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Old 10-06-2010, 19:01   #211
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10(c) A vessel, shall so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.

The word "practicable" does not mean one must do something it means you should do it only if it makes sense. If it does not make sense, then you are under no obligation to do so.

Also, a fine difference that might get you on a test is that the 90 degrees applies to the flow of traffic and not the direction of the lane. It never says you should try to cross the lane at 90 degrees. In other words, if there is no traffic flow, you can cross the lane any direction you wish.
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Old 10-06-2010, 21:48   #212
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Rule 9 Narrow channels.

(a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit or the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.

Can you define what the courts would consider a “narrow channel?

Rule 10 Traffic separation schemes
.


(a) This rule applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the organisation and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other Rule:

(c) A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.


In order to prevent an accidental Gybe can a vessel under sail with auxiliary engine on standby, be permitted to cross at say 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees under this Rule?


What is the key difference between Rule 9 and Rule 10?

This is great! Exactly what I was hoping for where well considered interpretations of the Rules differ from one another.

If I can paraphrase their answers:

1/ Bewitched and Nigel says you are not permitted to cross at a shallow angle if fitted with an engine

2/ Paradix and David M disagree and take the practical approach that if there is no danger (or traffic) you can cross at any angle you like. Donradcliffe kind of supports this by saying don’t worry, no one cares if it is not busy.

IMO adopted traffic separation schemes (TSS) are generally monitored by radar like in the English Channel or Juan de Fuca Straits or approaches to Vancouver/Seattle.

Sailing Masters (not because of a collision) have actually been subsequently prosecuted when not crossing the TSS at the appropriate right angles since Traffic Control see it as their mandate to train all vessels to follow these “Highway Rules” when controlling large and fast tonnage


This is where when you answer my other questions in Rule 9 and 10 it start to make sense (even if you don’t agree) on the differences between narrow channels and TSS
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:55   #213
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What is the key difference between Rule 9 and Rule 10?
Fundamentally, I would interpret the key difference as a narrow channel limits the manueverability of a vessel (not to be confused w/RAM), whereas a TSS is designed to enable the safe flow of traffic in/out of a busy harbor. Among other things, a TSS will reduce errors in what ships should do when meeting. There may be (and usually is) a lot of deep water around a TSS.

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10(c) A vessel, shall so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.
Are the courts ruling that a double practicable is the same as a double negative?

Quote:
Sailing Masters (not because of a collision) have actually been subsequently prosecuted when not crossing the TSS at the appropriate right angles since Traffic Control see it as their mandate to train all vessels to follow these “Highway Rules” when controlling large and fast tonnage
So they are prosecuting Sailing Masters, but not pleasure boaters? And the point is...to hold them up as examples??

My limited experience supports Donradcliffe's view. Having crossed TSS in NY and Boston, I have sailed as close to right angles as "practicable" (but NEVER at 90*), but also when there was little to no traffic.

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Old 13-06-2010, 07:28   #214
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IMO adopted traffic separation schemes (TSS) are generally monitored by radar like in the English Channel or Juan de Fuca Straits or approaches to Vancouver/Seattle.
In this statement, does IMO stand for In My Opinion or Int'l Maritime Organization?

I personally don't think radar monitoring alone defines the difference. Using your Juan de Fuca example, it should also be noted that there is extensive radar coverage throughout the narrow channels of the San Juan islands and Gulf Islands and very involved VTM Services. Conversely (and afaik), the lanes off Finistere did not have VTS until fairly recently.

To me the key differences between the two rules is that overtaking in a narrow channel has a specified procedure and signals, and there is no requirement to drive in a particular direction in a narrow channel.

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In order to prevent an accidental Gybe can a vessel under sail with auxiliary engine on standby, be permitted to cross at say 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees under this Rule?

I would say if a situation arose where a vessel following a scheme was impeded by a sailing vessel that was crossing at other than 90°, had it's auxiliary engine available but unused, and could have avoided impeding that vessel by using its engine to cross at right angle, then my opinion is the sailing vessel would be in the wrong and justifiably subject to punishment. OTOH, if a vessel is sailing and otherwise complies with the rules then there should be no reason that crossing at 60° should not be permitted. I am quite aware that the self-appointed police within the more officious VTS (can anyone say "Seattle Traffic") will try to force rigid adherence - I suggest to get around that, you should contact VTS and advise them of your intention to cross with the course you'll be following, and ask for a traffic report. If VTS questions your course, simply advise them that due to the wind direction, this course is as close as you can practicably get to perpendicular. Most VTS record their VHF conversations, so you will have a legal record proving you've satisfied the legal requirements not only of Rule 10, but also of Rules 2 and 5. Make sure you put this in your ship's log.
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Old 13-06-2010, 09:53   #215
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I do not know about Canada since individual countries can create their own rules in addition to which rules they choose to adopt within the COLREG's. In the USA, the entire body of the COLREG's are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations which makes makes all of the COLREG's law.

