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Old 21-08-2011, 14:18   #91
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

From the posts I'm reading I guess if you abandon ship while it's still sailing on autopilot you would leave on the regular nav lights since the vessel is still under command? After all it could still maneuver, courtesy of poltergeists I suppose?

I'm not trying to split legal hairs, I'm just thinking about what I would like to see if I were approaching the vessel.

Somebody posted about vhf hailing, firing flares, calling the USCG etc. What would you do if the vessel with a sleeping crew was showing regular nav lights? Seems to me the possibility for problems is greater in that instance, because you would tend to think (hope?) that somebody is alert and on watch. Frequently not the case anyway.

At least red over red would alert you that something unusual is going on and that you should operate with extra caution.
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Old 21-08-2011, 15:02   #92
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

Very interesting thread as well as timely for me. My mast was made by Lefiel and came equiped with red over green lights about 2/3's up the front of the mast, would not be visible from the back of the vessel.

As the stick is down for painting I was contemplating eliminating them and installing a large tricolor at the masthead thinking I would be more visible. After reading this thread and understanding the requirement to run the deck lights with the mast lights I am thinking I was mistaken and should leave the nav light configuration as is? Thoughts please.
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Old 21-08-2011, 15:18   #93
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
For all practical purposes, shine a light on your sail to show that you are a sail boat when approached.
Always worked for me !!!
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Old 21-08-2011, 15:29   #94
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

The rules are vague for a reason...no one size fits all...."exceptional circumstance" could CLEARLY mean a single handler taking a nap..why not? If he/she is...the vessel isn't going to be manuevered as the Nav Rules usually require.

Showing red over red would be one of the ONLY methods of avoiding collision which is the PRIMARY responsibility of all skippers and the purpose of the rules including a light and dayshape that means that I can't/won't manuever my ship.

Now if you try that in a traffic lane...I'll bet the hearing officer won't have too much of a sense of humor...
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Old 21-08-2011, 16:10   #95
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Now, here's a question that I would love to see answered:
Single-hander merrily sailing along under autopilot decides to take a 15 minute catnap. Should he be showing red over red?
How about (during the day) showing signal flags spelling out three letters...

'B...R...B'

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Old 21-08-2011, 20:08   #96
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The rules are vague for a reason...no one size fits all...."exceptional circumstance" could CLEARLY mean a single handler taking a nap..why not? If he/she is...the vessel isn't going to be manuevered as the Nav Rules usually require.

Showing red over red would be one of the ONLY methods of avoiding collision which is the PRIMARY responsibility of all skippers and the purpose of the rules including a light and dayshape that means that I can't/won't manuever my ship.

Now if you try that in a traffic lane...I'll bet the hearing officer won't have too much of a sense of humor...
The rules were written to define the interactions between vessels to promote safe navigation at sea. An overriding theme of the rules is that the rules shall not be interrupted in a way that will reduce safety at sea. This is stated in the general prudential rule. (a.k.a. Good Seamanship Rule.)

As one reads through the rules, it becomes quite obvious that "cruising" upon the seas is inconsistent with the rules. There are no professional "Masters, Mates, Engineers, or Seamen" trained and licensed by some national authority aboard most cruising boats. As an example: under the rules you must be a qualified as a "lookout" to stand watch as lookout.

However, since the days of Slocum, sailing upon the seas in a small boat is considered a worthy, noble, and exceptional endeavor. Even more so when considering the the limited size and lack of formal training of the crew. Slocum rose from the fo'c'sle to become the master of a couple of sailing ships and still he needed a license to sail the Spray off shore.

Today thousands of cruisers freely ply the seas. All that is asked of us cruisers is that we comply with the rules to the best of our abilities and in a manner that is consistent with good seamanship.

The rules indicate that while at sea showing a red-over-red, red-over-green, tri-color, or even an white light signal could be used by cruisers to indicate that they are under sail, hove-to, becalmed, laying-to a sea anchor, or even asleep. None of these signals observed at sea can be interrupted as a stand-off vessel. Thus, any ship observing these signals will know that it must stand-off.

