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Gard Guidance Masters PROPER LOOKOUT

The Master should instruct his/her officers to ensure that a proper lookout is maintained. The watchkeeping officer needs to be assisted by a lookout, especially in periods of darkness or restricted visibility. Some jurisdictions impose hefty fines if a collision or grounding is attributed to lack of a proper lookout and certificates of competency may be suspended or cancelled as a result thereof.

The helmsman – if used – should not be considered to be a lookout, as his/her duties are separate, unless

  • on small vessels
  • an unobstructed all round view is provided from the steering stand, and
  • there is no impairment of night vision.

    The provisions for proper lookout in the Code and Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW 95) must be observed.

    The Master should check frequently to ensure that a proper lookout is posted, when required. The logbook should show the names and periods of the posted lookout.

    The lookout should be encouraged to report any concerns arising during watchkeeping to the officer of the watch. Any observations by the lookout should be taken seriously and appropriate acknowledgements should be made and actions taken.