or cotton waste saturated with it may be carried in the conical
end of the drogue, or in an oil bag made fast near the drogue.
The container should be pricked with a roping needle to permit
the oil to escape.
THE DROGUE, OB DEAG.
245. (1) Purpose of. The drogue, or drag, is used to check
a boat's way and keep her end-on to the sea. When running
before a heavy sea or landing through a dangerous surf it will
prove of the greatest assistance. If caught in a gale in an
open boat the drogue may be used as a sea anchor to keep the
boat head-on to the sea. In such cases, if there is oil in the
boat, secure a bag of it to the drogue.
(2) Description. Drogues furnished Coast Guard stations
shall be of two sizes ; the larger for use in power lifeboats and
the smaller for use in surfboats, as follows :
a. Large-sized drogue. To be of No. 5 cotton canvas, cone
shaped, 24 inches in diameter at the mouth, 4 feet long, evenly
tapered to a point, the cone to be in four equal sections joined
by round seams, the sewing to be on the inside. Around the
inside of the mouth shall be a 1-inch tabling, hand sewed, and
roped with 1^-inch manila. Two bails of 1-inch inanila rope
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 65
shall be roped on to the four seams of the drogue, passing the
whole length of the drogue and crossing each other 2 feet be-
yond the mouth, where they will be seized into a galvanized
thimble with a f-inch opening. Both bails shall pass continu-
ously around the drogue, and into the bight of the outer bail
there shall be seized close to the apex a galvanized-iron thimble
with i-inch opening. The ends of the lines forming the bails
shall be spliced with a long splice. A holding line of 1^-inch
manila, 10 fathoms long, shall be spliced into the bail thimble
at the mouth, and a tripping line of 12-thread manila, 15
fathoms long, shall be spliced into the bottom thimble, the ends
of the lines securely whipped.
b. Small-sized drogue. To be of No. 6 cotton canvas, cone
shaped, 15 inches in diameter at the mouth, 30 inches long, and
fitted in all respects as prescribed for the large-sized drogue.
c. The drogue-holding rope should be marked with a red
rag tucked through the lay at the point where it is belayed.
246. Use of the drogue. (1) When the drogue is used over
the stern, No. 1 tends the drogue lines. Care shall be taken
that the holding and the tripping lines do not foul each, other.
(2) To check the headway of the boat, No. 1 sees the lines
clear and throws the drogue over when directed by the officer
(being careful that the lines do not foul the propeller when
used in a motor boat). Slack out the holding line to the de-
sired length and take a turn with it to a cleat on the star-
board side as near the sternpost as possible (in lifeboats
make the line fast to the starboard bollard just forward of the
after end box). Slack out the tripping line at the same time
as the holding line, keeping it free from strain, and make fast
the tripping line forward of the holding line. The ends of
both the holding and the tripping lines must be secured to the
boat to prevent the outer end from being run out.
(3) If headway is desired, slack out on the holding line until
the. tripping line, which is secured forward of the holding line,
capsizes and empties the drogue, towing it apex forward.
Conversely, when it is desired to check headway when the
drogue is being towed by the tripping line, slack out on trip-
ping line until the drogue is capsized and towed mouth forward
by the holding line.
(4) Before entering a dangerous surf the drogue should be
dropped overboard and towed with the apex forward, the
34079 21 -5
66 INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS.
tripping line being belayed on its bight. Should it become nec-
essary to check the headway, throw off the bight of the trip-
(5) If the drogue is used over the bo-w, it shall be handled in
a similar manner, No. 7 putting the drogue over and tending
247. Boat sail bent to a yard used as a drogue. A boat sail
bent to a yard, loosed and towed astern, the yard being at-
tached to a line capable of being veered, hauled, or let go, will
net in some measure as a drogue, and will tend much to break
the force of the sea immediately astern of the boat.
BOARDING A VESSEL STRANDED OR AFLOAT IN A HEAVY SEA.
