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Chapter 3 Marlinespike Seamanship
MAN-OVERBOARD SIGNAL 7. In formation, the officer in tactical command (OTC) of all ships present is notified. The  man-overboard  flag  is  the  OSCAR  flag displayed at the foretruck or where it can best be seen during daylight hours. When someone goes overboard at night, the peacetime procedure is the display of two blinking red lights arranged vertically. In addition, either by day or night, the ship losing the person sounds six or more short blasts on the whistle. Man-Overboard Procedure Only the ship losing a person overboard may make the signals described in the foregoing section. Action taken by other ships in a formation or around the ship losing  the  person  overboard  depends  on  existing conditions. If at all possible, the person overboard is to be rescued, but collisions must be avoided. Flag or Blinker Pyrotechnics Meaning 8 1 white star Steer  straight away from ship 8  PORT 1 red star Steer left (or to port) 8 STARBOARD   1 green star Steer  right (or  to  starboard) The peacetime (standard) practice for a ship losing a person overboard follows: 1. Anyone aboard ship who sees a person fall overboard must shout as loud as possible and without  hesitation,  “MAN  OVERBOARD, STARBOARD  (PORT)  SIDE.”  This  call  must be repeated until the conning officer takes necessary action or indicates in some way that the word was received. 8 SCREEN QUEBEC 2  green  stars Steer  straight toward ship 2 red stars Return to ship 2  white  stars Steady  on present  course Lifeboat Signal to Ship When a lifeboat is attempting to pick up a person overboard at night, the following signals are used from the boat to the ship. 2. Rudder and engines are used, if appropriate, to avoid hitting the person with the screws. 3.   A  lifebuoy  and  smoke  float  are  dropped. When launching a Mk 6 smoke float, (a) remove the tape from over the pull ring, (b) pull the ring smartly from the device, and (c) immediately throw the smoke float over the side. Do NOT remove the tape from over the pull ring until just before launching. Salt air will rust the pull wire, causing it to break and thereby making the device  useless. Visual  Signals Pyrotechnics Blinker  or 1 green star semaphore 1 white star 1 redstar Meaning Cannot  find person Have  recovered person Need  assistance SUMMARY 4. At least six short blasts are sounded on the whistle. 5.   By day the OSCAR flag is hoisted where it can be seen best. By night, two pulsating red lights arranged  vertically  are  displayed.  (In  peacetime any ship may use searchlights as necessary.) You should have learned in this chapter the various watchstander's  equipment  used  on  the  ship's  bridge. Failure to use proper nomenclature or a lack of basic knowledge of a ship's equipment is unprofessional and may, in an emergency, lead to dangerous confusion. As an underway watchstander, you will perform, on occasion, routine checks or tests on bridge equipment as either the messenger of the watch or the helmsman. 6.  The  ship  is  maneuvered  as  prescribed  by Know your job and keep your equipment in good doctrine. working order so you can do an outstanding job! Signals to Lifeboat The following signals are used to direct a lifeboat engaged  in  picking  up  a  person  overboard. 2-21

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