However, after careful consideration of the rules, it appears that at sea the tri-color light signal should be sufficient. The only vessels that might have right of way would be other sailing vessels. These vessels would most likely be going in nearly the same direction and at about the same speed. Thus, even if by some remote chance a collision should occur, it is highly unlikely that either vessel would go under.




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Old 21-08-2011, 20:22   #97
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

The COLREG's also say a vessel is required to have a proper watch at all times, so putting up the NUC dayshapes or lights and then going below deck for a snooze would never fly in court if there were a collision.

If you choose to be a singlehander then there is no way around taking the chance of being in the wrong if there is a collision when you are sleeping.

The term is a little misleading in that it implies that there is nobody to command the ship. Not Under Command means the vessel is disabled in its ability to maneuver and has nothing to do with the status of whoever is commanding the vessel.
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:43   #98
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

NUC

Quote:
A vessel not under command has usually suffered a disability, which is not easy to predict or classify. An example would be a vessel with a disabled rudder. The navigation light requirement is, therefore, brief and general.
Rule 27

Also engine failure on a power-driven vessel.

Sleeping while under way is a a disabled vessel, although the skipper may have a disability.
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:51   #99
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

I respectfully disagree. Sleeping while underway does not put a vessel into the NUC category.

There is no way this idea would hold up in court.

Additionally, one would also be in violation of not having a proper watch.
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:53   #100
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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The COLREG's also say a vessel is required to have a proper watch at all times, so putting up the NUC dayshapes or lights and then going below deck for a snooze would never fly in court.
And, neither would, "I didn't see him because I had been awake for 48 hours straight."

How can you stand a proper watch without qualified watch standers? Did you know that a ships cook can't stand watches unless he is a qualified watch stander?

Have you ever hear of any cruiser not being allow to proceed to sea in a sound boat solely because there was only a crew of one, two, or three? Yet, it is virtually impossible to stand a proper watch with that size of crew.

Face it -- cruising is an exceptional circumstance by its very nature! And, guess what, it's OK!

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Old 21-08-2011, 20:57   #101
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

I am citing the Rules and what I learned about maritime court cases. Of course cruisers can go ahead and do whatever they want. Just don't expect empathy from a judge for breaking the COLREG's because you were a cruiser.
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Old 21-08-2011, 21:30   #102
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

Excerpt From: Atlantic Maritime Academy


[FONT='times new roman', times, serif]How far does this pattern of thought go? In a 1984 court case (Granholm v. TFL Express), a single-handed yacht, Granholm, was run down from behind (see SSP, May 30, 2007, “Overtaking – A Meeting”) by the freighter TFL Express. The owner of the Granholm sued the Express for failing to maintain a proper look-out (Rule 5) and to give-way to the over-taken vessel (Rule 13). The Court agreed – but found the skipper of the Garnholm equally at fault. He was sleeping and thus had no look-out. “The obligation to maintain a proper lookout falls upon great vessels and small, alike.”[/FONT]
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Old 21-08-2011, 21:41   #103
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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NUC



Rule 27

Also engine failure on a power-driven vessel.

Sleeping while under way is a a disabled vessel, although the skipper may have a disability.
Edit

Missed a not. Should read.

Sleeping while under way is NOT a disabled vessel, although the skipper may have a disability.
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Old 22-08-2011, 01:00   #104
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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Excerpt From: Atlantic Maritime Academy


[FONT='times new roman', times, serif]How far does this pattern of thought go? In a 1984 court case (Granholm v. TFL Express), a single-handed yacht, Granholm, was run down from behind (see SSP, May 30, 2007, “Overtaking – A Meeting”) by the freighter TFL Express. The owner of the Granholm sued the Express for failing to maintain a proper look-out (Rule 5) and to give-way to the over-taken vessel (Rule 13). The Court agreed – but found the skipper of the Garnholm equally at fault. He was sleeping and thus had no look-out. “The obligation to maintain a proper lookout falls upon great vessels and small, alike.”[/FONT]
This case is not a sample as the above quote would have you believe. Here is the actual text of the judgment with respect to the S/Y OLYMPUS CAMERA:


Fault on the Part of the CAMERA

As noted, I have rejected defendants' claim that the CAMERA failed to display the required navigation lights. But she must also be condemned for failure to maintain a proper lookout.

