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Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, .. These Rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected. The International Rules in this book were formalized in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, , and became. These are in effect, the nautical alternative to the highway code. As a user of the Waterway you will interact with other craft and will have to react accordingly.

Rules Of The Road At Sea Pdf

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THE RULES OF THE ROAD sea or asked at the oral examinations for the certificate of competency. The rules, explanations and model answers are. (a) These rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters . ( iii) the effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather and other sources of. Abbreviated Guide To Navigation Rules Of the Road. Based on the Navigation Rules International – Inland (Commandant Instruction MD, ).

In the regulations were again amended. It was stressed that Rule 10 applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization IMO and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other rule. It was also to clarify that if a vessel is obliged to cross traffic lanes it should do so as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of the traffic flow.

In Regulation 10 was further amended to clarify the vessels which may use the "inshore traffic zone. Rule 12 states action to be taken when two sailing vessels are approaching one another.

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule 13covers overtaking - the overtaking vessel should keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken. Rule 14 deals with head-on situations. Crossing situations are covered by Rule 15 and action to be taken by the give-way vessel is laid down in Rule Rule 17 deals with the action of the stand-on vessel, including the provision that the stand-on vessel may "take action to avoid collision by her manoeuvre alone as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action.

Rule 18 deals with responsibilities between vessels and includes requirements for vessels which shall keep out of the way of others. Section III - conduct of vessels in restricted visibility Rule 19 Rule 19 states every vessel should proceed at a safe speed adapted to prevailing circumstances and restricted visibility. A vessel detecting by radar another vessel should determine if there is risk of collision and if so take avoiding action.

A vessel hearing fog signal of another vessel should reduce speed to a minimum. Part C Lights and Shapes Rules Rule 20 states rules concerning lights apply from sunset to sunrise. Rule 21 gives definitions. Rule 22 covers visibility of lights - indicating that lights should be visible at minimum ranges in nautical miles determined according to the type of vessel.

Rule 23 covers lights to be carried by power-driven vessels underway. Rule 24 covers lights for vessels towing and pushing. Rule 25 covers light requirements for sailing vessels underway and vessels under oars.

Rule 26 covers light requirements for fishing vessels.

Rule 27 covers light requirements for vessels not under command or restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. Rule 28 covers light requirements for vessels constrained by their draught.

Rule 27 (a) (iii)

Rule 29 covers light requirements for pilot vessels. Rule 30 covers light requirements for vessels anchored and aground.

Rule 31 covers light requirements for seaplanes Part D - Sound and Light Signals Rules Rule 32 gives definitions of whistle, short blast, and prolonged blast. Rule 33 says vessels 12 metres or more in length should carry a whistle and a bell and vessels metres or more in length should carry in addition a gong.

Rule 34 covers manoeuvring and warning signals, using whistle or lights. However, timely warning to the ER should be given whenever possible. Proper and Effective Action: A vessel may be unable to take proper and effective action due to the speed being too high, or in some circumstances, too low.

There are some acronyms, which may help you to remember the order and important words of both paragraphs a and b of this Rule. These are better discussed in class or on board ship, rather than printed! If there is any doubt, such risk shall be deemed to exist. It is easy to get much closer to other vessels than you intend, if care is not exercised.

If you were stationary and all others were moving around you, it would be relatively easy to grasp what was happening, without the need for measurement of some kind. But because you are also moving, the process becomes more difficult.

Rule 7 stresses the need to check continually that no risk of collision exists, to eliminate any doubt that it does and to guard against taking action based on less than adequate information. The textbook method of assessing collision-risk on any vessel, is to take a bearing of any approaching vessel using a compass. If the bearing remains constant, there is a risk of collision and action must therefore be taken.

Where accurate use of a compass is difficult, this technique is surprisingly effective, whatever its detractors say. It can be seen that Rule 7 makes compulsory, the carrying of equipment suitable for taking compass bearings. Radar is not a requirement under the collision regulations, but all vessels fitted with a set, which is operational, should use it at long range to obtain early warning of other vessels in the area. The operator is also required to assess on screen, whether a collision risk exists.

This means that you should always radar plot any detected contacts in order to determine their true course and speed as well as determining any risk of collision. The effectiveness of the action shall be carefully checked until the other vessel is finally passed and clear. Having established that there is a risk of collision, hopefully while you are still a good way from the other vessel, you will determine what action is required if you are the give-way vessel.

Course and speed changes must be such that they are obvious, both visually and on radar. Most of the well-documented collisions between commercial ships have come about because corrective action was only slight and could not be detected, until it was too late.

