International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, Articles of the Convention on the International. Regulations for Preventing. (c) Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of any special rules made by the. Government of any State with respect to additional station or signal . COLREGS - International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. Document. Pages. Notes. Text. Zoom. CLOSE. Previous for “” Next. p. 1. Loading .
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The International Rules in this book were formalized in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, , and became. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) are published The Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations (PDF). Southampton, ENG: Crown Department of. surrounding coast you must be aware of the International Regulations for Preventing. Collisions at Sea (commonly known as The COLREGS). These regulations.
The effectiveness of traffic separation schemes can be judged from a study made by the International Association of Institutes of Navigation IAIN in This showed that between and there were 60 collisions in the Strait of Dover; twenty years later, following the introduction of traffic separation schemes, this total was cut to only In other areas where such schemes did not exist the number of collisions rose sharply.
New traffic separation schemes are introduced regularly and existing ones are amended when necessary to respond to changed traffic conditions. To enable this to be done as quickly as possible the MSC has been authorized to adopt and amend traffic separation schemes on behalf of the Organization. Rule 10 states that ships crossing traffic lanes are required to do so "as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow. Fishing vessels "shall not impede the passage of any vessel following a traffic lane" but are not banned from fishing.
This is in line with Rule 9 which states that "a vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway.
Two new paragraphs were added to Rule 10 to exempt vessels which are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre "when engaged in an operation for the safety of navigation in a traffic separation scheme" or when engaged in cable laying.
In the regulations were again amended. It was stressed that Rule 10 applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization IMO and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other rule. It was also to clarify that if a vessel is obliged to cross traffic lanes it should do so as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of the traffic flow. In Regulation 10 was further amended to clarify the vessels which may use the "inshore traffic zone.
Rule 12 states action to be taken when two sailing vessels are approaching one another. Rule 13covers overtaking - the overtaking vessel should keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken. Rule 14 deals with head-on situations.
Crossing situations are covered by Rule 15 and action to be taken by the give-way vessel is laid down in Rule Rule 17 deals with the action of the stand-on vessel, including the provision that the stand-on vessel may "take action to avoid collision by her manoeuvre alone as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action. If for any reason it is not possible to light the vessel according to these rules, all possible measures must be taken to light the vessel and indicate its presence.
If the towing vessel is not normally engaged in towing operations and it is impractical to light it correctly, it is not obliged to show these lights if it is towing a vessel in distress or in need of assistance. All possible measures must be taken to show that it is towing; in particular the towline should be illuminated. Lights for sailing and rowing vessels Sailing vessels underway and vessels under oars a A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit: 1. A sailing vessel of less than 7 metres A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this Rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
Lights for fishing vessels Fishing Vessels a A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule. Lights for vessels not under command or restricted in their ability to manoeuvre Vessels not under command or restricted in their ability to manoeuvre a A vessel not under command shall exhibit: 1. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white; three shapes in a vertical line where they can best be seen.
The highest and lowest of these shapes shall be balls and the middle one a diamond; when making way through the water, a masthead light or lights, sidelights and a sternlight, in addition to the lights prescribed in sub-paragraph i ; when at anchor, in addition to the lights or shapes prescribed in sub-paragraphs i and ii , the light, lights or shape prescribed in Rule The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white; a rigid replica of the International Code flag "A" not less than 1 metre 3.
Measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility. One of these lights or shapes shall be exhibited near the foremast head and one at each end of the fore yard.
These lights or shapes indicate that it is dangerous for another vessel to approach within 1, metres 0.
Exemptions 38 The annexes give technical details for lights and sound equipment for vessels as well as additional signals for fishing vessels and trawlers. The exception is Annex IV, which details only those signals that should ever be used as a Distress Signal. Of these Annexes, in practice it has been found that only Annex II and Annex IV need to be learnt for first certificates of competency, but the remaining two annexes should be read, so as an understanding of their content may be achieved at this level.
Future and higher certificates of competency will require a thorough knowledge of all the annexes. For ease of presentation, the Rules have been quoted in italics with their explanatory notes in normal typescript.
RULE 1 Application. Such special rules shall conform as closely as possible to these Rules. These additional station or signal lights, shapes or whistle signals, shall, so far as possible, be such that they cannot be mistaken for any light, shape or signal authorised elsewhere under these Rules.
Paragraph e above must be one of the longest sentences in history words! However, the important part for us, is that the Regulations apply to all vessels on the sea and also in their connected waters, which are capable of being navigated by seagoing vessels. Note that, in addition to the Rules, extra regulations might also apply, when navigating in harbours, rivers and other inland waterways. These might relate to the imposition of specific speed limits and steering directions in restricted waters, though other special conditions may also apply.
For instance, the current Environment Agency Thames Region byelaws require a full set of navigation lights for powered craft under 7m 23ft , even though the Regulations call for an all-round white light only, provided the boat cannot exceed 7 knots. Another example can be found on the Rhine, where German authorities insist on, where practicable, the masthead lights being on the same level as the sidelights, rather than at least 1m 3ft 3in above them.
