Items contained in LNMs include bridge construction or closures and other infrastructure projects, diving or survey operations, military exercises, boat races, fireworks displays, waterway restrictions or closures, temporary hazards, etc. The list is extensive.
Once upon a time the Coast Guard physically distributed the LNMs by snail mail. Today they’re distributed electronically, published weekly by each district on the Navigation Center website (www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmMain). You just download the ones you need and save them for future reference. You can also subscribe.
That’s the easy part. This is where it can get complicated. Today, many of us have to regularly show that we’re practicing due diligence in our administrative procedures. Mariners are subject to internal and external auditing (Ship Inspection Report Program (SIRE) inspections, internal company audits, vetting by clients, U.S. Coast Guard UTV “inspections,” port state control inspections, etc.), and it’s a “show me the money” culture. Disorganization simply looks bad and hurts your prospects for promotion.
My method of proving due diligence is simple. I save each weekly LNM for our current operating areas (usually some combination of the 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th Coast Guard Districts) with their proper number in a separate folder for each district, and I keep them on the desktop of our computer. That way, the LMNs are quick and easy to use and readily available to show to an inspector.
How do you prove that you’re actually reading them and utilizing the information? I just open them in Adobe Acrobat and use the highlighting tool to emphasize anything relevant to us in fluorescent yellow, often leaving the file open as a tab on the bottom of the computer screen. I print only when necessary.
This method recently received a positive review from an inspector.