251. (1) Whenever practicable, a vessel, whether stranded or
afloat, should be boarded from to leeward, as the principal
danger is that the boat may collide against the vessel or be
swamped or upset by the rebound of the sea, and the greater
violence of the sea on the weather side of the vessel renders
such accidents more liable to occur on that side. The danger
will be still further increased when the vessel is aground and
the sea breaking over her.
(2) If a stranded vessel is broadside to the s^a, the chief
danger in boarding to leeward is the possible falling of the
masts, or that the boat may be stove by the wreckage along-
side. Under such circumstances it may be necessary to take a
wrecked crew into a lifeboat from the bow or stern of the
wreck. In boarding a wreck that is stranded on a flat shore,
lifeboats usually anchor to windward with a long scope of cable,
so that the boat will drift either under the bow or stern, whioh-
<-\er point is advisable, taking care that the boat does not come
abreast of the hull by using all the oars except the two after
ones, whose men will send a good line on board the wreck with
a heaving stick for use of the wrecked people as a traveler, or
to be tied around their bodies before jumping overboard. The
greatest care, under these circumstances, must be taken to
prevent actual contact between the boat and the ship, and the
crew of the latter sometimes have to jump overboard and to be
hauled to the boat by ropes. The greatest danger is in the
anchor dragging or the cable breaking ; to avoid this the strain
must be relieved as much as possible by use of the oars.
(3) In every case of boarding a wreck or a vessel at sea it is
important that the lines by which the boat is made fast to the
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 67
vessel should be of sufficient length to allow of her rising and
falling freely with the sea, and every rope should be kept in
hand ready to cut or slip in a moment if necessary. On
wrecked persons or other passengers being taken into a boat in
a seaway they should be placed on the thwarts in equal num-
bers on either side and be made to sit down. All crowding or
rushing headlong into the boat should be prevented, as far as
possible, and the captain of a ship, if a wreck, should be called
on to remain on board to preserve order until every other person
has left her.
RESCUING PEOPLE FROM A DKIFTJNG WRECK AT SEA.
254. (1) In rescuing people from a drifting wreck, approach
from leeward, taking care to avoid wreckage floating alongside.
(2) If there is much wind and the sea is breaking over the
wreck, it is advisable to send a good line on board, using the
heaving stick. Have the people secure the line around their
bodies and jump overboard, one at a time. The boat's crew will
haul them into the boat as rapidly as possible.
(3) Should it become necessary to go alongside, head bow-on
for the lee side of the wreck, selecting an unobstructed part.
Boat the bow oars and have the other men Face about, to keep
the boat from touching the wreck. One bowman will use his
boat hook to keep the boat clear, while the other man will
assist the people into the boat.
(4) An exception to the rule of boarding a vessel to leeward
is a vessel with a low freeboard, with booms, etc., over the side.
Such vessels should be boarded on the weather quarter, the
boat's crew being in the same positions as prescribed in para-
graph 3 of this article.
SOUND SIGNALS FOK A FOG.
261. (1) In fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rainstorms,
whether by day or night, a power boat makes the following
signals at intervals of not more than one minute :
a. If underway and not towing or being towed, a prolonged
blast of two or more seconds on the whistle or fog horn.
b. If underway and towing, three blasts in succession on the
whistle or fog horn, namely, one prolonged blast followed by
two short blasts.
c. If at anchor, ringing of the bell for about five seconds.
68 INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS.
(2) A power boat is underway within the meaning of these
rules when she is not anchored or made fast to the shore or a
ship, or aground.
SPEED IN FOG.
202. Boats shall, in a fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rain-
storm, go nt moderate speed.
STEERING AND SAILING HTJLES.
263. (1) When two .boats under sail are approaching one
another so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep
out of the way of the other, as follows :
a. A boat which is running free shall keep out of the way of
a boat which is? close-hauled.
b. A boat which is close-hauled on the port tack shall keep
out of the way of a boat which is close-hauled on the starboard
c. When both are running free, with the wind on different
sides, the boat which has the wind on the port side shall keep
out of the way of the other.
d. When both are running free, with the wind on the same
side, the boat which is to windward shall keep out of the way
of the boat which is to leeward.
e. A boat which has the wind aft shall keep out of the way
of other boats.