In the USA, crossing at 90 degrees is an advisory and not an absolute requirement. The rule says "if practicable". If it is not practicable then you are not obligated to do so.

Also, it says perpendicular to the general direction of traffic flow. It does not say perpendicular to the channel itself. If there is no flow of traffic, then there is nothing to be perpendicular with. You are still obligated to avoid (read optional) crossing a channel.

To summarize, in the US nowhere in the rules does it say you must cross a channel at a right angle and nowhere does it say you may not cross a channel.

10(c) A vessel, shall so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navru...les/Rule10.htm
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Old 13-06-2010, 10:35   #216
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2/ Paradix and David M disagree and take the practical approach that if there is no danger (or traffic) you can cross at any angle you like.
What disagreement? We are saying the same thing.

There is no room for interpretation on this, the rules do not say you shall cross at 90 degrees, only if it is "practicable".
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Old 13-06-2010, 20:30   #217
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I am quite aware that the self-appointed police within the more officious VTS (can anyone say "Seattle Traffic") will try to force rigid adherence - I suggest to get around that, you should contact VTS and advise them of your intention to cross with the course you'll be following, and ask for a traffic report. If VTS questions your course, simply advise them that due to the wind direction, this course is as close as you can practicably get to perpendicular. Most VTS record their VHF conversations, so you will have a legal record proving you've satisfied the legal requirements not only of Rule 10, but also of Rules 2 and 5. Make sure you put this in your ship's log.
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What disagreement? We are saying the same thing.

There is no room for interpretation on this, the rules do not say you shall cross at 90 degrees, only if it is "practicable".
There is a particular operator at VTS Puget Sound who loves to make sure that everyone very rigidly follows the TSS and every other little rule they have (anyone who's spent much time in that system knows who I'm talking about). He should re-read the part of Rule 10 that David quoted.

This is somewhat of a personal peeve of mine, but I cringe slightly when vessels call in asking for "permission" or "authorization" to cross the lanes, or make a departure from them. The VTS Puget Sound handbook says that you must report to them if you are making (or intending to make) these departures - not to ask for permission to do so and there are lots of people who are not always aware of that difference. VTS is a great tool, but they do not control the traffic (local rules may vary, but outright control is extremely limited and rare in VTS PS), nor do they have the perspective/experience to make navigational decisions or hold any liability in the case of an incident.

I've had Seattle Traffic fail to report vessels to me that I would have liked to have known about (I'm talking "deep-draft at sea-speed" traffic - not little guys). Ninety-nine percent of the time they do a great job, but the buck stops in the wheelhouse and I will be the one to conduct my vessel within the rules of navigation and if that includes not crossing the lanes at a perfect 90 or not leaving a TSS buoy to port every time I enter a precautionary area with no relevant traffic, so be it.
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Old 13-06-2010, 22:20   #218
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.....the entire body of the COLREG's are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations which makes makes all of the COLREG's law.

In the USA, crossing at 90 degrees is an advisory and not an absolute requirement. The rule says "if practicable". If it is not practicable then you are not obligated to do so.

Also, it says perpendicular to the general direction of traffic flow. It does not say perpendicular to the channel itself. If there is no flow of traffic, then there is nothing to be perpendicular with. You are still obligated to avoid (read optional) crossing a channel.

To summarize, in the US nowhere in the rules does it say you must cross a channel at a right angle and nowhere does it say you may not cross a channel.

10(c) A vessel, shall so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.

Rule 10: Traffic Separation Schemes
Hi David,

Hi David, Just to clarify, I meant that you and Paradix disagree with Nigel and Bewitched and as far as court “Interpretation” as well as US Law......Nigel and Bewitched are correct.

Your interpretation is flawed because all IMO signatories have agreed that the requirement applies “at all times” whether there is traffic or not proceeding along the lanes.

There is a lot more explanation under IMO’s General provisions of Ship Routing which USA is part of internationally agreed protocols…

See Ships' routeing

Also as an interesting note “heading” was added to 10 ( c ) in 1987 to make clear that it is the heading of the vessel and not the course made good which should be close to right angles to the direction of traffic flow.

