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Old 17-01-2020, 13:13   #31
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Diver flag. Pop your head under water at least once. There. You're diving.

Seriously, good discussion. I think a diver flag would effectively alert others to the fact that there are people in the water. Stay within 75' of the flag. I'd use the red and white version, everyone knows that. The Bravo flag (blue and white swallowtail) could be used, but few people recognize it, at least around here. I've also seen the orange spar float some divers use. Even fewer recognize that.
Small point, the UK/EU dive flag is 'Alpha', not 'Bravo' (Still blue with white swallowtail...)(https://christinedemerchant.com/diving-flag.html) but you're correct, most of the world recognises the US flag better.
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Old 17-01-2020, 13:17   #32
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Not under command. 2 black balls
hopefully there is someone on board in case a swimmer needs picking up so the vessel is still under command?
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Old 17-01-2020, 13:38   #33
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Moreover I suspect the majority of folks on the water would recognize the Oscar flag, No?
Sadly, "NO". Most professional mariners (excluding many fishermen) would, but damn few recreational sailors would know what it meant or even notice it's presence. And for that matter, not so many sailors even have a set of signal flags on board or the means to deploy one. And those that do have them, well, they are so small that recognition at any distance is unlikely.

To be honest, we have the flags and a flag halyard upon which we could hoist one... but it would not occur to me to display a flag if we had a MOB. There are a lot of more important duties for me as the then sole person on board than going below, finding the flag roll, locating the correct flag (if I remembered which one in a distress situation) and hoisting it, ESPECIALLY knowing that few would recognize its significance.

May not be how it is described in the manual, but I suspect a realistic view.

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Old 17-01-2020, 15:16   #34
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by MurrayAtkinson View Post
Small point, the UK/EU dive flag is 'Alpha', not 'Bravo' (Still blue with white swallowtail...)(https://christinedemerchant.com/diving-flag.html) but you're correct, most of the world recognises the US flag better.
To be clear the US diver down flag symbol is not Bravo.

Alpha is white rectangle adjacent to a blue swallow tail indicates "I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed."

Bravo is an all red swallow tailed flag and indicates "I am taking in or discharging or carrying dangerous goods." (Originally used by the Royal Navy specifically for military explosives.)

The US [Canadian, Italian, and much of the Caribbean] diver down symbol is a Red flag with a white diagonal strip with the strip raised on the leftside and lower on the rightside.

The three distinct flags are depicted below.

link to "Regolamento per l'esecuzione della Legge 14 luglio 1965, n. 963, concernente la disciplina della pesca marittima" (Italian rules for maritime activity): DPR 1639/68
---------------------
ARTICOLO 130 - Segnalazioni
Il subacqueo in immersione ha l'obbligo di segnalarsi con un galleggiante recante una bandiera rossa con striscia diagonale bianca, visibile ad una distanza non inferiore a 300 metri; se il subacqueo Ť accompagnato da mezzo nautico di appoggio, la bandiera deve essere messa issata sul mezzo nautico.
Il subacqueo deve operare entro un raggio di 50 metri dalla verticale del mezzo nautico di appoggio o del galleggiante portante la bandiera di segnalazione.
--------------------- (autotranslation)
ARTICLE 130 - Reports
The diver in immersion has the obligation to signal itself with a float bearing a red flag with white diagonal strip, visible at a distance of not less than 300 meters; if the diver is accompanied by a nautical support, the flag must be placed on the boat.
The diver must operate within a radius of 50 meters from the vertical of the support vessel or of the float bearing the flag.
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Old 17-01-2020, 15:19   #35
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Re: At anchor signal?

You certainly do not understand what not under command means. It does not mean an abandoned vessel
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hopefully there is someone on board in case a swimmer needs picking up so the vessel is still under command?
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Old 17-01-2020, 15:24   #36
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Re: At anchor signal?

In my sailing days we've had to show the nuc day signals and two red lights at night many times and I assure you the complete crew was aboard .
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Old 17-01-2020, 15:27   #37
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by MurrayAtkinson View Post
hopefully there is someone on board in case a swimmer needs picking up so the vessel is still under command?
Your comment made recall the movie titled Open Water: Adrift 2 [So close was never so far]

Adrift is a 2006 indie drama/thriller about a group of friends who go on a boating holiday, only to find themselves floating outside their boat after they forget to put out a ladder that would allow them back on board. They spend their time alternating between bickering and trying to look for a solution before they'll all drown. Amy, her husband James and their baby Sarah travel to Mexico to sail in the yacht of their reckless friend Dan with their common friends Zach and Lauren and celebrate the thirtieth birthday of Zach. They are introduced to Dan's girlfriend Michelle and they drink and recall moments of their past while navigating. Miles away from the shore, Michelle suggest to stop the yacht and swim in the calm water. Amy stays in the boat since she has a childhood trauma with ocean and Dan stays with her. Later, the irresponsible Dan pushes Amy overboard, falling with her in a prank. Once in the water, the group realizes that Dan forgot to put the embarkation ladder and the freeboard makes impossible to climb to the main deck the yacht. With the baby alone in the boat and stranded in the open sea, they panic and their desperation lead them to a tragic fight for survival.





