Navigation Lights

matthew flinders
24th April 2011, 15:08
When did it become ok to show navigation lights 24/7 even when alongside?

Orbitaman
24th April 2011, 16:14
It didn't. It's just laziness on the part of modern officers!!!

david freeman
24th April 2011, 16:43
When did it become ok to show navigation lights 24/7 even when alongside? is there another signal to pass slowly (TWO Balls from the yardarm on the seaward side). Used to be used on the tyne for wet berths at drydocks??? Maybe I am dreaming?

matthew flinders
24th April 2011, 19:06
is there another signal to pass slowly (TWO Balls from the yardarm on the seaward side). Used to be used on the tyne for wet berths at drydocks??? Maybe I am dreaming?

T,E 'take it easy'

pilot
25th April 2011, 08:00
Normal on many ships to keep on 24/7 when applicable with Regs. Heat keeps the lights free of condensation. Also bulbs usualy blow when switching on. Is the reasoning behind this practice.

Robert Hilton
25th April 2011, 09:00
Two balls at the yardarm might be a local byelaw.

In international code RY = Keep well clear at low speed.

I usually leave nav lights on at sea for reasons mentioned above, but tend to forget to switch off after berthing.

cueball44
5th May 2011, 22:20
Just been watching a program about the Lighthouses of Scotland, very interesting, at the end of the program a Ships Master was asked if he still looked out for the Lighthouses and Buoy markings, he looked at the person with a puzzled look, then replied '' goodness yes, GPS shows me where it thinks i am, the Lighthouses and marks show me where i really am''. 'cueball44'

trotterdotpom
5th May 2011, 23:42
Do Volvo build ships?

John T.

John Dryden
6th May 2011, 00:04
Do Volvo build ships?

John T.

Funnily enough I was driving a smart Volvo last Monday to the race course at Beverley and I was amazed at the navigation lights unnecessilary displayed during my journey to the Westwood in bright sunlight for no apparent reason.

LANCE BALL
7th May 2011, 11:56
Mersey, liverpool landing stage , local rules require lights to be displayed at all times.

diggo
12th July 2011, 00:06
My Last command before being medically unable to go to sea was a multipurpose vessel in the North Sea. Normally spent about 30 days at sea. We kept the nav lights on all the time. Turning the lights on as part of the pre-sailing checks always resulted in at least two bulbs blowing. Cost about £4.50 per bulb!!!!! Once they were switched they stayed on until we returned to port. In the 70's deep sea we always turned them off at daylight and back on at sunset yet I do not remember blowing any bulbs. Very strange are modern bulbs crap compared to the old bulbs?

crellintk
18th July 2011, 16:46
I think the requirement to display nav lights (often oil lamps in the old days, when generators were shut down at night) at Liverpool Stage was dropped a few years ago, but I could be wrong - anyone know?

Incidentally, in spite of trading there for many years, I never really understood the reasoning behind the requirement. Can anyone enlighten us?

kevinmurphy
21st July 2011, 19:46
What is the problem with displaying lights 24/7 at sea?
Switching lights on and off does cause more problems than not.
Fully agree about alongside , it is actually a byelaw on the Thames that they are switched off alongside, and a very good law at that, I had a few problems caused by lights being left on by vessels alongside, running up and down there as an exemption holder for 10 years.
The PLA were quick to respond if you reported this they would always send someone to an offending vessel.

Now as I work in Egypt it would be nice if there were more Volvos, not keen on switching headlights on here!!

septiclecky
16th September 2011, 13:00
Mersey, liverpool landing stage , local rules require lights to be displayed at all times.

When did that rule come into force?

When I worked for the Dublin/IOM ferry the nav lights where turned off, but there again the decklight/floods where switched on which where a lot brighter [=P]

vasco
17th September 2011, 18:26
It didn't. It's just laziness on the part of modern officers!!!

The 'Modern Officers' are no doubt a result of the training they have been given by unmodern officers.

Lights are sometimes forgotten about, in my case by the Modern Master, as he is the last to leave the Bridge because the Officer dashes down to make the vessel fast once the first line is out.

AND Fishing Boats have been doing it since goodness knows when

James_C
17th September 2011, 22:28
Vasco,
On a slightly different note, I was on one ship (40,000dwt tanker) where to lend a helping hand during a busy spell, the Old Man offered to do the bridge pre sailing checks and then did the first watch away (evening 4-8) as all three Mates were knackered after various dramas and catastrophes during discharge,. This was because the Old Man was in a particularly generous mood having been lucky enough to enjoy a good nights sleep, no doubt aided through copious amounts of liquid refreshment at dinner ashore, courtesy of the agent. He'd then enjoyed a quiet morning, most of which was spent at the local golf club hacking their greens to pieces and scaring the natives, again courtesy of the aforementioned agent.
Anyway, we sailed and the 3/O took over from him at 2000 and I appeared at 0000. After taking over and mug of tea in hand, as was usual, I wandered out to the far end of the port bridge wing and leant on the dodger in the time honoured fashion with my thoughts somewhere far away. As I gazed along the moonlit deck and then up at the multitude of stars on what was a typically clear South Pacific night sky, my field of vision eventually came to the mainmast atop the monkey island and I immediately noticed that steaming light had 'blown'.
After muttering some oaths under my breath, and bearing in mind this ship seemed to have a habit of blowing bulbs regularly, I thought it prudent to have a quick look around to ensure the rest of the bulbs were ok. I could tell the foremast light wasn't illuminated (no usual back scatter), and neither were the sidelights (I didn't bother with the sternlight at that point). After muttering several more oaths and wondering if we had enough spare bulbs in the bridge cupboard, I wandered in to the panel and flicked the switch for each light into the standby position, then went back outside to look aloft and saw there was still no light. B****r says I, and stomped back into the wheelhouse, sourced a torch and had a good look at the panel. Said panel didn't have a 'buzzer' system to indicate a fault, nor an indicator light, merely switches, but it did have a 'Master' on/off switch which was clearly in the 'off' position. "B****r" says I again, followed by a few more colourful anecdotes concerning my fellow Officers, then flicked the master switch on and the ship was then illuminated appropriately.
The next morning I casually asked the Old Man and 3/O if either of them had passed any other ships during their watches (sunset was about 1800 ish), to which they both replied in the affirmative with them both commenting that they'd run into a number of fishing boats (tuna longliners I think) around the change of watch.
You can only wonder what those other ships thought of this unidentifiable target, thumping past them at 14 knots in complete darkness!

