RSV 421's Navigation Lights
On the 24th day of its journey to the Bulgarian Antarctic base on Livingstone Island, the Bulgarian military research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) is keeping a south-southwest course across the Atlantic Ocean to the second stop on its voyage - Mar del Plata in Argentina, where it is expected to arrive in early February.
International rules for preventing collisions at sea require every ship to be marked with navigation lights of different colours to provide information on its condition and direction of travel. RSV 421 is no exception. "When the sun goes down, we are required by the Maritime Collision Avoidance Regulations to turn on our running lights. For our ship's specifications and parameters, we run one green light on starboard, one red light on port, one masthead light (white) and one stern light (also white)," the ship's Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Radko Muevski, told BTA.
"When at anchor, another light is started - an anchor light, and with it all the deck lighting, so that the ship can be as illuminated and visible as possible," he noted. At sunrise, the navigation lights stop until the next sunset. They are switched on and off from a panel on the bridge, Lieutenant Commander Muevski said, adding that the ship has a back up one.
At sunrise, the navigation lights stop until the next sunset. They are switched on and off from a panel on the bridge, he said, adding that the ship has a backup as well.
The masthead light is usually located at the top of the mast. It should spread a continuous beam of light along the horizon in a perimeter of 225° in the direction of the bow. The stern running light shall be positioned as close to the stern of the vessel as possible, but in a position from which it can project a continuous beam of light across the horizon at a range of 135° aft. The side lights, green to starboard and red to port, shall provide a continuous beam of 112,5° to each side.
When the vessel is over 50 metres in length, as RSV 421, at night its masthead light should be visible from a minimum distance of 6 nautical miles, while the other lights should be visible from a minimum distance of 3 miles.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back, and will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.