Methods of giving a position
Which method to use:
1. Latitude and Longitude:
- when clear of land, when near a clear coast
- when geographical names may be confusing
Example: 30° 50' N 018° 25' 02 E
Position: Latitude: three-zero degrees five-zero minutes North;
Longitude: zero-one-eight degrees two-five decimal zero-two minutes East.
2. Bearing and Distance:
- when near land or sea mark
- when there is a possibility of charts with different datums being used
Notice that the correct order is bearing from…distance…
My position is: bearing: one-niner-four degrees true from Cape Fantasia, distance one two
decimal four miles.
Oil clearance operations in position: bearing 160° [one-six-zero] degrees from Barwater Pier
distance four miles (160°; 4 nautical miles).
3. Reference to a Navigation Mark
- when approaching ports or harbours
Example: Position: I am approaching / passing / leaving Harmaja lighthouse.
Using Cardinal Points / North, South, East, West, also Northeast, Southwest etc., example:
Oil clearance operations east of fairway at Helsinki Ligthouse.
4. By Reporting Points
- in areas where reporting points have been marked on the charts
Example: I am approaching reporting point number 2.
NOTE: In a distress, safety or urgency situation the position is always to be transmitted in
the form in which it was observed!
NOTE: Bearings and courses are always given in three figures:
Pilot boat is bearing 215° (T) from you.
Buoy 030° on your port bow.
[Pilot boat is bearing two-one-five degrees true from you.]
[Buoy zero-three-zero degrees on your port bow.]
NOTE: Rudder angles in steering orders are given as follows.
Starboard 15! (fifteen, NOT five-one)
Port 20! (twenty)

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