That boat would qualify as Not Under Command. Rule 3. 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.

I think not being able to get back aboard so as to have someone be able to "command" the boat would fall under "exceptional circumstances" for that boats status. Sarah being an infant would not have the ability to place the vessel under command so as to maneuver to avoid collision. Exceptionally Stupid Circumstances.

But for the vessel to be able to display the signals for NUC, someone would have had to get back on board to set the symbols, and yet not be competent to be able to maneuver the boat which presumably person who got back aboard would have at least the competency to thence lower the ladder to allow the others to board.
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Old 17-01-2020, 15:56   #38
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
When the weather is appropriate, we often put out a sea anchor and go swimming.

This seems to confuse people who are motoring in the general area. (They actually get angry)

Is there some flag or other signal I can fly to tell people I'm not moving.

I googled a little and someone said from Calder you are supposed to hang a black ball.

Alternately I could hang a diving flag and buoy, though I'm technically not diving.

What do you think?
If I am using a sea anchor, I am "not under command" because moving my vessel requires pulling up the sea anchor - a ten minute ordeal, minimum. And if I'm using my sea anchor in conditions where I would use it, I am placing myself and my vessel in peril by pulling it up.

I can swing the rudder, raise the sails, run the engine, flap my arms and pray to Neptune: but the boat isn't going to move very far regardless - not while that sea anchor is out. The boat won't respond to my commands. So there, lawyers! NUC!

Except for practicing well out of traffic, I've only used my sea anchor once "in extremis." It was in 25 foot swells, cross seas, and a 38 knot gale, gusting 45. I had my sea anchor deployed off my port side with a 200 foot rode when, sure enough, a large fishing vessel headed straight toward me intending to cross on my port side. They were worried about me. I called on channel 16 to warn them of a prop entanglement hazard with my sea anchor. They had AIS, so I called the vessel by name. No answer. Then I crawled to the bow on hands and knees, locked my legs around the bow railing, stood up to the end of my tether, and frantically motioned (when I wasn't under water) to cross on my starboard side while pointing at the sea anchor rode (it was daylight). They got the message. I guess they were radio-phobic, as they could have just called me to ask if I was in trouble (I too had AIS). But I appreciate their intentions. I gave them two thumbs up as they went by.

After that experience, I resolved the following pertaining to my sea anchor use.

I bought two Davis round radar reflectors, painted them black, and connected them with a lanyard one meter apart. I bought two red all-around LED "1 mile" lights and connected them above and below the two black "balls". If I ever have to lay to with a sea anchor again, I'll fly the red lights and black balls from my forestay using my foresail halyard. I'll also try to deploy my sea anchor on my starboard side since most vessels cross port-to-port.

Still, the two red lights and two black balls will probably be meaningless to all but professional mariners and the otherwise well-informed. Why both day and night "NUC" signals? Because I don't want to go back on the foredeck!

Any lawyers reading this are welcome to join me on my boat if the situation arises again, and tell me what else they'd do (besides calling mayday on the radio). Just don't bring the entire set of the United States Code on board. Mine's a small boat.

I agree with the others here: a Mike flag won't mean anything to all but a few who are students of maritime history. And I'd use the Delta flag ("I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear") instead anyway since technically, you aren't stopped. You are not underway but still making way very slowly. The "diver down" flag sounds appropriate to your specific situation since most people seem to recognize it, but you still need to worry about clumsy motorboaters entangling in your sea anchor rode, which I presume extends some distance from your boat, and unlike an anchor rode, remains near the surface at just about the right depth to entangle a propeller. I'd keep that rode as short as possible.
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Old 17-01-2020, 21:53   #39
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Re: At anchor signal?

Here I am again, with a different opinion. I'm thinking that there is a reason Tmacmi had had folks indicating annoyance, and probably because his vessel was in the way of *something.* Perhaps someone from his area who is familiar with local travel patterns could shed some light on the puzzle.

Next thought is that he could anchor his boat, and put up the anchor ball, and start educating locals about what it is. It might be possible to still swim near the chosen place, by just moving 1/4 mile closer to shore. I would suggest bright orange or red swim caps, for ease of spotting the swimmers. The problem I'm having is that I'm thinking the other boaties are not expecting swimmers to be where Tmacmi has had them in the water, and to some extent, this endangers them, particularly so far as fast-moving traffic is concerned. (Runabouts and jetski's).

