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Collision Avoidance at Sea in the Mid-20th Century

  • John Kemp, Mike Bechley, Norman Cockcroft, Mirosław Jurdzinski and Søren Thirslund...

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In the middle years of the 20th Century, few merchant ships were fitted with radar and, on those that were, shipmasters often looked upon it as a distraction from a watchkeeper's proper duties rather than as a useful aid to navigation.

For shipmasters of that persuasion, the only place to keep watch was outside the wheelhouse on an exposed bridge wing; mostly the starboard wing because the COLREGS (‘Collision Regulations’ or, more properly, ‘The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea’) required us to give way to ships approaching from the starboard side. Well, the bridge wing was an attractive place to spend a few hours on a calm, tropical night, but it could be highly disagreeable and sometimes, I thought, actually dangerous, in a North Atlantic rainstorm.

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Kemp, J., Bechley, M., Lyon, P., Sellers, T. and Thirslund, T. (2011). Coastal Navigation in the Mid-20th Century. The Journal of Navigation, 64, 118.
Cockcroft, A. N. (1983). The Effectiveness of Ship Routing off North West Europe. Journal of Navigation, 36, 462467.

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Collision Avoidance at Sea in the Mid-20th Century

  • John Kemp, Mike Bechley, Norman Cockcroft, Mirosław Jurdzinski and Søren Thirslund...

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