Navigating a way through challenging course

After several months of training, two leading seamen in Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Inscription have qualified to undertake officer-of-the-watch duties, and drive the ship.

CAPTION: Leading Seaman Benyam Gormiesa conducts ship-handling exercises under the watch of Lieutenant Mollie Burns in ADV Cape Inscription. Story by Lieutenant Commander Jessica O’Brien.

Leading Seaman Erica Fish and Leading Seaman Benyam Gormiesa were awarded their Limited Navigation Watchkeeping Certificates (LNWC) after completing training in challenging environments.

Leading Seaman Gormiesa conducted duties as officer of the watch in the navigationally confined areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.

“The Torres Strait is navigationally challenging – there are numerous reefs to be aware of and the tidal system is complex,” Leading Seaman Gormiesa said.

“Daily, we exercised breakdowns or conducted ship-handling manoeuvres while executing our operational commitments.

“I understand I have a high level of responsibility when conducting my duties as an officer of the watch, but I enjoy the challenge.

“Achieving my LNWC is a career highlight.”

CAPTION: Lieutenant Mollie Burns, left, and Leading Seaman Erica Fish conduct ship-handling exercises in ADV Cape Inscription off the coast of North Queensland.

Navigating officer Lieutenant Mollie Burns developed a dynamic training plan for sailors who sought a LNWC.

“Leading Seaman Fish and Leading Seaman Gormiesa have worked hard to consolidate their watchkeeping skills in navigationally and operationally demanding environments,” Lieutenant Burns said.

“They have demonstrated they can safely execute a navigation plan and can react to any emergency.

“I look forward to their continued professional development as an officer of the watch in Cape Inscription.”

Sailors serving in minor war vessels are given the opportunity to undertake the Limited Navigation Theory Course, which was formerly the Small Ships Navigation Course, as part of their training.

The course is designed to prepare sailors to navigate a ship in both coastal and pilotage waters and to perform the role of officer of the watch in a minor war vessel at sea.

Sailors who complete the course are endorsed locally by a commanding officer who provides the authority for these members to take charge of a limited navigational watch by day and night while the ship is underway by itself.

The Limited Navigation Theory Course is open to all sailors interested in receiving the qualification and there are numerous sea-going positions in all classes of surface vessels to receive an endorsement.





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