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Old 13-01-2016, 13:02   #121
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
After seeing this, would you believe that the professional ships crews know the COLREGS and how to use their AIS??

The Dutch freighter Flinterstar collided with VLGC AL ORAIQ early in the morning on Tuesday

Would you bet your life on it, like Dockhead wants us to do??
Hi Don:

This is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I "want you to do".

On the contrary, what I am arguing is that we must be capable of competently detecting risks of collisions IN TIME, and taking correct action ourselves, rather than just being flotsam and relying on ships to do everything.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:08   #122
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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No indeed -- this is absolutely true. You cannot participate in traffic where other vessels, moving a double your speed or more, and using radar and AIS, with eyeballs alone, and take any meaningful action. You are mere flotsam, entirely reliant on the skill of the other mariners. You cannot distinguish a collision course from a 1 mile CPA until it's too late to do anything about it, with your bare eyes, when you are dealing with a speed difference with a commercial ship....
I guess you still do not understand, I don't pass at one nm of any ship, I pass to at least 2nm and regarding not being able to distinguish between a 1nm CPA and a collision course with bare eyes, it seems you have been toying with electronics for so long that you don't know how to do something as simple and fast as to take several bearing to control the possibility of a coillision.

In fact on my previous boat I had a radar with MARPA that provides similar information regarding collision courses as an AIS and I only used the system when fog prevented me to use my eyes for taking bearings. I do not need it for sailing safely and only use radar in low visibility situations and sometimes at night when the traffic is big.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:11   #123
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Dockhead, sometimes ya just gotta quit while you're ahead. Some folks will continue to argue with you, for whatever reasons. Most of us are reading and learning from you. Thanks for all your input.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:14   #124
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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I guess you still do not understand, I don't pass at one nm of any ship, I pass to at least 2nm and regarding not being able to distinguish between a 1nm CPA and a collision course with bare eyes, it seems you have been toying with electronics for so long that you don't know how to do something as simple and fast as to take several bearing to control the possibility of a coillision.

In fact on my previous boat I had a radar with MARPA that provides similar information regarding collision courses as an AIS and I only used the system when fog prevented me to use my eyes for taking bearings. I do not need it for sailing safely and only use radar in low visibility situations and sometimes at night when the traffic is big.
A hand bearing compass is not "bare eyes", and that's not what we were talking about. If you are skillful and diligent in the use of a HBC, then you can distinguish a collision course from a mile CPA from anyway 5 or 6 miles, and that is already something.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:28   #125
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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This is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I "want you to do".

On the contrary, what I am arguing is that we must be capable of competently detecting risks of collisions IN TIME, and taking correct action ourselves, rather than just being flotsam and relying on ships to do everything.

Regarding this thread it seems that there are two position, yours that implies trust on the skills and awareness of Ship sailors and other that sustain that even if a small sailing boat will be the stand on vessel (if it continues on that course), face to a ship the most sensible action is to change course very early, to prevent any possibility of a collision.

Off course I am not talking about changing course at 5nm of a ship but earlier. Even way before, if it is a ship, taking some bearings will tell you if there is any chance of the Ship to pass close or not.

If there is a change and the ship is faraway normally a 10º or 15º deviation is enough to warrant a situation where will not exist a stand on vessel neither the possibility of a collision. When the ship is closer you can start diminishing that angle adjusting the distance you will think safe as the closest CPA. You are controlling all the situation, not the ship. You put your trust in yourself, not in anybody else. At least it is what I do.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:31   #126
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

i'll second what Stu says, Dockhead.
thanks for the effort.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:37   #127
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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If Nigel is still around, I'm sure he'll back me up on all of this, although he will chide me for being boring, I guess.
Having spent the day in Lowestoft undertaking a suitability survey on a tug, then finding my flight out of Norwich has been delayed by 6 hrs, I guess that participating in this thread will help pass the time.

The perception of when risk of collision would be seen to exist all depends on location, traffic density, status of the vessels, speed etc.

