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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 06-16-2008
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Warning other boaters...

We went for a adventure trip with my friend's 20' runabout... Hopping around waves and enjoying some waves... As we stopped to have lunch, I noticed a sailboat approaching us on a close haul... Though the wind was NNE, the current was SW... So they were sailing on our starboard but the current was pulling them towards us...
The question I want to ask is that how to warn some one that they may be pushed onto you by the current or winds if you don't know their call sign or if their vhf is off?
I blew my whistle for one prolonged time for 4-5 times...
I'd love to think that they were aware of us, however, if they didn't was my reasoning...
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Old 06-16-2008
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You might be interested in this past thread. I was in a similar situation where it failed to work out quite so well, although the over one thousand tons of ammunition in number one hold did not go up on the bright side.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...ignalling.html
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Old 06-16-2008
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It is really hard to see a small runabout. Where you in a recognized anchorage and if not where you displaying an anchored ball? Without a proper signal it would perhaps be very hard to actually spot the low lying runabout
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Old 06-16-2008
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A. A small runabout don't need to display the anchor ball.
B. The correct signals are the Danger signal and the Anchor signal of one short, one prolong and one short. The latter is used to suppliment the bell but can be used alone in this case. A good LOUD horn comes in handy here for either signal.
C. The vessel that hits an anchored vessel is totally at fault. Would be the same as you hitting a parked car in a parking lot, while you are driving.
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Old 06-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
You might be interested in this past thread. I was in a similar situation where it failed to work out quite so well, although the over one thousand tons of ammunition in number one hold did not go up on the bright side.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...ignalling.html
Read this thread and agree with sounding Uniform or Lima. But in the Yachting/sailing community How many people know what these signals mean?
Having a copy of HO pub 102 on board and reading it once a quarter would help. But then again the danger signal and Romeo would be the appropriate sound signals in accordance with the Rules.

Note: Uniform, Lima and Romeo are single letter signals via sound or visual equipment.
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Old 06-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merttan View Post
We went for a adventure trip with my friend's 20' runabout... Hopping around waves and enjoying some waves... As we stopped to have lunch, I noticed a sailboat approaching us on a close haul... Though the wind was NNE, the current was SW... So they were sailing on our starboard but the current was pulling them towards us...
The question I want to ask is that how to warn some one that they may be pushed onto you by the current or winds if you don't know their call sign or if their vhf is off?
I blew my whistle for one prolonged time for 4-5 times...
I'd love to think that they were aware of us, however, if they didn't was my reasoning...
I don't understand the situation very well. NNE wind and SW current would both be pushing the boat in almost the same direction. (wind is from, current is to). You were stopped and drifting. Doesn't that make you responsible to get out of the way? He was sailing and you were a power driven vessel underway but not making way.

The universal warning signal is 5 or more short blasts.
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Old 06-16-2008
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The danger signal of five or more short, rapid blasts on the whistle is only for vessel's underway. As referenced in the above link, the Master of the vessel that allided with us got off because he claimed that, upon hearing the danger signal, he assumed we were underway. I, on the other hand, assumed he had an admiralty lawyer who knew the rules of the road pretty well! (g)
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Old 06-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
The danger signal of five or more short, rapid blasts on the whistle is only for vessel's underway. As referenced in the above link, the Master of the vessel that allided with us got off because he claimed that, upon hearing the danger signal, he assumed we were underway. I, on the other hand, assumed he had an admiralty lawyer who knew the rules of the road pretty well! (g)
I disagree. Rule 34(d) states:

(d) When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. Such signal may be supplemented by at least five short and rapid flashes.

While the term "approaching each other" could be construed as both vessels underway, it still seems fair to say that 5 short would be an appropriate signal when a vessel at anchor is at risk of being collided into by another that is underway. I think that sounding Romeo (short, long, short) would also be good (maybe better) in this situation, but 5 short would not be wrong. Lima and Uniform are not normally used in R of R situations because most folks don't understand them.

Nevertheless, I don't think the power boat was at anchor in the situation presented by the OP. 5 sort was the correct signal except that he was the give way vessel.
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Last edited by Plumper; 06-17-2008 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 06-17-2008
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Plumper may disagree all he wishes. The matter was adjudicated at Admiralty. The specific rule, 34, relates to manoeuvering and warning signals and gives absolutely no reference to being made fast to the shore or ground.

Five short would be wrong, a point that the court was at some pains to make, to our dismay. The proper signals are referenced in Rule 36. As in neither case, mine or the OP, was restricted visibility a factor 'Romeo' would be incorrect as well.

The Rules of the Road make no allowances for "the folks" and we really didn't think of presenting that concept at Admiralty. Furthermore, Rule 36 instructs that the signals given be such that they cannot be mistaken for any other. Given that the court found that the alliding Master's claim that, upon hearing the danger signal, he assumed we were underway was persuasive to the court it is hard to argue that the danger signal met the requirements of Rule 36.

Lima and Uniform are not used in Rules of the Road situations because Rules of the Road situations deal with vessel's underway, under the steering and sailing portions. There is no prescribed signalling for a vessel at anchor other than lights, shapes, and sound signals in restricted visibility. The only applicable rule is 36 which dictates 'signals to attract attention'.

I started the other post to highlight that there is ignorance of signalling. Indeed, three professional mariners with years of sea time-two holding Master's licenses, made the same mistake Plumper now makes. If he chooses to argue in favor of ignorance, regarding the Rules or signals to attract attention, there is little that I can do in responce.

I may have made the incorrect assumption that when the OP said, "we stopped to have lunch" that he meant they anchored.
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Old 06-17-2008
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One of the problems is that for those of us who hold upper level licenses, we have to know morse code and can send single letter codes via whistle or light. It is a requirement for us to be able to send and receive messages via flashing light.
Now for just about everyone else you don't have that requirement and the probability that the person on the other vessel knowing morse code is nil to none.
Thus the correct signal would be 5 short blasts on the horn, asking the other vessel: What are You Doing!? but if that power boat was drifting, then he was the give way vessel and should have moved. And if he was at anchor it would have been either 5 short blasts or 1 short, 1 prolong, 1 short blasts on the horn. As in accordance with the Rules.
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