What to do in case of Gyro Failure

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Gyro Compass is a mechanical device. With time they tend to fail. If such failure happens during navigation, pilotage, entering or leaving a port or in TSS, then following steps to be taken to avoid incidents.

As per SOLAS Chp V, Regulation 19.2.5, A Gyro Compass or other means are required, to determine and display their heading by shipborne non-magnetic means

Actions to be taken in case of Gyro Failure

  • Inform Master.
  • Switch to over to Second Gyro Compass, If fitted.
  • Change over to Manual Steering with Magnetic Compass by applying the last calculated Compass Deviation value with Deviation curve and observation.
  • Calculate the course to steer by magnetic compass by taking into account the deviation last calculated and the variation from the chart.
  • Plot positions frequently to confirm course made good and accordingly allow correction to course steered. In coastal waters, make good use of parallel indexing techniques to keep the vessel on charted track.
  • Also, secure the course made good (CMG) by plotting GPS position and verify it with the Heading of Magnetic compass.
  • As there is Gyro failure in progress, consider the effect on other navigational and communication equipment with gyro heading feed like Radar/ ARPA and ECDIS and enter headings manually. The RADAR will automatically switch to the heads-up mode.
  • Switch on both the steering motors.
  • Notify the Engineer-on-Watch about the Gyro failure. Reduce speed or Stand By Engine if considered necessary.
  • If in the high-density traffic area, then as per master’s instructions inform the nearby traffic, if required.
  • Change the bridge watch level to a higher level.
  • Input Manual headings in ECDIS ( if only one Gyro is fitted and if the second Gyro fitted, change the feed to the second gyro).
  • Record the time (in GMT and LT) of gyro failure on the course recorder chart.
  • Inform Pilots at the next port, about Gyro Compass unavailability.
  • Note down the cause of the failure in Deck Log Book, if known.
  • Later, investigate the cause and master to inform the company. In the meantime, check the Instruction Manual for troubleshooting guide, if possible.

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