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Multi-ship crossing situations with different responsibilities between vessels

  • Description of scenario: Vessel A: Vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre
    Vessel B: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel C, D and E: Sailing vessels - a fleet of racing sail yachts
    Area: Coastal waters
    Visibility: Good (Vessels in sight of one another)
    Vessel A and Vessel B are crossing so as to involve risk of collision
    Sailing vessels C, D and E are sailing in race and there is no risk of collision with vessels A and B
  • Rule(s) to be applied: Rule 8 (Action to avoid a collision)
    Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel)
    Rule 18 (Responsibilities between vessels)
  • Applying the Rule(s) and comments: Crossing situation between vessel A and vessel B:
    In accordance with Rule 18 (a)(ii) & (iv) (Responsibilities between vessels), a power-driven vessel underway (vessel B) shall keep out of the way of:
    ii) a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuver (vessel A);
    iv) a sailing vessel (vessels C, D and E).
    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 shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.
    In accordance with Rule 8 (a) (Action to avoid acollision) any action taken to avoid collision shall be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.
    In accordance with Rule 8 (c) (Action to avoid acollision) if there is sufficient sea-room, alteration of course alone may be the most effective action to avoid a close-quarters situation provided that it is made in good time, is substantial and does not result in another close-quarters situation.
    In accordance with Rule 8 (e) (Action to avoid acollision) if necessary to avoid collision or allow more time to assess the situation, a vessel shall slacken her speed or take all way off by stopping or reversing her means of propulsion.

    Comments:
    Vessel A and vessel B are crossing so as to involve risk of collision.
    In accordance with Rule 18 (a)(ii), vessel B as a power-driven vessel shall keep out of the way of a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (vessel A).
    Sailing vessels C, D and E are sailing in a race and there is no risk of collision with vessels A and B but they greatly restrict the possible actions of vessel B to avoid collision with vessel A.
    If vessel B takes any action to avoid collision with vessel A and this action results in risk of collision with any sailing vessel , than again in accordance with Rule 18 (a)(iv), vessel B as a power-driven vessel shall keep out of the way of a sailing vessel (vessels C, D and E).
    In accordance with Rule 16 , vessel B as a give-way vessel shall take early and substantial action to keep well clear of vessels A, C, D and E.
  • Actions: In accordance with the ordinary practice of seamen, vessel B may take the following actions to avoid collision or close-quarters situation.

    a) In accordance with Rule 8 (e), vessel B may slacken her speed or stop because of her limited ability to alter her course in order to avoid the collision with vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (vessel A) and sailing vessels (vessels C, D and E).

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    b) Vessel B may alter her course to port and cross ahead of vessel C, astern of vessel E, ahead of vessel D and finally also astern of vessel A. It should be emphasized that in accordance with Rule 18 , the vessel (vessel B) which shall keep out of the way of another is not forbidden to change her course either to port or to starboard to avoid collision, but her action to avoid collision shall not result in another close-quarters situation.

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