Deep sea, on a large tug, not hampered by a tow, if I was the give way vessel, I would make a course alteration as soon as the risk had been determined (within reason, not at 60 nm separation, but more like somewhere between 5 to 10 miles out)

In waters like the Dover Straits, things get a lot different. What we would be doing is monitoring traffic on a radar, most likely set to 12 mile range, but occasional checks out to 24nm), and looking for the traffic which is likely going to need closer attention. At 5 miles out, would be looking at avoidance manoeuvres if needed, and the impact on other vessels if we alter course. Course alteration might be made as close as 2 miles away, with the intention of maintaining CPA's of at least 0.5 nm.
Things usually work out well, if everyone does as they are meant to be doing. The TSS keep's opposite going traffic well apart, so the only problems should be limited to overtaking and crossing situations.

Keep an eye on traffic crossing from the port side, and concentrate on the stbd side crossing traffic.

Now for the yachties, if I can, I would if possible give a wide berth within as much time as possible, I know only too well the limitations on ascertaining collision situations from the deck of a small boat, my only advise would be to take a bit of time and really make sure that a collision situation is developing before you consider a course alteration. If the sail boat is the stand on boat, by the time she has worked out that a close quarters situation has developed, she would be within her rights to take action as the stand on vessel, because leaving it any later may well be too late.

I really have not had much problem with sailing vessels, my only memorable occasion was towing a rig out of the Tyne and heading south towards the Southern North Sea, with one other tug also on the tow and sitting about half a cable on my port side.
Spotted two yachts, both with AIS, looked like they were out of Hartlepool, and converging. CPA swinging from 0 to 0.5nm.
I'm towing, our AIS status is RAM, tugs are displaying RAM signals and towing diamonds, rig has a towing diamond. When the two yachts are about a mile away, I called them on 16. After a dozen attempts, get a reply, go to a working channel, and I asked if they would be bearing away any time soon (both were hard on the wind). I got a totally unexpected reply that as they were under sail, they were stand on.

Not having the time to explain the COLREGS, I replied that we were a bit more stand on than they were. About 5 mins later they did bear away, and past astern of us, so maybe one person on board had a copy of the colregs and did a quick bit of revision.

Anyway, in conclusion, in areas where sail boats can be the stand on vessel (outside of channels, TSS), give the bigger ship the chance to comply with their obligations before making some random alteration. If you get concerned, by all means, use the VHF, and if still concerned, then take action, but, always keep in mind what alteration the bigger ship is likely to take, if she does take it, and avoid altering into a worsening situation.

And, like in all professions, there is good and bad, and hopefully bad is a small minority, but I must admit, I do share concerns about OOW believing in the infallibility of electronic aids, and failing to use their eyes and common sense.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:47   #128
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I don't pass at one nm of any ship, I pass to at least 2nm ....
This is where you, as stand on vessel, can be chased around the ocean by a ship.

Most ships have a company rule of 1 nm cpa, so if you try to increase that to 2 miles they can just come back on their previous course closer to you. You end diverting miles to go past the stern of a vessel that was conning no where near you anyway. That's just ding-a-ling stuff that you wouldn't actually do.

As the stand on vessel its really important to do what Colregs say.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:55   #129
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Seamans fault. Not the fault of technology.
You were quick to judge that one!!
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:57   #130
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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You were quick to judge that one!!
And Mark judged it correctly!!
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:57   #131
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Regarding this thread it seems that there are two position, yours that implies trust on the skills and awareness of Ship sailors and other that sustain that even if a small sailing boat will be the stand on vessel (if it continues on that course), face to a ship the most sensible action is to change course very early, to prevent any possibility of a collision.

Off course I am not talking about changing course at 5nm of a ship but earlier. Even way before, if it is a ship, taking some bearings will tell you if there is any chance of the Ship to pass close or not.

