Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III

Rule 8- Action to Avoid Collision

  • If you are going to make an alteration off- course, make sure its an early and bold alteration as long as you have plenty of sea room
  • Every alteration must be big enough so the other vessel can see it on his radar
  • A series of small alterations should be avoided
  • When making an alteration off-course, make sure you don’t place your vessel into a close quarter situation/ risk of collision with another vessel

When taking action to avoid a collision you can do one of 4 things

  • Make an early and bold alteration of course
  • slow your vessel down
  • stop your vessel
  • come astern with your vessel

If you are ever in doubt your best thing to do is stop your vessel until the risk of collision is passed (also gives you more thinking time as to what you can do)

After making an alteration off-course, take more bearings to make sure the risk of collision/close quarter situation is past

If in a collision course

If you’re the stand-on vessel you may alter course as long as you are not in a close-quarters situation, but if in a close-quarters situation you shall alter the course.
(Never get into a close-quarter situation if you can help it)

Rule of thumb

  • From 8 to 12 miles – this is your plotting distance to find out if the risk of collision/ close-quarters situation exists
  • From 4 to 8 miles – this is your/other vessels action area
  • below 4 miles – close quarters situation (out in the open sea, you should have no vessel within 4 miles)

What you have to do in any situation:

  1. Take a series of the compass, radar, and visual bearing to see if a “Risk of Collision/close-quarters situation exists”
  2. Figure out who the giveway/stand-on vessel is.
  3. If you are the stand-on vessel then, stand-on with caution, maintaining your course and speed, keep taking bearings to make sure the giveway vessel givesway
  4. If your the giveway vessel then, alter course towards the giveway vessel, give him plenty sea-room, if not a lot of sea-room stop your vessel and let him pass.
  5. If the giveway vessel is standing on then sound 5 or more short and rapid blasts on the ships whistle or flash your masthead light rapidly 5 or more times. If you get no response then, make an bold alteration away from this vessel (he could be a pirate vessel)

Close Quarters situation

  • This should not have happened if you had been watching and keeping a safe watch
  • If you get into a close-quarter situation with another vessel and you are the stand-on vessel, you have to get away from him at all costs
  • Make a very large alteration away from the other vessel as long as your not putting yourself into a close quarter situation with another vessel (maybe another vessel overtaking you at the same time)
  • The way I see it Rule 8 has to be the most important Rule of the Road, by Using it and taking action to avoid collision you can save life, this Rule is vital to learn, using Rule 8 “Action to Avoid collision” means you can break any Rule of the Road to avoid collision, Break a rule to save a life (You and your Crews as well as the other vessels crew)
  • Get hold of this vessel on the VHF or take the vessels name and number and port and report him to the coastguard
  • you can also call him up on VHF 16 and say According to the Rules and regulations regarding collision
  • avoidance it states that you’re the giveway vessel I will give you one minute to alter course
  • Then if he does not alter course
  • Get in contact with the MCA and report him Fill in an IRF form and send it to the MAIB
  • He will then be brought up in front of an MCA Captain and be severely reprimanded
  • They might even take his Certificate of Competency away from him
  • It’s your responsibility to make sure you get your crew home safely

Rule 9- Narrow Channels Situations


Rule 10- Traffic Separation Schemes (Alteration Tips)

Situations with you crossing a lane

You’re crossing in a PDV under 20 meters

Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 1
Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 2

You are crossing a lane in a PDV under 20 meters

Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 1
Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 2

You are Crossing a lane in a Sailing Vessel

Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 5
Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 6

You are crossing a lane in a Fishing Vessel

Rules of the Road- Questions and Answers | Part III 7

Now you’re in a lane

Que: You’re in a traffic lane in a Power-driven Vessel (Any Size)
Que: You’re in the Traffic Lane in a Sailing vessel
Ans: Stand on to the 3 vessels that are not allowed to impede you and a power-driven vessel on both sides
the 3 vessels that are not allowed to impede you are

(1) A fishing vessel
(2) A sailing vessel
(3)
A power-driven vessel under 20 meters in length

Que: You’re in the Traffic Lane in a fishing vessel.
Ans: Stand-on to the 3 vessels that are not allowed to impede you and a power-driven vessel on both sides.
The 3 vessels that are not allowed to impede you are
(1) A fishing vessel
(2) A sailing vessel
(3) A power-driven vessel under 20 meters in length

In Restricted Visibility

Que: You are in the In-shore Zone about to cross a Traffic Lane in Restricted Visibility (Target in lane & Bearings are steady)
Ans: Make an early and bold alteration to the starboard using Rule 19d part 1. The other vessel should do the same

Que: You are in the Separation Zone about to cross a Traffic lane in Restricted Visibility (Target in lane & Bearings are steady)
Ans: Make an early and bold alteration to the starboard using Rule 19d part 1. The other vessel should do the same

Que: You’re in the Traffic Lane in restricted visibility and there are targets on your port and starboard bow (bearing steady on both targets)
Ans: Make an early and bold alteration to the starboard using Rule 19d part 1 and the other vessel should do the same

Unusual Circumstances

Que: You’re in the Traffic Lane in a fishing vessel about to be overtaken by a supertanker, what will you do?
Ans: Stand on with caution maintaining your course and speed. Any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken

Que: You’re in a traffic lane and in a head-on situation with another vessel who’s in the lane coming the wrong way, what are you going to do?
Ans: Sound One short blast and make a bold alteration to starboard and get away from this vessel

Remember to report this vessel to the port authorities who should be tracking both your vessel and the other vessel, also make an entry into your official logbook and fill out an I.R.F. (Incident Report Form) and send this to the M.A.I.B.

Traffic Separation Scheme Alteration Tips

If you’re in a POWER-DRIVEN VESSEL OVER 20 METRES IN LENGTH crossing a scheme
Then Normal Rules apply
Figure out who is most hampered, and then who is the give-way vessel

If you’re in a Fishing vessel, Sailing Vessel, or a power-driven vessel under 20 meters in length crossing a Scheme
Then You do not impede any vessel using a lane

If you’re in a power-driven vessel (Any Size), a fishing vessel, or a sailing vessel in a lane
Then Normal rules apply
Watch for the 3 VESSELS THAT DON’T IMPEDE YOU IN A LANE

If you’re in a FISHING VESSEL in a lane Then Normal rules apply
Watch for the 3 VESSELS THAT DON’T IMPEDE YOU IN A LANE