The obligation to maintain a proper lookout falls upon great vessels and small alike. Matter of Interstate Towing Co., (failure of "small pleasure craft" to maintain proper lookout held to contribute to her collision with barge under tow).


In the case at bar, Granholm's decision to go below during the nighttime was negligent. His own testimony reflects an awareness that this was so. I have previously quoted the relevant portion; Granholm said that "as a rule I made it a habit to take my resting periods during daytime and when the conditions were such that I could afford having some rest." The reasons are obvious. At night a sailboat, even displaying the proper lights, is not nearly as visible as she is in the daytime, when underway under sail. Granholm was sailing near a recognized transatlantic route for large vessels. He should have adhered to his own practice and rested only during the daytime. It may seem unfeeling to condemn single handed transatlantic sailors for sleeping at night. But they pursue this hazardous avocation voluntarily, and are not exempt from the requirements of prudent seamanship.

The charge against plaintiff of improper lookout does not depend solely upon his decision to go below. Accepting as I do his testimony that the impact occurred less than thirty minutes after Granholm went below, his failure to observe the lights of the oncoming EXPRESS is inexplicable and inexcusable. Defendants' expert witness Hardy testified, and I accept, that on a clear night the navigation lights of the EXPRESS should have been visible up to fourteen miles away. We may reduce that distance to ten miles; even then, at the EXPRESS's speed of eighteen knots her lights would have been visible to Granholm for 33 minutes prior to collision, assuming the CAMERA was making no headway at all. The EXPRESS's lights should have been visible to Granholm before he went below. And Granholm was obligated in the circumstances to occasionally scan around the horizon, including astern, an obligation he recognized by doing so before going below.

Plaintiff's failure to observe the lights of the approaching EXPRESS before collision places him in an inescapable dilemma. If, as his own testimony would indicate, the lights of the EXPRESS were visible when Granholm went below, he is at fault for not having seen them. But assuming that Granholm went below before the EXPRESS's lights became visible (so that he was asleep for a greater period of time before impact than his testimony would suggest), the fact remains that he left his vessel entirely without a lookout in circumstances which rendered such action negligent. There is no question but that plaintiff could and should have taken evasive action if he had observed the approaching EXPRESS.


CONCLUSION

The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of plaintiff Kai Granholm and against the vessel TFL EXPRESS and defendant Timur Carriers (Pte.) Ltd., jointly and severally, in the amount of $77,655.30, with interest from the date of judgment until paid.

The Clerk is further directed to dismiss the complaint against defendant Trans Freight Lines, Inc. with prejudice.

Plaintiff may recover the costs of the action in an amount to be taxed by the Clerk.

It is So Ordered.
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Old 22-08-2011, 03:45   #105
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Re: Red and Green All-Around Lights

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And, neither would, "I didn't see him because I had been awake for 48 hours straight."...
But that is just it. You suggest that those are the only two decisions to choose from: That you are somehow relieved of the burden of responsibility on that basis . As though the commision of one wrong action is okay, in order to prevent another. There are other choices you can make, such as trip planning to include regular port stops, or not sailing single handed in the first place.

Perhaps, it may seem unfair , but fairness never was a pre-requisite for responsibility. You claim to be making the best of a bad siduation, but not realising that you put yourself in that siduation to begin with. You are the skipper. You are always responsible.

Sleeping watch should best be done over short intervals, with radar beacon engaged and an AIS intercept warning alarm... Alarm goes off, you wake up, you hail them on VHF. You explain the siduation, and request they alter course. If they don't respond, you prepare to take action. If you really want a day-signal to explain the siduation, then use the signal flag 'M' (white diagonal cross on blue) - to indicate that "I am not making way". This is a perfectly legal signal to make.
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