(2) When two boats under power or oars are meeting end-
on, or nearly end-on, so as to involve risk of collision, each shall
alter her course to starboard so that each may pass on the port
side of the other.
(3) When two boats under power or oars are crossing so as
to involve risk of collision, the boat which has the other on her
own starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other.
(4) When a boat under power or oars and a boat under
sail are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of
collision, the boat under power or oars shall keep out of the
way of the boat under sail.
(5) Where by any of these rules one of the two boats is to
keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and
(6) Every boat which is directed by these rules to keep out
of the way of another boat shall, if the circumstances of the
case admit, avoid passing ahead of the other.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 69
(7) Every boat under power which is directed by these
rules to keep out of the way of another boat shall, on approach-
ing her, if necessary, slacken her speed or stop or reverse.
(8) Every boat, whether under power, oars, or sail, when
overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the over-
(9) Any boat under power approaching another which is in
sight of her shall indicate what course she intends to take
by the following signals on her whistle :
a. One short blast to mean " I am directing my course to
&. Two short blasts to mean " I am directing my course to
c. Three short blasts to mean " My engines are going at full
d. The words "short blast" to mean a blast of about one
(10) In a narrow channel every boat under power or oars
shall, when it is safe and- practicable, keep to that side of
the fairway or mid-channel which lies on the starboard side
of such boat.
(11) Whenever a boat under power is nearing a short bend
or curve in a river or harbor she should give a long blast on
the steam whistle.
(12) Due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation
and collision and to any special circumstances which may
render a departure from the above rules necessary in order
to avoid immediate danger.
271. The United States Coast Guard Signal System com-
prises the Semaphore Code, the Dot and Dash Code, and the
272. In communicating between units of the Coast Guard
or with units of the United States Navy the following methods
of signaling are employed:
Wigwag (day and night signals). Dot and Dash Code.
Plashing light (night). Dot and Dash Code.
Semaphore (day). Semaphore Code.
Flag signals (day). International Code.
70 INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS.
273. In communicating between units of the Coast Guard
and merchant vessels the International Code and such other
of the codes named in the preceding article as meet the needs of
the case may be used. Call letters shall be used only between
units of the Coast Guard.
275. The International Morse Code shall be used in communi-
cating by wigwag and flashing light methods.
276. A signal drill shall be either a recitation or a practice,
or both. A recitation shall embrace the questions and answers
on the wigwag, flashing light, and semaphore methods, in the
appendix of this pamphlet, as well as practice with wands or
small flags indoors.
277. Practice drills in wigwag and in semaphore shall be held
with the regulation flags, and out of doors, the men being paired
off beyond ordinary hearing distance of each other. Each man
shall be required to send to and receive from the other -a col-
lection of words containing all the letters of the alphabet pre-
pared by the officer in charge. The necessary communications
between sender and receiver will be carried on by means of
procedure signs, and no conversation will be permitted. Each
man will be provided with a pencil and paper for recording the
words sent to him, which record he shall hand to the officer at
the end of the practice. The officer shall compare each record
with the words sent. Practice in flashing light shall be held
twice each week. In using the practice set care shall be taken
that the men do not rely on the ear instead of the eye in read-
ing. To prevent this the person reading should be out of hear-
ing of the " click " of the instrument. Officers interested in the
proficiency of their crews will find means of accomplishing this.
When practicing with the large flashing light set at short dis-
tances, the insertion of a dark substance, such as a piece of
emery paper, between the bulb and the reflector has been found
effective in overcoming the blinding glare of the reflector. This
substance is not to be used when signaling to any distance and
must be removed from the box immediately the practice drill
278. The crew shall become proflcient in wigwag, semaphore,
and flashing light signaling. Members of the crew who are not
proficient in these different methods shall be required to prac-
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 71
tice each day except Saturday and Sunday. Those who do not
learn after a reasonable time shall be reported as deficient.
