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Old 19-10-2015, 20:11   #121
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Dockhead: I don't want to side track the thread too much but I disagree with your opinion that you were a vessel under command. You had lost control of your anchor while it was tangled with the fishing gear. This made you unable to maneuver your vessel in a normal manner as a non involved boat might expect you to under the colregs. I don't think that this contributed to your collision in any way, but I still think that you were in exceptional circumstances as defined in the colregs. I also don't see anything in the definition that says a vessel not under command must not be attached to the bottom.

From the colregs definitions:

(f) The term “vessel not under command” means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel;
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Old 19-10-2015, 20:27   #122
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I am sorry DH for your misadventure. I am proud that you were the one that was able to solve the problem.
About the anchorlight:
I use something like this on both the bow and stern:
http://www.amazon.com/Emarth-Waterpr...ustomerReviews
40 bucks is minor compared to the problems it may avoid. But I wonder if I am legal with a flashing blue light on my boat? Nobody has seen a problem with it yet.
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Old 19-10-2015, 20:29   #123
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I'm having a hard time reconciling the idea that when at anchor, I must be prepared to maneuver to avoid a vessel under command and under way, and must maintain a watch to facilitate this.

Seems totally unreasonable for yachts, bloody difficult for merchant ships. They can, of course, easily maintain the watch, but getting the engine(s) started and under way is a time consuming affair, not something done to avoid a wayward ship about to strike them. For the yacht, getting the engine started is not such a long process but weighing anchor takes several minutes at best, by which time the accident will have unfolded, possibly along with your topsides. And besides, there you are, properly lit/day shaped as being at anchor. If you arbitrarily decide that you are about to be run down and move without warning, are you not likely to move just where the other vessel (the one that you only assume is not paying attention) was about to go to avoid you? Just as when the stand on vessel in a crossing situation at sea decides to stop maintaining course and speed and steers into the ship who was avoiding him belatedly?

So I'm not convinced that these rules as quoted are likely to be invoked when an anchored yacht is struck by a moving vessel. Has anyone got a case where this indeed was so, or is this another imaginary situation dreamed up by a sea lawyer/CF pundit?
I'm willing to be shown, but not yet ready to start standing 24/7 anchor watches.

Jim
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Old 19-10-2015, 20:51   #124
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Because the guy that hit you told you he couldn't see your light?

  • I wonder if that is why the fishing boat's radar wasn't working too?
  • Maybe the Watch Keeper on the Fishing Boat didn't se you in the dark.
  • Maybe they just figured no one would be using anchors in an anchorage.
  • Of course they had lots of credibility since they were trying to get you to falsify an insurance report.
Not seeing your anchor light on the top of the mast is a myth as long as it was properly installed and visible 360 degrees (Not hidden by TV Antennas or other things on the masthead)...

Don't believe me get in your dinghy after dark and drive a mile away and then drive back to your boat...

My anchor light is 65 feet off the water and you can see it 2 miles away and as close as 20 feet from the boat.

As a precaution, I also place solar garden lights on the bow, midship and stern, which act as marker lights.

For insurance purposes the person that adheres to the USCG Rules is the one who will be found not at fault. Mounting an Anchor light on you vessel's mast is about as good as it gets.

Erm, this incident occurred in UK waters not in the USA. The international COLREGs apply and the USCG has no say at all in this case although the rules and their lgal interpretation may well be the same in both cases.

The point about not seeing the anchor light as it was so high up is valid since most people's eyes will be directed horizontally in the direction of travel rather than skywards.

Who said there was a watchkeeper at all on the fishing boat?

AS I understood it the fishing boat that did the damage was actually trying to get in a position to be helpful in untangling the first boat, not just blundering about aimlessly. The first fishing boat had gotten entangled with Dockhead's rope rode and as far as was stated did not make contact with his anchored boat.

Stoke's Bay, in the Solent, UK is not an anchorage I am familiar with although I know the general area otherwise quite well. NO excuse but it might well be that at this time of year, when most recreational boats will be out of regular use for the winter lay up period, the fishermen thought the anchorage would be empty and that they would have clear access to the fish unimpeded like they would be in season when there might be dozens anchored in the bay overnight.

