Navigation and Allision Avoidance

A word seldom used among boaters and is of great significance. The definition of Allision is; A collision between a moving vessel and a stationary object. Even more of a risk sometimes than a collision involving another moving object on the water. The main cause of this type of incident, based on my past observations and review of accident investigations, is lack of navigation ability and the resulting diminished situational awareness.

Chapter 25 for previous versions, now Chapter 27 in the latest release of Bowditch The American Practical Navigator describes the processes and requirements to successfully operate as an Officer in Charge of the Navigational Watch, aka OICNW. Bridge Resource Management is another qualification standard and syllabus to satisfactorily complete in order to undertake this important responsibility.

Operating a watercraft, regardless of the size and location, demands attention to detail and knowing where you are at all times. Not only do you have to comply with that mandate, you must also utilize other forms of navigation to derive at the correct decision and compliance. All of this sounds extremely difficult, almost too much to effectively accomplish. Actual experience is the best teacher of this skill and something that needs to be taken very seriously when it comes time to safely control the vessel. Partial knowledge sometimes produces undesirable results. In the development of this crucial capability it is imperative that you be mentored by an experienced mariner or licensed professional and not learn solely from trial and error. The only substitute for this actual on the water training is through realistic Virtual Reality found with Full Mission Simulators and even Desk-Top versions of the platform. VR, in fact, produces a much more profound and valuable benefit by reducing risk when it comes to Error Trapping. That is the key to learning from mistakes and improving in the art of navigation. It all comes down to one undeniable truth of maritime education, and the substantive need to overcome by proper methods of learning;

...You don't know what you don't know

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