279. The tests for proficiency and expertness in the wigwag,
semaphore, and flashing-light methods shall be conducted with
three men, namely, a sender, a receiver, and a recorder. The
receiver shall receive and call out the meanings of the signals
sent and the recorder shall record them. Test messages for
determining proficiency and expertness in these methods shall
consist of not less than 17 words averaging 5 letters each and of
3 numbers averaging 5 figures each, except in the semaphore test,
which shall consist of not less than 20 words averaging 5 letters
each. Every test message shall contain all the letters of the
alphabet and, when numbers are included, all the figures be-
tween and 9. Each figure in a message shall be counted as
a letter. No person shall be considered as proficient or expert
in these methods unless he can also send correctly at the
requisite speed. (See arts. 297, 304, and 314.)
280. No drill, except a drill in night signals, shall be re-
garded as practice, or recorded in the log as such, unless it be
held out of doors with regulation flags. All other exercises in
signals shall be recorded in the log as recitations.
281. All messages, except in regular signal drill, should be
recorded by a second signalman, or other person, as the words
or characters are called out by the person receiving the signal.
This rule is general.
282. A message in which a few words have been lost should
never be guessed at. If only a part of a word has been under-
stood, the proper " repeat " sign should be made immediately.
The receiver should not wait until the message is complete and
then depend on guessing the part lost. If the message is not
perfectly clear, or if the receiver thinks he may have" made a
mistake, he should make the proper " repeat " sign after the
last word he is sure of. It will seldom be necessary to repeat
the whole message if this rule is observed ; but if the receiver
fails to " break " the sender immediately after losing a part of
the message he will cause the sender unnecessary signaling.
283. In all signaling skill and rapidity must always be re-
garded as secondary to accuracy, though after accuracy has
been attained the relative skill of signalmen is shown by the
rapidity with which they can accurately receive messages.
72 INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS.
THE DOT AND DASH CODE.
285. The Dot and Dash Code comprises the alphabet and
numerals of the International Morse Code, together with certain
additional procedure signs, as follows:
F . . .
Z ___. .
R . .
2 . .
Full stop sign__ AAA made as one si
Finale sign AR made as one sign (.-_._.)
Finish sign ,VA made as one sign (. . . . ).
Erase sign E made separately about 10 times
Group sign GR made separately ( . . .).
Break sign II made separately (. . . .}.
Repeat sign .JMI made as one sign (. . . .)
Repeat all before (word
or group) IMI AB (word or group).
Repeat from (word or
group) to (word or
group) (Word or group) II IMI II (word or
Repeat all after (word
or group) IMI AA (word or group).
Repeat word after JMI WA (word) AR.
Repeat all before group
No, ___JMI AB (No.)r
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 73
Repeat from group No.
- .to group No. (No.) II IMI II (No.).
Repeat all after group
No. IMI A A (No.).
Repeat group No. IMI GR (No.).
Repeat group No.
and group No. IMI GR (No.) II GR (No.).
Interrogatory sign INT made as one sign (. . . ).
sign IX made as one sign (. . . . ).
Executive sign .Flash (10 sec.).
Time of receipt sign TOR made separately (
Unofficial sign UN made separately (. . .)
Received sign R ( ),
Word after sign WA made separately ( ._).
291. Wigwag employs the International Morse Alphabet,
numerals and special Morse signs. A motion through an arc
of 90 to the sender's right represents a " dot," and a similar
motion to the left a " dash." The
only signs peculiar to wigwag are: ^ - - j-
(a) .The "attention" sign, i. e.,
the flag waved back and forward
(b) The "break" sign, i. e., a
motion to the front.
292. A hand flag, a hand light, or
a searchlight beam is used. The
sender should face the receiver
squarely. The motions for the dot
and dash should be made at right
angles to the line of transmission,
and for the " brk " from the ver-
tical position through an arc of
135 in the direction of the line of
transmission. In order to keep the
Hag fully exposed the point of the
staff should be made to describe an elongated figure 8. In
case a hand light is used, it is desirable to have a reference
74 INSTRUCTIONS FOE COAST GUARD STATIONS.
light at the sender's feet. An oil lantern may more con-
veniently be swung outward and upward. It is important to
obtain a good background and to select a flag the colors of
which present the most marked contrast with the background.
