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Old 06-08-2008, 21:10   #31
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Let me just turn this around a bit David to explain my point.

If the vessel in astern backing into the channel was actually on the Starboard side rather than Port and a collision occurred would it still be 100% someone’s fault by applying the crossing rule?

Safe speed, proper lookout and prudent seamanship would have placed blame on both operators and it would legally have been judged a shared decision once the distances involved, line of sights, avoiding actions and impact points were all reviewed.

What is considered a safe speed in that channel with a following current for that type of vessel? Was there a traffic separation scheme in effect? What control and room to manoeuvre did the vessel going astern have. What were the other multilateral considerations?

I agree, we will never know that until it went to court and was judged upon. (Even then …it is only an opinion)

Your 90 knot example is an extreme case of a vessel in non displacement mode not keeping to a safe speed and remaining clear of all other vessels operating in displacement mode. There was nothing the sailboat could do to avoid a collision so they should be held harmless….. But as that case on another thread about a sheriff’s boat running over a sailboat, there were mitigating factors like running lights which are still being argued about.

That's why lawyers get the big money!

Agreed on all points...especially about the lawyers.
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Old 06-08-2008, 21:19   #32
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Here is another example of what I am saying. An ocean racer is going 90 knots with an unsteady course. It runs over a sailboat going 4 knots. Could the sailboat possibly be at fault? Lets say it is daylight in unlimited visibility.

No, because there is no way the sailboat could have avoided that collision regardless of how he maneuvered. Under Rule 2...is the sailboat still at fault? No.

Neither the sailboat nor the stand on vessel are at fault if the boat took action to avoid the collision yet there was no way to avoid the collision.

Unless it happens in Lake County CA Ha Ha Ha
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:41   #33
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So it seems that we are in agreement, both were at fault, both should have given way, neither seems to have the rules either with or against him.
The problem was that both vessels felt that they were the stand on vessel.
No sound signals were made, yes he was backing out of a Marina, yes there was about 2 knots of tide running. The vessel in the channel did try very hard to take avoiding action but with 2 knots of tide under him a collision was going to happen. It was when the skipper of the vessel in astern declared that this was "Not a crossing situation" (Because hedid not a vessel on his starboard side) that the trouble stated.

Always insteresting to get the informed opinions of you guys. I will let you know what the UK MAIB say about it.

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Old 10-08-2008, 09:33   #34
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The key question that will be asked of both skippers is that once they became aware of the other vessel, did they take immediate action to avoid a collision or did they assume they had priority because of their situation?

Also, if any witnesses state that the collision could have been avoided by early action from either skipper, the blame will be proportional to the circumstances.
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Old 10-08-2008, 22:56   #35
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This is an interesting situation, but I don't think Port startboard, ahead or astern applies. Boat backing out of a slip or marina has a duty to insure the channel is clear of traffic. If he checks for all clear, and a boat suddenly turns the corner in the channel, it's an unfortunate situation, but the boat in the channel would probably still have the right of way, especially if there is limited room in the channel to navigate.

If the boat in the channel was going an excessive speed or had room and sufficient warning to alter course and safely avoid the collision, the judge could rule some proportionality.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:58   #36
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There is a bit in this months Sailing Today about rules.
They state that a vessel entering a channel must give way. Mainly, I think, because the main channel boat may be at speed, running with current, or otherwise not fully manouvreable. It all sounds like joining a motorway.
My first though was the joining was most manouvrable, a bit of forward would bring everything under control (usually). But I wasn't there.
There was also mention in the Mag of a husband lost when their tender capsized on returning to shore after aborting a trip due to bad weather. The wife was rescued by a young lad on a jetty with a rope.
We all debate and report boating incidents that happen to 'boats' but how often are tender incidents, trips and falls in harbours, on pontoons etc causing serious injury. Perhaps 'the boat' is the safest place to be in bad weather, scrambling ashore for a warm nights sleep has it's hazards!
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Old 11-08-2008, 18:55   #37
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There is a bit in this months Sailing Today about rules.
They state that a vessel entering a channel must give way.
Do they mean entering a channel from another channel or entering from open water?
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:29   #38
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I think it meant entering a main channel, ie from a joining minor channel, mooring etc
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