Type: History
Pages: 5 | Words: 1382
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Watching standing emulates the lookout function

In the last one century small and big navy ships used the bridge watch which consisted of a single individual doing the work of watch standing (Allen, Farwell & Smith, 2005).  Watch standing commonly included officers in charge of the navigational watch, lookout and a helmsman. Also for vessels underway the officer in charge of the navigational watch has the primary responsibility who is under the captains overall supervision (Allen, Farwell & Smith, 2005).According to Allen, Farwell & Smith (2005) “the overall watch standing framework was essential to intelligently interpret and apply the lookout rule in the context of the safe speed, risk of collision and action to avoid collision materials that follow” (p.167).

In both the first and the Second World War all naval warships with destroyer organization were designed to meet the man of wars primary imperative of battle efficiency (Roscoe, 1953). In addition, Roscoe (1953) established that in war time during the World War II the crew members of the naval vessels were always on call ready to answer an alarm. He continues to say that for the performance of routine duty and to suit messing and sleeping arrangements, the crew worked in shifts that are it was divided into sections for watch standing (Roscoe, 1953). During that period there were three watch sections which included the normal duty watch which was of four hours duration. The crew stood and watched four hours on and eight hours off.

According to Block (2009) during the World War II most of the naval ship officers were divided into three sections. While underway each section of officers was on watch for a four hour period and the two other sections were off watch. Block (2009) continues to say that this permitted nominal four hour on and eight hour off rotation. In the port one section was designated the duty section and provided the in port watch standers for a twenty four hour period expect for weeks (Block, 2009).

Hovey (2008) indicated that in the period1917’s there were several personalities and authority of watch officer.  A watch officer standing the day’s duty was always ready to appear the moment his presence was required and received all the reports regardless of where he was (Hovey, 2008).  In addition, Stavridis & Mack (1999) says that “watch standers were supposed to clearly understand that their effectiveness was a function not only of their basic understanding of operations and equipments but also of their watch standing habits and regard for safety” (p. 184). Stavridis & Mack (1999) continues to say “that there were several divisions which set forth the duties of officers with regard to specific billet assignments and administering organizations” (p. 99). This people included senior watch officer who were responsible for the assignment and general supervision of all deck watch officers (Stavridis & Mack, 1999). The senior watch officer also enlisted watch standers in port and underway.

Hovey (2008) in his research indicated that during the World War II watch standers were supposed to remain n charge until regularly relieved and hence he was not supposed to be engaged in any other occupation which could distract his attention from duty.  During the time of war or when hostilities came up a watch standing officer was not expected to take or make any dispositions that could interfere with the immediate use of armament in the naval warship. At the same time Hovey (2008) established that if at some point in time the watch standing officer saw a suspicious ship or other object that could have a hostile purpose, he was supposed to instantly make preparations for battle and also inform the commanding officer.

During the period of 1980s the invention of the naval ships officer program was initiated (Cruikshank & Kline 2007). Cruikshank & Kline (2007) said that this new program grew out of strategic planning process and was inspired by a Japanese manning plan that had been implemented earlier between 1972 and 1980. Unlike the previous notion where all officers below the rank of captain and chief engineer served in dual purpose watch standing role, the program was considered creating a new watching license on the theory of advanced technology.

This program which was also known as Coast Guard was able to allow centralized monitoring of all ships controls and therefore it required officers with a broad understanding of both disciplines (navy and engineering). Allen, Farwell & Smith (2005) indicated that modern watch standing procedures uses the principles of bridge resource or team management which is a systems approach to navy vessel navigational control. Allen, Farwell & Smith (2005) continue to say that unlike the early watch standing methods, of late the US navy coast guard directives on watch standing emphasize navigation practices and also embrace some of the principles of bridge resource management.

Importance of Keeping a Proper Duty Log. Cutler (2002) says that there can be hundreds of different duty log watchers in the Navy. These include duty logs for bridge and quarterdeck watchers. Bridge watch team is used when the ship is underway and it ensures the safe navigation of the ship. Cutler (2002) maintains that the bridge watch also ensures that it supervises the daily routine, monitors communications, conducts drills and generally oversees the safety and smooth operation of the ship. All this information should be recorded in the watch log. When the ship is not underway the quarterdeck watch ensures that it monitors mooring lines or anchor chains, monitoring weather conditions for any significant changes and controlling access to the ship (Cutler, 2002).

Duty logs are very important for the operation of a ship which may be underway or in the port

The two types of duty log watchers keep the logs. Cutler (2002) says that logs are permanent and therefore they should be complete, accurate, and in standard naval language. Logs can at the same time have legal status in a court of law therefore this is one of their importance. The names should be printed and figures must be recorded carefully (Cutler, 2002). The types of duty logs which can be kept include the ship’s deck duty log, engineering, compass record, and engineers bell book which are used to provide the official records of a ship (p.340).

As a result of their importance, no erasures may be made in these duty logs (Cutler, 2002). He continues to say that when a correction s in the duty log are necessary, a line can be drawn through the original entry so it remains legible and the correct entry of the  duty log inserted (Cutler, 2002). In case of any corrections or changes in the logs they are made only by the person required to sign it and initiated by that person in the margin of the page. The ship’s deck log is the official chronological record of events occurring during a bridge or quarterdeck watch. Each event is recorded in accordance with standing instructions. All the duty log entries are made with a ball point and the commanding officer examines the duty log daily. Cutler (2002) also determined that the commanding officer approves it at the end of each month. At the same time the log goes to the chief of naval operations every month, and a duplicate copy is kept on board for six months after which it is destroyed (Cutler, 2002).

In conclusion a proper duty log can help to avoid confusions that may arise from lack of organized schedules for watch standers. This is important in ensuring that the watch standing officers are effective and that they adhere to the instructions given by their commanders. At the same time a proper duty log will minimize fatigue which can result from some officers remaining in duty for long hours than others. The duty log can be divided in to three sections in which each section can span for four hours on and eight hours of. The duty log will ensure that those officers who are supposed to relieve their colleagues are timely and report to work without delays. Stavridis & Mack (1999) concluded that a proper duty log will ensure that watch standers remain attentive to their duties, remain in good physical condition and ensure good communication between the commanders and the other officers.

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