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Old 18-01-2020, 11:03   #40
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
If I am using a sea anchor, I am "not under command" because moving my vessel requires pulling up the sea anchor - a ten minute ordeal, minimum. And if I'm using my sea anchor in conditions where I would use it, I am placing myself and my vessel in peril by pulling it up.

I can swing the rudder, raise the sails, run the engine, flap my arms and pray to Neptune: but the boat isn't going to move very far regardless - not while that sea anchor is out. The boat won't respond to my commands. So there, lawyers! NUC!

Except for practicing well out of traffic, I've only used my sea anchor once "in extremis." It was in 25 foot swells, cross seas, and a 38 knot gale, gusting 45. I had my sea anchor deployed off my port side with a 200 foot rode when, sure enough, a large fishing vessel headed straight toward me intending to cross on my port side. They were worried about me. I called on channel 16 to warn them of a prop entanglement hazard with my sea anchor. They had AIS, so I called the vessel by name. No answer. Then I crawled to the bow on hands and knees, locked my legs around the bow railing, stood up to the end of my tether, and frantically motioned (when I wasn't under water) to cross on my starboard side while pointing at the sea anchor rode (it was daylight). They got the message. I guess they were radio-phobic, as they could have just called me to ask if I was in trouble (I too had AIS). But I appreciate their intentions. I gave them two thumbs up as they went by.

After that experience, I resolved the following pertaining to my sea anchor use.

I bought two Davis round radar reflectors, painted them black, and connected them with a lanyard one meter apart. I bought two red all-around LED "1 mile" lights and connected them above and below the two black "balls". If I ever have to lay to with a sea anchor again, I'll fly the red lights and black balls from my forestay using my foresail halyard. I'll also try to deploy my sea anchor on my starboard side since most vessels cross port-to-port.

Still, the two red lights and two black balls will probably be meaningless to all but professional mariners and the otherwise well-informed. Why both day and night "NUC" signals? Because I don't want to go back on the foredeck!

Any lawyers reading this are welcome to join me on my boat if the situation arises again, and tell me what else they'd do (besides calling mayday on the radio). Just don't bring the entire set of the United States Code on board. Mine's a small boat.

I agree with the others here: a Mike flag won't mean anything to all but a few who are students of maritime history. And I'd use the Delta flag ("I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear") instead anyway since technically, you aren't stopped. You are not underway but still making way very slowly. The "diver down" flag sounds appropriate to your specific situation since most people seem to recognize it, but you still need to worry about clumsy motorboaters entangling in your sea anchor rode, which I presume extends some distance from your boat, and unlike an anchor rode, remains near the surface at just about the right depth to entangle a propeller. I'd keep that rode as short as possible.
It is common for ships to drift at sea, and as such their status remains underway, even if they have deployed a drift anchor / drag device. Often large ships shut down their main and auxiliary power to save fuel for an extended session of remaining at drift, and it can take considerable time to restart their engines to be able to effectively make way.

ColReg Rule 3 refers to exceptional circumstance i.e. something that is a rare instance or extraordinary. Routine setting of a drift anchor or routine stopping of the engine to allow the vessel to drift would not be an exceptional circumstance. Furthermore, although it may be inconvenient to restart the engine, this does not mean that the vessel is unable to manoeuvre.

IMO, your vessel will respond to commands just your drift anchor will not as readily respond to command, and if you chose to remain connected to your drag device your vessels range and speed of motion is restricted but not eliminated. Your vessel when constrained by a drag device is restricted in ability to maneuver, it is not a vessel not under command. Furthermore it is a typically a simple and quick matter to discharge your vessel from a drift anchor rode and thereby recover full and unrestricted maneuverability. If a collision is likely and you chose to not disengage your self deployed restriction to maneuverability so as to maneuver your boat to safety you will be liable at least partly for the collision with your vessel. If you deploy objects that become navigation hazards such as a drift anchor you will be liable for them, not different than a boat is liable for the objects it tows a vessel is liable for the object that is towing it.

By choosing to keep your vessel restricted in maneuverability you will have neglected to take PREcautionary actions required by the ordinary practice of seamen [or seawomen], or by the special circumstance of the case. Note: Your deployment and continued engage to a drift anchor is a circumstance of your own making and own keeping and is of your own control. You have chosen to restrict your vessels maneuverability when placing it adrift with drag forces applied and thus have placed your vessel in a state of higher prospective danger and you can alleviate such state in short order, [cut or untie the rode]. Note emphasis on the PRE in the word precautionary, that is to say, previous to / before collision is likely.

Rule 2 of the COLREGS (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.

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.

A vessel not under command has usually suffered a disability, which is not easy to predict or classify. An example would be a vessel with a disabled rudder. The navigation light requirement is, therefore, brief and general.

