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Old 26-10-2013, 16:24   #361
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
Sorry, I'm just probably having a bad day. I guess the point I was trying to make is that any vessel can be an impeding vessel but it seems that only sailing vessels or vessels under 20 meters can be found guilty of it.
I don't care as I'll never have a boat 20 meters or longer. Best to stay out of or on the edges of shipping channels, and keep a constant 360-degree lookout.
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:30   #362
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I don't think you have impeded the safe passage of a big ship unless the master of the big ship says you have impeded his safe passage......

Avoiding TSS? One of my present crew sails out of Nieuwpoort in Belgium... ask him about sailing to the UK without crossing a TSS.....
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:48   #363
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I see the RN Lt ( blanket folder) who smacked the tanker has been found guilty of impeding the safe passage of a ship..... BBC News - Roland Wilson: Cowes Week yacht crash skipper guilty but I think he could appeal the 'not keeping a good lookout' bit.... he saw it coming but made a'bold assumption'..... beware the 'bold assumption'.....
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Old 26-10-2013, 18:28   #364
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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That situation doesn't change the definition of "not to impede" by a sailboat or 20 meter power vessel. Which is clearly to avoid causing the larger vessel transiting a VTS to maneuver. Small vessels crossing or using a VTS just need to use good judgement as to their position in the scheme to avoid issues.
The reason "impede" is not defined in Colregs, is that it is defined in the dictionary (Oxford):

Quote:

verb[with object]

  • delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder:
  • the sap causes swelling which can impede breathing


Origin:

late 16th century: from Latin impedire 'shackle the feet of', based on pes, ped- 'foot'.
The simple act of manoeuvring cannot, in itself, be considered a hindrance, or cause to delay a ship in proceeding to its destination.

I wonder what is the actual position and qualifications of the "USCG authority" that provided that terse snippet from Farwell's, omitting all the other passages on the subject in Farwell's, including those that tend to contradict that "official view"?

Cockcroft is vague, but tends to conform with the MCA's take on the subject, as provided by Nigel.

I tried to search the Danish Maritime Authority online, but could find no colregs nor commentary. Perhaps Carsten can point me in the right direction, or failing that, tell us who provided the commentary in his colregs handbook?

Not all situations are avoidable; it is sometimes not possible to anticipate a developing risk of collision; nor is it always possible to avoid TSS or narrow channels or CBD vessels. It is not for no reason that they put rule 8(f) in.
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Old 26-10-2013, 19:58   #365
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El Pinguino's post illustrates THE maritime definition of "impeding". It's really no more complicated than that.
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Old 27-10-2013, 04:18   #366
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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I don't think you have impeded the safe passage of a big ship unless the master of the big ship says you have impeded his safe passage......

Avoiding TSS? One of my present crew sails out of Nieuwpoort in Belgium... ask him about sailing to the UK without crossing a TSS.....
Correct , this would be my view ( and is the view of CNIS Dover straits ) the definition of impede is a bot like pornography, had to definite , but you would know it when you see it.

The fact is the sole comment connecting impede with get out of the way , is an un cited comment in Farwell. I do not accept that is the absolute definition of the term.

I am gong to read through the lloyds law report on the admiralty case in more detail next week

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Old 27-10-2013, 04:26   #367
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I can't imagine an Admiralty law case arising for impeding where there hasn't been a collision. Ships are being paid to get from point A to point B and in a VTS, I can't imagine that they would maneuver more than is minimally necessary to avoid an accident in such an incident. It's easy to imagine the situation would be much more uncomfortable for the small vessel to have avoided a collision by 30 - 40 yds than it would be for the ship though the ships bridge would be swearing at the small boat. A lawsuit would only arise to sort out liability after the fact in the event of a collision where the judgement of liability would likely be split to some degree because in the event of being in extremis it is each vessel to maneuver to prevent a collision.
That situation doesn't change the definition of "not to impede" by a sailboat or 20 meter power vessel. Which is clearly to avoid causing the larger vessel transiting a VTS to maneuver. Small vessels crossing or using a VTS just need to use good judgement as to their position in the scheme to avoid issues.
Your last paragraph is the point in question , impede Is not defined in the COLREGS. furthermore the phase is actually , " impede the safe passage of" , so it can be clearly argued as Cockcroft has done , that its not impeding per say , but imperilling his safe passage.

