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Bridge Procedure Guide of the Ship

Contents of Bridge Procedure Guide

Bridge Procedure Guide:- The Bridge Procedures Guide (BPG) is an International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) publication that aims to reflect Best Practice aboard Merchant Ships embracing standards and recommendations promoted by the IMO. This includes the concept of ‘continuous improvement’ as described in the ISM Code and the watchkeeping requirements of STCW Chapter VIII. Questions on the content of the bridge procedures guide make a regular appearance in both SQA and oral examinations.


  1. Bridge Organisation
    1. General
    2. Passage Plan.
    3. Safety System – Maintenance And Training.
  2. Passage Planning
    1. Responsibility For Passage Planning
    2. Pilotage And Passage Planning.
    3. Notes On Passage Planning.
    4. Parallel Index Plotting.
  3. Duties Of The Officer On Watch
    1. General
    2. Keeping A Good Watch.
    3. Main Engines.
    4. Changing Over The Watch.
    5. Periodic Checks Of Navigational Equipment.
    6. Helmsman / Autopilot.
    7. Navigation In Coastal Waters.
    8. Restricted Visiblity.
    9. Calling The Master.
    10. Navigation With Pilot Embarked.
    11. Watchkeeping Personnel.
    12. Search And Rescue.
    13. Helicopter Operations.
    14. Log Books.
    15. Bridge And Emergency Checklists.
    16. Ship At Anchor.
    17. Ships Draft And Manoeuvering Information.
    18. Bridge Located Systems / Systems Controls / Monitoring And Operations.
  4. Operation And Mantaince Of Navigational Equipment
    1. General
    2. Radar And Arpa.
    3. Steering Gear And Autopilot.
    4. Gyro and Magnetic Compasses.
    5. Chronometres.
    6. Echo Sounders.
    7. Speed And Distance Recorders.
    8. Electronic Position Fixing Aids.
    9. Direction Finders.
    10. Hydrographic Publications.
    11. Emergency Navigational Lights And Signal Equipment.
    12. Radiotelephone.
    13. Ship Radio Reporting Systems And Requirements.


  • ANNEX I:     Pilot Card.
  • ANNEX II:    Wheelhouse Poster.
  • ANNEX III:   Guidance On Steering Gear Test Routines.
  • ANNEX IV:   Notice On The Correct Use Of Vhf Channels.
  • ANNEX V:    Required Boarding Arrangements For Pilots.


  1. Familiarisation With Bridge Equipment.
  2. Daily Tests And Checks.
  3. Preparation For Sea.
  4. Embarkation / Disembarkation Of Pilot.
  5. Master / Pilot Information Exchange.
  6. Navigation, Deep-Sea.
  7. Navigation, Coastal Waters / Traffic Seperation Schemes.
  8. Changing Over The Watch.
  9. Preparation For Arrival In Port.
  10. Anchoring And Anchor Watch.
  11. Restricted Visibility.
  12. Navigating In Heavy Weather Or In Tropical Storm Areas.
  13. Navigating In Ice.


  1. Main Engine Failure.
  2. Steering Failure.
  3. Gyro Failure / Compass Failure.
  4. Bridge Control / Telegraph Failure.
  5. Imminent Collision / Collision.
  6. Stranding
  7. Fire
  8. Flooding
  9. Boat / Liferaft Stations
  10. Man Over Board.
  11. Search And Rescue.

As per Bridge procedure guide, Duties of the officer of the watch:

The Officer of the Watch (OOW) is the Master’s representative and is responsible at all times for the safe navigation of the ship, in full compliance with the Convention on time International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

The presence of the Master on the bridge does not relieve the OOW of responsibility for the watch. A decision by the Master to assume responsibility for the watch should be unambiguously advised to the OOW and other members of the Bridge Team.

The OOW should comply with the requirements of the SMS and the Master’s standing and daily orders. Compliance ensures that agreed and robust procedures which promote safety and mitigate risks are followed by Bridge Teams to execute and monitor the passage plan.

The primary duty of the OOW is to maintain a safe navigational watch at sea or at anchor, which will require ensuring:

  • Compliance with the Company’s navigational policies and requirements;
  • Effective watch handovers;
  • Management of the Bridge Team;
  • Keeping a proper look-out;
  • Familiarity with the bridge layout and equipment;
  • Familiarity with bridge procedures;
  • Maintaining situational awareness;
  • Surveillance of the ship;
  • Execution of the passage plan;
  • Navigation and control of the vessel;
  • Collision avoidance in compliance with the COLREGS;
  • GMDSS watchkeeping;
  • Compliance with environmental requirements;
  • Monitoring the performance of navigational equipment;
  • Recording bridge activities;
  • Management of emergency situations; and
  • Security awareness.

Purpose of the log book:

Deck log book:- The Deck log book is an important document and serves as necessary evidence in case of any Accidents and Casualties. It must contain Factual Entries with Time in each entry. It is essential that clear and accurate record of the activities of the ship are kept, as the Log book will form a main part of the collection of evidence in case of any incidents. Vessel’s official language is mentioned on very first page of the log book.

Entries you will make in the log book from the time pilot on board until vessel secured alongside the berth while vessel at Port:

Record of Pilotage events during watch:

  • Pilot on board.
  • Passing abeam to break water.
  • Passing under the bridge.
  • Passing few navigation marks/ signal stations.
  • Change of pilot(s).
  • Any emergency during pilotage.
  • Position and name of tugs made fast, first line ashore.
  • All fast fwd n aft (configuration of rope example:- 4+2+2 F&A).
  • Alongside on which side.
  • Name of wharf etc.
  • Tugs cast off.
  • M/E blown through, finished with engines, bunkers, LO & FW ROB.
  • Gangway down/Pilot away, arrival drafts etc.