In April 2011 the Club published a Loss Prevention Safety Alert addressing the “The Use of Mobile Phones and Handheld Data Devices” on the bridge of ships.
The Club continues to see navigational incidents occurring where a complicit factor is mobile / smart phone usage by the watchkeeper on the bridge, with cases of lengthy phone calls with partners and internet usage being noted in the build-up to recent costly collision cases.
As mobile / smart phone usage is extremely widespread, and the functionality and connectivity of such devices improves all the time, our previous advice has even greater relevance today. It should, however, be considered that rather than restricting the use of such mobile devices, the use of mobile / smart phones be banned from being used by those on the bridge forming part of the bridge team involved in the navigation of the vessel, in a similar manner to the use of mobile phones by vehicle drivers being banned in many countries.
If a Member has not already done so, they are advised to consider their bridge watchkeeping procedures within their Safety Management System, and amend them accordingly, to remove the possibility of watchkeepers being distracted by their mobile devices whilst engaged in the navigation of the vessel.
Members requiring further guidance are advised to contact the Loss Prevention department.