What is the Procedure for Shifting Auto to Emergency Steering System?

Written by Amit Sharma

An emergency steering system, as the name suggests, is a system which is used during the failure of the main steering system of the ship. The article explains as to what exactly is the steering system and what the procedure for starting the emergency steering system is.

Procedure for Emergency steering Operation

The following points should be followed for emergency steering operation.

  • The procedure and diagram for operating emergency steering should be displayed in steering gear room and bridge.
  • Even in emergency situation we cannot turn the massive rudder by hand or any other means, and that’s why a hydraulic motor is given a supply from the emergency generator directly through emergency switch board (SOLAS regulation). It should also be displayed in the steering room.
  • Ensure a clear communication for emergency operation via VHF or ships telephone system.
  • Normally a switch is given in the power supply panel of steering gear for tele motor; switch off the supply from the panel.
  • Change the mode of operation by selecting the switch for the motor which is supplied emergency power.

Steering gears with Push Pins:

  • A Push Pin is provided which controls the flow of oil to the rams with a rudder angle indicator.
  • According to steering order, push the mechanical push pin from stbd. or port steering at the end of the solenoid valve and keep an eye on the rudder angle indicator.

Steering gears with Helms Wheel:

  • There is a safety pin at the manual operation helms wheel so that during normal operation the manual operation always remains in cut-off mode. Remove that pin.
  • A helms wheel is provided which controls the flow of oil to the rams with a rudder angle indicator. Wheel can be turned clockwise or anti clockwise for going port or starboard or vice versa.
  • If there is a power failure, through sound power telephone receive orders from the bridge for the rudder angle. As soon as you get the orders, turn the wheel and check the rudder angle indicator.
  • A routine check should always be done for proper working of manual emergency system and steering gear system. An emergency steering drill should be carried out every month (prescribed duration – 3 months) in the steering gear room with proper communication with bridge to train all the ship’s staff for proper operation of the system so that in emergency situation ships control can be regained as soon as possible, avoiding collision or grounding.


About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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