the captain, navigator, or officer of the deck, and never
Although most binocular glass has been treated to
reduce glare, there are times when the direct rays of the
sun are so strong that even with treated glass, it is almost
impossible to distinguish shapes and colors. To
overcome this handicap, binocular glass usually has
colored lens filters, which can be inserted over the
regular lenses, greatly reducing the glare.
Your efficiency with optical equipment, the same as
with anything else, will greatly improve with
knowledge and practice.
The care of binoculars: Your binoculars are your
most important single piece of equipment. They will do
a top-notch job for you if you use them properly;
otherwise, they will only hinder you. Here are some
Treat them carefully. They are fragile and will
break or get out of adjustment if handled roughly.
Keep them short-strapped" around your neck
when in use so that they do not dangle and get knocked
against ladders or the rail.
Do not leave them in the sun; and do not expose
them to sudden changes in temperature. The cement
between the lenses will crack if you do.
Above all, keep your binoculars clean! You
would not drive with a dirty windshield; likewise, you
should not scan with dirty binocular lenses. Both
situations are dangerous! To get best results in cleaning
lenses, (a) blow off the loose dust; (b) breathe on the
lenses to moisten them (never breathe on the glass in
freezing weather); (c) use lens tissue, or other soft, clean
tissue to wipe your lenses (never use your sleeve or your
handkerchief or anything that has the slightest amount
of grit or grease on it). With a circular motion, gently
rub the surface of the lenses until they are dry and clean.
To remove grease, moisten the cleaning tissue slightly
When your binoculars are not in use, see that they
are properly stowed.
FOUL WEATHER GEAR
Under the best of conditions, the lookout's job is
tough enough. But in rough weather, things can get
really rugged. For this reason you have special types of
foul weather gear. Navy issue on most ships is a special
suit with hood and mask. In addition, you will have a
life jacket. But the most important part of all is up to
you: Make sure you dress warmly; you cannot perform
your duties efficiently if you are cold and wet.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: List and identify
shipboard emergency signals.
Emergencies aboard ship can be dangerous to you
and to your shipmates if the emergencies are not
discovered and reported immediately and if each person
does not know exactly what to do and how to proceed.
For this reason, breakdowns and man-overboard
situations, although not watches in the strict meaning,
could be considered permanent watches to be stood by
all hands at all times. It is the responsibility of all
hands-including you as a Seaman-to serve at all times
as a lookout for either of these emergencies.
The captain of your ship requires that all hands be
trained by frequent drills to meet these situations. Do
not look lightly on this training; loss of your own life
and that of your friends could be the price of inattention.
Breakdown and man-overboard situations require
extremely rapid action on the part of the officer of the
deck and assistants to the OOD. You should always
consider yourself one of these assistants while aboard
ship. Saving the life of a person overboard depends on
the speed with which rescue action is taken. The
captain, executive officer, and OOD must be notified
immediately of either emergency.
The breakdown flag is the FIVE flag. It is kept
made up for breaking at the foretruck, ready to be
broken should any breakdown of equipment vital to the
ship's running or steering occur during daylight hours.
When broken (flying free), it warns other ships to keep
clear of the disabled ship. When a breakdown is
discovered during daylight hours, the following
procedure is put into effect immediately:
1. The five flag is displayed (Navy use only).
2. Two black balls are hoisted.
3. Six or more short blasts are sounded on the
Two red lights in a vertical line are displayed to
signal a breakdown at night, in lieu of the five flag and
the two black balls.