Monday, October 13, 2008

Lesson 32: More Lights and Shapes

I will be Hawaii starting tomorrow through Sunday - so new posts might be a touch off and on....

Rule 26, Fishing Vessels

International and Inland – A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.

International and Inland – A vessel when engaged in trawling, by which is meant the dragging through the water of a dredge net or other apparatus used as a fishing appliance, shall exhibit: (i) two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being green and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with their apexes together in a vertical line one above the other. (ii) A masthead light abaft of and higher than the all-round green light; a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such a light but may do so (and) (iii) When making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights, and a sternlight.


Green over white, trawling at night, masthead light
Red over white, fishing at night, no masthead light

Rule 27, Vessels Not Under Command or Restricted in their Ability to Maneuver


Red over Red, Captain’s dead - NUC only.
Must be a condition of her occupation or nature of work – RAM only.
Red, White, Red, can’t turn my head – RAM only.

Rule 28, Vessels Constrained by Draft


International Rules only. Where a vessel must maintain her course as a function of draft to available depth of water. No such Inland rule is found to exist, as all vessels are or could be constrained by their draft.

Three Red’s, drafty bed or a can of draft beer (day shape)…constrained by draft

Rule 29, Pilot Vessels


Must be engaged in pilotage.
White over Red, pilot ahead.

Rule 30, Anchored Vessels and Vessels Aground


Anchored vessel, less than 50 meters

The anchor lights are to be so placed as to be, as far as possible, visible all-round the horizon.

A vessel moored to buoys may be considered to be at anchor.
Two reds and a white, aground at night

Rule 31, Seaplanes and WIGS

PART D – Sound and Light Signals

Rule 32, Definitions
Rule 33, Equipment for Sound Signals

Rule 34, Maneuvering and Warning Signals

Short Blast = 1 Second Duration
Prolonged Blast = 4 to 6 Seconds Duration


This rule applies only to power-driven vessels. Sailing vessels are generally not required to give signals on their fog horns to indicate course alterations, except for narrow channels

(International Rules).

A vessel is not required to give sound signals to indicate action taken before the vessels have got close enough for the Rules to apply, but if the Rules do apply the sound signals must be given even if it’s believed that they might not be heard by another vessel.

If a power-driven vessel, proceeding along a narrow channel, sees another vessel approaching on her starboard bow and decides to alter course to port to increase the starboard to starboard passing distance, giving of such signal would not necessarily justify the vessel in going over to her wrong side.

The term “course” means action of the vessel and not the course by compass.

The mandatory use of signals is evident in the words “shall indicate”.

Under the International Rules maneuvering signals are purely rudder signals, to be given, and only when, a change of course is executed.

The one blast signal indicates a lawful change of course to the right and a two blast signal indicates a lawful change in course to the left. A sound signal is not required if the helm is being used to counteract the effect of the current, or to check the swing of the vessel when moving astern. A vessel which puts her engines astern while turning in a river, without coming truly astern, has been held by the courts to have been in no obligation to sound three short blasts. The only safe rule is, never change course in sight of another vessel without sounding your whistle.

International - In a narrow channel, when overtaking can only take place if the vessel to be overtaken has to take action to permit safe passing…the vessel intending to overtake shall indicate her intention by sounding one of the following signals on her whistle – two prolonged blasts followed by a short blast to mean “I intend to overtake you on your starboard side” – or two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts to mean “I intend to overtake you on your port side.” The vessel to be overtaken shall, if in agreement, sound the following signal on her whistle: one prolonged, one short, one prolonged, one short (“Charlie” for affirmative). The overtaken vessel shall take steps to permit safe passing. If the overtaken vessel is in not agreement, she may sound the danger signal (five or more rapid short blasts of her whistle). The overtaking vessel should not attempt passing until an agreement is reached and nor does the agreement relieve her of the obligation to keep out of the way of the overtaken vessel until (well) past and clear.

No comments: