Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

It is recommended that correspondence be entered into with the maritime powers referred to, relative to carrying out the provisions of Resolution 6.

It is also earnestly recommended that a steam-vessel of about 800 tons displacement be built which shall be especially fitted for and adapted to the service of taking the ocean in bad weather for the purpose of blowing up or otherwise destroying wrecks and derelicts or bringing them into port. Such vessel to be built under the direction of and attached to the Navy Department, and that particular attention be paid to her strength and to the strength, size, and character of her boats, owing to the fact that the services of such vessel are required, principally, just after a storm, when the seas are still running high and when no ordinary boat could take the sea. Special design in the hiull is required on account of being subject to rough weather and heavy seas, and on account of having frequently to tow vessels submerged. For this latter reason extra fittings for towing should be added.

It is recommended that the provisions of Resolution 7 be included in the instructions furnished the diplomatic representatives of the United States.

It is also recommended that a suitable vessel be built and especially fitted for the purpose of searching for vigias and other doubtful dangers with a view of removing them from the charts.

GENERAL DIVISION 11.

Notice of dangers to navigation.

NOTICE

DAY AND

OF CHANGES IN LIGHTS, BUOYS, AND OTHER

NIGHT MARKS.

(a) A uniform method of taking bearings, of designating them

(whether true or magnetic), and of reporting them. (1) A uniform method of reporting, indicating, and exchanging in

formation by the several maritime nations, to include the

form of notices to mariners. (c) A uniform method of distributing this information. Under this general division the Conference approved of the following:

- All notices of changes in lights, beacons, buoys, and other day and night marks require not only to be brought to the notice of the public of that country in whose waters these changes have taken place, but also to all other maritime nations, so that the authorities may be enabled to impart information for the benefit of their own sea-faring popnlation.

“This is usually done by publications to which the generic title of · Notices to mariners' has been applied. They are either issued whenever occasion demands it, or at regular intervals, with an extra edition when necessary.

“They may further be divided into (a) those published by the de. partment of naval affairs of the different countries, or under its direction by the hydrographer; (b) those published by the authorities, central, provincial, colonial, or local, in charge of the light-houses, beacons, and buoys.

The publications mentioned under (a) are intended for the use of the mariner only, and the Conference do not consider it advisable to insist on any change regarding form or arrangement of Notices to mariners.'

“What has been said regarding the publications mentioned under (a) is true, as well regarding those mentioned under (6). These • Notices to mariners' are mainly intended for internal and local use in each country, and supply information not to mariners only, but to local ofticials, such as light-bouse keepers, inspectors of buoys, and others; and, considering that they are published for very different objects, and to be used by men of very different classes and occupations, the Conference do not consider it feasible to insist upon uniformity in matters of detail."

(a) A uniform method of taking bearings, of designating them (whether true

or magnetic) and of reporting them. Taking bearings.-In all countries, as far as we know, except Italy and Norway, the custom prevails that all bearings in “ Notices to mari. ners,' and in light lists,' in order to locate a danger or to determine the limits of a light-sector, are given from seaward, that is from the danger indicated toward the fixed objects by which its position is deter. mined, or from the outer limit of visibility of a light towards the lighthouse.

“This mode of taking bearings has the advantage that it is in agreement with the mode in which they are used by the mariner, and the Conference recommend that the resolution in this behalf appended to the report be adopted with a view to this custom being made universal.

“The adoption of a uniform method of designating bearings, whether true or magnetic, offers the advantage that bearings given in the publications of any country can be transferred verbatim to similar publications issued in any other country without the necessity for any altera. tion or calculation. This is of importance in preparing publications the value of which depends in no small degree on the possibility of issuing them immediately after any changes have been made which require to be notified to mariners.

“All the evidence, however, which has been laid before the Conference, tends unmistakably to the conclusion that it would be inexpedient for any country suddenly to adopt a new system of designating bearings in the place of one which has been sanctioned by the custom of many years, and has become an essential part of the system of navigation generally adopted and taught in the nautical schools of the various countries.

