weather and changes if any
- Movement of the ship at sea including rolling, pitching, heaving etc
- Details of any abnormal condition
- Speed of the propulsion engine and speed of the ship in knots
- If involved in any kind of accidents like stranding, grounding etc. then details for the same
- Entry to be made if any physical contact with floating object or vessel is made
- Details of the distress signal received
- Entry for what kind of assistance is given to the distress signal sender
- If salvage operation is performed, complete details to be entered
- If there is an oil spill or other pollution accident, position of the ship, time and complete incident to be recorded
- Record of general watch routines performed including fire watch
- Time of arrival and departure and ETA.
- If berthing or anchoring is planned, time for the same to be noted.
Other entries as required by master, company and administration should also be recorded in the log book without fail.