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Old 01-08-2008, 03:42   #1
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Port & Starboard Incident - Unusual?

Happened a couple of days ago, two power driven vessels, one in astern joining the main channel. a vessel moving down the main channel has the vessel in astern on his port bow. There is a risk of collision.

The vessel proceeding down the main channel is expecting the vessel in astern to give way to him. The vessel in astern is expecting the vessel in the channel to give way to him! (no vessel on his starboard side, Rule 15, Crossing Vessels))

The collision occured, vessel in main channel also had the incomming tide under him and despite lots of reverse thrust there was a decent collision.

Should the vessel in astern have given way?

The rules do not seem to cover this, unless you know better?

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Old 01-08-2008, 04:23   #2
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The rules do cover it. Overtaking vessel keeps clear. He's the one who'll get the repair bill.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:10   #3
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The vessel backing into the channel from the port side of the vessel proceeding down the main channel is the burdened vessel. Why was he running astern?

Unless I misunderstood your explanation, this is a crossing not an overtaking situation.

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Old 01-08-2008, 05:11   #4
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Not an Overtaking Situation, but a crossing vessel situation

Hi Swagman,

The vessel in astern is about to enter the the channel at close to 90 degrees to the vessel in the channel.

ie the vessel in astern is 90 degrees to port of the vessel in the channel.

I should have put this in the original post.

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Old 01-08-2008, 05:32   #5
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Basically the operator in the channel did not slow down in time to allow a vessel backing out of a confined space to safely complete his manoeuvre but instead tried to apply the crossing rule.

The operator going astern did not maintain a proper lookout and probably did not sound 3 blasts indicating that he was going astern to warn vessels of a hampered situation.

Both operators will get a slice of the bill because both exercised poor seamanship as explained in COLREGS.

Which is usually the case in any collision.... Unless one of them is tied to the dock or at anchor showing proper day shapes

RULE 2
Responsibility

(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the
owner, master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any
neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution
which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by
the special circumstances of the case.

(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall
be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special
circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved,
which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid
immediate danger.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:45   #6
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I must have missed the part about "confined space" where is that in the original post.

The down stream boat did try to avoid but was unable to overcome the current.

Now as Pelagic says, I doubt if either vessel did all it could to avoid the collision but it still sounds like a crossing situation to me and the boat entering the channel from the port side is the burdened vessel.

I still don't understand why he was operating astern.

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Old 05-08-2008, 17:14   #7
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It is my understanding...since I was a kid....that a vessel backing out of a slip
sounds one long.....three short......the stern is considered the bow and subsequent
rules apply.

However the other vessel must do everything reasonable and prudent to avoid a collision.....

The original post says nothing about leaving a slip
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Old 05-08-2008, 18:44   #8
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You're right Chiefy One long is the warning signal then 3 short when you back out of your slip.

3 short at regular intervals if you are proceeding with astern propulsion when backing down a channel

The OP said nothing about a slip or confined space, but if he was backing into a channel I am guessing it must have been something like that......Maybe the OP can clarify

Either way I still believe both were at fault!
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Old 05-08-2008, 20:42   #9
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Rule 15, When two power driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.

The sounding of whistle signals gives you no more rights than you had before sounding the signal. If something is not spelled out in the rules, then it is not true.

Rule 17 (b), When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.

Interpretation of rule 17(b), if the stand on vessel did not take sufficient action to try to avoid a collision, then he is partially at fault. If there was a collision, yet took all actions possible to avoid the collision, then he is not at fault. This rule does not say the stand on vessel must avoid a collision. Rule 17 basically says the stand on vessel shall try to avoid the collision...not that he must prevent a collision.

We don't know given the facts stated if the vessel that was initially the stand on vessel is at fault because we don't know if she took such actions "as will best aid to avoid collision".

We do know the give way vessel is clearly at fault.
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Old 05-08-2008, 20:54   #10
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This kinda stuff happens all the time in Marinas.....

The saying that we have used aboard the yachts I have worked on (that has held us in good stead in a lot of situations) is "Slow is Pro(fessional)
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Old 05-08-2008, 20:58   #11
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Hi David


Rule 2 supersedes all the others and I think is more appropriate in this tight quarter situation as Chiefy says
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Old 05-08-2008, 21:13   #12
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Hi Pelagic,
This is not a "special circumstances" case. The existing rules clearly state what should have been done. Rule 2, the rule of special circumstances, applies to situations where there are not rules that cover the specific situation.

Also, Rule 2 does not say you must avoid a collision. It basically says there are no excuses for not trying to avoid a collision, regardless of the situation and what the rest of the rules say. It says you have to try.

If the stand on vessel took all measures to avoid a collision, and yet was unable, then he is clearly not at fault. If he did not take action to avoid a collision, then he is at fault.

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Old 05-08-2008, 21:24   #13
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According to Chapman

When Backing out of a slip the stern is considered the bow...hence your port side becomes your starboard side (for rules of the road purposes)
as there may be some confusion on the part of both parties.....both should do what they can to avoid collision...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
It is my understanding...since I was a kid....that a vessel backing out of a slip
sounds one long.....three short......the stern is considered the bow and subsequent
rules apply.

However the other vessel must do everything reasonable and prudent to avoid a collision.....

The original post says nothing about leaving a slip
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Old 05-08-2008, 21:30   #14
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Backing into a channel with aparently a strong current is "special" under the rules of considering the limitations of the vessels involved,which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

The other vessel should have immediately slowed down once he saw the other vessel. Instead he applied crossing rules.

Both at fault!
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Old 05-08-2008, 21:31   #15
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Now...if you re-create this with a coupla beer cans or cigarette packs on the bar,,,,

the vessel going astern should have not expected the vessel in the channel to yield to him.....(now the voices get raised and the fight starts)

As my momma said to me aboard our boat when I was a kid on the water.

"Here lies the grave of Captain O'Day
He died defending his right of way
He was right
Dead Right
as he sailed along
But he's just as dead
As if he was wrong"
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