The watchkeeper must use all the resources available to assess whether or not a risk of collision exists. The increased number of aids to navigation such as ARPA, AIS and more recently the ECDIS has provided additional aid to determine this kind of risk. The watchkeeper should use a combination of sight and all other available aids to navigate safely.
However, there is a concern that over reliance on electronic aids can become common and the watchkeeper will only rely on these without looking out of the bridge windows. Despite the fact that bridge systems are more advanced, collisions and groundings still happen, and the majority of all incidents happen because of human error. As a result, a question is raised regarding whether or not electronic equipment affects the watchkeeper's ability to carry out his bridge duties effectively.
Many people travel with electronic devices, which are used for recreational use during free periods in a vessel. However, if such devices are being taken to the bridge, this can affect the concentration of the watchkeeper and cause potential dangerous situations.
For this reason, operators are urged to implement clear procedural guidelines that don't allow the use of any personal electronic equipment on the bridge during watch-keeping hours. The watchkeeper's undivided attention is required throughout the period of their watch and right up until the time that the watch is handed over.