A very unfortunate accident that will hopefully be resolved at minimum cost in money or lost sailing time to Dockhead as I know he sails year round.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:27   #125
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I'm having a hard time reconciling the idea that when at anchor, I must be prepared to maneuver to avoid a vessel under command and under way, and must maintain a watch to facilitate this.

Seems totally unreasonable for yachts, bloody difficult for merchant ships. They can, of course, easily maintain the watch, but getting the engine(s) started and under way is a time consuming affair, not something done to avoid a wayward ship about to strike them. For the yacht, getting the engine started is not such a long process but weighing anchor takes several minutes at best, by which time the accident will have unfolded, possibly along with your topsides. And besides, there you are, properly lit/day shaped as being at anchor. If you arbitrarily decide that you are about to be run down and move without warning, are you not likely to move just where the other vessel (the one that you only assume is not paying attention) was about to go to avoid you? Just as when the stand on vessel in a crossing situation at sea decides to stop maintaining course and speed and steers into the ship who was avoiding him belatedly?

So I'm not convinced that these rules as quoted are likely to be invoked when an anchored yacht is struck by a moving vessel. Has anyone got a case where this indeed was so, or is this another imaginary situation dreamed up by a sea lawyer/CF pundit?
I'm willing to be shown, but not yet ready to start standing 24/7 anchor watches.

Jim
I think someone above cited some cases where a vessel at anchor was allocated some percentage of responsibility for a collision.

There is a whole article on it here:

The Journal of Navigation - The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid Collision at Sea - Cambridge Journals Online

"The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid a Collision at Sea", Peter Zhang, Journal of Navigation.


I didn't realize it, either, until this incident and subsequent reading, but it makes sense. The COLREGS don't allow you ever to just passively allow a collision to happen, if there is anything whatsoever you can do to prevent it.

Not necessarily maneuvering, but at least giving a warning (shining a spotlight, for example).

I don't think I'm going to start posting a 24 hour anchor watch, as this is not practical on a small vessel, but just keep in mind that if someone runs into you, the fact that you are at anchor does not automatically mean that you are 100% free of responsibility.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:34   #126
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
Erm, this incident occurred in UK waters not in the USA. The international COLREGs apply and the USCG has no say at all in this case although the rules and their lgal interpretation may well be the same in both cases.

The point about not seeing the anchor light as it was so high up is valid since most people's eyes will be directed horizontally in the direction of travel rather than skywards.

Who said there was a watchkeeper at all on the fishing boat?

AS I understood it the fishing boat that did the damage was actually trying to get in a position to be helpful in untangling the first boat, not just blundering about aimlessly. The first fishing boat had gotten entangled with Dockhead's rope rode and as far as was stated did not make contact with his anchored boat.

Stoke's Bay, in the Solent, UK is not an anchorage I am familiar with although I know the general area otherwise quite well. NO excuse but it might well be that at this time of year, when most recreational boats will be out of regular use for the winter lay up period, the fishermen thought the anchorage would be empty and that they would have clear access to the fish unimpeded like they would be in season when there might be dozens anchored in the bay overnight.

A very unfortunate accident that will hopefully be resolved at minimum cost in money or lost sailing time to Dockhead as I know he sails year round.
Yes, in the Solent surprisingly few people anchor out overnight anywhere other than in Osborne Bay or behind Hurst Castle, the two more or less recognized anchorages. There are so many excellent ports packed into that relatively small piece of water (Soton, Portsmouth, Lymington, Beaulieu, Cowes, Yarmouth, etc.), with dozens of marinas, that few people bother. But most of the Solent, other than the forbidden cable crossing area W of Cowes, makes a great anchorage in calm weather, so I do it a lot. I'm sure Robin is right and the fishermen just assumed that no one would be there. Stokes Bay is just W of Gilkicker Point, near the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, and it's not deeply indented. There may be dozens of boats there on a nice day anchored for lunch or for fishing, but out of the summer season few people anchor there over night other than the hard core like myself.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:47   #127
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I think someone above cited some cases where a vessel at anchor was allocated some percentage of responsibility for a collision.

There is a whole article on it here:

The Journal of Navigation - The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid Collision at Sea - Cambridge Journals Online

"The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid a Collision at Sea", Peter Zhang, Journal of Navigation.


