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Old 15-12-2010, 11:05   #121
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Must be really interesting when they meet or overtake each other.


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They don't do that here. It's rare they cross eachother's path
from what I have seen. Still a pilot managed to hit the bridge while going through it alone. Which only adds to my point of not depending on them to avoid me. He couldn't avoid a huge still target with every new kind of instrumentation there is............i2f
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Old 15-12-2010, 11:11   #122
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
Must be really interesting when they meet or overtake each other.


-Sven
That's why there's a Vessel Traffic Control Tower on top of Yerba Buena Island (half way acrossed the Bay Bridge). They control ship traffic from about 12 miles outside the Gate, where the pilots board the ships all the way up the two rivers to Stockton, which is south of Sacramento. Ferry boats are monitored also.
All large vessels are escorted, within the bay, by at least one tug.

The ship that bounced off the bridge was suffering a language problem.
Another lost his rudder control will going under the GG and the woman pilot had the presents of mind to deploy both anchors and stopped within 500 feet of the south tower.
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Old 15-12-2010, 12:47   #123
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I'm not saying screw the rules - far from it. I think the rules give ample opportunity for both vessels to avoid collision - see above post.

Sincere question - what do you mean by something unpredictable? I'd guess stand on vessels turning into give way vessels would be a 'whoaaa' moment. Anything else that gets us the WAFI nickname?
Unpredictable - really, any maneuver (course and/or speed change) that places you in a worse position than you were before. Turning to port for a vessel on your port side, last second tacks back where you came from just when we've already started turning, luffing of sails that puts you dead in the water, basically -panic. A typical example is when after we've started our course change to go astern on someone off our starboard bow, only to have them think we're turning into them (ships take a little while to get a good swing going), panic and then turn to port in an attempt to go astern of us. Not only is that a direct violation of the Rules, but now you're closing the distance at a faster rate, probably are about to disappear underneath the bow and causing a bit of tension on the bridge. Now there's confusion. Nobody wants to get in a collision. It's immaterial to us that in the event of a collision you're the one more likely to die. We have a whole lot at stake too.

Now, I will also say this. There are very few times in typical harbor settings where a ship would be a give-way vessel to a small boat. They are usually either in a Narrow Channel or following a TSS, both instances where a typical cruiser would be obligated to not impede (BTW, a TSS doesn't have to look like the "highway" type you see often. A simple one-way traffic lane, such as in Rosario Strait, WA is still considered a TSS for the purpose of the rules). However, in "open ocean", with plenty of maneuvering room, large ships should not and (mostly) do not have any problem with giving-way to a vessel that it is obligated to.

Stand-on when the rules say you should stand-on. Do not keep standing-on into danger, but allow the other vessel sufficient time and room to do their maneuvering. Familiarize yourself with the "must, may, must" order of obligations for the stand-on vessel. The rules do not force collisions.

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That's why there's a Vessel Traffic Control Tower on top of Yerba Buena Island (half way acrossed the Bay Bridge). They control ship traffic from about 12 miles outside the Gate, where the pilots board the ships all the way up the two rivers to Stockton, which is south of Sacramento. Ferry boats are monitored also.
All large vessels are escorted, within the bay, by at least one tug.

The ship that bounced off the bridge was suffering a language problem. Another lost his rudder control will going under the GG and the woman pilot had the presents of mind to deploy both anchors and stopped within 500 feet of the south tower.
VTS does not control traffic - they advise and it is very rare that they ever have to direct traffic (even with the Cosco Busan, they never ordered the pilot to do anything). They are an invaluable tool but in no way replace the bridge team. Pretty much all of the ship movements in SF Bay, all the way out to the SF Sea Buoy are controlled by the pilots. Certain areas, depending on the size of the vessels involved, are one-way traffic zones; the pilots are obviously aware of this and time their transits accordingly (along with tidal considerations, etc). I'm not sure if they have a Marine Exchange down there, but sometimes they will have say on who anchors where depending on the type of ship and/or how long it will be there.

Language barrier was one of the factors listed in the NTSB report, but the real blame lied with Capt. Cota, his understanding of the ECDIS (compounded with the language barrier, this was probably the major factor), tuning of the radar, and ultimate decision to get underway in that fog. This was not some out of the ordinary trip or vessel for him or any other pilot. Looking at the VDR Radar captures and reading the voice transcript doesn't do much good for him either. His tug tethered on the stern never spoke up either. Language barriers are part of that job anyways and in the vast majority of cases, present little problem. Likewise, when we go to foreign ports, the pilots there may not speak very good English, but we work together anyways. You may not be able to carry a serious intellectual discussion with them, but when it comes to ship-type orders, there's usually little problem.

Nancy Wagner is a good pilot. Have had her a few times.
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Old 15-12-2010, 14:41   #124
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Wow. And I thought I was just asking an innocent little question about a book that I had heard about.
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Old 15-12-2010, 14:51   #125
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This claim is not consonant with my experience. Offshore, I've often found that ships are appreciative of contact. They often chat with each other in such situations, and most seem relieved when a yacht is able to communicate (or query) intent in a professional manner.