There is no absolute definition of impede , that's the problem. I suspect the COLREGS have done that by design , for example safe overtaking is defined. A stand on vessel is defined. Impede is not defined primarily because its circumstance based and hence has to be decided in respect of what circumstance occurred.

It's clear and I agree with Cockcroft , that the impede clause is there to partially remove the privileged position of sailing craft in regards the primacy of the rules. Where no impede rule to exist , by definition a yacht under sail , could quite legally meander about a TSS causing havoc. The impede rule establishes a clear hierarchy of action, the yacht must endure it does not imperil the safe passage of the power vessel and only then should a risk of collision develop , do the steering rules and the privileged positions re-establish.

In essence a yacht in a TSS must manoeuvre to ensure such impediment isn't caused, but that in no way suggests that a ship manoeuvring in a TSS for all sorts of reasons , including make safe decisions to say pass a yacht , is being caused an impediment by that yacht.

Where one to except Farwells commentary as an extension of the COLREGS , then I suspect that every sail boat crossing the Dover straits has caused an impediment from time to time. Again it's a bit like the single handler issue. Technically the break the COLREGS , but actually unless prosecuted , it's hard to say if they do or not.

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Old 27-10-2013, 06:32   #368
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Randy View Post
El Pinguino's post illustrates THE maritime definition of "impeding". It's really no more complicated than that.
More like the maritime definition of "colliding." The impeding described in that article conforms to the dictionary meaning. The yacht didn't allow sufficient searoom for the tanker, as he didn't account for the NUC vessel to stbd of the tanker - hence the "failure to maintain a proper lookout" judgment. It's not complicated.
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Old 27-10-2013, 08:06   #369
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

How many people here, if they were driving down a two lane highway, and saw an 18 wheeler drift over into their lane, would just say, "Well, I'm not stopping and pulling over. I've got the right of way. He'll just have to get back in his lane before we collide."?
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Old 27-10-2013, 08:41   #370
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How many people here, if they were driving down a two lane highway, and saw an 18 wheeler drift over into their lane, would just say, "Well, I'm not stopping and pulling over. I've got the right of way. He'll just have to get back in his lane before we collide."?
Not a good analogy to the situation we are discussing. But the Colregs cover the case you allude to where the stand on vessel must take action. The Colregs do not require suspension of common sense. They define what we should expect from the other guy and what we should do when he doesn't do what we expect.
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Old 27-10-2013, 11:20   #371
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I have followed the discussion somewhat. Has anyone referenced Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road by Llana & Wisneskey?

They present some history.

Quote:
International Rule 8(f) was added in 1989. (Parallel language was added to the Inland Rules in 1990.) This change puts to test debates that had been ongoing for almost as long as the 72 COLREGS have existed. The "shall not impede" language comes into play in Rule 9 (narrow channels and narrow fairways), in International Rule 10 (traffic separation schemes), and in International Rule 18 (vessels constrained by draft). In each of these cases, usually larger vessels find themselves in situations where they are at a substantial maneuvering disadvantage with respect to smaller vessels in the area--smaller vessels that otherwise might be stand-on vessels.

The IMO Subcommittee on Safety of Navigation for a time had issued guidance on the meaning of the term "shall not impede." That guidance said that the "shall not impede" command meant to maneuver, when practicable, so far out of the way of the other vessel that risk of collision never develops, with the proviso that if risk of collision by some chance does develop, the more general Steering and Sailing Rules would take over (that is, the "shall not impede" rules would no longer be in effect).