I didn't realize it, either, until this incident and subsequent reading, but it makes sense. The COLREGS don't allow you ever to just passively allow a collision to happen, if there is anything whatsoever you can do to prevent it.

Not necessarily maneuvering, but at least giving a warning (shining a spotlight, for example).

I don't think I'm going to start posting a 24 hour anchor watch, as this is not practical on a small vessel, but just keep in mind that if someone runs into you, the fact that you are at anchor does not automatically mean that you are 100% free of responsibility.
"The colregs don't allow you to just passively allow a collision to happen if there is anything whatsoever you can do to prevent it" is absolutely true.

It doesn't mean you have to post a watch throughout the night. What it does mean is that you should actively try to avoid a collision when you become aware there is a collision risk. Radio, waving, horn, and if necessary start up and move out of the way.

There was a case in Tasmania only a couple of years ago when a one fishing boat hit another at anchor. The moving vessel was clearly wrong as they were on auto pilot with no one on watch. But the anchored boat seeing the risk did nothing to alert the crew or even their own skipper until a collision was eminent.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:48   #128
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
Dockhead: I don't want to side track the thread too much but I disagree with your opinion that you were a vessel under command. You had lost control of your anchor while it was tangled with the fishing gear. This made you unable to maneuver your vessel in a normal manner as a non involved boat might expect you to under the colregs. I don't think that this contributed to your collision in any way, but I still think that you were in exceptional circumstances as defined in the colregs. I also don't see anything in the definition that says a vessel not under command must not be attached to the bottom.

From the colregs definitions:

(f) The term “vessel not under command” means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel;
NUC AND anchored? So which lights/day shapes would you show?

It seems illogical to me, but I don't claim specific knowledge on this specific point, so I will defer to the more expert among us. But one thing I do know -- you don't have NUC status unless you are showing lights or shapes to show it.

The Sailing & Steering Rules don't actually mention anchored vessels at all, although they mention NUC vessels. Nor do rules like keeping a watch and maneuvering if another vessels fails to exclude anchored vessels. As always, however, some common sense has to be applied here.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:52   #129
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
"The colregs don't allow you to just passively allow a collision to happen if there is anything whatsoever you can do to prevent it" is absolutely true.

It doesn't mean you have to post a watch throughout the night. What it does mean is that you should actively try to avoid a collision when you become aware there is a collision risk. Radio, waving, horn, and if necessary start up and move out of the way.

There was a case in Tasmania only a couple of years ago when a one fishing boat hit another at anchor. The moving vessel was clearly wrong as they were on auto pilot with no one on watch. But the anchored boat seeing the risk did nothing to alert the crew or even their own skipper until a collision was eminent.
Interesting; so what happened in that case?


I find nothing in the COLREGS which excludes anchored vessels from an obligation to keep a watch, and maneuver if possible. The article cited above says that anchored vessels have to start their engines and try to maneuver if possible, if it is necessary to prevent a collision, and that they should use all means to alert a vessel underway in case a collision seems imminent. It also says that continuous anchor watches are obligatory. Now the author is writing about commercial vessels, so what is practical may be different on a lightly manned recreational vessel. But the COLREGS don't distinguish between ships and yachts on any of these points.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:59   #130
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I once considered an LED ribbon light fitted on the strakes of the boat either side red and green, and also up the mast to the white light at the top.

Flashing.

Never got round to it.
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Old 20-10-2015, 03:44   #131
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Dear all,

We agree that a boat at anchor is not like a car parked.....

It is assumed that it has a VISUAL SIGN, even in DAY- light indeed!!!!!! The black triangle upside-down on bow (!?) ... as well as it should be manned (absolutely so, for commercial ships, whereby manning is mandatory even when mooring at dock!!!)

And, of course, manning means NO PASSIVE DEMEANOUR as far as a collision threat is arising...

That said... where do we anchor is key!!!

If in a harbour bay front of entrance, yes, any possible light is welcome!

Under cockpit, I turned a roof lamp onto the drawing table into a RED LED LAMP WORKING 24/7 and it can be seen thru porthole....

I sport a disco-sphere under bimini.. it started for fun, it remains for safety.

