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Old 23-06-2015, 20:39   #166
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Guys

I am not arguing with any of you. I absolutely am here to learn from your experience and have a good chat about stuff.

As a person in and out of courts all the time on medical cases, I have learned that lawyers see things in a particular way and I have a gut instinct regarding the cases I have a chance with and those I dont.

The bottom line is that none of us want a collision, and I will guarantee that if one occurs, 99.9% of the time the court will find both guilty because either vessel barring malfunction of a propulsion system can get out of the way if a lookout by all means available in the circumstances is taken by even one vessel.

I have masses of respect for Monte and Exile, I read a lot of their jottings.

However: Associations world wide permit, encourage and licence single handed world traversing sailors. Either interpretation of the law is not as clear cut as it appears, or they are guilty of breaking the law themselves knowing that sleep will ensue and colreg5 will be under review by us all.

It only becomes an issue if something goes wrong.



Woohoo......... last patient......... going home to bed soon...... 3:39am!
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Old 23-06-2015, 21:03   #167
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Ok let me break it down a bit more simply the way I read the rule. It's a long sentence and it seems some readers are mixing the various parts of the sentence and combining them into one. The sentence has 3 parts, linked by 2 simple phrases ( as well as, so as )

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing
as well as
by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions
so as
to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision

Each part is individual and important. The first stating what must be done at all times
The second stating what must be done considering the means available and the conditions
The third stating how the relevant information should be used

Again, a quite reasonable reading. But so is reading the first and second parts as the means for which a "proper lookout" is accomplished, and the third limiting the extent of that lookout upon completion of the situational appraisal & collision risk. I'm really not disagreeing with your particular reading, only pointing out that there is more than one! That, btw, is the defn. of an "ambiguity."

Should a radar be used in good visibility? I don't think it says that at all.
Should a radar be monitored when visibility is restricted, either by weather conditions or a big ass crane on the foredeck? Yes I think it clearly falls under the second part.
I'd really prefer to make you laugh and not cry, but unfortunately the Rules in this regard seem to create . . . yes . . . wait for it . . . another ambiguity! Not unlike failing to keep a visual lookout "at all times" under your interpretation of Rule 5, you are also free not to use your otherwise functional radar on a clear, sunny day. But in either case and in the event of a collision, you'd be hard pressed to justify either the lack of a visual lookout, or the decision not to have turned your radar on (if available) under Rules 5 & 7(b).
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Old 23-06-2015, 21:06   #168
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Thanks to everyone for being so forthcoming with their viewpoints.

I need to go and feed the cats and go to bed.

Later
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Old 23-06-2015, 21:09   #169
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post

It only becomes an issue if something goes wrong.



Boy, does this comment ever nail it! Only wish I could be that dang concise!

Woohoo......... last patient......... going home to bed soon...... 3:39am!
Gettin' off work at that hour of the morn? The cats will be pissed, but probably only from getting woke up.
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Old 23-06-2015, 21:55   #170
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Just 1 example: 20-mile visibility/clear skies/broad daylight/flat calm seas/ghosting along in light air/no other vessels in sight/no shipping lane--absolutely no reason to have the radar on.
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Old 23-06-2015, 23:03   #171
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
I'd really prefer to make you laugh and not cry, but unfortunately the Rules in this regard seem to create . . . yes . . . wait for it . . . another ambiguity! Not unlike failing to keep a visual lookout "at all times" under your interpretation of Rule 5, you are also free not to use your otherwise functional radar on a clear, sunny day. But in either case and in the event of a collision, you'd be hard pressed to justify either the lack of a visual lookout, or the decision not to have turned your radar on (if available) under Rules 5 & 7(b).
Actually there is no ambiguity IF you use the proper definitions. The definition of "Proper lookout" is "a lookout that gives you the necessary information to prevent a collision or a seriously dangerous situation." If nothing serious occurs (including causing the other vessel to take drastic measures or seriously worry) then the lookout was "proper" enough. But if an event happens that causes a collision or causes drastic measures to be taken or seriously worries the other skipper, well by definition the lookout was not "proper" (baring, of course, that your vessel was "not under cammand"). It's proper enough if it works, not proper if it doesn't. Now how a court MIGHT decie, that's a whole other ball of wax.
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Old 23-06-2015, 23:08   #172
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Not yet, as far as I know. I believe it's in the works. We have to understand that everyone was quite shocked, and there's a whole lot of re-thinking going on. I rather doubt anyone wants to talk about it.

One thing I really detest is that some places the gear is required by local law, and there are people who have the right to check that you have it, and at the same time it's NFG! Grrrh!

Ah, well, there's a lot of craziness in the world.
We had a work incident a while back where a self inflating life vest failed to go off through not being put together properly. The guy was in an 8m boat and it was flipped over and the guy trapped underneath, again they feel the guy only lived because his jacket didn't inflate.

