QM-5 Quartermaster Safety Instructors: George Crowl
Course Outline • a. Know the heavy-weather precautions taken aboard both power and sailing vessels when dangerous weather approaches, and demonstrate these precautions aboard the vessel used by your ship. • b. Know the special precautions that should be taken when limited visibility is encountered. • c. Draw the International Code flags and pennants from memory and give the single-letter meanings (Alpha = Have diver down, keep clear) of the flags. Show how to use the book International Code of Signals.
QM-5a • a. Know the heavy-weather precautions taken aboard both power and sailing vessels when dangerous weather approaches, and demonstrate these precautions aboard the vessel used by your ship.
Heavy Weather • “The wise sailor avoids the storm he cannot weather, and weathers the storm he cannot avoid.” • 1. Make sure the crew knows the location and use of all safety gear. • 2. Make sure the VHF radio is on and working, and everyone onboard knows how to make an emergency call. • 3. Get everyone in their foul weather gearand life jackets. • 4. Assign tasks to the crew based on ability and experience.
Heavy Weather (2) • 5. The navigator should record the ship’s position in the log and check the chart for nearby hazards. • 6. Clear any unnecessary items from the cockpit and deck, and secure all gear and equipment below decks. • 7. Rig jacklines from bow to stern on port and starboard. Everyone on deck needs to be in a harness and attached to a jackline. • 8. Reduce your speed to steerage way and turn toward the wind if you are in a powerboat. If you are in a sailboat, reduce the sail to the minimum needed to maintain steerage and keep the ship’s head into the waves. Approach waves at about 45 degrees.
How Can You Demonstrate? • Conduct a “heavy weather” drill • Make a simulated “Pan Pan” or “Mayday” distress call • Have everyone don raingear and life jackets • Make crew assignments • Determine position and best heading • Secure all gear • Rig jacklines • Point boat 45° to “swells”
QM-5b b. Know the special precautions that should be taken when limited visibility is encountered.
Limited Visibility • Primarily, but not exclusively, fog • 1. Know where you are. Take fixes regularly to determine if you are still on a safe course. • 2. Avoid collisions. Take every action to be seen and to see other vessels and hazards. • 3. The speed of a vessel should be reduced to the point where it maintains full maneuverability and can stay on course. • 4. Audible signals should be sounded to announce the vessel’s presence. Vary the rhythm of your signals occasionally in case your signals are in sync with a nearby vessel.
Limited Visibility (2) • 5. Post multiple lookouts. A lookout is required by the Navigation Rules, but two lookouts on the bow must watch for aids to navigation, other vessels, or hazards. They must listen for sound signals. A lookout aft needs to watch for overtaking vessels. Keeping silence onboard is recommended so all can listen. Fog has the unnerving capacity to distort sound in terms of both volume and direction. • 6. Use radar and radar reflectors. Even if your boat doesn’t have radar, hoist a passive radar reflector as high as possible to increase your chances of being seen. • 7. If worst comes to worst, and depth of water and other conditions allow, then anchor or lay to. Sound the proper fog signals, keep lookouts posted, and watch and listen for other vessels and hazards.
QM-5c c. Draw the International Code flags and pennants from memory and give the single-letter meanings (Alpha = Have diver down, keep clear) of the flags. Show how to use the book International Code of Signals.
Code Flags • Draw from memory • Give phonetic name • Single letter meaning • Alpha Oscar Zulu • Diver down Man overboard Require a tug
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Learning Code Flags • Two people learning together is more effective than one studying alone • Write notes to each other in code flags • Requires red, yellow, blue, black (and white) pencils • quizlet.com, search for code flags, several varieties of programs • Try a flag hoist with real flags
International Code of Signals • Not just for Code Flags, may be Morse • Good for all languages (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, etc.) • Published by each nation in their language(s) • Same meaning for each letter set • Download free, or many hard-copy vendors (Google) • Read the instructions
Pub 102 Organization • Ch 1 – Signaling Instructions • Ch 2 – General Signal Code • Ch 3 – Medical Signal Code • Ch 4 – Distress and Lifesaving
Pub 102 Message Series • PI – You should maintain your present course • PK – I cannot steer without assistance • PO – You should pass ahead of me • KM1 – Shall I take you in tow? • KQ1 – I am ready to be taken in tow • KR1 – I am commencing to tow