If there is a change and the ship is faraway normally a 10º or 15º deviation is enough to warrant a situation where will not exist a stand on vessel neither the possibility of a collision. When the ship is closer you can start diminishing that angle adjusting the distance you will think safe as the closest CPA. You are controlling all the situation, not the ship. You put your trust in yourself, not in anybody else. At least it is what I do.
Well, that's not what I said at all.

And I most certainly did not advocate "trusting" the ship. You are obligated to give the ship a chance, if he is the give way vessel, to take the active role. Standing on is an OBLIGATION.

That means that you must make the effort to determine whether or not a risk of collision really exists. Then, you have to "hold still" during that phase when he should be maneuvering.

If he does not, then you maneuver yourself. It's written in the COLREGS, in black and white.
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Old 13-01-2016, 14:03   #132
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

There is a factor in the above discussions that has not been addressed very well IMO. When a ship is making the course corrections at a distance of 10 or 15 miles, he is assuming (per Colregs) that the yacht is indeed maintaining course and speed. But at least in my experience, when sailing, I typically do not do so, not due to intransigence but due to the nature of small boat sailing. My speed, nearly always, and my course, especially when sailing to windward, vary all over the place. How is the poor watchstander on the ship going to make the calculations that DH proposes with any certainty that they will be effective?

In the days before AIS (I've never had radar with MARPA) I was often not aware of ships beyond visual range. When they hove into view and looked threatening, I'd use the HBC to asses the danger. If it appeared close, I'd alter my course at what seemed to me to be reasonable distances, ie 5+ miles, and do so with a large enough change that I felt it would be obvious to the ship. I had no idea then, and I'm not so sure now, that the ship was aware of me. I felt that this met the stricture of taking avoiding action when the stand on vessel believes the burdened vessel to not be responding correctly, for I had no evidence to the contrary. (These situations were in open ocean, not separation zones or high traffic areas).

Now with active AIS, things are quite different. I can monitor the CPA as the distance diminishes, and in challenging conditions, that number changes as my speed and course vary with wind and seas affecting my yacht. For the most part, oncoming ships do avoid us, often by around one mile CPA, so I imagine that the watchstander is able to do some mental averaging of the readout of his AIS and react accordingly. But on the occasions where I don't see the CPA increasing to the magic mile, I'll call on the VHF, using the ship's name. So far, this has been working well and I've had appropriate responses. Failing that, I intend to make course changes at a distance of several miles and thus avoid a close call or worse. I dunno if that meets the regs specifically, but it seems reasonable to me for open ocean situations. We don't have the extreme traffic situations down here, thankfully!

Cheers,

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Old 13-01-2016, 14:08   #133
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Well, that's not what I said at all.

And I most certainly did not advocate "trusting" the ship. You are obligated to give the ship a chance, if he is the give way vessel, to take the active role. Standing on is an OBLIGATION.

That means that you must make the effort to determine whether or not a risk of collision really exists. Then, you have to "hold still" during that phase when he should be maneuvering.

If he does not, then you maneuver yourself. It's written in the COLREGS, in black and white.
Reading Comprehension 101 seems to have been neglected.

The "hold still" part seems to go way over too many skippers' heads.

Hence the WAFIs.
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Old 13-01-2016, 14:08   #134
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Just arrived in my email inbox

AIS versus radar - Ocean Navigator - Web Exclusives 2016

Worth a read. Short and sweet.
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Old 13-01-2016, 14:13   #135
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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The "hold still" part seems to go way over too many skippers' heads.

Hence the WAFIs.
Rule 17

Action by Stand-on Vessel

(a)
(i) Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

(ii) The latter vessel may however take action to avoid collision by her manoeuvre alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.

(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.

(c)
A power-driven vessel which takes action in a crossing situation in accordance with subparagraph (a)(ii) of this Rule to avoid collision with another power-driven vessel shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, not alter course to port for a vessel on her own port side.

(d)
This Rule does not relieve the give-way vessel of her obligation to keep out of the way.
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