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Old 18-10-2013, 09:08   #316
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I'm sure there is a difference between jurisidictions..... something posted earlier said that when in TSS in US waters ships shall not use their autopilot.

I think a large dose of common sense is required when navigating near them.... in the hypothetical case put by Nigel of 4 ships in line abreast it would be best to slow your yacht/alter course or whatever so as to stay well clear of the lane until they were clear.

Unfortunately common sense is an uncommon virtue.
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Old 18-10-2013, 10:34   #317
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
That's a good point. I notice they only say "safe passage" in 10(j) and 18(d); all the other mentions of not impede omit the "safe." I find it most curious that 10(i) says that fishing vessels shall not impede the passage of any vessel following a lane.
There is a rumour that when the 72 Colregs were being compiled, they were writtien in French, then translated to English, then back to French, then to English etc, and somewhere along the way, the "safe" bit got dropped out of some of the sentances.
Like I said, it's only a rumour, but stranger things have happened at sea.
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Old 18-10-2013, 12:29   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3
I almost dare not say it, but giving the various interpretations we seem to be seeing, when discussing sailing vessels under 20 meters, apparently the law of tonnage does apply.

Dockhead is there some case law in various jurisdictions that you may have access to that could provide more information?

I am assuming that in civil cases precedence does apply in different jurisdictions, although I may be wrong on that.
I don't have access to the databases to do specific legal research in admiralty law, but I'm pretty sure if this question had been litigated, the cases would show up somewhere in the secondary sources, which they don't.
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Old 18-10-2013, 12:42   #319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3
I almost dare not say it, but giving the various interpretations we seem to be seeing, when discussing sailing vessels under 20 meters, apparently the law of tonnage does apply.

Dockhead is there some case law in various jurisdictions that you may have access to that could provide more information?

I am assuming that in civil cases precedence does apply in different jurisdictions, although I may be wrong on that.
Legally binding precedent is a phenomenon of English Common Law. Even within the Anglosphere, precedent is not legally binding except when it comes from the same or a higher jurisdiction, and in Federalist systems like the US and Canada, you have state/federal issues as well. So yiu can just about forget about precedent in any case.

Getting back to common sense - as the "not to impede" vessel in all these rules, I would of course stay as far clear as possible of "not to be impeded vessels" - it's only common sense. I do NOT use TSS lanes in the English Channel - that's why God created ITZ's, as far as I'm concerned, and the various authorities here seem to take the same view (I have heard them ordering yachts out of the TSS lanes).

I have never gotten myself into a risk of collision situation with a vessel I was supposed to not impede, and don't know even now, after all this discussion, what I am required to do if it ever happens. I don't think I would stand on. But I wouldn't want to be there in the first place - a TSS lane is not a place for a slow-moving yacht to be interfering with the efficient passage of a stream of fast moving ships. It's just wrong, as far as Im concerned.
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Old 18-10-2013, 12:55   #320
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I'm hoping the Danish Maritime Authority will shed some more light on this when they come back to work monday.

re: legal precedence, the commentariet Regs, have several court judgements relating to TSS. Unfortunately, they all invole either boats crossing the TSS or boats impeding the progress of ferries in lanes approaching harbours.
So not exactly what we have been discussing

damn!
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Old 19-10-2013, 07:32   #321
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
I almost dare not say it, but giving the various interpretations we seem to be seeing, when discussing sailing vessels under 20 meters, apparently the law of tonnage does apply.

Dockhead is there some case law in various jurisdictions that you may have access to that could provide more information?

I am assuming that in civil cases precedence does apply in different jurisdictions, although I may be wrong on that.
I you read the excerpts from Farwell's I posted, there is reference to an Admiralty Court decision where a shrimper was found 25% at fault for a collision with a coaster. Not included in the excerpts, but in Farwell's is another incident (in US waters IIRC) which had a similar apportionment of blame for impeding. The takeaway I think, is that the steering and sailing rules are considered to be the more important part of the equation.
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Old 19-10-2013, 10:35   #322
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I'm not sure where REAL confusion lies...many here are probably 95-99% on the ball as to the diff in not impeding versus the point where the sailing rules must take over...

