As a naval vessel, a ship’s bell plays an important role in signaling various activities on board. From marking the start and end of watches to signaling emergency situations or alerting crew members for muster, the bell is an essential part of Navy tradition.
One may wonder who is responsible for the care and cleaning of this important equipment on board. Well, in the Navy, the person in charge of taking care of the ship’s bell is none other than the Bosun Mate or BM.
The Bosun Mate is a rated position in the United States Navy responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ship and all its components, including the bell. They work closely with the Chief Boatswain’s Mate, who oversees the entire department.
The BM is responsible for ensuring the bell is always in good working condition, including maintaining a shine to the brass parts so that it glistens under the light. They use various tools, including special polish, brushes, and a lot of elbow grease to keep the bell looking its best.
Regular cleaning of the bell is also necessary, as dust and grime can accumulate over time, potentially impacting its functionality. The BM is also in charge of ensuring that the bell is hung correctly and securely in its designated location.
Besides cleaning and hanging the bell, the BM also has to sound it during various activities on board. This requires them to have a great sense of timing and the ability to get the crew’s attention with the bell’s unique sound.
It is the duty of the Bosun Mate to take care of the ship’s bell on a Navy vessel. They undertake duties ranging from cleaning, maintenance to the actual sounding of the bell during important activities. Overall, their role is essential in upholding Navy tradition and ensuring the bell remains a vital signaling and communication tool on board.