“ It has also to be borne in mind, that such a change concerns not only experts and scientific men, who can easily understand and adapt a new system to their requirements, but, in a vast majority of cases, it would affect seamen whose knowledge of matters regarding navigation is inseparably connected with the methods with which they have been familiar all their lives, and to whom any change of the kind indicated would be confusing and dangerous.

“For these reasons the Conference do not propose the adoption of a uniform method of designating bearings by giving them either true or magnetic.

"Uniformity might have been attained in another way, i. e., by giving bearings both true and magnetic. It was shown, however, that the advantages of such a plan would be more than counterbalanced by a large increase in the bulk of the text, and by the possibility of errors amongst seafaring men unaccustomed to any but a single system, and wbo might mistake one set of bearings for another when read in a hurry.

“ Having regard to these difficulties the Conference do not propose to advise any action in this matter in the direction of uniformity beyond recommending that iu all • Notices to Mariners' and • Light Lists? intended for exchange with other nations, whenever trae or magnetic bearings are given, the variation shall be inserted.

“It seems that in the majority of maritime nations the custom prevails that all bearings are given in degrees. This has the advantage that if the variation, which is always expressed in degrees, has to be applied in order that the bearings be entered on a chart, or when the variation bas to be corrected for time elapsed since the date when it was determined, the result is more accurate than if the bearings were expressed in points.

“On the other hand, it has to be borne in mind that the • Notices to Mariners' and Light Lists,' which are most universally used, retain the custom of giving bearings in points and fractions thereof.

“After a full discussion of this large and intricate question, the Conference decided to adopt the following resolution :

“ That the bearings for cuts of different colored sectors of lights, or of bearings of lights defining a narrow channel, should be expressed in degrees where practicable.

"Counting the degrees.—The custom adopted universally in geodesy is that of counting the degrees, from the north to the right (or with the sun) beginning with 0 to 360 degrees. In one country the steering compasses are also so marked ; and directions with reference to the course of the vessel are so expressed. This method offers certain advantages, but it is contrary to the custom of the large majority of mariners, and on this account the Conference propose that the number of degrees used in designating bearings should be counted from north and south to east and west, beginning with 0 and ending with 90 degrees.

“ North and south are universally designated by the letters N and S. But east is in some countries designated by the letter O, and west in others also by the same letter-0. In order to make these designations uniform the Conference propose that all countries adopt, for use in the publications under consideration, the letter E to designate east and the letter W to designate west, in uniformity with the rules adopted already for publications of meteorological offices.

Designating distances. The Conference advise that:

“ Distances should be expressed in nautical miles and fractions thereof.

“ The word “cable’ should mean the tenth part of a nautical mile."

(b) A uniform method of reporting, indicating, and exchanging informa

tion by the several maritime nations, to include the form of notices to mariners.

REPORTING DANGERS TO NAVIGATION, CHANGE OF LIGHTS, ETC.

“Reports of dangers discovered should be made as promptly and accurately as possibly, and should be addressed to the proper authorities. This bas been pointed out already under General Division 10.

INDICATING DANGERS, CHANGES OF LIGHTS, ETC.

"Several countries refer the longitude given in the publications under consideration to a prime meridian, whose difference from the meridians of Greenwich or Paris, on which most charts in use by marivers are constructed, may be unknown to a sailor. In such a case, though he may have become acquainted with the fact of the discovery of a danger, the establishment of a light-house, etc., he may be unable to enter such information with sufficient correctness on his chart.

“The Conference, therefore, propose that in all notices which refer to any other prime meridian but that of Greenwich or of Paris, the difference in longitude between such meridians should be inserted.

