Originally Posted by PCP
Mr Jan Baarssen, 51, of Urk, Netherlands pleaded guilty for conduct endangering ships or persons. He was finerd£1,700 plus costs of £6,435.[/B][/COLOR]
Good and timely post, given the discussions about safety at sea.
It's dangerous out there. Just as in driving a car, you have to assume anyone who can hit you, will hit you. Assume every other vessel is on auto-pilot with no one on watch. The key is to avoid those situations long before they get to that point. Take evasive action early, regardless of the rules of the road. The obligation to "Stand On" does not mean you can't change course early to avoid any kind of crossing situation. I keep a hand-bearing compass in the cockpit and draw a bead on vessels as soon as I can see them - if the bearing is not changing, you better change your course early as possible.
To some of the other posters, a commercial fishing vessel engaged in fishing has right of way over a sailing vessel. Some of the fishing captains ACT as if they are always engaged in fishing, whether they are dragging a net or lines, or not. Give them a wide berth and stay out of their way at all costs!