The issue for me and what seems like others is whose guess... at what point is correct?

Just like a RAM tow vessel who is clearly showing all that is necessary (light/shapes) but is now nervous that some knucklehead is headed for his towing hawser...what does the tugs skipper do???? There are lot's of things like shining a spot on the area where the hawser is, to calling out on VHF and sounding danger signals, etc..etc...but at what point does that tug skipper do something drastic that may or may not resolve a potential collision?

I don't know and neither does anyone else.

The rules can't cover every situation nor peer into the minds of every skipper and expect a few written lines will cause that skipper to react the same way every time.

I have the rules pretty clear in my head...I just hope that I avoid those situations early or never where it just keeps looking worse and worse even though everyone is doing what they think they are supposed to be doing. Hopefully my brain and my VHF connect with the other skippers brain and VHF and the situation never arises.
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Old 19-10-2013, 11:03   #323
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I'm not sure where REAL confusion lies...many here are probably 95-99% on the ball as to the diff in not impeding versus the point where the sailing rules must take over...

The issue for me and what seems like others is whose guess... at what point is correct?

Just like a RAM tow vessel who is clearly showing all that is necessary (light/shapes) but is now nervous that some knucklehead is headed for his towing hawser...what does the tugs skipper do???? There are lot's of things like shining a spot on the area where the hawser is, to calling out on VHF and sounding danger signals, etc..etc...but at what point does that tug skipper do something drastic that may or may not resolve a potential collision?

I don't know and neither does anyone else.

The rules can't cover every situation nor peer into the minds of every skipper and expect a few written lines will cause that skipper to react the same way every time.

I have the rules pretty clear in my head...I just hope that I avoid those situations early or never where it just keeps looking worse and worse even though everyone is doing what they think they are supposed to be doing. Hopefully my brain and my VHF connect with the other skippers brain and VHF and the situation never arises.
The rules should provide a clear procedure for resolving a potential collision. Here, however, they create confusion, which is not helpful.
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Old 19-10-2013, 12:49   #324
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The rules should provide a clear procedure for resolving a potential collision. Here, however, they create confusion, which is not helpful.
You can't...unless you are getting exact, real time electronic info to determine who should do what based on vessel performance and conditions...fly by wire so to speak...

But the rules were out there before that tech existed and have to be there until ALL vessels fly by automated wire.

Everyone's judgment and estimates are different and what is extremis to me might be something completely different to another vessel's skipper? How can I even know when in extremis if I'm not sure of the handling capabilities of the other vessel?...

Plus being in extremis with today's smallish power vessels is ridiculous...most can stop in several boat lengths...but how do you write rules that cover all vessels and still make sense? You intentionally keep them simple and leave out specifics to a point because for every situation or set of vessels...there's an exception....

They may eventually write some rules around AIS (at least for vessels where AIS is mandatory) just like there's a few bumps with RADAR equipped vessels...but it's going to be hard to change much as they tend to work when human error stays at a minimum.
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Old 19-10-2013, 13:45   #325
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
You can't...unless you are getting exact, real time electronic info to determine who should do what based on vessel performance and conditions...fly by wire so to speak...

But the rules were out there before that tech existed and have to be there until ALL vessels fly by automated wire.

Everyone's judgment and estimates are different and what is extremis to me might be something completely different to another vessel's skipper? How can I even know when in extremis if I'm not sure of the handling capabilities of the other vessel?...

Plus being in extremis with today's smallish power vessels is ridiculous...most can stop in several boat lengths...but how do you write rules that cover all vessels and still make sense? You intentionally keep them simple and leave out specifics to a point because for every situation or set of vessels...there's an exception....

They may eventually write some rules around AIS (at least for vessels where AIS is mandatory) just like there's a few bumps with RADAR equipped vessels...but it's going to be hard to change much as they tend to work when human error stays at a minimum.

Isn't that what the AIS is about? Providing real-time electronic updates.
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Old 19-10-2013, 13:58   #326
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
You can't...unless you are getting exact, real time electronic info to determine who should do what based on vessel performance and conditions...fly by wire so to speak...