Unlike the not-under-command category, vessel classifications within the restricted-in-ability-to-maneuver category are predictable and a number of common occurrences are listed in the Rule 3 definition [but not limited to just those listed]. Rule 27, starting with paragraph (b), gives general navigation light requirements and then more specific requirements for several vessel activities that restrict maneuverability.


Rule 3 Definitions: Applicable sections (f) (g) and (I) thereof:

(f) The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to manoeuvre as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.
(g) The term "vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre" means a vessel which from the nature of her work is restricted in her ability to manoeuvre as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel. The term "vessels restricted in their ability to manoeuvre" shall include but not be limited to:
(i) a vessel engaged in laying, servicing, or picking up a navigation mark, submarine cable or pipeline;
(ii) a vessel engaged in dredging, surveying or underwater operations; When one is "working at" swimming a portion of your body is underwater and of course one may dive and submerge completely.
(iii) a vessel engaged in replenishment or transferring persons, provisions or cargo while underway; Persons "are working at" entering or exiting the water to and from the vessel they are engaged in transferring while underway when your vessel is adrift.
If your vessel was made fast to a ground anchor then it would not be underway.

(iv) a vessel engaged in the launching or recovery of aircraft;
(v) a vessel engaged in mine clearance operations;
(vi) a vessel engaged in a towing operation such as severely restricts the towing vessel and her tow in their ability to deviate from their course. Your drift anchor is a type of towing action. To tow is the act of pulling or drawing along behind.
. . .

(I) The word "underway" means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.


As to your chosen red over red lighting scheme of displaying NUC. If your vessel is making way, [moving relative to the water itself, that is to say other than keeping with the current] say due to wind forces on sails or wind on your hull/rigging, or perhaps mechanical propulsive forces [engine powering to keep station, slow drift rate; e.g., hove-to, or to redirect drift or angle to waves / swells] should in addition show both sidelights and stern lights. This is the case, even if you are making way slowly relative to the movement of the water.

Rule 27:

INTERNATIONAL

(a) A vessel not under command shall exhibit:

(i) two all-round red lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen;

(ii) two balls or similar shapes in a vertical line where they can best be seen;

(iii) when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.



I perceive that in the situation you have described at best your vessel would be restricted in her ability to maneuver and would not be classified as a vessel not in command. The required day and light signal displays differ for RAM status as compared to NUC status. I perceive that if your small boat is engaged in diving operations [recreational diving and seemingly swimming would closely resemble diving] that Rule 27 (e) is the applicable section.

Rule 27, paragraph (e) provides for vessels too small to comply with the requirements of paragraph (d) for vessels engaged in diving operations. Paragraph (e) is clearly aimed at the small vessel conducting diving operations, regardless of whether an obstruction on one side of the vessel exists. The paragraph (b) requirements for sidelights and sternlight when making way cannot be disregarded for small vessels engaged in diving operations, nor can the Rule 30 requirement to display an anchor light when anchored. Paragraph (g) of Rule 27 makes clear the intent.

Paragraph (e) excuses the display of obstruction lights and shapes and excuses the display of the ball-diamond-ball day shape array if the proper-size International Code flag "A" is displayed instead. Flags smaller than one meter are not permitted for small vessels, even though shapes of reduced size are permitted on vessels less than twenty meters long. Although a flag that big will seem large to people on a relatively small dive boat, a smaller flag would probably go unnoticed by a larger vessel approaching the area.

Rule 27:
(e) Whenever the size of a vessel engaged in diving operations makes it impracticable to exhibit all lights and shapes prescribed in paragraph (d) of this Rule, the following shall be exhibited:

(i) Three all-round lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white;

(ii) A rigid replica of the International Code flag "A" not less than 1 meter in height. Measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility.


Rule 27

(g) Vessels of less than 12 meters in length, except those engaged in diving operations, shall not be required to exhibit the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.



In conditions of limited visibility you would also be responsible for emitting sound signals. In accordance with Rule 35 (c) (Sound signals in restricted visibility ), a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre shall, instead of the signals prescribed in Rule 35 (a) or (b) (Sound signals in restricted visibility ), sound at intervals of not more that 2 minutes three blasts in succession, namely one prolonged followed by two short blasts. This is the same sound signal as a vessel not under command. No one will get a nap or a good nights sleep.

Since your adrift vessel is underway, that is to say, not aground, and / or not made fast to land, wharf or, ground, it is not at anchor per say hence it should NOT show the signals as per Rule 30 copied below.

For those that deploy a drift anchor particularly a drift anchor that is deployed a distance from a vessel it would seem wise to deploy high visibility marker buoys on the rode and the anchor so as to provide guidance that there is a rode and an underwater impediment to navigation. Most drift anchors used for slowing a vessel for swimming or fishing are typically deployed a very short distance from the boat and thus should not a significant navigational hazard of their own accord. Storm drift anchors [and speed reducing drogues] are typically deployed at distance from a boat so as to remain on the backside of a wave and to keep the angle of pull appropriate. Perceive your drift anchor and your drift anchor rode to be like crab pots, mark them clearly so that entanglement and cutting can be mitigated.