During daylight, a course change, which brings the sun from one side of your vessel to the other, is very helpful in clearly showing the other vessel what you are doing.

To stop or slow right down with minimal bow wave is more obvious than just to drop the revolutions off the engine s. However, you must remember that on a large vessel, there is a lot of momentum and slowing down will not be readily apparent in the early stages and could, additionally, take an inordinately long time. For instance, a fully laden supertanker, travelling at 15 Knots and ringing Dead Slow on her engine s , may not show any appreciable difference in speed for at least two to three miles.

At night, the best change of heading to make, is one, which shows the watchkeeper on the other vessel, a different configuration of your own navigation lights. What is a safe distance?

Ferries crossing the busy DoverStrait aim to miss other ships by at least 1nm, although they often pass much closer to small craft.

A ship moving at 20 knots covers 1nm every three minutes. As you can see, the further away you stay from other shipping, the better. Not only will all concerned be safer, but also your attendant wake will have much less effect, which is a courtesy if nothing else.

Paragraph f usually causes concern in its interpretation. Very basically it may be explained as follows:- Paragraph i says that a vessel shall take early action to avoid impeding the passage of another vessel if it is one of the vessels required so to do. Paragraph ii says that even if a risk of collision exists, if you are required not to impede the safe passage of another vessel you shall take action and at the same time ensure that whatever action you do take is in accordance with the Rules.

Paragraph iii says that even if you are on a vessel whose passage should not be impeded, and another vessel gets in your way, at the end of the day, normal steering and sailing rules apply. There is very little excuse for an OOW in the open sea, ever to find himself in a close-quarters, collision-risk situation.

The latter vessel may use the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34 d if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel. The vessel to be overtaken shall, if in agreement, sound the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34 c ii , and take steps to permit safe passing.

If in doubt she may sound the signals prescribed in Rule 34 d. Rules 9 and 10 deal with the busiest waters you will find: narrow channels and the special Traffic Separation Schemes laid down, to bring order to congested and often constrained shipping lanes, their junctions and port approaches. To put it simply, stay as far as possible to the starboard side of the channel.

Small craft may and frequently do, obstruct the passage of larger vessels. You must remember that a very narrow channel for you may seem like a broad unobstructed expanse of water, for a small vessel or yacht. When deciding where to cross a narrow channel, or even when entering it, remember that you not only have Rule 9 d to consider, but also any local recommendations or bylaws which may be in place, governing where and when such manoeuvres should occur.

This will normally be indicated in your nautical almanac, on a large-scale chart and, most usefully, on the harbour guides produced by port authorities.

Another, worthy of note, is the small craft channel on the western side of PortsmouthHarbour entrance. If a small vessel gets close under the bows of a vessel of m ft or more, it is likely to run it down and not even notice. Many harbourmasters with a mixed jurisdiction of commercial and leisure users, are worried that a pilot or master will, sooner or later, try to take drastic action to avoid hitting careless small boats, which will cause a major shipping catastrophe.

Given the limited manoeuvrability of large vessels, their equally limited view from the bridge and the time it takes for them to stop, this is open to debate. Certainly, professional seamen are often given anxious moments by smaller craft and that anxiety ultimately brings pressure to bear on the freedom of the water for us all.

International Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea, 1972

So, again, small craft should stay well clear, which is what this rule is emphasising. All small craft are banned from this zone. When you think about it, 0. However vessels of less than 20m 66ft in length, sailing vessels and vessels engaged in fishing may use the inshore traffic zone.


Several exist in north European waters, primarily to introduce motorway-style traffic control, for areas heavily populated by commercial shipping. There are three very important parts of Rule The first is found in paragraph a , which confirms that vessels using a TSS are not absolved of their responsibilities under the other Rules.

If there is another vessel crossing the TSS and it is on a steady bearing with the attendant risk of collision associated with this, then you still have to do something. Just because you are in a TSS does not give you any rights, whatsoever. There are some, who think that because they are in a TSS and have another vessel on their own Starboard side, they do not have to give way. This is a totally false understanding of the regulations, as they are still obliged to give way, even if it means leaving the TSS for a short period of time.

The second important point is found in paragraph j , which clearly states that all craft under 20 metres or 66 feet in length must not impede power driven vessels following a traffic lane.

In practice, given the relative manoeuvrability of small craft, there is no reason why they should do so.