The IMO subsequently decided that the guidance, if given at all, should be part of the Rules. During the course of the debate on the actual language, the delegates decided that the vessel that had been originally directed to not impede the other should retain that burden even after risk of collision arose. That does not mean, however, that the (usually larger) vessel that was not to be impeded continues to have the right of way. The new Rule provides that if the not-to-be-impeded vessel would be the give-way vessel under the general rules, it has the duty to stay out of the way of the impeding vessel after risk of collision arises. Under the new Rule, which changed the earlier official guidance in this respect, the impeding vessel also continues to have a duty to stay out of the way after risk of collision arises, and does not gain the stand-on status that the general rules might have given it. Both vessels would be obligated to stay out of the way.

If on the other hand, the not-to-be-impeded vessel would be the stand-on vessel under the general Steering and Sailing Rules, it would not lose that status. In that case, the impeding vessel would have a double duty to stay out of the way.

The "shall not impede" language in these cases creates an exception to the general rules, making them more practical. Vessels directed "not to impede" other vessels should take early action to keep clear by wide margins. The other vessel shouldn't become concerned enough to alter its course or speed, or otherwise feel obligated to act differently from the way it would if the would-be impeding vessel weren't there.
In the second sentence I think "test" should read "rest". I have emailed Chris Llana.

[EDIT]I just heard from Chris - It is a type and has been corrected.

Rule8.html
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Old 27-10-2013, 23:38   #372
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

The last paragraph here says, essentially, exactly what the commentary in my Danish Colregs says, The potentially "impeding vessel, must give way before there is a "perception" of a potential collision. In other words, the "bigger" ship must not have to take any action whatsoever to avoid the sailing ship.

This paragraph for Jackdale is pretty clear.

Lodesman, I will check my latest colregs when I get to work and get back with who has done the commentary. Although, reading Jackdales quote, and considering Evans USCG answer, I'm not in doubt anymore.






Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I have followed the discussion somewhat. Has anyone referenced Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road by Llana & Wisneskey?

They present some history.



In the second sentence I think "test" should read "rest". I have emailed Chris Llana.

[EDIT]I just heard from Chris - It is a type and has been corrected.

Rule8.html
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Old 28-10-2013, 01:20   #373
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
The reason "impede" is not defined in Colregs, is that it is defined in the dictionary (Oxford):

[B]

The simple act of manoeuvring cannot, in itself, be considered a hindrance, or cause to delay a ship in proceeding to its destination.

I wonder what is the actual position and qualifications of the "USCG authority" that provided that terse snippet from Farwell's, omitting all the other passages on the subject in Farwell's, including those that tend to contradict that "official view"?

Cockcroft is vague, but tends to conform with the MCA's take on the subject, as provided by Nigel.

I tried to search the Danish Maritime Authority online, but could find no colregs nor commentary. Perhaps Carsten can point me in the right direction, or failing that, tell us who provided the commentary in his colregs handbook?

Not all situations are avoidable; it is sometimes not possible to anticipate a developing risk of collision; nor is it always possible to avoid TSS or narrow channels or CBD vessels. It is not for no reason that they put rule 8(f) in.

Lodesman,

MY Colregs is the 9th edition, printed 2007. The Commentary is written by the Danish Maritime Authority, and edited by there Colregs Department Manager and a "special consultant".

So the commentary is the official Danish Maritime stance on the rules and the correct interpretation.

The book notes that all the commentaries have been discussed with the other Nordic countries and those Maritime Authorities are in agreement with these comments.

So whilst we may feel that it is ok for a big ship to have to change course when overtaking us whilst we are in a TSS - the Colregs say that any such maneuver by a big ship means the sailboat has "impeded".
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Old 28-10-2013, 03:00   #374
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
How many people here, if they were driving down a two lane highway, and saw an 18 wheeler drift over into their lane, would just say, "Well, I'm not stopping and pulling over. I've got the right of way. He'll just have to get back in his lane before we collide."?
Here we go again

So -- if the methods we use to avoid collisions on the road, worked at sea, then we would hardly need any Colregs. See a developing collision, avoid it, simples, end of story.

However -- it just don't work that way. We don't have roads at sea, and no marked lanes. Here are the differences between sea and road:

1. Recognition of a collision situation:

Road: Lanes are marked on the road; you can immediately see with your naked eyes if the truck is wandering over into your lane.

