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Old 03-03-2024, 10:23   #1
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International Code of Signals - Single Letter

The meaning of the flag Mike is:

My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.

My question is: can a anchored vessel, in totally calm waters, use this flag?

I ask this because some instructors say that this meaning is the same as "underway but not making way", and I cannot agree with this.

Kind regards,
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Old 03-03-2024, 10:48   #2
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Simple answer: No.

Per Bing search reply:

Underway refers to a vessel that is not anchored, or made fast to the shore, or aground. Making way refers to a vessel that is being propelled through the water by sail, machinery, or oar. If a vessel is adrift and not being propelled by any instrument or device, it is said to be underway, not making way. If a vessel’s engine is stopped, but she is still moving through water with the momentum, she is making way.

Begs the question - What signal does one use to imply: Get out of my way!

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Old 03-03-2024, 11:01   #3
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Thanks for the reply, Montanan.

So, you think a vessel, in totally calm waters, can use the flag Mike?
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:02   #4
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

A vessel that is anchored should always display as a day signal a black ball from the front of the vessel, not a flag.

There is a flag for communicating that you are dragging anchor, but when that happens everyone is busy trying to resolve the issue and not thinking of searching for the proper flag to raise.

I don't know of any night signal lights that communicate I am dragging anchor.

A sound signal of five blasts would seem appropriate for dragging.
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:02   #5
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrePilot View Post
The meaning of the flag Mike is:

My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.

My question is: can a anchored vessel, in totally calm waters, use this flag?

I ask this because some instructors say that this meaning is the same as "underway but not making way", and I cannot agree with this.

Kind regards,
Only if you are 100% sure there's no stream any kind. Any water flowing by and you are making way through water.. (tongue in cheek )
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:03   #6
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

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Originally Posted by PrePilot View Post
Thanks for the reply, Montanan.

So, you think a vessel, in totally calm waters, can use the flag Mike?
Not if it is anchored.
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:11   #7
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Thanks, TeddyDiver. I could understand that you agree with me that the meaning of the Mike flag cannot be stated as:

M: vessel is underway but not making way

And an anchored vessel could use the Mike flag in this hypotetical and specific situation.

But I think I could understand that Montanan doesn't agree with me, and he interprets that both meanings (the correct from ICS and the above one) are synonyms.

Montanan, could you develop you answer a bit more using the meaning from ICS and the definitions you provided, and show a conclusion about why an anchored vessel could not use the Mike flag?
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:12   #8
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

To be social, raise the gin flag.

Unlike most all of the other signal flags, most everyone knows the meaning and will respond favorably and promptly

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Old 03-03-2024, 11:22   #9
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

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Originally Posted by PrePilot View Post
Thanks, TeddyDiver. I could understand that you agree with me that the meaning of the Mike flag cannot be stated as:

M: vessel is underway but not making way

And an anchored vessel could use the Mike flag in this hypotetical and specific situation.

But I think I could understand that Montanan doesn't agree with me, and he interprets that both meanings (the correct from ICS and the above one) are synonyms.

Montanan, could you develop you answer a bit more using the meaning from ICS and the definitions you provided, and show a conclusion about why an anchored vessel could not use the Mike flag?
Because it should display the black ball to indicate it is at anchor and thus if not being mechanically propelled is not underway but may make way by drifting due to wind or current.

The attachment to the ground by anchor, mooring or to the shore is determinate of the vessel's status.

The Mike flag implies only a hypothetical instance, navigators do not operate in the hypothetical realm.

And gentlemen do not sail to weather.
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:33   #10
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Mike: My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.

Reconsideration:

A vessel that is not anchored and is holding position by mechanical means [GPS controlled thrusters] could seemingly display the Mike flag.

The thrusters are holding position so it is making no way and thus is stopped as to its location in the water. The water may be moving relative to the vessel.

The vessel is fixed in its location but not fixed to the ground.

Another hypothetical could be where the vessel has become anchored or moored and thus should display the black ball day shape signal but also may be holding position with mechanical thrusters so as to not drift with the wind or current. Then both the Mike flag and the black ball day shape should be displayed simultaneously.

Some mega yachts hold position mechanically and I suspect some commercial and research vessels would also desire to hold their position and not make way, including holding their direction, e.g., to keep bow to the swells so as to mitigate rolling [don't want to spill drinks or make the passengers become sea sick].

I suspect that drilling and mining rigs would desire to stop and not make way so as to not drift from their position relative to the ground.
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:54   #11
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

72 Colregs RULE 35
Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility
In or near an area of restricted visibility, whether by day or night, the signals
prescribed in this Rule shall be used as follows:
...
(b) A power-driven vessel underway but stopped and making no way
through the water
shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes two
prolonged blasts in succession with an interval of about 2 seconds between
them.
-------------------
That is the only place the Colregs use the word "stopped", and the wording directly corresponds to the Mike flag. That is, "stopped" is the not the same thing as anchored.

The point of the flags and day shapes is to clearly communicate your status to those around. The Mike flag does not communicate that you are anchored and therefore incapable of quickly making way.

-------------
The International Code of Signals is currently maintained by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which also publishes the 72 COLREGS, but I don't find that the COLREGS mention the code signals, other than the one for a vessel in distress (Code NC).
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:10   #12
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

JoeRobertJr.

So there is a sound signal for stopped not making way status during restricted visibility.

Is there a defined light display to similarly indicate a stopped not making way status ["Mike" status] of a vessel for night? Or might night time become a situation of "restricted visibility" for this specific type of vessel status thus requiring making noise due to lack of a designated light display; that is to say, make noise in lieu of displaying lights to signal the stopped not making way status?
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:19   #13
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

^^^^^
Would this not be a RAM situation? Unable to maneuver due to nature of work being done?

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Old 03-03-2024, 12:28   #14
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

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…snip…
A sound signal of five blasts would seem appropriate for dragging.
I’m not sure how you come to this conclusion.
The boat that is dragging would not use five short blasts as they would not be unsure of the intentions of the vessels around them.

I guess the vessels around them could use five short blasts to signal that they don’t know what the intention is of the vessel that is dragging.
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:30   #15
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Re: International Code of Signals - Single Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
JoeRobertJr.
Is there a defined light display to similarly indicate a stopped not making way status ["Mike" status] of a vessel for night? Or might night time become a situation of "restricted visibility" for this specific type of vessel status thus requiring making noise due to lack of a designated light display; that is to say, make noise in lieu of displaying lights to signal the stopped not making way status?
When it comes to lights, the Rules do not distinguish between "underway" and "underway, but not making way". So, no, there is no difference in the lighting, and why would there need to be? If you are underway and just floating, you still have the same obligations as if underway and making way.

If you are underway not making way, for a special reason, like not under command or you have divers down, then there are specific lights for that. But not for simply underway, not making way.
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