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Old 22-09-2013, 11:13   #391
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
I think a lot of us would be very interested what your mates come up with. Please be sure to post their thoughts
Absolutely. Opinions from outside, professional, third parties with no horse in this particular race. Extremely interested in what they have to say.
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:18   #392
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Sure, Nigel. All those licensed captains are spending their Sunday off reading a forum on line, and deciding that they will now ignore the colregs.

Uh-huh. Sure. Now that I have posted that I avoid collision courses early and often, THE WHOLE WORLD IS IN DANGER!
Seems like you're suggesting common sense as opposed to rule of law.

Dunno about other places, but here the ferries are big, white, have a schedule and have a route. You can avoid them. They may not adhere perfectly to schedule or route, but if you are around where they go, you should be looking for them. It's common sense.
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:27   #393
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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I think a lot of us would be very interested what your mates come up with. Please be sure to post their thoughts

I have not said anything about how I view the colregs. That doesn't mean people won't decide they know something I haven't said.
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:39   #394
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Fortunately (?), I boat in waters (San Francisco estuary) where almost all commercial traffic is limited to narrow channels, making my 7-knot boat "burdened" in almost all encounters with professionals. So, upon sighting such vessels, I begin my avoidance strategy, if needed.

Like, when entering the channel from the north (Mokelumne River), my intent was to across the channel (San Joaquin River) so I'd be on the right side of the channel going east. However, when the west-bound freighter showed up and it looked risky in crossing his bow, I turned toward the left side of the channel edge so not to cross the ship's path.



...

On a cruise our ship rammed a barge in the Montevideo Harbor channel in clear conditions (barge: 0; ship: several SUVs and containers sunk). Our captain was relieved of command before the voyage continued.



Even professionals can make a mess of things.
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:53   #395
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Colregs, Navrules, International Rules, are all just different (and not one of them official) names for the very same international set of rules adopted for the whole world in 1972.
I'm surprised you were so imprecise in describing this, as I thought you had a background in law. The conventions are just that, conventions, and they have no jurisdiction over the world. As a requirement of being a signatory to the conventions, individual states are required to bring the Colregs into legal force within their own jurisdictions. For instance, in Canada the Collision Regulations CRC c. 1416, enabled by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is the law. It is applicable to all vessels in Canadian waters, and to all Canadian vessels everywhere in the world, except where they directly conflict with a local law, in which case that takes precedent.

Just for the sake of interest, the Canadian Modifications to the Colregs (CANMODS) are similar in many cases to the US Inland rules.

PS - Did you ever get around to corresponding with Capt Cockcroft or the RYA legal dept about the "other" discussion?
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:53   #396
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Seems like you're suggesting common sense as opposed to rule of law.

Dunno about other places, but here the ferries are big, white, have a schedule and have a route. You can avoid them. They may not adhere perfectly to schedule or route, but if you are around where they go, you should be looking for them. It's common sense.
I'm bothered by the "He should have just gotten out of the way, obviously he wasn't paying proper attention." message that keeps being repeated here.

Perhaps this is true. It may not be. We don't know. In the vast majority of ferry/boat situations here (and elsewhere) "staying out of the way" is prudent, courteous, and practical. That's what I did last night as I was cruising into the Friday Harbor marina when the ferry pulled out past the headland. It was easy. And had I not, the ferry would almost certainly have avoided me.

But there is the real possibility that in the collision that started this thread, the ferry turned onto a collision course and did not see the sailboat. And, even with reasonable watchkeeping practices, the sailboat may have been unable to get out of the way in time. The channel where the collision occured is barely a quarter-mile wide, with ferry terminals on both sides:


I believe the collision occurred between the "Orcas" and "Shaw Island" terminals. And remember, those nice smooth "ferry routes" are a fiction -- the ferries can be way off the dotted line.

We don't know if he could have "gotten out of the way". Or perhaps if he had tried getting out of the way on any other day, and the ferry was trying to maneuver to avoid a collision, his "out of the way" maneuver would have caused a collision.

We don't know. You don't know. Thinking "This wouldn't have happened to me because I'm a better sailor." reeks of self-delusion. We all do it whenever we hear of an accident. If we are smart we will also stop to consider that perhaps that accident could indeed have happened to us.