This is because of a slow vessel crossing who is experiencing a strong tidal flow, should realize that the shortest time to cross a traffic lane is achieved on a heading at right angles to the direction of traffic flow. (not to counteract current at a slower SOG)

See also UK merchant shipping notice M.1281 that explains better special circumstances that I mention in 2/ below..

For YOGAO There is no “double negative” in using Practical twice in that section.

Two separate points they are making:

1/…They say you should avoid crossing traffic lanes, meaning it is preferred that you do your crossing at say the precautionary area if practical and then head up the inside zone (either way) to your destination.

Some of the traffic Lanes are pretty short (around headlands and capes) so they are also saying, there is no justification crossing in those regulated areas and do it somewhere else, so as not to disturb the Traffic Flow and increase risk of collision between other ships.

2/…The other practical is to help purely sailing vessels or small craft, (in heavy weather) to get across quickly and safely on a course they have been given permission to use … “if traffic permits”.
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Old 13-06-2010, 22:42   #219
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There is a particular operator at VTS Puget Sound who loves to make sure that everyone very rigidly follows the TSS and every other little rule they have (anyone who's spent much time in that system knows who I'm talking about). He should re-read the part of Rule 10 that David quoted.

I have a different take on the Vancouver/Seattle Traffic guys, because I used to work with them a lot in all kinds of conditions.

In the early 80’s I have saved and been saved with their help in Mayday situations and as I said above, David is mistaken about the rule about crossing.

However there is a much more practical reason why I always register my vessel with Traffic…. They have incredible equipment that shows true motion reality and ARPA scenarios of what is coming around corners, multilateral scenarios with the big boys and if I did have a Mayday, they will get help to me the quickest.


This is somewhat of a personal peeve of mine, but I cringe slightly when vessels call in asking for "permission" or "authorization" to cross the lanes, or make a departure from them. The VTS Puget Sound handbook says that you must report to them if you are making (or intending to make) these departures - not to ask for permission to do so and there are lots of people who are not always aware of that difference. VTS is a great tool, but they do not control the traffic (local rules may vary, but outright control is extremely limited and rare in VTS PS), nor do they have the perspective/experience to make navigational decisions or hold any liability in the case of an incident.


The protocol of asking Traffic’s permission to cross a traffic lane just makes sense to me as a wise precaution and they have even reported large trees in my path, or fishing nets or 2 laden containerships racing down the Strait, suggesting I give it 20 minutes before crossing.

Great service and should be respected


I've had Seattle Traffic fail to report vessels to me that I would have liked to have known about (I'm talking "deep-draft at sea-speed" traffic - not little guys). Ninety-nine percent of the time they do a great job, but the buck stops in the wheelhouse and I will be the one to conduct my vessel within the rules of navigation and if that includes not crossing the lanes at a perfect 90 or not leaving a TSS buoy to port every time I enter a precautionary area with no relevant traffic, so be it.

Just added to you comments above
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Old 13-06-2010, 22:52   #220
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Rule 10 Traffic separation schemes
.

(d) (i) Inshore traffic zones shall not normally be used by through traffic which can safely use the appropriate traffic lane within the adjacent traffic separation scheme. However, vessels of less than 20m in length, sailing vessels and vessels engaged in fishing may under all circumstances use inshore traffic zones.

When is it not advisable as a small cruising vessel to go via inshore traffic zones?
This question is for cruisers who feel they should always try and stay in the inshore zones away from the big guys.

Let’s use as an example…. if you were sailing over from Florida approaching Gibraltar from the South West… would you use the traffic lanes or stay outside and why ??
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Old 16-06-2010, 22:59   #221
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Just added to you comments above
Please don't take my comments as coming off as thinking that Seattle Traffic (and most VTS' around the world) is a disservice or worthless. That's not at all what I think. VTS is a great tool and they generally do a great job. As you pointed out, their ability to see a much greater overall picture of traffic is invaluable. I especially agree with their professionalism with regards to handling emergencies and have eavesdropped onto a few myself, never hearing anything short of them being helpful and swift in their response. I've always wanted to go pop down to Pier 36 and get the public tour and maybe put some faces to the voices.

However, I do not like the transferring of vessel control from those professionals on the bridge/wheelhouse, who do this for a living, to a (generally younger) non-mariner sitting at a console with only a computer screen perspective (AIS and radar) and some limited camera angles. Piloting is not simply just keeping electronic icons on a screen from overlapping. There is a lot going on on a ship that only those onboard can understand or "feel". An ATC-like VTS setup in the U.S. has been proposed before (latest time was after the Cosco Busan incident) and always been shot down - even the USCG itself is against it. Ships are not planes and waterways are not the skies.