Sea: You cannot detect a developing collision situation with your naked eyes, at least not until it is too late (usually) to avoid it. There are no lanes marked in the sea, and you can't tell exactly where the ship is going. Even with good tools like a HBC and radar, it takes time and concentration to figure it out.


2. Maneuvering:

Road: Trucks and cars have brakes.

Sea: Boats and ships have no brakes.

Road: A big semi-truck is only 10 feet wide, and your car can change direction in an instant. Your car moves at at least the same speed as the truck. You can dart out of the way of a truck in a fraction of a second.

Sea: A big ship can be 200 feet wide, creating a danger zone at least 300 feet wide, and your boat cannot change direction in an instant, and your boat moves at 1/3 or less than the speed of the ship. Getting out of the way is a totally different ball game -- you need to start your maneuver not a fraction of a second before impact, but minutes, often many minutes before, in order to have a chance of reaching safety. And without AIS, you can't even know for sure which way to dodge! Because you can't tell, even after a few minutes of careful calculations with a HBC, exactly where the ship is going to intersect your course!


So if you combine these two factors, you will see:

On the road you can recognize a developing collision, usually, long before your time has run out to maneuver. At sea, the situation is the opposite -- you cannot recognize a developing collision until often it is too late to maneuver out of the way. Probably I should say usually you can't.

OK, and THAT is why we have different rules, and different procedures at sea, than on the road, for avoiding collisions.


In order to deal with these peculiar situations, there is an accepted technique for avoiding collisions at sea. You are required to apply this technique at sea -- it's the law. This technique assigns a particular role to each vessel in a risk of collision situation. One vessel is supposed to maintain speed and course while the other vessel figures out the best maneuver to unwind the situation. This is very important, because if both vessels maneuvered willy-nilly, then neither vessel can work out a solution. One vessel is supposed to "hold still". That is what it means to "stand on". It has almost nothing to do with "having the right of way". It is a totally different concept.

Of course none of this contradicts several common sense concepts:

1. If you can avoid a risk of collision arising in the first place, then of course you should do that. For example, if you are a small boat able to navigate outside of channels, and you see a ship about to come into the channel, then of course you should get out of the channel if you can. This is not only common sense, but it is required by the Colregs, by the way.

2. If a risk of collision situation exists and you are the stand-on vessel, and it appears that the give-way vessel is not taking action in time, then you are allowed to maneuver yourself to try to unwind the situation. Note that you are required to stand on, otherwise, that is, maintain your course and speed. It is not optional. It is not a "right" like the "right of way".

3. If a risk of collision situation exists and you are the stand-on vessel, and the situation continues to develop to the point that a collision cannot be avoided by the actions of the give-way vessel alone, then you are required to maneuver to avoid the collision. This is another way in which being the stand-on vessel is nothing like having the right of way. If a collision happens, both skippers are, almost always, at fault, at least to some extent. NO ONE HAS ANY RIGHT OF WAY AT SEA. Unfortunately, in a small boat travelling at 1/3 or less the speed of a large ship, by the time a collision situation has progressed to the point where the big ship can no longer maneuver itself to avoid the collision, there is usually nothing you can do. You are, generally, dead. So this part of the Colregs is of merely academic interest to those of us in small boats. So all the more reason to keep a sharp watch and exactly follow correct collision avoidance procedures, so that the situation never gets anywhere near that point.



So to summarize: If you are approaching avoiding collisions with big ships, the same way you would avoid a collision with an 18-wheeler in your car, you're doing it wrong. You need to bone up on collision avoidance at sea. Among other things, you need to learn and follow the rules.


I apologize for repeating things which have been written before in this and other threads.
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Old 28-10-2013, 04:09   #375
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Here we go again

So -- if the methods we use to avoid collisions on the road, worked at sea, then we would hardly need any Colregs. See a developing collision, avoid it, simples, end of story.

However -- it just don't work that way. We don't have roads at sea, and no marked lanes. Here are the differences between sea and road:

1. Recognition of a collision situation:

Road: Lanes are marked on the road; you can immediately see with your naked eyes if the truck is wandering over into your lane.

