I live in San Diego and would agree that there are too many times I see Navy Security, USCG, ICE/Customs boats screaming through the bay at +40 kts. Scary, to say the least. In terms of the a safe speed during last nights parade of lights
I looked up in the COLREGS the following excerpt.
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:
(a) By all vessels:
(i) The state of visibility;
(ii) The traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
(iii) The manageability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
(iv) At night the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter from her own lights;
(v) The state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;
(vi) The draft in relation to the available depth of water.
(b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:
(i) The characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar
(ii) Any constrains imposed by the radar
range scale in use;
(iii) The effect on radar
detection of the sea state, weather and other sources of interference;
(iv) The possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may not be detected by radar
at an adequate range;
(v) The number location and movement of vessels detected by radar;
(vi) The more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible when radar
is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects in the vicinity.
Risk of Collision
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.
(b) Proper use shall be made of radar
equipment if fitted and operational, including long-range scanning to obtain early warning of risk of collision and radar plotting or equivalent systematic observation of detected objects.
(c) Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information, especially scanty radar information.
(d) In determining if risk of collision exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account:
(i) Such risk shall be deemed to exist if the compass
bearing of an approaching vessel does not appreciably change;
(ii) Such risk may sometimes exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or a tow or when approaching a vessel at close range.
Very sad to see this happen and the USCG does more good than harm.... but negligence can hapen. We'll see what comes out from the investigation.