As a lookout on a vessel at anchor in fog, your role is critical to the safety of the crew, the vessel, and nearby vessels. Your duties extend beyond just keeping an eye out for any obstacles or hazards, but also include ensuring that the vessel is adequately lit and making appropriate sounds to alert nearby vessels of its presence.
Firstly, it is essential to maintain a listening watch. This means paying close attention to the sounds around you. You should be able to hear the horns and bells of other vessels, especially those that the vessel at anchor might collide with. You should also be on the lookout for any sounds that might indicate that the anchor is dragging, such as the sound of chains rattling or scraping along the seabed.
Secondly, you need to maintain a visual watch. This includes checking the vessel’s lighting, such as the anchor light. The anchor light should be lit and visible from all directions for at least two miles away. If the visibility is less than 1 mile, the fog horn must also be sounded for two seconds followed by a pause.
You should also keep an eye out for other vessels in the area. Remember that they might not have heard your foghorn, so take care to look in all directions. If you spot a vessel that might pose a danger to your vessel, take appropriate steps to alert them, such as sounding the fog horn or shining a spotlight on them.
Finally, you must also be alert to the weather conditions. Fog can come and go quickly, so you must always be prepared for sudden changes in visibility. If necessary, you should inform the captain or officer of the watch and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the vessel.
Being a lookout on a vessel at anchor in fog requires a lot of vigilance, attentiveness, and responsibility. By maintaining a listening watch, visual watch, and keeping yourself alert to weather conditions, you can help ensure the safety of the crew, vessel, and other vessels in the area. Don’t underestimate your role as the lookout – it is a critical factor in the safe navigation of your vessel.