Originally Posted by OldFrog75
I was taught the onus is on the boat entering the fairway from the fingers/slips to post a lookout, give a warning signal (whistle, horn, etc.), proceed at a slow enough speed to avoid a collision
, and ultimately yield to boats already in the fairway, similar in concept
to vehicles proceeding up an on-ramp to a freeway yielding to cars already traveling on the freeway.
IME, they only put "Yield" signs on the on-ramps in the US. In most of the civilized world, there are "Merge" signs, and incoming traffic is expected to smoothly join the traffic flow.
That said, I agree that the rule
2 normal observance would be for the boat entering the larger channel to do so cautiously, but given that there are no explicit rules to that end, and unlikely "Yield" signs at the mouth of the finger channel, it would be hard to give it the most weight.
IMO, the other rules that apply are, in no particular order:
6 - both vessels; obviously if neither could stop in time to avoid collision
, they were both going too fast;
9(f)/34(e) - both vessels; although I consider it impractical for vsl 1 to sound a prolonged blast passing every obscured finger channel, so would weigh more heavily on vsl 3;
15 - the rules don't make a distinction about relative size of channels, so this is a crossing situation and vsl 1 failed to keep clear of vsl 3; by extension rules 8 and 16 also apply, and a fail of rule
17 for vsl 3.
I would split the blame vessel1 60%/vessel3 40%.