But the rules were out there before that tech existed and have to be there until ALL vessels fly by automated wire.

Everyone's judgment and estimates are different and what is extremis to me might be something completely different to another vessel's skipper? How can I even know when in extremis if I'm not sure of the handling capabilities of the other vessel?...

Plus being in extremis with today's smallish power vessels is ridiculous...most can stop in several boat lengths...but how do you write rules that cover all vessels and still make sense? You intentionally keep them simple and leave out specifics to a point because for every situation or set of vessels...there's an exception....

They may eventually write some rules around AIS (at least for vessels where AIS is mandatory) just like there's a few bumps with RADAR equipped vessels...but it's going to be hard to change much as they tend to work when human error stays at a minimum.
But we're not talking about being in extremis. The rules are clear about what to do then. We're talking about what to do when the risk of collision appears. Do I stand on? Does the ship's bridge assume I will be standing on? Or what? Does the ship stand on? Who is supposed to maneuver, in what order, to untangle the situation?

I think in a Rule 9 narrow channel situation where the yacht is crossing, the ship should stand on, and I should get the hell out of the channel. If the rules said that clearly, then everyone would know what to do. As it is, he is supposed to maneuver, and in many Rule 9 situations, he can't.
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Old 19-10-2013, 14:08   #327
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I'm not sure where REAL confusion lies...many here are probably 95-99% on the ball as to the diff in not impeding versus the point where the sailing rules must take over...

The issue for me and what seems like others is whose guess... at what point is correct?

Just like a RAM tow vessel who is clearly showing all that is necessary (light/shapes) but is now nervous that some knucklehead is headed for his towing hawser...what does the tugs skipper do???? There are lot's of things like shining a spot on the area where the hawser is, to calling out on VHF and sounding danger signals, etc..etc...but at what point does that tug skipper do something drastic that may or may not resolve a potential collision?

I don't know and neither does anyone else.

The rules can't cover every situation nor peer into the minds of every skipper and expect a few written lines will cause that skipper to react the same way every time.

I have the rules pretty clear in my head...I just hope that I avoid those situations early or never where it just keeps looking worse and worse even though everyone is doing what they think they are supposed to be doing. Hopefully my brain and my VHF connect with the other skippers brain and VHF and the situation never arises.
You have a valid point here.

With regard to a sail boat crossing a TSS at night, without the benefit of radar, AIS, and experienced crew to operate and interpret the observations, once you have figured out you were not supposed to impede the passage of a vessel following the lane, then you have most likely already have impeded, and the steering and sailing rules are now already in play.
The guy I spoke to at the MCA was of the opinion that the colregs cannot cover every possibility, to do so would make it way too complicated.
We have a M Notice published by the MCA which brings attention to the Colregs, I have copied and pasted a couple of paragraphs below

Introduction
1. This Notice and the Rules referred to in it are
an integral part of the Merchant Shipping
(Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions)
Regulations 1996, which came into force on
1 May 1996. These Regulations implement
the Convention on the International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea,
1972, as amended.

Important reminder
6. From a recommendation as a result of an
investigation into a collision that occurred in
the Dover Strait in 2002, mariners are
reminded that sections II and III of the
Steering and Sailing Rules must be strictly
complied with. However, vessels are not
prevented from taking sufficiently early action
ahead of the point in time at which those
sections of the Rules come into effect.

(These extracts are from MSN 1781)

Regarding the collision noted in Para 6, I'm not sure for certain which one they are referring to, however, there was a collision in the Dover TSS between a cargo ship and a fast ferry crossing the TSS. The bridge team on the cargo ship believed there was some unwritten rule in which fast ferry's gave way to everyone. Unfortunately, no one on the fast ferry knew of this "rule".

As for towing RAM, closest I came to a collision was in the Singapore TSS where a small cargo ship crossing at night ignored all our calls and signals, ignored all calls from VTS, and left me with one option, which was to stop the tug, sink the tow wire and let the rogue ship pass over the tow. How that ship missed both us and the rig we were towing I will never know, but the time it took for that ship to cross the wire seemed like an eternity.
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Old 19-10-2013, 14:45   #328
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Hmmmmm.... 7 knots.... hardly borderline speeding.... more like 'slow ahead' on a big ship.

