PRESERVATION AND SAFETY OF THE VESSEL
610 The Commanding Officer will ascertain that the spare spars, sails, tiller, and other spare articles of importance, are of the proper size and ready for use.
611 He shall never allow the vessel under his command to be left without one of the three, and in roadsteads or exposed situations, one of the two, senior officers, including himself; nor shall he grant leave of absence to any officer at any time when it will interfere with exercise, or otherwise retard the public interests, or render it necessary to place the deck in charge of an officer inferior in rank to those designated for the purpose. Unless in cases of absolute necessity, the charge of the deck is not to be intrusted to any other officer than one of those to whom it is regularly given.
612 On approaching land or anchorage of any kind, he shall be careful to have the cables bent in due time.
613 When going into any port or harbor, or approaching shoals or rocks, whether with or without a pilot, he shall cause regular soundings to be taken; and he shall have the leads frequently used whenever the vessel is on soundings.
614 Upon all occasions of anchoring he is, if possible, to select a safe berth, and have the depth of the water and the quality of the ground examined for at least three cables length around his vessel, in places that are not known, or where he is a stranger, and have such bearings and angles noted in the log-book as shall enable him to recover an anchor in case it should be necessary to slip a cable.
615 He will cause the chain cables to be carefully guarded against corrosion, and have them inspected once a quarter
616 He shall take care that the lightning conductors are kept at all times ready for service, and that the wire boarding-netting of his ship is always in the most serviceable condition.
617 He shall see that the meteorological observations are taken and recorded as per form in log-book; and on indications of the approach of gales or hurricanes, he shall cause hourly, or more frequent, observations of the barometer and sympiesometer to be made, and every change in the force and direction of the wind recorded.
618 He is to take every precaution against fire, and to establish general regulations for the duties to be performed by the officers and men, should one occur. He is not to allow lights to be used on the orlops, or in the holds or store-rooms, except in safe lanterns; nor lights to be kept in officers' state-rooms, except the officer himself is present; nor are friction matches, or any other substance or liquid, susceptible of easy or spontaneous ignition, to be on board in the private possession of any one. He is never, on any pretense, to allow varnishes or any inflammable liquid to be drawn off from any package or cask anywhere, but on the gun-deck, by daylight.
619 He will not permit smoking in the ward-room, steerages, cockpit, or any part of the berth deck; but he will designate such places for smoking as will be best for the comfort of the officers and crew, having due regard to the safety of the vessel and her discipline.
620 He will permit a lighted lantern to be hung up in a suitable place during meal hours, and after evening quarters until tattoo, or the setting of the watch, from which pipes or cigars may be lighted. No pipes or cigars shall be lighted at the galley or on the berth deck.
621 He shall cause all lights and fires, other than the lights in light rooms, to be extinguished whenever it is necessary to receive or discharge powder; and all not absolutely necessary are to be extinguished whenever the magazine is opened for any general purpose. On all occasions of handling or passing powder the utmost precautions are to be taken to guard against accidents.
622 The magazine is never to be opened without the knowledge and consent of the Commanding Officer for the time being.
623 He will be careful that the vessel is kept well caulked, particularly about the bitts, water-ways, and other parts liable to be strained. He will cause this work to be done as far as practicable, by the carpenters and caulkers of the vessel.
624 He shall keep a night order book, in which shall be entered all orders given to the officer of the deck for his government during the night.
625 If, while sailing in squadron, he shall find that the course directed to be steered is leading the ship under his command or any other ship into danger, he will give notice to the Commander-in-Chief and to the ship endangered.
626 When in command of an iron vessel, he will take every opportunity of examining the bottom of such vessel, and be very careful that the plates are cleaned and coated with preserving composition as often as may be necessary, or opportunity may offer for so doing ; and he is to see that no injury be done by corrosion to the rivets or other parts, and that no copper articles be allowed to rest on the bottom in contact with the iron.
627 He shall cause every "notice to mariners" that may appear during his cruise, and that contains, from an authentic source, any information relating to his cruising ground, whether with regard to errors of charts, to the discovery of new dangers, or to the condition or position of lights, buoys, or beacons, to be copied in a book kept for that purpose, and to be embodied on the chart to which the information contained in such "notice" relates. He shall also compare his list of charts with that of every other public vessel, more recently from the United States, with which he may meet, for the purpose of procuring copies, tracings, or notes of any new charts or other hydrographical information that the latest publications may afford. At the end of the cruise such note books, tracings, copies, and memoranda must be returned by him to the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation.