An amplifying report is made when any change
occurs or more accuracy can be given to a previous
report. Such cases include
when the ship or aircraft alters course or changes
speed. These changes can be detected by the human
eye much faster than with electronic devices.
when a more positive identification can be
made. You can now see what the nationality of the ship
is, or its hull number, or other identifying features.
when anything unusual occurs. A ship may
sound its whistle, make smoke, drop the anchor,
display additional lights, and so forth.
A range in yards for each contact reported would
be invaluable, but estimating ranges over water is very
difficult for the inexperienced lookout because
distances are deceptive. Only with a lot of on-the-job
experience will you become proficient in estimating
ranges to contacts. Question CIC concerning the radar
ranges to visual contacts and compare them with your
The only readily available reference point you
can use when estimating ranges is the horizon.
Knowing your height above the waterline will
help you estimate ranges because the distance
to the horizon varies with the height of the eye.