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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:04   #1 (permalink)

 
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Ship Horn Signals?

I live close to the sea and many ships park (anchor, stop?) close offshore whilst going in and out of the Thames...

I often hear 1 long blast of a ships' horn followed by 3 short ones...all times of day and night...what does this signify/mean if anything?
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:09   #2 (permalink)
 
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One toot to signal a turn to the left. Three toots to signal engines going astern or 'reverst thrust'.
Two toots signal the ship is turning to the right.

Isn't it nice of them to let everyone know what they are doing?
Even if it is 3am.
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:20   #3 (permalink)

Still behind the curtain
 
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Toots

That's an old maritime practice before ship-to-shore radios were invented. It's like the Morse coce, which I believe was dispatched last year, or the year before. Ah, but tradition lives.
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:26   #4 (permalink)

 
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my mate has just told me the long toot means 'caution about to move under own power' so together with the 3 toots 'going into reverse' this makes some sense as if pointing towards shore at anchor they would have to back out to leave anchorage due the shallows...

Makes sense...tks

PS. and you all beat Tony Draper...
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:31   #5 (permalink)
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I would have a look at the book

"prevention of collisions at sea" i think its a RYA book

Jinkster
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:33   #6 (permalink)
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Does this have any correlation with trains? We've got a level crossing down the road from us (not controlled by saftey boom-gates), and have heard varying degrees of horn signals. Or is it simple just how chirpy the driver is feeling?
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:35   #7 (permalink)
Uneasy Pleistocene Leftover
 
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My memory may be at fault, but the 1 long blast followed by 3 short ones doesn't ring a bell...?

It is true that 3 short blasts by themselves mean that the ship is operating astern propulsion. But that preceded with the 1 long blast, I don't know. Perhaps it is a special signal outside of the International Collision Avoidance Regulations, used only in some waters...?
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:39   #8 (permalink)
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Jerricho

Its how the driver is feeling.

He should sound one long high and low note.

If you are regularly troubled PM me and let me have crossing location and I will have matter sorted
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 20:40   #9 (permalink)

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Once upon a time, I knew some of these.

I vaguely recall that in the Thames, there's a special requirement to send one long blast before the "normal" signal. The ships that tied up at the jetty outside my office in Dagenham, aeons ago, used to go dah di di di di before they turned to park up.

One long and three short blasts in the non-Thames environment is the letter "B" and usually means "Please open the bridge for me". Did it a few weeks ago to get them to open the swing bridge into the river at Caernarfon.

I'm sure there's a website somewhere with all this wondrous information on it, but I have no idea where.
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 21:10   #10 (permalink)
Transparency International
 
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Rule34 ?
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 21:21   #11 (permalink)
Uneasy Pleistocene Leftover
 
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Rule 34?!

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a flash is just a flash.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

(Stand to be corrected by Drapes.... )
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 21:32   #12 (permalink)
 
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Can't remember to tell yers the truth, these newfangles steam ships go all sorts of strange signals, got me Ships Masters Companion 1904 edition about the place somewhere will have a look forrit tomorrow one simply cannot be harrased tonight,
PS The Ship Masters Companion is a book, not the galley boy.
Meanwhile here is a mystery for you, a little ditty from the same book.
If two lights you see ahead
Port your helm and show your red.

Don't make sense do it?
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 21:43   #13 (permalink)
Uneasy Pleistocene Leftover
 
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...port me helm, I'd be showing me green...??? Better then that I take to the sky, leaving those more knowledgeable to take care of things at sea level...! On condition that fuel level is OK to reach terre...
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 22:10   #14 (permalink)

Yes, Him
 
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Onboard HMS Manchester, English Channel, very foggy, about 0.darkthirty o 'clockish.

Jimmy comes to bridge, Middy on watch.

"Snotty, sound the 'horn".

"Sir, there is nothing on radar".

"Exactly Boy".

Seamanship.
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 22:18   #15 (permalink)
 
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One does seem to recal that one long continuous blast meant take to the life boats, abandon ship.
Always try and get the galley boy into your lifeboat,they were always fattened up for this purpose.
Thats the puzzle Mr airship, "Port your helm" meant turn to starboard,stems from the days when ships were steered with tillers,you want to go to Port you push the tiller to starboard and visa versa,that little ditty won Drapes a bet once.

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Old 8th Aug 2004, 22:24   #16 (permalink)
 
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Jerricho, three short and one long toot means a level crossing with lights but no barriers.

(I think)
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Old 8th Aug 2004, 22:26   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
If two lights you see ahead
Port your helm and show your red.
Indeed as explained by Drapes above, to ‘port your helm’ would turn the vessel to starboard. A common urban myth is that the movie Titanic had an error, insofar as the command ‘hard a starboard’ was given, but the ship turned to port.

In fact, even with helm steering, commands to helmsmen followed the tiller steering convention, until approximately 1937, when the commands were reversed. Thus, in 1912, a turn to port was done by instructing the helmsman: “Hard a starboard.”
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Old 9th Aug 2004, 08:42   #18 (permalink)

Yes, Him
 
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It'd be interesting to know how many prangs there were during the changeover period.
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Old 9th Aug 2004, 08:42   #19 (permalink)
 
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1 long + 3 short blasts
Made by the last vessel in a tow (usually immediately after signal made by towing vessel).

1 short blast
Altering course to starboard
2 short blasts
Altering course to port
3 short blasts
Engines going astern

To make amends for the Mrs McVittie posting
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Old 9th Aug 2004, 08:49   #20 (permalink)
 
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I seem to recall that 5 blasts means 'I am not under control', .....but then, I rarely am!
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