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Navigation rules - page 10

3.10 Rule 19

The Rule - Vessels in Restricted Visibility

(a)This Rule applies to vessels not in sight of one another when navigating in or near an area of restricted visibility.


(b) Every vessel shall proceed at a safe speed adapted to the prevailing circumstances and conditions of restricted visibility. A power-driven vessel shall have her engines ready for immediate maneuver.


(c) Every vessel shall have due regard to the prevailing circumstances and conditions of restricted visibility when complying with the Rules of Section I of this Part.


(d) A vessel which detects by radar alone the presence of another vessel shall determine if a close-quarters situation is developing and/or risk of collision exists. If so, she shall take avoiding action in ample time, provided that when such action consists of an alteration of course, so far as possible the following shall be avoided: (i) an alteration of course to port for a vessel forward of the beam, other than for a vessel being overtaken; (ii) an alteration of course towards a vessel abeam or abaft the beam.


(e) Except where it has been determined that a risk of collision does not exist, every vessel which hears apparently forward of her beam the fog signal of another vessel, or which cannot avoid a close-quarters situation with another vessel forward of her beam, shall reduce her speed to the minimum at which she can be kept on her course. She shall if necessary take all her way off and in any event navigate with extreme caution until danger of collision is over.

Besides the rules there are some things you should do for your own safety.

  • Establish position. Consider the use of the engine.

  • Consider a change of destination. Make for shallow water, if safe, away from larger ships possible tracks

  • Operate radar if available. Consider anchoring in a safe location.

  • Radar reflector in place. Have white flare handy.

  • Put on navigation lights. Post extra look-outs.

  • Put on life-jackets. Keep to a safe speed.

  • Make fog sound signals. Have the dinghy or life-raft ready.

  • Wake up crew, especially if in the forecabin. Use all instruments to the full: GPS, VHF, echo-sounder, AIS.


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