Here .. Pull this
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of boaters, and a good percentage of merchant seamen, are not aware of what red over green - white over red or most of the other lighting indicators mean. Radar reflectors, maintaining lookouts and staying out of shipping lanes at night are likely to keep you safe and intact.
Running lights are about the extent of general knowledge. Once things get past that point, you are making a leap of faith in yourself - (that you are remembering the codes accurately), and in the other party - (that they know what all those lights thay have turned on are supposed to indicate to other vessels). I find the latter a somewhat chancy thing in this day of cheap and easy LED's...