Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy
weather for several days. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained
on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, "Light, bearing on the
"Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out.
The lookout replied, "Steady, captain," which meant it was on a dangerous collision course
with their ship.
The captain then shouted to the signalman, "Signal the ship: We are on a collision course.
Advice you to change course 20 degrees."
Back came a signal, "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees!"
In reply, the captain said, "Send: I'm a ship's captain. Change course 20 degrees, now!"
"I'm a seaman second class, "came the reply, "You had better change course 20 degrees, now!"
By that time, the captain was furious. He spit out a command, "Send: This is a battleship.
Change your course immediately."
Back came the flashing light's reply. "This is a lighthouse!"
The battleship changed course.