The Boatswain Pipe

Boatswain Pipe

Photo credit: ThoKay
"Pipe the side" credit to : Robb Thomas


The Boatswain's/Bosun's Whistle

(or pipe as it is sometimes called)


I learned about the pipe on my first

deck watch as a seaman apprentice state side

with the officer and petty officer of the day.


I first had to use the pipe after I passed

the 3rd class petty officers test.


This Whistle was used to call all hands on deck,

to signal officers and dignitaries,

onto and off of the ship,

to call the crew to eat and

for lights out at night.


The last time that I used the pipe in Cuba,

was on our GITMO shake down cruise,

on one of the boat trips back from

shore to the "goose" with the Admiral.


we witnessed a "man overboard drill",

So, I blew all hands on deck to assist in

retrieving "Oscar" the man overboard "dummy"!


This youtube video shows several of the pipe sounds of the Bosun mate.

Sounds of the Bosun's Call


Through-out Naval history the Boatswain pipe has

had a wide variety of important uses however,

Today with all of our newer equipment,

the pipe is used primarily for some of the same

alerts and piped through the ships p.a. system.


This page has good Pipe information

and links to many of the calls:

US Navy Boatswain Pipe




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Last edited June 6, 2021

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