Finally, El Pinguino has it right.
COLREGS probably doesn't even apply to these things because they aren't "vessels" (vessels are defined as watercraft used for transportation in COLREGS)
These drones gather data like offshore
buoys. But they have huge advantages over a buoy:
- You don't need a $80,000/day 200ft buoy tender
with 15 man crew and a large carbon footprint to maitain the buoy and fix it when it breaks. If you look at El Pinguino's link about 20% of the buoys aren't reporting right now (e.g. "broke")
- And this is open ocean not crowded waterways. The statistical odds of hitting a buoy or drone at sea are incredibly small. And unlike a buoy, the drone will use its AIS
to sail out of the way of ships. The thing is a computer. You don't have an AIS
transciever? Here's another reason to get one -- for my safety
as well as yours.
- And if there actually were to be a collision
, any boat big enough to be offshore
has the mass to just shove the drone aside. The thing couldn't weigh more than a few hundred pounds and isn't made of steel
. There might be a bang and maybe even a scratch in the paint
. Offshore buoys have to be much bigger because they have to support the weight of a few thousand meters of anchor
More than pizza, I'd love to have a few of these drones between Ft. Lauderdale and Bimini
telling me what to expect when crossing.