A vessel forced to make a course correction for a small vessel might in turn, come into conflict with another vessel in the same lane. The third important point is paragraph d. Vessels of less than 20m in length, sailing vessels and vessels engaged in fishing are able to make coastal passages along inshore traffic zones and should encounter a TSS, only when crossing one. The rule for crossing a TSS paragraph c is very simple: set a course, which is at 90 degrees to the flow of the traffic within the lanes.

The aim is to provide an aspect, which is at right angles to the ships you are likely to encounter, not to achieve a track over the ground, which is 90 degrees to the charted lane. Simply following the track to a waypoint on an electronic navigator could in fact bring about an infringement of the rules, especially if on a slow vessel when there is a strong cross-tide.

When approaching a TSS and indeed, when navigating in any area likely to be populated by other ships, it is safest to take a highly jaundiced view of whether other vessels will take any notice of you at all.

Some of them even manage to hit large stationary objects, on a regular basis. For instance, it might be assumed that ferries, when crossing the Dover Strait TSS, will do so at anything up to degrees off the required course, pinching up against the tide to stay within published timetables, which is only understandable.

Rules in this section apply to vessels in sight of one another. So far, we have looked at general rules laying down common-sense collision-avoidance practices. Now we move on to specific conventions on which way to steer, if conflict with other vessels is likely.

Rule 12 applies only between two sailing vessels, although an appreciation of the principles outlined, enables you to understand better the close-quarters manoeuvring antics of yachts and dinghies, especially when they are racing one another. Remember that the crew of a dinghy or yacht may well have their view obscured by the sails; and that although their method of propulsion is quieter than your own, they will not necessarily hear you either.

The answer is simple. Are you always going to be an OOW on a large power-driven vessel? Remember, that there are quite a few large cruise ships operating around the world that have sails and are therefore sailing ships in the truest sense of the word.

Fortunately, the directions which apply to power-driven vessels are much easier, both to understand and to remember. RULE 13 Overtaking. This rule is unusual in that it firmly puts the onus on one vessel to take all necessary action, in order that a collision might be avoided.

When approaching another vessel from astern, you are deemed to be responsible for keeping clear of it, if your approach is within the degrees arc of her sternlight. If any doubt exists as to whether you are actually overtaking another vessel, you must assume that you are, and take appropriate action. This is important, as it is obviously not possible to gauge this overtaking sector accurately during daylight hours.

Always assume the worst and give plenty of sea room, allowing for sudden course or speed changes from the other vessel that can occur without any warning. If you are approaching towards the forward extremes of the degrees arc, especially on the starboard side, note that a subsequent alteration of course by the vessel being overtaken does not relieve you of the responsibility to stay well clear.

Whilst Rule 13 does not place specific responsibilities on the vessel being overtaken, other parts of the Regulations are still in force. If you are on a large slow moving power-driven vessel and a yacht or windsurfer is going faster than you, then they are the overtaking vessel and should keep clear of you, irrespective of what Rule 18 says about power-driven vessels keeping clear of sailing vessels.

This is an example of when Rule 2 would apply with regards to the ordinary practice of seamen or by the special circumstances of the case and you would therefore, keep clear of them.

This should be not so much a rule as an instinct: when approaching another vessel anywhere near head-on, always turn to starboard. Remembering Rule 8, this course change must be made without delay and must be positive enough, that the other vessel can see and recognise your actions. Subtle corrections will not be noticed and could cause confusion.

An important factor to note, is the wording of paragraph b. This emphasises paragraph a and indicates that this rule applies not only when you are exactly head on to each other, but also when you are nearly head on.

Experience will dictate when a head on situation no longer exists but has become a crossing situation or vice versa. A good rule of thumb however, would be that a head on situation exists if you have a relative aspect of within approximately 5 degrees of the other vessel. This would be when the masthead lights are nearly in line and only one of the sidelights would be visible.

Additionally, there is an element of doubt so the watchkeeper would obey Paragraph C and assume that the situation exists and act accordingly. When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.Sidelight on vessel being towed.

Rule 39 provides definitions. All possible measures shall be taken to indicate the nature of the relationship between the towing vessel and the vessel being towed as authourised by Rule 36, in particular by illuminating the towline. Paragraph e is obviously intended to apply in clear visibility. Having established that there is a risk of collision, hopefully while you are still a good way from the other vessel, you will determine what action is required if you are the give-way vessel.

A vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, a vessel constrained by her draught, a sailing vessel, a vessel engaged in fishing and a vessel engaged in towing or pushing another vessel shall, instead of the signals prescribed in paragraphs a or b of this Rule, sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes three blasts in succession, namely one prolonged followed by two short blasts. RULE 2 - Responsibility Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

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