I am implementing additional lights 12V on deck, both for navigation and passive visibility (to be seen)

And, sorry....but..

Q: how can a fishing vessel bump into me!? I usually anchor in 5-7m of water MAXIMUM, where I assume only a drunk fisherman with a 5m long dinghy can sail around... if close to harbour, I check the way fishing boats take, and stay away.

Though sailing yachts may have "rights" vs similar boats (other leisure vessels) I remain overly respectful, and FEARFUL..., of SHIPS and working boats.

They are busy, poorly conducted at times, have rights of their own, and size matters (limited ability to maneuver...shallow waters, canals, straits...obligated ways...)

It is little reason to be right, if life is at a chance :-)


In specific DH case, being at his anchor line swayed by another boat, I can not see the slightest concurrence in liability, ... even though.... well.. I would have pretended the upcoming 2nd boat to remain at large, and available, but not that close to bump into me...

Why did it happen!? Sorry, we miss info about it... what was being carried on, or attempted!? Where was DH (nothing personal, please...) at that time!? And was he asking/doing what and where, precisely.??

I would ask that, as insurer/judge. :-)

Approaching other boats on distress, unless life's are on stake, is something I'd never do, NOR PASSIVELY ACCEPT!, unless the crew were made up of Miss World contenders of the current year :-) :-) :-)
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Old 20-10-2015, 04:03   #132
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by LEOCAT66 View Post
Back a few years ago we were avid bikers. We belonged to a BMW group here on the net, very similar to this forum. A constant topic was how to prevent being hit from the rear through improved lighting installations. What was determined was that many things seemed logical and many implemented all of them. We studied all available information and researched every asset available.
In the end we determined that it was incredible how many police, ambulance, and fire engines were rear ended while displaying full emergency lights at accident scenes. There seems to be an element of the population who just are not paying attention at all. It was scary when the typical response was, "just did not see you". This condition was the primary reason we no longer ride, as certain death was the typical outcome of being rear ended on a bike.

We do display mast top anchor light. In addition we also use LED lanterns fore and stern, and anchor with all chain.

So sorry to hear of your problems Dockhead.
I was almost drop dead to death on a motorbike at 7.25am and full front light on, as a car upcoming turned left barring my way.

At times, only the REPTILE portion of brain works.
At times, the subconscious says I AM BIGGER, WHY CARING!?
At times, they check for any cars/trucks, Pullman... but no bikers, no dogs on the road...
At times, people may have altered perceptions...
At times, our life is on stake, for a trifle, for a fraction of a second... God knows why

I never touched again my glorious MV AGUSTA 1000cc. F1, and used part of the compensation to buy my boat. We fought legally to avoid any apportionment of liability! (In Italy, law assumes Anyone involved is, to different degrees, responsible for NOT avoiding accident!!! Or keeping consequences the lowest... e.g. safety belts on, helmet, warning, cautious behaviour, etc.)
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Old 20-10-2015, 04:09   #133
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Jim's about to post on this thread, but all I have to say now, is, there's no cure for stupid. so you hope you are alert enough and capable enough to respond well.

Ann
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Old 20-10-2015, 04:14   #134
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I think someone above cited some cases where a vessel at anchor was allocated some percentage of responsibility for a collision.

There is a whole article on it here:

The Journal of Navigation - The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid Collision at Sea - Cambridge Journals Online

"The Obligations of an Anchored Vessel to Avoid a Collision at Sea", Peter Zhang, Journal of Navigation.


I didn't realize it, either, until this incident and subsequent reading, but it makes sense. The COLREGS don't allow you ever to just passively allow a collision to happen, if there is anything whatsoever you can do to prevent it.

Not necessarily maneuvering, but at least giving a warning (shining a spotlight, for example).

I don't think I'm going to start posting a 24 hour anchor watch, as this is not practical on a small vessel, but just keep in mind that if someone runs into you, the fact that you are at anchor does not automatically mean that you are 100% free of responsibility.
Hmm... all I got from that link was an abstract which really said little. not ready to spend 30 pounds to read the article in full.

