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Head-on and overtaking situation with vessel not under command on the high seas

  • Description of scenario: Vessel A: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel B: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel C: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel D: Vessel not under command
    Area: On the high seas
    Visibility: Good (Vessels in sight of one another)
    Vessel A and vessel B are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision
    Vessel B is overtaking vessel C on her port side
    Vessel D is underway , but she is not making way through the water
  • Rule(s) to be applied: Rule 13 (Overtaking)
    Rule 14 (Head-on situation)
    Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel)
    Rule 18 (Responsibilities between vessels)
  • Applying the Rule(s) and comments: Head-on situation (vessel A and vessel B):
    In accordance with Rule 14 (b) (Head-on situation), head-on 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 line or nearly in a line and/or both sidelights and by day she observes the corresponding aspect of the other vessel.
    In accordance with Rule 14 (a) (Head-on situation), when two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses 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.
    In accordance with Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel), vessels A and B which are both directed to keep out of the way of each other shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.

    Responsibility between vessels (vessels A,B,C and vessel D):
    In accordance with Rule 18 (a)(i) (Responsibilities between vessels), except where Rule 9 (Narrow channels ), Rule 10 (Traffic separation schemes) and Rule 13 (Overtaking) otherwise require, a power-driven vessel underway (vessels A, B and C) shall keep out of the way of a vessel not under command (vessel D).

    Overtaking situation (vessel B and vessel C):
    In accordance with Rule 13 (b) (Overtaking situation), a vessel (vessel B) shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with another vessel (vessel C) from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam.
    In accordance with Rule 13 (a) (Overtaking situation), notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules of Part B, sections I and II, any vessel overtaking (vessel B) any other vessel (vessel C) shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken (vessel C).
    In accordance with Rule 13 (d) (Overtaking situation), any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel (vessel B) a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her (vessel B) of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel (vessel C) until she is finally past and clear.
    In accordance with Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel), every vessel (vessel B) which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel (vessel C) shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.

    Comments:
    Vessel B is directed to keep out of the way of vessel A in head-on situation (vessel A and vessel B) and shall alter her course to starboard. Vessel B is also directed to keep out of the way of vessel D considering responsibility between vessels (vessel B and vessel D). Vessel B is also directed to keep out of the way of vessel C in overtaking situation (vessel B and vessel C).
    Vessel B is directed to keep out of the way of all other vessels (vessel A, D and C) and she shall alter her course to starboard considering head-on situation with vessel A.
  • Actions: Vessels A and B can take the following actions to avoid collision or close-quarters situation.

    a) Vessel A may alter her course to starboard to avoid collision with vessel B and pass on the port side of vessel B; vessel B may alter her course to starboard and reduce her speed to sail astern of vessel C and pass astern of vessel D

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    b) Vessel A may alter her course to starboard to avoid collision with vessel B and pass on the port side of vessel B; vessel B may alter her course to starboard to pass astern of vessel C and then overtake vessel C on her starboard side

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