Rule 30 (Anchored vessels and vessels aground)
(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen:

(i) in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball;

(ii) at or near the stern and at a lower level that the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light.

(b) A vessel of less than 50 m in length may exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule.

(c) A vessel at anchor may, and a vessel of 100 m and more in length shall, also use the available working or equivalent lights to illuminate her decks.

(d) A vessel aground shall exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule and in addition, where they can best be seen:

(i) two all-round red lights in a vertical line;

(ii) three balls in a vertical line.

(e) A vessel of less than 7 m in length, when at anchor, not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or anchorage, or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the lights or shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule.

(f) A vessel of less than 12 m in length, when aground, shall not be required to exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in subparagraphs (d)(i) and (ii) of this Rule.
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Old 18-01-2020, 11:39   #41
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Re: At anchor signal?

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ColReg Rule 3 refers to exceptional circumstance i.e. something that is a rare instance or extraordinary. Routine setting of a drift anchor or routine stopping of the engine to allow the vessel to drift would not be an exceptional circumstance. Furthermore, although it may be inconvenient to restart the engine, this does not mean that the vessel is unable to manoeuvre.

IMO, your vessel will respond to commands just your drift anchor will not as readily respond to command, and if you chose to remain connected to your drag device your vessels range and speed of motion is restricted but not eliminated. Your vessel when constrained by a drag device is restricted in ability to maneuver, it is not a vessel not under command. Furthermore it is a typically a simple and quick matter to discharge your vessel from a drift anchor rode and thereby recover full and unrestricted maneuverability.


Ahh. The lawyers check in. Well, Your Honor... I believe you may not know the difference between a "drift" anchor and a sea anchor used for seastate survival. Fishermen use drift anchors to reduce wind-induced drift while fishing. They are tiny in comparison with a sea anchor. A sea anchor is used to stop all movement toward a lee shore and to maintain an alignment with the seas when no other method will work. Release the sea anchor, that alignment is lost and you are immediately in peril. Go back and read my description of the condition under which I used a sea anchor.

Have you ever tried moving a vessel when it has a 12 foot diameter parachute sea anchor in the water? It doesn't move! And: "it is a typically a simple and quick matter to discharge your vessel from a drift anchor rode and thereby recover full and unrestricted maneuverability" --- sure, I can cut the rode with a knife - which is the only "simple" way to release the sea anchor. Otherwise, I have to winch in 200 feet of line. And then my boat sinks! Happy now?

If I am using a sea anchor, it's my last resort strategy to save myself and my vessel from an otherwise unsurvivable environment. I may as well scuttle my boat to get (vertically) out of the way. While that may make the lawyers happy, in that situation, I don't care about lawyers. I'm trying to stay alive.

This is a prime example of legalistic versus realistic thinking! I'll take my chances in court, thank you. At least I'll be alive. Following your advice, I'd be dead. And I'll use NUC as my status. If you don't like that, it's your skipper's prerogative for your vessel. Good luck!
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Old 18-01-2020, 12:29   #42
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Have you ever tried moving a vessel when it has a 12 foot diameter parachute sea anchor in the water? It doesn't move! And: "it is a typically a simple and quick matter to discharge your vessel from a drift anchor rode and thereby recover full and unrestricted maneuverability" --- sure. It then sinks! If I am using a sea anchor, it's my last resort strategy to save myself and my vessel from an otherwise unsurvivable environment. I may as well scuttle my boat to get (vertically) out of the way. While that may make the lawyers happy, in that situation, I don't care about lawyers. I'm trying to stay alive.

This is a prime example of legalistic versus realistic thinking! I'll take my chances in court.
It is customary to connect a recovery buoy to a parachute anchor so that it can be retrieved by simply pulling in the parachute from its reverse direction AND so, when necessary to be able to simply cast it free from the attachment point on the boat whence the chute will float below the water and the recovery buoy will float at the surface and the recovery buoy and its short rode connecting to the backside of the parachute can be readily taken up by motoring towards it. Simple, very simple. REALLY SIMPLE.

It is not the appropriate procedure to attempt to recover a chute or a drogue by pulling it in against its open end, instead you motor or sail towards it taking in slackened rode as you go and then lift the chute or drogue aboard it by its backside! When you pull on a parachute's concave side it will open and produce drag, when you pull on its convex side it will collapse and yield its drag. It takes very little time or effort to recover a parachute anchor.

