On an 8-deck, 540-foot ship, there are many spaces and places where problems can occur. Since safety is the number one priority aboard the TS Kennedy, the DETEX Security System is in place to guarantee that every corner of the ship is checked on an hourly basis.
Cadets assigned to watch positions called, Cadet Security Rovers Of The Watch (CSRW) make hourly rounds throughout the ship and report any shipboard abnormalities to the Cadet Officer Of The Watch (COW) on the Bridge.
As cadets walk throughout the ship, they are looking for flooding water on deck, drips from overhead, visible smoke, smoke or acrid odors, spilled liquids, slip hazards, tripping hazards, darkened areas, or damaged ladder treads or handrails. If a serious circumstance such as fire is discovered, cadets know that they should immediately sound an alarm.
To make sure that no corner of the ship is overlooked, cadets follow a prescribed route carrying a handheld device called a DETEX wand. The cadets must touch the wand to 22 different checkpoints throughout the ship in the designated order. The wand records each time a checkpoint is visited. The Cadet Officer On The Watch (COW) can also monitor the progress of the cadets on his or her computer.
There's lots of walking and climbing involved. Up ladders and down ladders. From one end of the ship to the other. Let’s follow along with a cadet making his DETEX routes. There is a photograph for every checkpoint except #13 which is on the Bridge. At night, the Bridge is kept dark so no photo was taken.
Cadets pick up the DETEX wand at the Quarterdeck Watch Office on the Main Deck.
Would you like to join a pair of cadets on theri DETEX route? Ready? Let’s go!
We're halfway through the route! How are you doing? Are you having a hard time keeping up with the cadets? You may feel like you're at a Physical Education class.
There's still more of the ship to check. Let's keep going!
Remember, there is no photo for Stop #13 on the Bridge. Imagine that you've just stepped into the darkened Bridge to place the wand on the 13th checkpoint.
Your route is complete! That was quite a workout, wasn’t it? Fortunately, there was no cause for concern aboard the TS Kennedy.
It is time to return to the Quarterdeck using the forward door and starboard external ladders to the Main Deck. The cadets will report the successful completion of the DETEX Route to the Cadet On Watch. They'll also write in the logbook.
Later, the Chief Mate will check the readings to make sure that all checkpoints were activated on every round throughout the day.