But lets look at reality for a minute. One is at anchor in ones yacht, short handed like most cruisers are.We are following these rules and keeping an anchor watch (not bloody likely...) Well, in the first place, most anchorages are shallow enough and out of the way enough that ships are unlikely to bother you. So, we are really concerned with collisions with other small craft for the most part. How many times have you been at anchor and seen another craft heading at you? I'd estimate that today this situation unfolded here on Baie de Orphelinat in Noumea at least ten times. It is a busy place! Am I supposed to start honking, waving and radioing each and every one of those oncoming vessels? They all made course changes before hitting me... that's what one expects, and what normally happens. How am I to determine which oncoming boats need warning off? In reality, by the time you realize that they are not changing course, it is far too late to do anything constructive IMO. It is hard for me to believe that the writers of Colregs had such behavior in mind when considering small craft. For ships, perhaps, for they change course slowly, and it might be practical to determine long in advance that they were inevitably aimed at your current location and that you should maneuver to avoid collision if possible. But for smaller vessels, more able to change course rapidly and at short distances, this is not reality.

Take the situation that DH describes: a vessel, attempting to aid him in his untangling of the lines and maneuvering nearby strikes him. Exactly what could he have done to avoid the strike? Why should he have accrued any blame whatsoever?

And finally, re the masthead light: I just returned from ferrying friends back to their boat. It is dark as the inside of a cow. There are a few dozen anchored and moored boats within the anchorage. As I approached them, I could easily see the masthead lights of all of them (that had them) without having to deliberately "look up". I checked specifically as I came up to our boat, and the masthead light, 65 feet up, was easily visible when I was only one hundred feet from her. This "can't see it 'cause it is too high up" is BS when one is at the distance where one should be taking avoiding action. Oh... it was much easier to see the masthead lights than the lower ones, for there are far more low down background lights than higher ones... not true everywhere, but definitely true in this harbour. i think that there are a lot of pundits talking in this thread that don't routinely move around at night in crowded anchorages, for their alleged observations don't agree with mine.

Jim
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Old 20-10-2015, 04:20   #135
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I'm having a hard time reconciling the idea that when at anchor, I must be prepared to maneuver to avoid a vessel under command and under way, and must maintain a watch to facilitate this.

Seems totally unreasonable for yachts, bloody difficult for merchant ships. They can, of course, easily maintain the watch, but getting the engine(s) started and under way is a time consuming affair, not something done to avoid a wayward ship about to strike them. For the yacht, getting the engine started is not such a long process but weighing anchor takes several minutes at best, by which time the accident will have unfolded, possibly along with your topsides. And besides, there you are, properly lit/day shaped as being at anchor. If you arbitrarily decide that you are about to be run down and move without warning, are you not likely to move just where the other vessel (the one that you only assume is not paying attention) was about to go to avoid you? Just as when the stand on vessel in a crossing situation at sea decides to stop maintaining course and speed and steers into the ship who was avoiding him belatedly?

So I'm not convinced that these rules as quoted are likely to be invoked when an anchored yacht is struck by a moving vessel. Has anyone got a case where this indeed was so, or is this another imaginary situation dreamed up by a sea lawyer/CF pundit?
I'm willing to be shown, but not yet ready to start standing 24/7 anchor watches.

Jim
Hi Jim, in post 96 I gave an example, its legitimate, its an actual TSB report. I'm very familiar with the case because I was an unlicenced watchkeeper (wheelsman) on one of the vessels, off watch luckily.

-A couple of points is the ColRegs don't differentiate between pleasure craft and commercial vessels, the same rules apply to all.

-A very small proportion of the blame was given to the anchored vessel, the report doesn't show any expectation of the anchored vessel to maneuver. She would have been on either hot or cold engine standby, so either 15 or 30 minutes with couple hundred ft of chain out.

-the faults that were found were the failure of the OOW to attract attention to themselves and prevent a collision and with regards to the response post accident.

-neither the Captain nor the OOW on the anchored vessel were fined or lost their licence, the OOW is still sailing today now as a master.

-I don't think any one is suggesting that you stand anchor watch on a small yacht, I know I don't, but it is your responsibility to take steps to mitigate the risk of collision while at anchor. Which I'm sure you already do, anchor light, tuck into a bay, don't anchor in channels etc.



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