vasco
18th September 2011, 08:09
James C

This still happens! I have passed a few like this.

Recently I called up a Box boat as a courtesy to let him know his lights were not clear and I could not see his side light. He was not interested. and said they were all on. Turns out his side light was forward,under the boxes and next to an access door, which was left open and the white light form inside masked the nav light.

And lets not go to far into those that show the Red Danger light at sea, something the MAIB issued a warning about way back.

derekhore
18th September 2011, 17:41
Wouldn't have happened in the old days with BP ...

Deck Cadets pre-sailing check .. to be entered into the Bridge Movement book .. "Nav lights checked .. ok"

James_C
18th September 2011, 21:32
Derek,
That ship had a bridge checklist which specifically mentioned the Nav Lights and which of course was also mentioned in the bell book. Naturally the Old Man had dutifully completed said list (every box ticked) then signed it and thrown it in the file.
I'd suggest that little episode is a perfect example of how its very easy to get into the "checklist" mentality in todays world - amplified by all the Shore Wallahs who truly believe that the easiest solution to any problem is to throw more paper at it!
If memory serves we had two cadets that trip, both whom spent most of their time taking the pumproom to pieces and then putting it back together again!

ChasD
18th September 2011, 22:26
There was a vessel (who shall remain nameless) which, following a change in the nav light rules mid 70’s or so, was fitted with new compliant nav lights. For a long time after that fitting, the bridge received constant complaints from passing vessels that its sidelights were not visible. Much time, effort and many bulbs were spent on the puzzle without success. When eventually the mystery problem was passed to me, I did all the usual, bulbs/volts/amps/wiring, all seemed normal until I had a quick visual over the bridge wing. Then all became clear. The mounting bolts /holes were in a ‘Diamond’ pattern related to the fore/aft line rather than the original ‘Square’ pattern. This meant that the new lights, fitted on the old bolts, were now 45 degs ‘wall-eyed’ and therefore could not be seen until the other vessel was virtually abeam. One up to the sparky dept !! Sometimes the silliest answer is the hardest to find – but it’s occasionally good for a beer in the bar !(Pint)

vasco
19th September 2011, 07:53
following on fron ChasD, we had a complaint from a pilot boat that the foremast light was dim.

I took a walk forward and it was fine, though walking back aft something was nagging me. Got on Bridge told the Old Man it was Bright, he replied 'thought it was OK, the Engineers replaced the whole light this morning.
Then the penny dropped, there was not the usual back scatter. It was a stern light.

Klaatu83
8th October 2011, 14:11
It didn't. It's just laziness on the part of modern officers!!!

The rule is that navigation lights are to be switched off as soon as the first mooring line is on the dock, and switched on as soon as the last line is off the dock. However, I believe that only Navy ships have a sufficient number of people on the bridge to comply with that procedure exactly as specified. On merchant vessels there are too few people on the bridge, and too much going on all at once, to adhere to such niceties. We usually left the navigation lights switched on after testing all the navigation equipment, which was done one hour before sailing, and switched them off while securing the bridge after we finished tying up. In fact, things are even more hectic on the bridge nowadays, with normal ships' crews reduced to twenty or even less.

matthew flinders
20th October 2011, 09:02
The rule is that navigation lights are to be switched off as soon as the first mooring line is on the dock, and switched on as soon as the last line is off the dock. However, I believe that only Navy ships have a sufficient number of people on the bridge to comply with that procedure exactly as specified. On merchant vessels there are too few people on the bridge, and too much going on all at once, to adhere to such niceties.

Interesting. One ship I was on as an apprentice the mate insisted that first line ashore navigation lights were switched off and that the deck lights and funnel light were switched on at the exact same moment. Called for a bit of dexterity with a long ruler. His requirements for raising and lowering signal flags, houseflag etc. I won't go into!

jimthehat
20th October 2011, 09:20
Normal on many ships to keep on 24/7 when applicable with Regs. Heat keeps the lights free of condensation. Also bulbs usualy blow when switching on. Is the reasoning behind this practice.

It was the common practice of seamen on ferries to switch off lights after berthing,and in all my years criss crossing the north sea cant remember bulbs blowing.

jim

Union Jack
20th October 2011, 11:13
Reminds me of the time I was enjoying a busman's holiday on board one of P&O's finest and, prior to turning in, decided to enjoy a breath of air with my bride as the ship mooched slowly along the coast marking time prior to a port visit the next day. As we arrived above the stern on one of the after decks and looked down at the slight wake, I suddenly realised that the stern light had just gone out, so I quickly passed an appropriate message to the bridge via the ship's telephone exchange.

Feeling rather pleased that I could have averted a major disaster, I retired to our cabin, only to receive a message from the exchange, "Officer of the Watch's compliments, and he is delighted to hear that the stern light has gone out since the ship has just anchored for the night"!(Ouch)

Jack