This ties into my assertion that you do not need to ask for permission to cross a TSS. Yes, you must call in and inform them of your intentions, as well as receive a traffic update - this is very clearly laid out in the User's Handbook. Call it semantics, but to me there is a distinct difference in those two kinds of radio calls and the former implies that the watchstander is operating in some system where he is just the driver going from point A to point B, as told. That's a setup for complaceny and an accident waiting to happen as I have personally seen/heard Seattle Traffic fail to report a significant and relevant vessel to me. As with every other tool at one's disposal, you can't rely on it 100%. Nothing against them - that's just the way it is. As it is, I actually thought the amount of blame being placed on VTS SF following the Cosco Busan was unfounded - the buck stops in the wheelhouse and the people whining about how the USCG "let the ship turn into the bridge" were being naive and unjustified. There are very few times that VTS can step in and direct movement of a vessel and, imo, this situation was already FUBAR-ed (not that they could've done anything that the pilot wasn't already doing at that point).

Again, VTS is a great tool and they do well in their job. I highly respect them. But I just do not think that they should have any authority of navigational control over a vessel. The technology and their limited perspective just does not make that feasible yet in my own opinion. Like I said, the whole "permission/intention" thing is more of a personal peeve and it's perfectly possible that the majority of guys saying it don't even realize it. But, I do not wish to see that become the norm or being turned into official procedure.

Now, to tie this in with Rule 10, I will say that any VTS that fines a vessel (I don't think that even happens in the U.S.) for crossing a TSS at less than perpendicular when there is no relevant traffic and without impeding any other traffic, is simply flexing its muscles and authority (assuming you're not blatantly obstructing the lanes or lallygagging). Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar or English Channel is one thing. Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca or Puget Sound is another. The differences in the amount of traffic and their density is not even close.
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Old 17-06-2010, 12:22   #222
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When is it not advisable as a small cruising vessel to go via inshore traffic zones?

This question is for cruisers who feel they should always try and stay in the inshore zones away from the big guys.

Let’s use as an example…. if you were sailing over from Florida approaching Gibraltar from the South West… would you use the traffic lanes or stay outside and why ??
I'm not familiar with Gibraltar - only got as far as Casablanca and Cadiz. So I'll take a stab at generic reasoning. One obvious reason is where there are navigational hazards (shoaling, etc) inshore and the lane is dredged and measured. The other would be if the traffic in the inshore zone is dense, particularly with fishing vessels, then it would seem to favour using the lane.
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Old 17-06-2010, 12:41   #223
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you should contact VTS and advise them of your intention to cross with the course you'll be following, and ask for a traffic report.
FWIW, I agree with Watermann - advise VTS, don't get their permission. But asking for a traffic report, besides being good manners and making traffic feel appreciated, is good seamanship. If traffic tells you that CoscoBusan is 6 miles upstream of you outbound at 24 kts, then you'll know you don't want to be smack dab in the centre of the lane in 15 minutes
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Old 17-06-2010, 12:44   #224
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But I just do not think that they should have any authority of navigational control over a vessel. The technology and their limited perspective just does not make that feasible yet in my own opinion. Like I said, the whole "permission/intention" thing is more of a personal peeve and it's perfectly possible that the majority of guys saying it don't even realize it. But, I do not wish to see that become the norm or being turned into official procedure.
From the VTS Manual:

Question: Does Seattle Traffic have the authority to direct the movement of my vessel?
Answer: Yes, “Seattle Traffic” may issue measures or directions to enhance navigation and vessel safety and protect the marine environment by:
(a) Designating temporary reporting points and procedures;
(b) Imposing vessel operating requirements;
(c) Establishing vessel traffic routing schemes;
(d) During conditions of vessel congestion, restricted visibility, adverse weather, or other hazardous circumstances, “Seattle Traffic” may control, supervise, or otherwise manage traffic, specifying times of entry, movement, or departure, from, or within Seattle Traffic's area.
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Old 17-06-2010, 12:50   #225
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FWIW, I agree with Watermann - advise VTS, don't get their permission. But asking for a traffic report, besides being good manners and making traffic feel appreciated, is good seamanship.
I agree with this philosophy as well but am wondering... if I have a Class B AIS onboard so I know that VTS can see me, does it still make sense to advise VTS when I am entering or exiting the TSS lanes? As long as I am monitoring the appropriate VHF channel(s) so they can reach me if necessary, would contacting them be redundant or does it still make sense to notify them of my intended course across the lanes?
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