This is no different then needing to cast free your rode from either a stuck or dragging anchor [for example inorder to disconnect under adverse storm conditions or current conditions] so as to become untethered and regain maneuverability. Simply, just attach a float to your ground anchor rode and cast it free from the boat. [It is also the reason why one attaches to a hard point on the boat a short length of rope rode to the chain rode rode at the bitter end of the chain rode so as to be able to cut the rope and release the bitter end of the chain rode in an instant]. With a chain rode one may need to deploy larger or multiple floats so as to keep the marker / recovery buoy at or near the surface if the rode is heavy, such as chain rode can be, so as to ease recovering your chain rode and the ground tackle when conditions allow for such recovery. An anchor only restrict mobility if you let it. Get rid of it if it is endangering you, even if doing such results in loosing it. It is just an anchor, not an object worth risking your vessel or a person on board, or endangering an oncoming vessel and the crew / passengers aboard the oncoming vessel.

I carry a spare anchor for the primary purpose that I may need to loose my primary anchor, or inadvertently loose my primary anchor. Anchors should be considered disposable equipment.

Under Colregs you are liable if you don't take actions to avoid a collision even at anchor. Heck one can simply let out additional scope of rode and move further away from the anchor. It is very common to adjust rode length in an anchorage so as to avoid collision with other boats that are swinging or dragging anchor or having navigational difficulties. And it is very common to lift anchor and move your boat when conditions at an anchorage are adverse or dangerous.

Realistically, especially if you are trying to stay alive, you don't just sit there riding on on the end of your rode attached to your ground tackle [or in your case sea tackle] and let another boat be a hazard, or for your boat to be the hazard which it is since you are the person that has intentionally chosen to restrict its maneuverability by placing it adrift.

Own the fact that by deploying an anchor your actions have resulted in restricting your vessels maneuverability and take full responsibility thereto. By placing your boat on a drift [or a ground] anchor you have imposed and established your vessel to being a greater navigational hazard to others and to itself and yourself.
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Old 18-01-2020, 12:55   #43
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Re: At anchor signal?

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It takes very little time or effort to recover a parachute anchor.
This statement, along with several others, is completely at odds with the experience related by folks who have actually done this maneuver in anger, at sea and not in mill pond conditions.

Y ou sound more like a drag device salesman than a seaman.

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Old 18-01-2020, 14:28   #44
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Here I am again, with a different opinion. I'm thinking that there is a reason Tmacmi had had folks indicating annoyance, and probably because his vessel was in the way of *something.* Perhaps someone from his area who is familiar with local travel patterns could shed some light on the puzzle.

Next thought is that he could anchor his boat, and put up the anchor ball, and start educating locals about what it is. It might be possible to still swim near the chosen place, by just moving 1/4 mile closer to shore. I would suggest bright orange or red swim caps, for ease of spotting the swimmers. The problem I'm having is that I'm thinking the other boaties are not expecting swimmers to be where Tmacmi has had them in the water, and to some extent, this endangers them, particularly so far as fast-moving traffic is concerned. (Runabouts and jetski's).

Ann
I'll ask some folks who share our marina if I'm in the way of something. People go north and south from South Haven and Saugatuck. But as far as that I've noticed they are much closer to shore.

No particular slam but on the occasions of irritation they were motor boats. It really seemed that they were confused/frustrated that my boat wasn't moving.

As far as anchoring, that spot is 150' deep or more. It drops off quickly from shore, so as a result you end up anchoring a couple of hundred yards from shore, so with shore waves and typical wind direction, the state of Michigan is one giant lee shore. I've done it, but it wasn't a relaxing afternoon.
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Old 18-01-2020, 15:46   #45
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Re: At anchor signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
This statement, along with several others, is completely at odds with the experience related by folks who have actually done this maneuver in anger, at sea and not in mill pond conditions.

Y ou sound more like a drag device salesman than a seaman.

Jim
Indeed harsh conditions make the task harsher, but when there is considerable tension on the chute or drogue one has to motor towards the drag device and carefully take up line. You sure as hell aren't going to winch it in underload or pull the boat forward by a windlass like one can do when conditions are calm. We, erhh more correctly that be the skippers that I crewed with in harsh conditions when deploying a chute in two incidents and a drogue in the other, chose to progress on a course in an arc direction towards the wind or current and then real in the slackening line so as to keep the line from having the potential of going under the hull and fouling the propeller; spiraling inwards towards the anchor as the line was shortened. At the time of the worst conditions we motored around and fully far up wind and then backed down with the aid of the wind or current taking in the rode from the aft thereby keeping control of the boat holding station and the line being held astern. Once this was accomplished with a 63 foot Sea Scout motor ship and twice with a commercial fishing trawler.

I wasn't of any help the first time on the Sea Scout ship because I was just a young kid, newbee scout and the second two times not of a lot of help being a bit sea sick and not as experienced as the older, experienced guys, as I was just on board for the season to earn bucks for college. Both of the skippers explained the procedure before the task to the assembled crew and while it was occurring to those in the wheel house and by speaker to the deck crew so as to bring knowledge and guidance to those that had not accomplished the feat in adverse conditions.