I do wonder though how many manual jackets over the years have NOT inflated when the cord was pulled also due to lack of servicing, maintenance or incorrect installation.

Hard decision which way to go, best is to hope its never need in the first instance.
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Old 23-06-2015, 23:14   #173
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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As you pointed out. The regulations apply to moored vessels as well. If a vessel is left on a ball or at anchor and the crew go off for a sightsee-technically its a breach. If on anchor and all the crew is asleep, its a breach.
Correction! SOME Regulations apply to moored vessels as well. Rule 5 doesn't.

Rule 5 is in PART B - STEERING AND SAILING RULES. A boat at anchor is neither steering nor sailing.

Rules which do apply to moored vessels such as required lights/shapes and sound signals appear in other parts of the ColRegs such as PART C and PART D.
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Old 23-06-2015, 23:21   #174
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

This thread is getting either pedantic or lawyerly, probably both. The "common sense" interpretation is that if there's no collision ar incident that required drastic action, well then it was "proper". And if a dangerous event or collision happened, well then there was a failure of either the lookout, the conveying the information from the lookout to the helmsman, or that actions of the helmsman. And since the captain is responsible for everything on the boat, there was a failure by the captain. And all of these failures come under the lookout not being proper. It is up to the skipper to decide what is "proper" and, if an incident occurs, it is up to the ajudicating agency to decide whether the skipper's decision was right or wrong. There are SO MANY conditions possible that it is probably impossible to compose a definative set of directions that cover all situations so that IF a person were able to memorize each of those sets that he'd be able to recall the correct set in a timely manner. Use your sense! If I can't use my sense correctly I'll end up dead or in jail. So far I've not been caught.
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Old 24-06-2015, 02:31   #175
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by secrabtree View Post
This thread is getting either pedantic or lawyerly, probably both. The "common sense" interpretation is that if there's no collision ar incident that required drastic action, well then it was "proper". And if a dangerous event or collision happened, well then there was a failure of either the lookout, the conveying the information from the lookout to the helmsman, or that actions of the helmsman. And since the captain is responsible for everything on the boat, there was a failure by the captain. And all of these failures come under the lookout not being proper. It is up to the skipper to decide what is "proper" and, if an incident occurs, it is up to the ajudicating agency to decide whether the skipper's decision was right or wrong. There are SO MANY conditions possible that it is probably impossible to compose a definative set of directions that cover all situations so that IF a person were able to memorize each of those sets that he'd be able to recall the correct set in a timely manner. Use your sense! If I can't use my sense correctly I'll end up dead or in jail. So far I've not been caught.
I think you will find that is precisely what I have said all along. There is a "vagueness" in the description so as to NOT legislate every action or reaction under every circumstance. The guidelines leave latitude for the Master to implement.
It only ever comes into question when there is an incident. It throws the responsibility into the legal scene onto each master of the vessel that there was adequate watch keeping.

Rule 5 does not require the installation of radar, but if radar is installed it must be used whenever it would contribute to the quality of the lookout. What are your obligations if radar is installed on your vessel but is not working properly? Rule 5 does not require that mafunctioning radar be used. If the problem is temporary, such as signal blockage caused by a heavy rainstorm, the use of radar can be suspended but not abandoned.

Radar can be carried one step further by incorporating a computer to calculate the courses and speeds of other vessels the radar detects. The computer than relates that information to the vessel's own course and speed. The automated radar plotting aid (ARPA) displays position, course, and speed for each target and signals when it detects risk of collision. Some ARPAs will also display the projected future track of each vessel, all against the background of an electronic chart of the area. Same goes for AIS.

On this basis, the court will more than likely assume that in the event of an incident, that RADAR SHOULD have been used. Is it fair? Well in the absence of that information, in clear weather visibility, an incident occurred. Courts apply the law to apportion blame and responsibility AFTER an event.

The bottom line of adherence to the principle and obligation of rule 5, is that each one of us has the responsibility to collect information to assess the risk of collision. It only ever becomes an issue if an incident occurs.

Each Master of a vessel will apply the law regulation as they see fit. It is common sense to have a methodology that gives continuous information or an alarm when a vessel or object is in the proximity. My Visual and hearing abilities are not as good as my RADAR for distance, and upon the information received FROM THE RADAR as well as my own observation, I may go down for 4 minutes to make coffee. My "assessment" of the situation has been made for a 4 minute absence. But the Radar is still on as an extension of the circumstance based on my assessment at the time. In case something changes.

So. Yes it has gone to the leagalese-but only in as much as that is where it ends up if a failure of the intention of the requirement ends up in a collision.

That is me done. Once again, I URGE you to read Is it legal for a single handed skipper to sleep? for a more in depth discussion and thought process of the whole debate.
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Old 24-06-2015, 03:16   #176
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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....Once again, I URGE you to read Is it legal for a single handed skipper to sleep? for a more in depth discussion and thought process of the whole debate.
Thanks for that...it sucked up a sizeable lump of my evening here in balmy subtropical New Zealand and all I got for my troubles was 'polyphasic sleep' which I must look up on the morrow....
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Old 24-06-2015, 03:38   #177
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Thanks for that...it sucked up a sizeable lump of my evening here in balmy subtropical New Zealand and all I got for my troubles was 'polyphasic sleep' which I must look up on the morrow....