Sea: You cannot detect a developing collision situation with your naked eyes, at least not until it is too late (usually) to avoid it. There are no lanes marked in the sea, and you can't tell exactly where the ship is going. Even with good tools like a HBC and radar, it takes time and concentration to figure it out.


2. Maneuvering:

Road: Trucks and cars have brakes.

Sea: Boats and ships have no brakes.

Road: A big semi-truck is only 10 feet wide, and your car can change direction in an instant. Your car moves at at least the same speed as the truck. You can dart out of the way of a truck in a fraction of a second.

Sea: A big ship can be 200 feet wide, creating a danger zone at least 300 feet wide, and your boat cannot change direction in an instant, and your boat moves at 1/3 or less than the speed of the ship. Getting out of the way is a totally different ball game -- you need to start your maneuver not a fraction of a second before impact, but minutes, often many minutes before, in order to have a chance of reaching safety. And without AIS, you can't even know for sure which way to dodge! Because you can't tell, even after a few minutes of careful calculations with a HBC, exactly where the ship is going to intersect your course!


So if you combine these two factors, you will see:

On the road you can recognize a developing collision, usually, long before your time has run out to maneuver. At sea, the situation is the opposite -- you cannot recognize a developing collision until often it is too late to maneuver out of the way. Probably I should say usually you can't.

OK, and THAT is why we have different rules, and different procedures at sea, than on the road, for avoiding collisions.


In order to deal with these peculiar situations, there is an accepted technique for avoiding collisions at sea. You are required to apply this technique at sea -- it's the law. This technique assigns a particular role to each vessel in a risk of collision situation. One vessel is supposed to maintain speed and course while the other vessel figures out the best maneuver to unwind the situation. This is very important, because if both vessels maneuvered willy-nilly, then neither vessel can work out a solution. One vessel is supposed to "hold still". That is what it means to "stand on". It has almost nothing to do with "having the right of way". It is a totally different concept.

Of course none of this contradicts several common sense concepts:

1. If you can avoid a risk of collision arising in the first place, then of course you should do that. For example, if you are a small boat able to navigate outside of channels, and you see a ship about to come into the channel, then of course you should get out of the channel if you can. This is not only common sense, but it is required by the Colregs, by the way.

2. If a risk of collision situation exists and you are the stand-on vessel, and it appears that the give-way vessel is not taking action in time, then you are allowed to maneuver yourself to try to unwind the situation. Note that you are required to stand on, otherwise, that is, maintain your course and speed. It is not optional. It is not a "right" like the "right of way".

3. If a risk of collision situation exists and you are the stand-on vessel, and the situation continues to develop to the point that a collision cannot be avoided by the actions of the give-way vessel alone, then you are required to maneuver to avoid the collision. This is another way in which being the stand-on vessel is nothing like having the right of way. If a collision happens, both skippers are, almost always, at fault, at least to some extent. NO ONE HAS ANY RIGHT OF WAY AT SEA. Unfortunately, in a small boat travelling at 1/3 or less the speed of a large ship, by the time a collision situation has progressed to the point where the big ship can no longer maneuver itself to avoid the collision, there is usually nothing you can do. You are, generally, dead. So this part of the Colregs is of merely academic interest to those of us in small boats. So all the more reason to keep a sharp watch and exactly follow correct collision avoidance procedures, so that the situation never gets anywhere near that point.



So to summarize: If you are approaching avoiding collisions with big ships, the same way you would avoid a collision with an 18-wheeler in your car, you're doing it wrong. You need to bone up on collision avoidance at sea. Among other things, you need to learn and follow the rules.


I apologize for repeating things which have been written before in this and other threads.
Good summarization Dockhead. Unfortunately in ad. 1 you note that if you are in a small boat, you are required to leave the TSS when a big boat appears. This is not true (and the whole point of this thread). A small boat is allowed to sail in the TSS, also when other ships are present. They are not, however, allowed to impede the safe passage of the larger vessel.

Which with your legal training, you will probably admit is an entirely different kettle of fish.
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