Big waves and associated winds makes the task even harder because the rode tends to slacken and tighten abruptly and thus especially makes the retrieval MUCH more hazardous to the crew and thence escalates the priority of safety over equipment retrieval parameters. The abrupt slackening and tightening and the action of big waves on the boat itself makes the probability much more likely of one self entangling with the rode which entanglement could become very dangerous. It is exactly these situations when it becomes the wise choice to just cast the anchor free and then navigate the vessel unencumbered by its restrictions. The sea state making navigation difficult enough in its own regard and safety taking precedent over recovery of some bits of equipment. The second time the skipper of the trawler just decided to let the parachute go as the conditions were going to worsen and shift to cause a slow drift across a shipping channel and further on towards land and not away from the hazards. Tidal current was going to also become less favorable. The chute needed to be brought in or released, staying on it was not a continuing viable solution. Releasing it was the simpler and safer choice. Similar in decision to his decisions to just cutting a crab pot line when it had become fouled in retrieval instead of further attempting recovery and incur the dangers and time spent there from.

Truth is that one does not want to approach near any line or rode that is under a lot of tension as it could snap and recoil very harshly. A slackened rode that could be abruptly taughtened invokes not only a snap potential but also an entanglement potential as it could loop you or an object. I once saw a nylon snubber tension and wrap on the secondary anchor and bent the bow roller first sideward and then downward due to having gone slack for a moment from the effect of a big passing wake. After the wake passed the situation stabilized but the damage was once and done. I have also seen ski tow ropes recoil when a skier let go and the handle landed all the way onto the foredeck of the ski boat and on several occasions landing in the seating area of the boat or clunking hard on the transom. The time it landed on the foredeck the handle would have really clunked someone if it had hit them instead it passed above the seated helmsperson and the passengers. The tension of a drag device like a chute or a drogue can be extreme and then slack in short order.

In harsh conditions I don't see recovery of a chute or a large drogue being a safe or viable task for a single handed boat or a under crewed boat. One simply can't reasonably control the boat and handle the line and chute recovery simultaneously with two hands or four hands. In really harsh conditions one may not even be able to head up wind towards the anchor if your boat does not have the wherewithal to transit against such. With an able crew and skilled helm handling a recovery becomes a task of taking in line under shifting loads. There being a fine point for sure between safely and not safely but it is not difficult or dangerous to pull in a collapsed chute as it has modest drag potential so getting a hold of the recovery rode is the key challenge and doing so with out entangling on the rode is of key importance. Backing the boat down with the bow headed into the waves was controllable, reeling in slackened rode was manageable but had to be quickened in retrieval pace when the boat slid a bit down the face of the oncoming swells. Both skippers were adept at handling their vessels.

On the Sea Scout boat we had much experience carefully retrieving challenging lines from the aft, as we would take a biologist out onto the San Francisco Bay and set 100 hook lines with hooks set about 5 yards apart between buoys to capture sharks and then have to chase the buoyed lines to get a boat hook on the upcurrent end and then pull in the lines by hand over hand which lines were weighted by sharks of all sizes and types. The most sharks caught on one setting of the lines was 95 out of the 100 hooks available in less than one hour of deploying. It is amazing how many sharks are in the S.F. Bay. Granted the sea state was not angry at those times of collecting sharks for research survey purposes, [catch and release if not injured] but the current would be ripping harshly at times and it took a lot to get the fat end of the boat to motor backwards to catch the first buoy and then the physical effort of boy handling the line and fish on to the aft deck one by one. The large hooks and the sharks being of significant hazard when hauling in the line and dehooking and handling the sharks in rapid order. Then it would involve a quick finishing of rebaiting of the hooks and release of the 100 hook set line and marker buoys and followed by a chase over to the second set of baited 100 shark hook line that would be dragging along the bay between the buoys and catching more sharks. I couldn't imagine attempting to hand land such a line of large hooks and dangerous fish in rough sea state a running current was challenging enough. One does get skilled in carefully handling live sharks and dehooking them without injury so that they can surveyed as to type, sex, size, condition, parasites, etc and then quickly releasing them so that they would survive. Keeping your fingers and hands away from the sharp points of the large hooks and of course the teeth being of key issue. I recall the kids got a few cuts and stabs but no losses of digits, in today's litigious world I don't think the Sea Scouts would volunteer to do such fun, learning but dangerous task.

If one is knowledgeable and has the equipment and capacity to display the appropriate day and light signals for the specific RAM status of the boat and if one is going to deploy a speed limiting tow [parachute or drogue] then it seems only reasonable and responsible to display the signals that indicate from which side oncoming boats can safely pass alongside. Particularly if one deploys an anchor or drogue in an area where traffic is constrained so as to likely need to pass close alongside, e.g, 200 feet as per the post described above. A mere 200 or 300 feet is a very close passing if the conditions are harsh as to winds and waves. I have had waves grab my boat and turn me abruptly 180 degrees, no joy when the gybe becomes a part of such reversal, fortunate to have deeply reefed the main and furled the jib but was glad to not have any obstacles nearby because we became running briskly.