An example: I was offshore in dense fog, traveling north, when radar revealed a large northbound radar target on the 12-mile range. Within five minutes, he had closed to within six nm. I was clearly the stand-on vessel, but was not certain he could see me on radar.
But this claim was vowel with my experience

There is no stand-on vessel in restricted vis. And the situation you described falls into the other 5% of situations where deconfliction or clarification is needed - 95% of the time there is no need to make a radio call; I say this from both the give-way and stand-on perspectives. This should not be confused with two ships passing at a distance in the middle of the ocean, exchanging identities and pleasantries.
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Old 15-12-2010, 15:09   #126
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Wow. And I thought I was just asking an innocent little question about a book that I had heard about.
LMAO.... you sure know how to stir the pot....
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Old 15-12-2010, 15:38   #127
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Wow. And I thought I was just asking an innocent little question about a book that I had heard about.
"innocent"? -- ain't no such animal on CF
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Old 15-12-2010, 15:41   #128
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I thought I knew how to avoid big ships but after reading this thread I'm ordering my copy. On second thought maybe it's the little ships I have to worry about.
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Old 15-12-2010, 15:45   #129
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I thought I knew how to avoid big ships but after reading this thread I'm ordering my copy. On second thought maybe it's the little ships I have to worry about.

Touche'
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Old 15-12-2010, 16:23   #130
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Originally Posted by Watermann View Post

VTS does not control traffic - they advise and it is very rare that they ever have to direct traffic (even with the Cosco Busan, they never ordered the pilot to do anything). They are an invaluable tool but in no way replace the bridge team. Pretty much all of the ship movements in SF Bay, all the way out to the SF Sea Buoy are controlled by the pilots. Certain areas, depending on the size of the vessels involved, are one-way traffic zones; the pilots are obviously aware of this and time their transits accordingly (along with tidal considerations, etc). I'm not sure if they have a Marine Exchange down there, but sometimes they will have say on who anchors where depending on the type of ship and/or how long it will be there.
Technicality, you are correct, the VTS only offers advice and suggestions, it is the ship's bridge that must make any decisions. But if VTS suggest that it may be prudent to alter your course or speed because of converging traffic, I would hope that you would give such information careful consideration.
How the heck are you going to know that a ship is outbound from within the Oakland estuary when you are under the bay bridge and can not see down the estuary prior to starting your turn? Or would you just say f***- em and pass port to port with each of you being escorted by tugs in a very narrow estury, and screw any other ship/boat traffic. On a foggy day as you approach the ships channal 8 miles outside the Gate, wouldn't it be nice to know that there are no vessels out bound, Thst you were maybe takeing turns for safetys sake. And using VTS to coordinate a safe transit.
.
While taking classes for Air Traffic Control, we were instructed that the controller is there to offer advice and suggestions. What the pilot of the aircraft does with that advice is his reasponsiplity.
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Old 15-12-2010, 16:36   #131
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Technicality, you are correct, the VTS only offers advice and suggestions, it is the ship's bridge that must make any decisions. .

It's been that way forever The ship's master is always responsible. Even when there's a pilot aboard it's Pilot's advice and Master's orders. At least it was when I was at sea.
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Old 15-12-2010, 16:44   #132
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A huge container ship in San Francisco Bay. Best to pass behind its stern.

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Old 15-12-2010, 17:07   #133
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Follow the rules, but when in doubt (and even when not in doubt), just hail the ship on the VHF. Tell them what you are going to do. I do this all the time, whether I'm passing a ship or a pleasure boat. If needed I'll tell them why I'm doing what I'm doing. It takes 10 seconds to leave everyone in a much safer position. The person who mentioned that VHF is only used in rare occasions is just plain wrong.

I teach this to younger pilots all the time when we are flying. If there is doubt about what is happening, eliminate the doubt by clarifying over the radio. Make your intentions clear and make sure who you are talking to fully understands what you are saying.

I graduated from a Maritime Academy and have a fairly intimate knowledge of the rules (granted there are lots of people on this board who know them far better than I), but I'll always be a believer in clarifying over the radio rather than risking my life or boat.
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Old 15-12-2010, 18:04   #134
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Follow the rules, but when in doubt (and even when not in doubt), just hail the ship on the VHF.
I sort of agree, but I think the issue probably warrants a bit more thought/discussion.

Colregs don't mention the use of radio (other than in relation to distress signals). I believe this is because its use is very much dependant on the particular circumstances of the situation and it would be difficult / impossible to cater for all circumstances with a single rule. (I might be completely wrong in this assumption of course)

However, although DSC calling is improving the situation, how confident would you be that you'd agreed a crossing with the right ship in this situation?

Use VHF, but use with caution??
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Old 15-12-2010, 18:29   #135
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I'd be pretty darn confident they were the right ship if I identified them by name.

Regarding the photo, I would not put myself in a situation where I'd need to cross any of those ships. There's knowing the rules and there's knowing the line of sight from a ship's bridge dictate that each ship can probably hardly see the prop wash ahead of them. Crossing any of these ship's paths would almost guarantee that you would be out of their line of sight.
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