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Gard Guidance Masters


There is a sharp increase in the number of accidents related to navigation. Both groundings and collisions are becoming more frequent. This is despite the introduction of high tech navigational equipment and SMSs.

One important factor to reverse this trend is to focus on navigational procedures and on board navigational training. The Master should allow his/her navigating officers to acquire the experience, under supervision, and provide any relevant and necessary training in both navigation in dense traffic and ship handling.

The following methods could be used

  • well in advance of the actual passage, give the navigators the task of preparing a route the vessel will sail
  • explain that this will be a supervised training session focusing on procedures and accuracy
  • take careful notes of observations made during the exercise
  • give detailed evaluation and feedback to the officer as soon as possible following the exercise.

    By providing this type of supervised training the Master will gain confidence in his/her officers, they will become better navigators and ship handlers and the Master will be more highly respected by his/her officers. It is also very important to prepare officers who are aspiring to become Masters themselves. The degree of guidance during training must be governed by the experience level of the officer.