What To Do In Case Of Gyro Compass Failure: Step By Step

gyro compass failure

Imagine you are the officer of the watch (OOW), vessel is making way towards its destination and suddenly there is gyro compass failure.You will get a lot of alarms on the bridge. As a human, one is certainly going to panic in such a situation. Wonder what to do if such a situation ever arise?

In such a situation, we must follow our company checklist but there are certain general steps which can be taken as universal, let us have a look at them.

Steps To Be Taken In Case Of Gyro Compass Failure


  • Switch to second gyro (If fitted).

  • Switch to Manual Steering.

  • If the Helmsman (Duty AB) is not on the Bridge, call him immediately without any delays.

  • Notify the Master.

  • Calculate the course to steer by magnetic compass by taking into account the deviation last calculated and the variation from the chart.

  • Notify the engineer on watch.

  • Switch on both the steering motors.

  • Stand By of Main Engine (If required for the speed reduction).

  • If in high density traffic area then as per master’s instructions inform the nearby traffic (if required).

  • Change bridge watch level to higher level.

  • Keep in mind that Radar will automatically switch to head-up mode.

  • Input Manual heading in ECDIS ( if only one Gyro is fitted and if second Gyro fitted, change the feed to second gyro).

  • Record time of gyro failure on course recorder chart.

  • Note down the cause of the failure, if known.

  • Make an entry into the log.

  • Later, investigate the cause and master to inform the company.

Related: Shallow Water And Shallow Water Effects On Ship?

This question can also be asked during competency exam orals. We hope it will be helpful for you. Did we missed anything? Feel free to add any point in the comment section which you think must be on the list, we will be glad to hear from you and include them in the list.



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