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Old 02-12-2008, 09:30   #91
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Good web site

I just remembered this web site which is excellent for learning Colregs.

There is a test after each section.

Sailtrain: IRPCS, Colregs, Rules of the Road, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea for sail and motor yachts.

Jack
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Old 02-12-2008, 19:10   #92
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Coming up The Cheaspeake one night

The siren and light went off in the Engine Room....this means Chief to the Wheelhouse.....Upon getting there the Captain said "look at the radar, whaddya make of that?" There were returns from one side of the Chesapeake to the other...we were Just North of Pax River....I thought a second and said "Cap, that is the Governors Cup Race...." He responded "You and your %$#&^ Ragboats.... Whadda we do now?" Having a Barge in tow, we Aimed our searchlights at it....ready to illuminate it if anything got remotely close.

All of the tugs I have ever worked on had an audible alarm for getting the crew on deck.

Leaving the wheelhouse is NOT an Option.

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I know those waters intimately having towed large barges in and out many times during hi density public fireworks and other events so when I read the Transport Canada report I can visualize clearly what happened. (And what he should have done)

1/The Tug captain ignored the fact that there were a lot of pleasure craft amateurs out that night who were not practiced in night operations, would be in a party atmosphere and generally disoriented.

That should have been enough to order additional lookouts and other precautions but Guild/Union overtime rules and their general “bus driver” mindset would have probably upset his crew from any deviation from their accepted work schedule, which is such a sad commentary on seamanship!

2/Despite extraordinary circumstances, he stuck with his normal procedures to lengthen his tow, speed up and relieve his duty lookout so that the lookout could do other domestic galley chores.

The Captain’s priority was to stick to his schedule and probably get a fresh pot of coffee going.
Instead he should have kept the tow at a relatively short tether of about 90m, light up the barge with his spotlight and keep the lookout’s protected night vision focused on poorly lit or broken down pleasure craft. The Mate should have been monitoring the 2nd Radar at about a 1.5nm close quarters, high sensitivity settings to keep the Captain informed.

Speed would only have dropped by about 1.5knts to around 6knts if the barge was balanced


3/When the Captain realized that some pleasure craft was flashing his spotlight he left the bridge in order to find/regain his lookout/ tried to answer a cell phone and by the time they both got back to the unmanned bridge, there was no time to avoid the tragedy.

This is where he really screwed up.
Protecting his ass, without loosing face he went looking for his lookout, loosing whatever night vision he had and by just ass.uming that there was no imminent danger, he took himself out of the equation.

Instead, sensing unknown boats, he should have backed off on the power (that would have brought his deckhand and mate running). Tried to light up the barge with his powerful spotlight and sounded the danger signal to wake up any other small boats around him to his tow. By backing off on the power the steel towline would also sink.

It may sound like I am being a bit hard on the tug Captain but it is an ethical understanding (with legal precedents) that professional mariners handling vessels of heavy tonnage are supposed to know that some pleasure craft operators have no knowledge or skills in running their boats.

Just like a driver going by a school zone or playground you are expected take extra precautions and know better, when there are innocent kids around.

The Captain screwed up and I imagine retirement was not far behind.
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Old 02-12-2008, 19:34   #93
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As a professional Mariner I run with the assumption that all pleasure craft owners have no Idea of how to navigate, operate or behave around "working" vessels.

I have seen far too many close encounters of the Worst Kind.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:14   #94
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As a professional Mariner I run with the assumption that all pleasure craft owners have no Idea of how to navigate, operate or behave around "working" vessels.

I have seen far too many close encounters of the Worst Kind.
Even as a newbie, I go under the assumption that all pleasure craft owners are clueless.

You don't need to know all the COLREGS to know the 2 most important rules.

1: If it's bigger than you stay the hell out of it's way.
2: Even if it's much smaller than you, and you're in the right, but they're not changing course...get the hell out of its way.
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Old 02-02-2009, 22:40   #95
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PS After fully memorizing them I still feel that the rules are too confusing, particularly the sound signals, for them to be applicable in a practical manner. I would state further that I have proof from testimonials on this forum and from practical experience that they aren't used with any frequency because no one has faith that anyone else knows what they are. I sail on a very busy bay with all sorts of commercial craft, ferries and pleasure craft. The other day I heard a ferry leaning on it's horn to get a set of kayakers out of the way. My marina looks like an airport landing strip for all of the people with their anchor lights left on at night.

We either have to modify the rules to make them simple enough for the laymen to understand or we have to make a licenser system for mariners.
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Old 02-02-2009, 22:56   #96
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The rules for flying are difficult as well. Should those rules be simplified as well? I don't think so.

Some things are complex and always will be complex. Its better to bring people up to a specific skill level than to dumb down the rules. Why?...because the rules make being on the water safer. Its all about safety. The who don't learn the rules or disobey the rules are more dangerous than those who do.

I much prefer safer than simpler.

As far as the sound signals go. I use them. I use them for two reasons, because its the law first of all and second to cover my rear end. Yes, I know that 90% of the yachties don't know them and 90% of the commercial boats do know them. Still, if there were a collision and I were not using them, then I might as well tear up my license right there.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:25   #97
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Exactly David M, exactly!
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:15   #98
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The rules for flying are difficult as well. Should those rules be simplified as well? I don't think so.
I know but not everyone is aloud to go buy a jet and fly it. You said yourself that 90% of pleasure boaters don't know the rules. Something has to change.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:43   #99
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Ignorance of the law has never been an excuse. I am not sure where Colregs fit into US law; in Canada they are part of the Canada Shipping Act.

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Old 06-02-2009, 01:15   #100
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I know but not everyone is aloud to go buy a jet and fly it. You said yourself that 90% of pleasure boaters don't know the rules. Something has to change.
Yes, you are right, something has to change. I suggest that the 90% learn the rules. Just by being a majority, it doesn't mean the rules should be dumbed down to suit the 90%.

Again, just because one does not need a license, doesn't mean that one should not know and obey the rules. Hey I don't need to have a licence to be a citizen but I should have to know and obey the laws of the country.
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Old 06-02-2009, 13:23   #101
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Yes, you are right, something has to change. I suggest that the 90% learn the rules. Just by being a majority, it doesn't mean the rules should be dumbed down to suit the 90%.
I don't know! Look at what happened to ham radio - no one wanted to learn Morse code so they did away with it as a requirement to get a ham license.

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Old 06-02-2009, 14:31   #102
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I don't know! Look at what happened to ham radio - no one wanted to learn Morse code so they did away with it as a requirement to get a ham license.

I do not think that the situations are analogous. The original reason for learning code was that the voice technology was not reliable. Maybe when EVERYONE has Class A AIS units we can change COLREGS.

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Old 07-02-2009, 18:32   #103
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Technology changes. Years ago an airline I supported lost a turboprop aircraft when they misinterpreted an NDB reading (non directional beacon) flew up the wrong valley and crashed the airplane in low conditions.

Now all those aircraft have a Garmin 295 or 396 gps velcroed to the glareshield as the "primary" nav instrument even though the official and legal nav instrument is still the 1950's technology NDB.

Change is hard...
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