293. The prescribed calls may be supplemented by flag-hoist
calls as in semaphore. The procedure prescribed for semaphore
shall be followed.
294. While slower than semaphore, a large wigwag flag
against a good background may be read at a greater distance
295. To call a ship or station, face it and make its call, either
by flag hoist and " attention " ; by " attention " alone, or by
" attention " followed by letter or letters abbreviating the name
of the unit for which the dispatch is intended. The receiving
unit, if the call be by flag hoist, answers the call by hoisting
the answering pennant under the call of the transmitting unit,
at the dip as soon as seen and two-blocked when ready to re-
ceive and record. If the call be by other than flag hoist, the re-
ceiving unit makes the " answering " sign, followed if necessary
by three or four letters abbreviating the name of the transmit-
ting unit. The transmitting unit then makes the break sign,
followed by GR and number of groups or words, then makes
break followed by BT if text is in code, and proceeds with text
of dispatch. The receiving unit will, when the call and answer
is by flag hoist, immediately dip the answering pennant if a
word or sign is missed. If the call be other than by flag hoist,
it makes "repeat" (IMI). The transmitting unit at the con-
clusion of the dispatch makes " break," and then makes AR
and hauls down the flag call if used. The receiving unit ac-
knowledges the receipt of the dispatch (a) if the call and
answer be by flag hoist, by hauling down the answering pennant
when the transmitting unit hauls down the call ; (Z>) if the call
and answer be other than by flag hoist, makes " R break VA."
296. If, in the course of a signal the sender discovers that he
has made an error, he should make the " erase " sign, then make
the last word or group which was correctly transmitted and
continue with the signal or dispatch. If, in the course of a
signal addressed to a unit, the receiver does not understand a
word, character, or display, he should break in with the proper
297. (1) The standard of proficiency for a person receiving
wigwag signals in a test for proficiency shall be 18 letters per
minute, 85 per cent of the letters being correctly received and
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COAST GUARD STATIONS. 75
recorded. The standard of expertness for such a person shall be
25 letters per minute, all the letters being received and recorded
(2) The standard of proficiency for a person sending wigwag
signals with hand flags shall be 18 letters per minute and the
standard of expertness for such person shall be 25 letters per
minute, all letters being sent correctly in either case. (See art.
(3) Should the tests be made with wands or small flags the
standard of proficiency for a person sending wigwag signals
shall be 18 letters per minute and the standard of expertness
for such person shall be 24 letters per minute. In either case,
all the letters composing the test shall be sent correctly.
The small flags referred to herein are flags the size of hand
301. The Dot and Dash Code is used for this method, A
short flash is used for a " dot " and a long flash for a " dash."
302. In transmitting dispatches the transmitting unit makes
the call of the unit for which the dispatch is intended several
times or until repeated. The receiving unit repeats the call as
made by the transmitting unit. The transmitting unit then
makes its own call until repeated and the receiving unit repeats
the call of the transmitting unit. The transmitting unit then
makes break (II), the receiving unit answers with a flash; the
transmitting unit then makes " GR " followed by the number of
words or groups, which the receiving unit answers with a flash ;
the transmittingjunit then makes " break " (II) if text is in
plain language, BT if text is in code, and the receiving unit
answers with a flash ; the transmitting unit then transmits text
of the dispatch ( including office and date number and time of
origin number), and the receiving unit answers each word or
group with a flash. At the end of the dispatch the transmitting
unit makes "finale" sign (AR), or if there are further dis-
patches to transmit to the same receiving unit, the transmitting
unit makes AR II B; the receiving unit, if dispatch has been
received, makes " R II VA." If the transmitting unit indicates
that there are further dispatches for the same receiving unit,
the receiving uoit answers such signal with " R II K " or
" R II Q." as circumstances demand.
303. Officers in charge of stations with a standard night signal
set shall require the station lookouts to call adjoining stations
76 INSTRUCTIONS EOR COAST GUARD STATIONS.