• PART B (continued) – Section II (Subpart II) – Steering and Sailing Rules: Conduct of Vessels in Sight of One Another
Rule 11, Application
International and Inland - Rules in this section apply to vessels in sight of one another.
• Can be seen with the eyes from the bridge of your vessel.
Rule 12, Sailing Vessels
(a) International and Inland – When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve the risk of collision, one of them shall keep out the way of the other as follows: (i) When each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other. (ii) When both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward. (iii) If a vessel with the wind on the port side sees a vessel to windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the other vessel has the wind on the port or on the starboard side, she shall keep out of the way of the other.
(b) International and Inland – For the purposes of this Rule the windward side shall be deemed to be the side opposite to that on which the mainsail is carried or….
Rule 13, Overtaking
(a) International – Notwithstanding anything contained in Rules of Part B, Sections I and II any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.
Inland – Notwithstanding anything contained in Rules 4 through 18, any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.
(b) International and Inland – A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam; that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.
(c) International and Inland – When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether she is overtaking another, she SHALL assume that it is the case and act accordingly.
(d) International and Inland – Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels SHALL NOT make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of her duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.
• In an overtaking situation the speed of the approach of the two vessels is usually small, so that the overtaking vessel has more time available for taking action. It is very seldom that an overtaking vessel gets so close to the vessel being overtaken that collision cannot be avoided by the overtaking vessel alone.
• If an overtaking vessel, approaching from the quarter, takes no action despite warning signals, the best action for the overtaken vessel is to avert collision would be probably be to turn on a parallel course. Such action could hardly make things more difficult for the overtaking vessel, so such action should be taken too soon, rather than too late. The possibility of contact between the two vessels must be taken into account by the overtaken vessel in deciding whether, and when, to take action.
• A sailing vessel which is overtaking a power-driven vessel, or another sailing vessel, must keep out of the way of the overtaken vessel. If a sailing vessel overtakes a power-driven vessel and after getting past and clear loses her speed due to a wind change, she may subsequently be overtaken by the power-driven vessel. It would be the responsibility of the power-driven vessel to keep clear.
• Regardless of any other Rule, the overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of the overtaken vessel.
• 135 degrees at stern = overtaking zone.
• If in doubt between an overtaking and crossing situation, assume overtaking and act accordingly.
• Once an overtaking situation, always an overtaking situation. It cannot become a crossing situation.
• Maintain watch until well past and clear.
Overtaken = Stand-On Vessel
Overtaking = Give-Way Vessel
Rule 14 Head-on Situations
(a) International – When two power driven vessels are meeting on a reciprocal or nearly reciprocal course so as to involve risk of collision each SHALL alter her course to starboard so that each SHALL pass on the port side of the other.
Inland – Unless otherwise agreed, when two power driven vessels
are meeting on a reciprocal or nearly reciprocal course so as
to involve risk of collision each SHALL alter her course to starboard so
that each SHALL pass on the port side of the other.
(b) International and Inland – Such a situation shall be deemed to exist when a vessel sees the other ahead or nearly ahead and by night she could see the masthead lights of the other in a line or nearly in a line or both sidelights and by day she observes the corresponding aspect of the other vessel.
(c) International and Inland – When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether such a situation exists she shall assume that it does and act accordingly.
(d) Inland – Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this Rule, a power-driven vessel operating on the Great Lakes, Western Rivers, or waters specified by the Secretary, and proceeding down bound with a following current shall have the sight-of-way over an up bound vessel, shall propose the manner of passage, and shall initiate the maneuvering signals prescribed by Rule 34(a)(i), as appropriate.
• The wording of this Rule makes it clear that it is the direction of the ship’s head, and not the course made good, which must be used to determine whether vessels are meeting head on or crossing. This may be important in conditions of strong wind or current, where one vessel is drifting more rapidly than the other, so that one vessel may see another head on, fine on the bow, and the bearing may remain constant.
• If the vessel is head on the starboard bow, as shown above, both vessels may be tempted to alter course to port. This temptation must be resisted. The vessel with the other on her own starboard side should alter course to starboard, the other should maintain course and speed or possibly make an early and positive alteration to starboard.
• Whether vessels are meeting head on or crossing at a fine angle the important thing is that neither vessel should alter her course to port. If it is thought necessary to increase the distance of passing starboard to starboard, then this implies a risk of collision. Always assume that each vessel is meeting head on and pass port to port.
Rule 15, Crossing Situations
International – When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involved risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her starboard side SHALL keep out of the way and SHALL, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
(a) Inland – When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve the risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her starboard side SHALL keep out of the way and SHALL, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
(b) Inland – Notwithstanding paragraph (a), on the Great Lakes, Western Rivers, or waters specified by the Secretary, a power-driven vessel crossing a river shall keep out of the way of a power-driven vessel ascending or descending the river.
• If a vessel has to take action so as to keep out of the way she should avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. She should either alter her course to pass well astern of the other vessel or reduce speed or take all way off until the other vessel is past and clear.
• In the case of two power-driven vessels crossing, where the stand-on vessel has the give-way vessel on her port side, there is a tendency for her to alter course to port. This action would be dangerous, as the give-way vessel must be expected to act even at this late stage, and her probable maneuver would be to alter course to starboard.
• When collision with another vessel is considered to be inevitable the foremost concern of the helmsman must be to maneuver his vessel as to reduce the effect of the collision as much as possible. The consequences are likely to be most serious if one vessel strikes the other at a large angle near amid-ships. The engines should be stopped and the helm should be used so as to make the collision a glancing blow rather than a direct impact.
Rule 16, Action by Give-way Vessel
International and Inland – Every vessel which is directed to keep clear of another vessel SHALL, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.
• The give way vessel should make her actions to give way known early and obvious.
• Show your side.
• In clear weather, when a power-driven vessel encounters another vessel crossing as to involve risk of collision, and is obliged by the Rules to take action, she may be prevented from making course alterations due to the lack of sea room, or to the presence of other vessels; in these circumstances it would be necessary for her to slacken speed, stop, or reverse.
Rule 17, Action by Stand-on Vessel
(a) International and Inland – (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 early action to avoid collision by her maneuver 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) International and Inland - 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) International and Inland – 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) International and Inland – This Rule does not relieve the give-way vessel of her obligation to keep out of the way.
• Maintain course and speed.
• A vessel is only required to maintain her course and speed in a two vessel situation. In the unlikely event of one vessel finds herself on a collision course with two other vessels at the same time, she could not be expected to give way for one vessel and keep her course and speed for the other. Read Rule 2(b) special circumstances.
• The distance between the two vessels, when collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, will vary with the direction and speed of approach. If the speed of the two vessels is about the same, the distance can be shown to be approximately four times the length of the give-way vessel for all crossing situations. The time which would be then available for action by the stand-on vessel would be less than two minutes in most cases, and could even be less than one minute when the speed of the two vessels concerned is in the range of 15 knots or more. It is, of course, very difficult for those onboard the stand-on vessel to know when the time has come to act. It’s not easy to judge distances between vessels accurately, especially at night.
• When collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, the stand-on vessel is required to take such action as will best avoid collision. In considering what is best action to take it must be assumed that collision has not become inevitable, as what is thought to be the best action to avoid collision may be the worst action if it is taken too late.