One has to ask wonder why the oncoming trawler vessel would not have chosen to stay further clear and avoid close proximity in a hazardous way. In the example denoted in the earlier post, conditions were harsh with 25 feet swells, crossed seas and 38 - 45 knot winds; it would seem to be somewhat obvious that an observed boat may have been on sea anchor if it was holding station and cross to the wind [being held by the port side] as it would be hard to hold station by motor alone if not headed into the storm or the boat would seemingly be making significant way so as to have steerage control. If I was the lookout observing the adrift anchored boat I would be at least curious as to how they are managing to achieve station holding while being cross to the wind. My mind would be seeking answers, Propulsion? Current effects? WTF? I would have been inclined to radio them to ask how are you holding station, or have been concerned that they were lying a hull do to navigational control failure and perhaps in need of assistance. [I suspect the fishing trawler likely were not keeping a competent lookout, evidenced that they failed to respond by radio, or that there were other navigation hazards nearby that forced a rather close passage, such as a shore or reef ????].

Whatever the reason, it must have been a rather scary situation, knowing that if the trawler continued on to port passing that it could entangle the rode and then both boats would have become endangered; the trawler possibly towing the adrift anchored boat, or cutting the drift anchor's rode and setting the boat at the mercy of the wind and waves, and / or the trawler possibly losing propulsion or steerage capabilities. The tied together boats could have even floundered into each other. If a rode has a large parachute at one end and a boat at the other and then you begin pulling on the rode at a cross direction the boat would slide towards the boat pulling as the parachute would offer much more drag than the boat hull. Yikes, nightmare material, PTSD inducing!!!

If the trawler had entangled the rode the only option would seemingly have been to cut loose the rode and to navigate the vessel in the storm conditions, start motor, raise sail, run under bare poles; or similarly if the trawler severed the rode. If the adrift boat started motoring and the rode was cut but still attached at the bow it could easily then get wrapped up in the propeller of the previously adrift boat and thence lose propulsion.
The rode would need to be made clear of the adrift boat before engaging the propeller into gear so as to avoid the prospect of the residual rode entangled. A lot to consider under adverse conditions. Something one would have needed to be prepared to do in any case because cleats, rodes and drag devices part when stressed. That being Plan B.

Of course this form of signal communication is only of benefit who can see the signal and understand the signal and who will heed and accord to the guidance being communicated. One is morally and legally obliged to communicate hazards and mitigate hazards and to receive and act accordingly.

In that regard, Rule 27 (d) states,

(d) A vessel engaged in dredging or underwater operations, when restricted in her ability to maneuver, shall exhibit the lights and shapes prescribed in subparagraphs (b)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this Rule and shall in addition, when an obstruction exists, exhibit:

(i) Two all-round red lights or two balls in a vertical line to indicate the side on which the obstruction exists;

(ii) Two all-round green lights or two diamonds in a vertical line to indicate the side on which another vessel may pass;

(iii) When at anchor, the lights or shapes prescribed in this paragraph instead of the lights or shape prescribed in Rule 30.

A parachute or a drogue can be deployed to all sides of a vessel [bow, port, starboard, or stern] so I suspect one should be prepared to be able to indicate with the display signals towards all sides of your boat so one can tell another vessel which side they may pass safely. Not something that would seem to be easy to rig on some boats so as to have the horizontal light and cones directed in the proper direction and kind of assumes the boat's orientation is not changing direction very much so that the direction of the signalling is kept reasonably accurate, that is to say, port doesn't become starboard due to a crossing sea. This necessity arising in case the oncoming boat opts to pass nearby instead of standing far off. Parachutes and drogues are often deployed hundreds of feet from the boat to which they are attached and a boat should pass far from that extended distance of deployed rode.

During the daytime it would seem helpful if there were added high visibility floats attached along the rode so as to provide awareness that there is a line stretching along the surface but they could make retrieval on a winch very difficult. At night the floats would not be of visual assistance and a boat would need to come within close proximity to even see the rode floats particularly in rough sea conditions so perhaps they are of modest benefit. I have tangled with crab pot line markers and lines simply because I could not see them in fog and in dusk until I was upon them and in them. Fortunately not yet significantly entangled in such, but have had to cut free from one and the line dropped so the pot became lost as I was unable to thence retie an extension on the cut line to avail the crab pot owner the ability to find and recover. No joy there for either of the parties involved. Those pots aren't cheap and they are a livelihood so I felt troubled in not being able to recover the residual line and resecure the float. We share the ocean not always easily.
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