Perhaps once we learn the details we can point fingers.
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Old 22-09-2013, 12:15   #397
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I did not say "he should have gotten out of the way", I'm saying that in a place where it is known that the ferries use that route, you should be watching for them. Actively looking for hazards is slightly different than just paying attention. You enter a channel, you actively look for markers, you're in a ferry route, you actively look for the ferries.

I'm not commenting on the guy at all, I'm just supporting Raku's view that avoiding a bad situation is a good thing.

Chill. I'm not picking a fight.
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Old 22-09-2013, 12:19   #398
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Moving on to bridge-to-bridge between a sail boat and a Washington State Ferry, how formal is it? Are there specific words that one uses to ask the captain what he's going to do?
Thought you deserved a less flippant answer. There is no set dialogue, but standard radio terminology and procedure should be followed. Try to identify the vessel that you are calling by name; if that is not known be as specific as you can ("WS ferry, southbound, at East Pt."); identify yourself by name (and if you think it necessary, by location - "sailing vessel, 1 mile fine on your port bow"). "Over."
Once he's answered and you have established each other's identity, you can make your point. If you were intending on manoeuvring, this would be the time to tell him - "I'll be tacking stbd to a northeast course, and will stay clear of you."; or if you expect to stand on you might say something to the effect of "I see your bearing steady, request your intentions, over." The key is to keep it short, polite and professional, and that's how you should expect the response. If you like his response, then thank him and wish him a nice day. If you don't like his response, do what you need to do, and be aware that Seattle traffic recorded it, if you want to launch a complaint through the Coast Guard. For that reason alone, you may wish to take Dockhead's advice with a grain of salt.
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Old 22-09-2013, 12:55   #399
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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I'm not commenting on the guy at all, I'm just supporting Raku's view that avoiding a bad situation is a good thing.

Chill. I'm not picking a fight.
Sorry if it seemed that I was picking on you -- your post was just the most recent of the "get out of the way" ones.

Of course we should do everything within reason to avoid a bad situation. As I said, that's what I did last night with the outgoing ferry. But that's not what this is really about. What I am seeing is hubris: "That sailor was rammed because he wasn't paying attention. Such a thing could never happen to me because I'm more careful than that."

This is dangerous thinking, and possibly unfair to the skipper of the rammed boat.

Look, plenty of people do stupid things. I know I do from time to time. Sometimes they get in trouble. This may be what happened. But we don't know.

Peace.
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:13   #400
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I'd never speculate on what happened during an event that I didn't witness. I don't know why he got rammed, but it sounds as if he wasn't paying attention, which increased the likelihood that something bad might happen.

Kinda like, if you pass out drunk in the street and someone steals your wallet. Are you at fault? No. Are you responsible? Well, kinda. You might still get your wallet stolen when you're on the street, but it's less likely to happen if you're alert and paying attention.
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:49   #401
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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I'm surprised you were so imprecise in describing this, as I thought you had a background in law. The conventions are just that, conventions, and they have no jurisdiction over the world. As a requirement of being a signatory to the conventions, individual states are required to bring the Colregs into legal force within their own jurisdictions. For instance, in Canada the Collision Regulations CRC c. 1416, enabled by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is the law. It is applicable to all vessels in Canadian waters, and to all Canadian vessels everywhere in the world, except where they directly conflict with a local law, in which case that takes precedent.

Just for the sake of interest, the Canadian Modifications to the Colregs (CANMODS) are similar in many cases to the US Inland rules.

PS - Did you ever get around to corresponding with Capt Cockcroft or the RYA legal dept about the "other" discussion?

Sorry, but I was speaking precisely. I used to teach this stuff in law schools, so I tend to be fairly careful when I write about it.

A convention is nothing more than a multilateral treaty, which creates legal obligations among the participating states. So quite literally, when the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea was signed, by as far as I know all of the littoral states in the world, the Rules were adopted internationally. By "adopted", I mean that duly authorized representatives of the world's littoral states agreed on the text of uniform international navigation rules, and all these states took international legal obligations to each other to do whatever is necessary under their own laws to implement these international rules. I am not aware that there is any littoral state which did not sign the Convention, but interestingly, among the very few reservations to the Convention, and I believe the only material one, was made by Canada, which insisted on reserving the right to formulate its own version of Rule 10. Since the other states signed subject to Canada's reservation, they agreed that Canada may may make an exceptional deviation from the Rules.

