Worse than you thought: inside the secret Fitzgerald probe the Navy doesn’t want you to read

Navy ships are far from soundproof - I can’t recommend the danger signal enough. In fact many ships leave their bridge wing doors open specifically for hearing sound signals, save for particularly nasty weather conditions. BTB would be my first choice, as it is monitored both on the bridge and in CIC. “Navy warship you are standing into danger” in a loud voice is going to get a lot of attention.

In an earlier post I mentioned external mic(s) to enable the OOW to hear sound signal from within a fully enclosed bridge. Here is the ISO standard for such equipment:

From the above:

Such equipment is available from several suppliers, such as Kongsberg:


Dutch rules for such equipment:

This. When things are about to go that wrong, you press all of the buttons. I’m not saying it’s the first or most effective thing to do, but somewhere down your list of many things to try to keep this from happening, there’s the 5+ short.

I actually find sound signals in general to be extremely useful, and can attest to their effectiveness, but that’s starting to stray from the subject at hand. Also, with all that being said, I carry a handsome dent on my port bow from a 26’ motor boat whose driver swore he didn’t hear my (rather loud) horn, so there’s that…


Given the size and speed of ships today has increased while the range of the signal has remained the same the effectiveness of the danger signal is probably less then in days past. But the signal retains it’s status in COLREGS.

As a result the signal’s use / non-use is going to have an outsize legal impact compared to it’s effectiveness. It’s usefulness may only be a vestige of it’s former self but even if it’s a one shot in a thousand it has still has not been rendered worthless.

Inland waters I’ve seen it used to good effect many times. Less so in open sea.


OK. Where are the lookouts on this Navy vessel? No bridge wings.

Where are the lights?

Lights?? This ship is so stealthy that they don’t even have them.