Polyphasic Sleep: Facts and Myths
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Old 24-06-2015, 04:42   #178
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I made this last week.......... Firmly tongue in cheek and for fun only.

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Old 24-06-2015, 05:14   #179
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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I have no issue with your breakdown.

Your final summary is fair.

Here is my practical take on the matter. The entire ruling is to encourage and enforce a lookout for the prevention of collisions and seafaring accidents. The onus is on the individual vessel under the command of the captain.

I have RADAR. There is no requirement for me to have a RADAR unit on my boat from colreg 5....... However, if I have RADAR, I am required to use it. It is available to me and it must be on. If I have AIS it must be on as it is available to me and I must use it. That is in line with "all means available."

As for a manual physical lookout.- It stands to reason that if I am looking west, I am not looking East. Technically it is impossible to look in all directions at once. Therefore common sense dictates that a procedure for using sight and sound requires a scanning technique for accumulating knowledge for risk assessment. "so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

How often does a person make a scan of the horizon? every minute? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? How long does a person look in one direction?

This is where the rules are indistinct for me. Not that they are not specific, but that they leave both the procedure and the methodology to the Master of the vessel. Although mainly aimed at commercial vessels, it encompasses the principles and guiding regs to us smaller boaters.

In leaving the actual methodology vague, it puts the onus on the Master to ensure that his or her information gathering comes complete with the ability to "make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of a collision".

Here is what I do when day sailing with company. If I have kids on board, their job is to be kids and also know that when they come on deck, that I expect them to take a good look all around and spot debris or boats in the vicinity or heading towards us so as to help me to avoid ruining their day out. The kids love it. They are conscientious about doing it. The non seafaring adults are also requested to do it. If I let one of them steer, its on the proviso that they scan the horizon regularly. I will put a kid and an adult together for 15 minute observation of the RADAR. As for me, like you or any other boat owner, I watch everything. By the time we come in to a marina for lunch or a visit, the training has sunk deep on everyone and self preservation techniques are alive and well.

If I am doing a solo trip, same thing. My RADAR is set for the circumstances. If I am out for 30 hours or more, I will have to judge whether circumstances allow for a 30 minute nap or not. If not, I stay awake. If its a busy coastal route, then not. If Im further offshore and out of traffic, and the more 'sighted' RADAR does not detect close traffic, and after taking a long hard look, I might take an initial 10 minute doze with everything set to bleep. If upon waking, my risk assessment is still the same after rechecking everything, I might take a 20 minute doze and that will be sufficient for me to be refreshed enough to continue on.

Am I breaking the #5 regulation? I believe I am in the spirit of maintaining the principle given that I have RADAR and alarms and assess the situation prior to taking a nap. I am also equally sure, that if I have not assessed correctly, then a court will advise me as such is a mishap occurs. During my sleep, A lookout is being kept after assessing the situation and taking the risk factors into account. I have warnings of approaching vessels.
Is it better to have 24 hour watch? Of course. Its also better to only have fresh and rested crew.

As you pointed out. The regulations apply to moored vessels as well. If a vessel is left on a ball or at anchor and the crew go off for a sightsee-technically its a breach. If on anchor and all the crew is asleep, its a breach.

I make no excuses for my choices. If an accident occurs and RADAR or sight or sound or AIS did not alert me, then I am sure apart from blame, I will have set up the equipment wrongly. I try not to do that.

We do our best. I hope to never be asleep and run into anything, No, I try to ensure that I have carried out a proper check and that the risk assessment is made to the best of my ability.

I was on a boat recently where the son (18) was in charge of the helm, and when I came up, he was engrossed in his Kindle, the boat was on autopilot and I bet he did not look up much at all. The RADAR was not even set. His father did not seem worried about it.
I agree with Weaves here. In the commercial world, having a piece of equipment fitted- especially a RADAR, obliges you to use it.

Of course if there is no incident, nobody knows you weren't using it and it's a non issue. If you find yourself in court justifying your actions- you better hope your fitted RADAR was on and in use.

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Old 24-06-2015, 05:36   #180
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I had a quick look at that YBW discussion Weavis, but didn't find anything different to this one. People debating a fairly straightforward sentence/rule and in many cases twisting it or trying to find fault with the wording to suit their own agendas and beliefs. I have my own belief about what the rule means and for me it's unambiguous and I don't believe the writer intended it to be ambiguous or open to interpretation for any reason. Obviously some others disagree with my belief and I'm open to changing my beliefs when presented with facts I'm unaware of. Post collision legal discussion and comments like "why do countries allow single handed races" really have nothing to do with the rule.
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