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Old 25-06-2008, 16:55   #1
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NUC or not NUC

In another thread (Singlehanded Watchstanding?) the use of NUC lights/shapes while the crew slept was discussed. I just happened upon a circular from the NZ MSA, that is rather instructive (read item 4): http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/public...lars/AC022.pdf

Of course this only affects those who are bound by NZ's laws, but the reference to IMO concerns would seem to indicate that most signatories to the IRPCS would support the opinion that drifting does not constitute being Not Under Command, and that indicating NUC while not actually being NUC would be punishable offence.
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Old 25-06-2008, 18:52   #2
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This circular is due to a problem created by service vessels waiting to dock with the north sea oil rigs. These vessels would sometimes have very long waits before they could approach an oil rig. They would shut down the engine, indicate NUC, and go below. The problem was that Icelandic fishing vessels also plied these waters. With their nets deployed the fishing vessels are restricted in their ability to maneuvre. The service vessels were drifting into the path of the fishing vessels creating an unnecessary hazard. This is clearly not an exceptional circumstance but rather a routine practice.

OTOH, the rules do provide for a vessel to indicate that it is NUC and drifting as well as being NUC and underway. The problem is that "exceptional circumstance" is not defined in the rules. The oil rig service vessel skippers figured that going around circles for hours was an exceptional circumstance. Maybe, if their hadn't been any fishing vessels around they would still be drifting and watch TV.

IMHO, it is always best to provide the most accurate infomation possible about your vessel to other vessels that may cross your path. That way, on the rare chance that you should come across another sailing vessel while you are below, they will know what to expect from you.

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Old 25-06-2008, 20:56   #3
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I don't believe the New Zealand MSA would concern itself with North Sea issues, although the problem you mention is possibly the impetus behing the mentioned concern of the IMO.

As I've said before - "exceptional circumstances" is self-explanatory. Doing something routine, is not "exceptional".
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Old 25-06-2008, 22:40   #4
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a vessel drifting is deemed to be underway, Nz MSA directive is due to longline Fishing vessels drifting at night while their gear soaks and nobody being on watch, For a vessel to be in a NUC situation it must be disabled due to special circumstances eg; fouled propellor, broken rudder, seized engine etc, just because nobody is on watch does not put it in that category and is in breech of the collision regs if they show NUC lights
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Old 26-06-2008, 00:40   #5
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Here is a reference to the IMO circular.

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms...%20Circ177.pdf

Navigation Lights - Vessels Not Under Command

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Old 26-06-2008, 20:01   #6
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Viking,

Thanks for finding the parent document. Nice of the USCG to post it. I would never bother going to the IMO site to look for something - in the unlikely event you actually found it, the IMO would make you pay to download it.
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