Boatswain’s Calls are whistles that are traditionally used to communicate around a navy ship.
They are also known as a Bosun’s Calls or Bosun’s Pipes which often misled people to assume the pipes smoke, however, this is inaccurate.
The sounds of the Boatswain’s Call can still be heard on navy ships although sometimes transmitted electronically.
The various whistle sounds are used to communicate various activities such as the start or end of a watch, meal times, and “all hands on deck”.
For landlubbers, those unfamiliar with the sea or seamanship, the Boatswain’s Call makes an excellent distress whistle and are great fun for special occasions where a bit of noise is needed.
The distinctive shrill whistle of a Boatswain’s Call can cut through most noise barriers like the sounds of waves, sailing, and motor ships.
The whistle can also be manipulated to generate a variety of sounds through pitch and tone, and special features called “ruffles and flourishes”.