How Many Rules of the Road at Sea

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The rules mainly govern responsibilities between ships when they meet at sea, i.e. which ship must avoid the other (the transfer vessel) and which must do nothing but maintain its course and speed (the position on the ship). This responsibility also extends to the type of ships that are encountered when there is a risk of collision – for example, a normal motor merchant ship should avoid a ship that, for whatever reason, is limited in its manoeuvrability. Avoiding collisions on the water is different in many ways than avoiding collisions while driving in your car. The only factor that is similar between boats compared to cars is speed. It is statistically proven that the number of collisions between vehicles, whether at sea or on the road, decreases with reduced speed. While new high-performance boats can reach speeds comparable to those of an automobile, most boats do not have seat belts or brakes. Boats can either change course or reverse their engines. Just as the rules of the road are used to prevent collisions on our countries` roads, there are navigation rules that are used to prevent collisions on the waterways of our country and the world. Publication of the U.S.

Coast Guard Rules of Navigation (International Domestic) can be ordered by calling the U.S. Government Printing House at (202) 783-3238. (You can also consult them here) The 36 rules and five appendices in this publication are specifically designed to help you avoid ship strikes. All seafarers are required to be aware of these rules of navigation when operating their ships and to apply them responsibly. Some of the most important rules of this publication are summarized below. Rule 2, liability, requires that all navigational and collision hazards be given due consideration. This rule allows the seafarer to deviate from the rules if necessary to avoid the imminent risk of collision. This rule is often applied when there is a risk of collision between three or more ships. It is the responsibility of the mariner to take the necessary steps to avoid a collision. Rule – 4 requires each vessel to maintain at all times an appropriate sentinel with sight, hearing and all available means appropriate in the circumstances to make a full assessment of the situation and the potential risk of collision.

Regulation 6 requires every ship to navigate at all times at a safe speed in order to be able to take appropriate and effective measures to avoid collisions and to be stopped at a distance appropriate to the circumstances and conditions existing. In determining the safe speed, the following factors shall be taken into account, inter alia: visibility, traffic density, manoeuvrability of the vessel, in particular with regard to stopping distance and turning capability, presence of a background lamp at night, e.g. coastal lights, wind, sea and current conditions, the proximity of navigational hazards and draught to the available water depth. In addition, ships equipped with operational radar must make full use of that radar to determine the risk of collision. Rule – 7 Risk of Collision states that each ship must use all available means to determine whether there is a risk of collision; When in doubt, assume it exists. There is a risk of collision when the compass bearing does not pass from your vessel to an approaching vessel. Constant Bearing Reducing Range (CBDR) is the term we use to describe this situation. A risk of collision may also sometimes exist if a noticeable change in running is noticeable, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or tugboat, or when approaching a vessel at short distance. Rule 8, Collision Avoidance Measures, contains specific instructions on how to maneuver your vessel to avoid a collision. Changes in course and speed must be large enough to be easily recognizable by the other vessel.

If there is sufficient marine space available, a change alone may be the most effective measure to avoid a situation in confined spaces, provided that it is timely, meaningful and does not lead to another situation in a confined space. If necessary to avoid a collision or to have more time to assess the situation, a ship must reduce its speed or take off completely by stopping or reversing its propulsion. Seafarers should not limit their knowledge of the rules to this article. In addition to the rules that I have summarized, there are other rules that apply to ships operating in reduced visibility, rules that prescribe the types of navigation lights and audible signals required by ships. It is important that all boat operators study the rules of navigation and help avoid collisions. I strongly recommend that all boaters take the U.S. Power Squadron Nautical Skills and Auxiliary Seamanship Course or the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation and Auxiliary Seamanship Course. For the time and date of the Coast Guard Auxiliary course nearest you, please call the Coast Guard Customer Service number at 1-800-368-5647. Let all your boat trips be safe!!!! Having learned the basics of the rules of the road at sea, we will now learn some basic definitions related to ROR An in-depth knowledge of the rules of the road is essential both for practical navigation and to pass the various tests and certifications related to navigation, as they apply to all types of vessels.

Regulations are rules and, therefore, these rules are also issued by local authorities for seagoing vessels remaining in inland waters, but they must be confirmed by the draft drawn up by the IMO ROR and must not deviate completely from it. Similarly, there may be a slight variation in these rules when applied to certain types and forms of ships, such as naval aircraft carriers, minesweepers, minesweepers, etc. The word “in progress” means that a ship is not anchored or quickly brought ashore or grounded. For example, a ship with engines stopped and engines is en route and must comply with the rules. In addition to these five categories, there are four annexes from Annex I to Annex IV, which set out the technical requirements. If you think that these rules only apply to large ships or yachts and have nothing to do with small boats or warships, then you are certainly wrong. These rules apply from the smallest boat to the largest ship sailing the oceans. The rules of the road are established by the International Maritime Organization in the COLREGS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) of 1972.

In total, there are thirty-eight rules, which are contained in five parts A, B, C, D and E and refer to the general rules, of rudder and navigation, lighting and shapes, sound and light signals or exceptions.