This is to assist in avoiding confusion with bridge signals. Clearly, when operating in areas under the jurisdiction of a specific navigation authority, one has to be sure of compliance with local rules. But the basic principles of collision-avoidance remain the same in almost all situations.
This is one of the most important rules within the Regulations, which rightly says that no one should rely on compliance with the rules alone, to keep them out of trouble.
The priority is not to place your ship in any kind of perilous situation. Furthermore, a departure from the rules is allowed, to avoid immediate danger, taking into account the limitations of the vessels involved. A small boat may not be seen, visually or on radar, until relatively close to a larger ship.
Ships, of course, have obligations to smaller craft under the steering rules, especially when not using narrow channels or official Traffic Separation Schemes, and might be obliged to give way when on a collision course with a vessel of any size. But whether a small craft in a stand-on position should hold course and speed to force the issue, when safer options are available, becomes highly questionable under this Rule.
In reality, this is a misnomer, as the final five words, which are the most important part, are overlooked. This is because, in paragraph a it says that you must obey the rules whilst paragraph b says that, if having obeyed the rules and you are still imminently about to collide with another vessel, then you may disobey the rules in order to minimise or avoid the collision.
Effectively, if you have a collision, or even a near miss, you will have at some stage disobeyed Rule 2. General Definitions. Here we have the official explanations of terms used within the Regulations, which are in the main self-explanatory. It is important to carefully read each definition, with regard to how the words are used. However, a vessel Constrained by her Draught can only ever be a power driven vessel and no other type, due again, to the definition given within this Rule.
The meaning of the first is easiest to understand, being the craft which, in a potential collision situation, has to give way to the other; the second is the one which should, when the circumstances of the case admit, hold her course and speed.
These terms are visited at a later stage of these notes. This rule also introduces a new craft type, namely WIG craft. PART B — Section I Conduct of Vessels in any condition of visibility Rules 4 to 8, covering the conduct of vessels in any condition of visibility, emphasise what should be done to avoid the risk of collision, rather than dictating action to be taken once the risk exists.
Rules in this section apply in any condition of visibility. Or, to put it another way, the minute you go out on any water covered by the Regulations, Rules apply regardless. RULE 5 Look-out. Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing, as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.
This all seems straightforward enough, but there are several aspects to note, which apply particularly to modern ships.
For fast ships, the convenience of speed brings a need for greater alertness. For instance, a ship travelling at 20 knots will cover around ft m in a minute, leaving just 6 seconds to avoid an object sighted feet 30 metres away. The need for a wide-awake Officer of the Watch OOW is obvious, as is the advantage of a second pair of eyes. Even a slower vessel travelling at 8 knots, has only 15 seconds or so, to avoid our theoretical obstruction feet distant.
Good watchkeeping is an art, which needs practice. Judging distance-off and accurately assessing the size and relative courses of other vessels is something, which no amount of instruction or studying of texts can ever teach.
It can only be gained from experience. An autopilot can be a menace or a real help, depending on how it is used. But when used simply to keep a steady course, largely obviating the need for an eye on the compass, it enables more attention to be devoted to what is visible, as well as to other important instruments, such as the depth-sounder and engine gauges.
Crew assisting the OOW should regularly report what they are observing. On slow moving ships, the biggest danger often comes from behind, where other ships can steal up surprisingly quickly.
Fast craft travelling at upwards of 20 knots are much safer from any vessel aft of them, but must nevertheless, still keep a good lookout all-round. Not all Bridges allow unrestricted visibility.
Many are obscured to the rear and have significant blind spots. If Rule 5 were to be obeyed to the letter, it would be prudent to have one person on watch on the bridge wing, to assist the OOW whose view is inhibited by the superstructure.
Any prescription spectacles should be worn and kept clean. However it should be noted that carrying a pair of binoculars on board, is not a requirement under any existing IMO legislation. Also note that Rule 5 says a lookout should be kept by hearing. On some older ships, this could be problematic, since your own Bridge Superstructure and possibly engine noise by way of the sounds coming from the funnel exhaust noise might drown out all but the loudest sounds.
It is therefore prudent to try and keep one of the bridge wing doors open the leeward one is a good bet if at all possible. For those who sail on ships with a totally enclosed bridge, how do they obey Rule 5? Remember that the intensity and direction of sound is particularly difficult to judge. Noise travels further over water, and the deeper the pitch, the less easy it is to estimate where it is coming from.
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account: a By all vessels: i the state of visibility; ii the traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels; iii the manoeuvrability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions; iv at night the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back-scatter of her own lights; v the state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards; vi the draught in relation to the available depth of water.
This Rule is another one of the important Rules. Paragraphs a and b and their sub-paragraphs are self-explanatory. However, the main body of the rule may need some further explanation.