Risk of Collision for the Recreational Boater - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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post #12 of 50 Old 03-26-2008 Thread Starter
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No worries--I think i mis-interpreted something on his message.
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post #13 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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Heres another general rule. Always assume that the other guy is clueless- Sort of like the gun safety rule that says always assume a gun is loaded.
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post #14 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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When I teach people how to ride a motorcycle I always tell them to assume everyone in a car/truck/semi is determined to kill them and protect themselves accordingly.

I always assume the much larger vessel has the right of way. I really don't want my estate to have to argue a wrongful death (mine)!
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post #15 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
Good article.
If I had to add anything to it or subsequent articles it would be a reference to what used to be called the General Prudential Rule, now covered under Responsibility, along with an emphasis on the nature of special circumstances where a departure from the Rules may be necessary. Most recreational boaters, even with knowledge of the Rules, do not know that more than two vessels involvement may make the case one of special circumstances for which the Rules do not apply. Perceiving one's self as the stand-on vessel in special circumstances can have consequences unforeseen.

I think that you mentioned that the Rules only apply to vessel's within sight of one another. If not, you should.

The only other topic I'd have you expand on is the requirement for action when in-extremis. In-extremis is defined as when the actions of the give-way vessel alone are insufficient to avoid collision. And the stand-on vessel is then required to take action as to best avoid collision.

Fine work, Yamsailor.
In-extremis is not used in the COLREGs anymore. It is a hold over from previous rules. Your definition is correct though.
So who is in extremis, the give way vessel or the stand on vessel? Perhaps from one of the vessels point of view the situation is not as critical. Before considering yourself in-extremis you should go through all the other phases (five short blasts with five flashes of light, calling on VHF, etc) then, if the other ship doesn't respond you can maneouvre to avoid collision. Before that the stand-on vessel is required to do just that.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #16 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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Quote:
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I always assume the much larger vessel has the right of way. I really don't want my estate to have to argue a wrongful death (mine)!
Boy does that ever complicate things for the guy driving the other "larger" vessel. To clear things up you should call him and tell him that you don't intend to conform to the rules and he can have the right of way. At least then it is on tape when you refuse to abide by the rules.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #17 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
Boy does that ever complicate things for the guy driving the other "larger" vessel. To clear things up you should call him and tell him that you don't intend to conform to the rules and he can have the right of way. At least then it is on tape when you refuse to abide by the rules.
It's called the rule of tonnage!
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post #18 of 50 Old 03-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Plumper,

Good points. I know "in-extremis" is not in the Rules; After doing a lot of research on court cases involving collisions, I realize the court briefings still use the term as it used to be applied. I use the term "in-extremis" more for demonstrating the four stages of the collision avoidance funnel.

I 100% agree with you and it is a very good point. Sound, light and VHF signals and contacts should be utilized before a Stand-On vessel maneuvers to avoid collision. I tend to use the VHF when I am in a 45 foot sailboat when I see a large ship or tug with tow. I am not confident these large vessels will hear my "whistle."

Good Stuff!

Last edited by Yamsailor; 03-26-2008 at 10:33 PM.
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post #19 of 50 Old 03-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Plumper,

There have been a couple of collisions between a sailboat and a big ship that occurred in the NYC area that demonstrate your point. At the end of my article, there is a link to a power point presentation by a USCG marine investigator that describes exactly what you are talking about.
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post #20 of 50 Old 03-26-2008
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Actually, in most cases, it doesn't complicate things at all. He's free to change course or speed any old way he wants as long as risk of collision is not present. An often missed subtlety to the rules; there is no stand-on or give-way vessel if no risk of collision is present. Which leads to the court decisions that have held that, if no collision occured there was no risk of collision! You really can't win. (g)

While the words in extremis have gone away in the Colregs, they live on in the annals of maritime law. I recommend Farwell's Rules of the Nautical Road to anyone truly interested in how the rules have been interpreted and the meaning behind them in various situations.

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Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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