Getting back to the original impede thingo .... the rule actually says '(j) A vessel of less than 20m in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power-driven vessel following a traffic lane.

If I can safely make a small alteration of course to avoid a yacht my safe passage has not been impeded..... if by making an alteration to avoid a yacht I am at risk of smacking a rock my safe passage has been impeded......
Correct If you look at 8 ( f) which is the only place where a definition of impeded is made , the clause uses the term " searoom"

Furthermore the rules make it clear that despite the impede rules both vessels remain obliged to follow the steering rules. Hence a power vessel or an overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of a sailboat.

Hence given the scenario of a yacht proceeding up a TSS , the power driven vessel would most likely be overtaking the slower sailing vessel, hence it must apply the steering rules and manoeuvre around the sailing vessel. Should such an action ieril or potentially imperil the larger vessel , then a case COULD be made that an impede situation had developed, which undoubtably would require a court to sort out

I quote from a recent email from the head of CNIS which monitors the Dover straits


" ...., a sailing vessel using a Traffic Separation Scheme, is within the Rules though with the requirement under Rule 10(j) that a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power driven vessel following a traffic lane. What 'impede' means is often down to the interpretation of the individuals involved in any given encounter between vessels. Some encounters are clearer than others in terms of which vessel did what to who but that again is often interpretation. I am sure you would agree that there are numerous factors that apply in any given encounter though so it is difficult to set out every likely scenario.

In simple terms then, a sailing vessel is entitled to use a traffic lane in accordance with the Rules. Impediment is often a matter of interpretation. The role of CNIS is to monitor vessel traffic in the Dover Strait, not to interpret the Rules as they apply to any given situation. Should a vessel make a complaint about the conduct of another vessel, the facts are established (which includes the views of the Officers of the Watch involved)....."

It clearly establishes that a yacht is within the colregs to use a TSS , what determines an " impediment " is likely to involve lawyers

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Old 19-10-2013, 14:55   #329
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He suggested you could have been "impeding" and still be "stand-on" without a contradiction. Impeding happens first, then the colregs kick in.

I have thinking about crossing situations, but let me present three overtaking scenarios (all with a 1000m wide TSS and only the two vessels).

1. Yacht sailing along the inside edge if a TSS, steady course straight downwind. Ship overtaking could pass with 1/4 mile CPA in the center of the channel but chooses to change course a little to go slightly over to the other side of the channel to increase the CPA. I believe you, and I and the ship colreg instructor (because the ship's maneuver is optional) would all agree that is not impeding.

2. Same as above but the yacht is sailing down the center of the TSS lane and the overtaking ship must maneuver to go to the very outside edge of the Lane to safely pass. The colreg instructor would say that is impeding; I believe you would say it is not.

3. Yacht is sailing up a TSS lane, tacking directly wind, tacking on small wind shifts ( so tacking essentially at random unpredictable times). Overtaking ship can not predict where the yacht will be and must slow from 17kts to 10kts and must make a significant sharp turn when close to avoid/pass the yacht. Again the colreg instructor would say this is impeding . . . I am not sure what you would say? Thus scenario presents the greatest difference between the "sea room" approach and the "dictionary definition of impede" approach.

Note: we are talking about international colregs, not us inland rules. When I talked with the instructor I framed the question as in the English Channel. He happened to be a active/current transoceanic ship captain.
1. Yes not impeding

2. Depends , the whole situation would have to be taken into account. Lawyers and big bills follow

3. I would class this as " hooligan " behaviour and I would see it as impeding.

What I'm arguing is that MERELY requiring the " not to be impeded " vessel to manoeuvre is not in itself a definition of impeding. After that its all down to the situation and the courts. The fact is " impeding " court cases are extremely rare ( really the 8(f) definition only effectively appeared in the last 20 years and furthermore yachts rarely sail in a TSS anyway.

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Old 19-10-2013, 15:03   #330
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Wow! That is unexpected.
So according to them the definition of 'impeding' is anything that results in the vessel in the TSS lane to change course!
That's ridiculous , virtually every sailing boat crossing potentially is impeding

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