" The visibility of a light is given in different ways. In some countries the number of miles given refer to the visibility of light in clear weather or in ordinary weather; in others, the visibility refers to a mean state of the atmosphere, i. e., one which may be expected at that particular locality in 50 cases out of 100. The Conference had not sufficient evidence before them to decide as to the advantages of the two plans for general adoption; they, however, consider it desirable to bring the subject before the Conference in order that the attention of the different maritime powers should be called to it.

“ In some •Light Lists' the geographical range of a light is given, i.e., the distance resulting from the height of a light above high water, in connection with the curvature of the earth, together with or without the additional distance calculated for an observer supposed to be elevated above the sea at a certain height; in other • Light Lists' the actual visibility of a light is given without any regard to the height of the light or the elevation of the observer; in some publications the lesser of the two distances is given, and in other cases both together.

" Each of these methods offers some advantage, and it seems inex. pedient, at the present moment, to propose uniformity in this respect.

"It appears advisable, however, to adopt a standard height for the observer wherever the geographical range of a light is given in Light Lists' or in Notices.'

“ The Conference, therefore, propose that the height of 5 meters be generally adopted in all countries where the metric system is in use, and that in other countries, where this is not the case, the height taken should be 15 feet of the measure of the country. This height seems to the Conference the best suited to the present requirements of navigation. The difference between these measures is of no practical importance.

6. The lights of light-houses are classified at present in Orders,' according to the size of the lantern or, if dioptric, according to the diameter of the apparatus, though, in this respect, there exists considerable difference.

“ Since the introduction of the electric lights this classification has become inaccurate, and, from a seaman's point of view, inisleading, for under its rules a third order electric light generally is much more pow. erful than a first order oil or gas light. Uniformity in this respect is desirable, and the Conference, therefore, propose that the several maritime powers interested should be requested to consider the question in order to establish, if possible, a uniform classification of lights on the basis of the power of the light as seen by the mariner. At the same time it would be desirable to bring about a uniform classification as regards their character.

EXCHANGING INFORMATION BY THE SEVERAL MARITIME NATIONS.

6

" It has become the custom for the hydrographic offices of the different maritime countries, with few exceptions, to ask for any information regarding their publications (Notices to Mariners, Light Lists, • Cbarts,' • Sailing Directions,') by direct application to the hydrographic offices of other countries, and to give such information in the same way.

“It is not easy to see how this information could be so speedily and conveniently given in any other way. But the Conference are not aware that this usage has ever been sanctioned by the proper authorities. They have on this account thought it well to call the attention of the Governments to this fact, and they submit that permission to exchange information regarding these publications direct, without the intervention of the foreign offices, should be granted to all central hydrographic offices in the home countries as well as those in the provinces, colonies, and dominions, and also to those central offices which administer the lighthouses, beacons, and buoys of a country, and which publish such information.

“Some maritime powers are without any special hydrographic de. partment. In such cases it would be well to designate some other office, for instance that of barbor master of their principal ports, who could be addressed if occasion occurs.

“ In some countries the “ Notices to Mariners' are published only in newspapers. It would be well if such notices were sent to the different hydrographic offices of the world.

“ Contemplated changes in lights and buoys should be brought to public notice, if convenient, before the date on which such change is proposed to be made.

« The information contained in Notices to Maripers' is now brought to the knowledge of the sea-faring population by sending copies of the same to the different shipping offices and consulates, and to captains of the navy, and to masters of the merchant fleet. The Conference bave no evidence before them which points to the fact that the measures taken by each country do not fully satisfy the requirements of those interested.

“The Conference invite the several maritime powers to consider the following resolutions with a view to establishing uniformity in the sub. jects treated in · Notices to Mariners' and 'Light Lists':

"1. That all bearings should be given from seaward.

662. That the bearings of cuts of different colored sectors of lights or hearings of lights defining a narrow channel should be expressed in degrees where practicable.

"3. That all bearings expressed in degrees should count from north and south, from 00 to 900 towards cast and west.

[ocr errors]

6

« ForrigeFortsett »