Of course different countries have different procedures for implementing treaty obligations. Many countries require some kind of legislative ratification. Some countries require that non-self-executing treaties be implemented with enabling legislation. By operation of the Supremacy Clause, Article IV Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution,
the treaties obligations of the United States are the law of the land, and trump state and local laws. The U.S. view was that the Convention was a self-executing treaty, and so there is no U.S. enabling legislation. The Colregs were implemented by Executive Order 11964, which empowered the Secretary of Transportation to simply enter the Colregs into the Code of Federal Regulations, which was duly done as 83 CFR 81.

Other countries all have their own procedures, but today the Colregs apply to all the world's oceans, exactly word for word, with the only material exception I know being a Canadian version of Rule 10. And this is not an accident, since the main purpose of the 1972 Convention was to harmonize navigation rules around the world, so that mariners would only have to know one set of them.

I trust this is a sufficiently precise answer to your question?


As to Cockburn -- he wrote to me once, then did not reply to two further messages. He is pretty old, and I wonder if he is perhaps having bad health. I have not followed up with RYA; thanks for reminding me. I will do so.


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Old 22-09-2013, 13:49   #402
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pirate Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I've had a couple of comments in this thread but none about interpreting the COLREGS cuz I'm not dealing with them often enough to have any expertise whatsoever. I haven't bothered to call my buddy ferryboat skipper cuz I'm sure he would agree with the pros here in this discussion. It amazes me that the contentiousness can continue as long as it has.

Mac warned us pages ago that he, for one, was tired of reading another "Raku-centric" thread. So many threads are. I mention this as prelude to a week or so ago in a technical discussion another poster was having a go and challenging everything Commodore Bash said. The poster wasn't a newbie apparently but I think Bash has shown his bona fides often enough to not be challenged a lot. He was also mature enough to let it go at some point.

Another current thread is about the situation in Oriental, NC. It's very clear what the consensus of CFers is and yet the OP hangs in there with very little support from anyone. At some point, stubbornness and argumentativeness morphs into trollishness. I don't see what the payoff is for these folks.

Just sayin'.
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:54   #403
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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If you don't like his response, do what you need to do, and be aware that Seattle traffic recorded it, if you want to launch a complaint through the Coast Guard. For that reason alone, you may wish to take Dockhead's advice with a grain of salt.
I hope no one took seriously my "advice" about bridge-to-bridge communication!! It was a joke!! For the serious answer, see Lodesman, who has told you exactly how to do it.
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:57   #404
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Thought you deserved a less flippant answer. There is no set dialogue, but standard radio terminology and procedure should be followed. Try to identify the vessel that you are calling by name; if that is not known be as specific as you can ("WS ferry, southbound, at East Pt."); identify yourself by name (and if you think it necessary, by location - "sailing vessel, 1 mile fine on your port bow"). "Over."
Once he's answered and you have established each other's identity, you can make your point. If you were intending on manoeuvring, this would be the time to tell him - "I'll be tacking stbd to a northeast course, and will stay clear of you."; or if you expect to stand on you might say something to the effect of "I see your bearing steady, request your intentions, over." The key is to keep it short, polite and professional, and that's how you should expect the response. If you like his response, then thank him and wish him a nice day. If you don't like his response, do what you need to do, and be aware that Seattle traffic recorded it, if you want to launch a complaint through the Coast Guard. For that reason alone, you may wish to take Dockhead's advice with a grain of salt.
Thanks-- I've heard from several "sources" around our club that channel 14 is for commercial traffic only.

So do I make this call on 16?
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Old 22-09-2013, 14:08   #405
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

In VTS areas the vessels are required to monitor channel 13 (the standard ship bridge to bridge communication channel) and the Local area VTS channel (which is Seattle is 5A/14).

Outside of VTS they monitor 16 & 13.

I usually first try 13 when calling a commercial vessel.

Regarding channel 16 - the USCG VTS manual says this:
"Although VMRS and VTS Users are exempt from monitoring Channel 16 while complying with VTS participation regulations (reference 47 CFR 80.148(b) exemption), VMRS and VTS User class vessels are encouraged to also actively guard Channel 16 if able to do so, along with continuous monitoring of the appropriate VTS frequency, AND Channel 13, on separate radios, while in U.S. waters. Many smaller vessels may be unaware of the Channel 16 exemption status, and may attempt to hail larger vessels on Channel 16 in an emergency, which is the appropriate frequency for a vessel of their class in U.S. or Canadian waters."

Useful document if you want to know more.
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