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Foreword lntroduction Rule5 Rule6 Rule7 Rule8 Rutet0 Rule 13 Rulel4 Rule /5 Rule 16 Rule17 Rutel9 Look Out! Watch your Speed! Watch that Ship! and do it EarlY! Do Something Traffic SeparationLanesare not Rightsof Way! LeaveAmple Room! ShipAhead! to Watch Vessels Starboard! Keep Everybody Happyl ls SheAltering? RestrictedVisibility ChangesEverything!

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FOREWORD
by Captain R B Middleton FNI President The Nautical Institute.

The confidentialmarine accidentreports which we publisheach month in our journal SEAWAYS have indicatedthat marinersare frequentlyconfronted with hazardous situationsrelatingto the COLREGS. To investigate problemsThe NauticalInstituteinitiatedin 2002 an international the survey amongstseagoing officersto enquire if they thought there was a problem, what the causes could be and to suggest solutions. The results were alarming with nearly 50oloof the respondents stating that in their view the problemswere causedby ignoranceand wilful disregardof the rules. However respondents alsodrew attention to other factors like distractions due to GMDSSfalse alarms,VHF chafter,VTS reporting,and paperwork. When it came to solutionsrespondentshighlighted both the need to improve the educationand trainingof watchkeeping officersand better supervisionby senior officerson board. Undoubtedly we all have to work to improve standardsof bridge watchkeeping and this thoughtfulguide produced by the North of EnglandP&l Club is an excellenrplaceto start. Oflicers can work through a pageat a time discussing elementswith colleagues the and relating the contents to the full form of the rules. For experienced officers there is an opportunity to work through the text r, " ,"fru.h". "nd to use the booklet as a trainingaid when coachingjunior officersand cadetson watch. It is our duty as nautical professionalsto ensure that we are responsible at all times for the safe navigation our shipsand this booklet providesa valuabletext to re-establish of good practice.

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CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL REGUIATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLTSTONSSEA,t972 (COLREGS) AT
This guide is basedon the COLREGSposter seriesproduced by the North of EnglandP&l Association's RiskManagementDepartment between 2001 and 2004. The aim of these posters is not to provide an all encompassingguide to the Rulesbut to dispel some frequent misunderstandings misinterpretations the most widely used Rulesand and of to provide a graphicillustrationof the correct stepsto decipher and to apply the Regulations. While it is vital to know the contents of the Regulations,simply being able to recite them verbatim is no substitutefor knowing how to apply them. A coherent full working knowledge of the text and its applicationis vitalThe UK Marine Accident Investigation Branchhasstressedthe importanceof Rule2 and their concern that this vital Ruleis so often overlooked. Rule2 - Responsibiliry (o) Nothing in these Rulessho/l exonerdte ony vessel, the owner,mosteror crew thereof,from the or consequences ony neglectto comply with these Ru/esor of neglectof ony precoutionwhich of moy be requiredby the ordinoryproctice of seoman, by the speciolcircumstonces the case. or of (b) ln construing ond complying with theseRulesdue regord shollbe had to oll dongers novigation of ond collisionond to ony specialcircumstances, includingthe limitationsofthe vessels involved, which moy moke o deporturefrom theseRu/esnecessory ovoidimmediatedonger. to This fundamentalfeature of the COLREGShighlights fact that you, the manners,are the responsible your own actionsand you haveto comply with the Ruleswhile ensuringthat for you take all precautions the ordinary practiceof seafarers there is no substitutefor the of applicationof common senseon the seas.

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"lmproving the applicationof the COLREGS"survey,it was During the NauticalInstitute's "uncertainty", BaillodFNl, that reported incidentsrelated to noted by the late Captain FranEois "disregard "ignorance","poor "violations" for the COLREGS".While many cited knowledge and "lack of of the COLREGS",or of training" as reasonsfor the poor and ineffectiveapplication the Regulations. were devisedto make the navigation shipssafer- however we of The CollisionRegulations must remember they are alsothe law and all should observethem. There can be no excusesThis guide is ignoranceis no defenceand if you disobeythese laws there will be consequences. that should be appliedin making intendedto provide a reminder of the Rulesand the processes them work. Huch of the guidancetext has been provided by Captain Roger Symswho has enthusiastically embracedthe idea of providingan easyto use guide to the COLREGSin conjunctionwith the originalNonh of Englandposter series.This project hasalso been able to make use of the expressed through the NauticalInstitute'ssurveyinto the COLREGS. experiences The North of Englandalso acknowledgeswith thanks, the contribution and suggestionsof Branchon the conceptualideasbehindthe proiect. dte UK MarineAccident Investigation

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Everyvessesha at al t mes ma nta n a prope. ook-out by siSht means approprlaten the and hea fg aswel as by all avalable preval ng cumstances condirons so asto ma<ea fu and a p p r a s a l t h e s r d a t i o .a n do f r h e s k o f c o s l o n . o

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"Look out" means pay attention to evefihing!

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- Not lust looking ahead out of the window and all appropriateequipment available you. to but all round the vessel,usingall your senses

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THATGIVES YOU KEEP EYE AN AND EARON EVERYTHING INCLUDING: INFORMATION
o r o Radar/ARPA - Be aware of the effects of clutter, of small targets and the range of the set. Radio transmissions - Keep an ear on what is going on in the vessel's viciniry. near-by? Be aware of the effect of Sound Signals - Can you hear any sound signals keepinga closedwheelhouse,and of distractingnoisesin a closedspace. o Course and Position Navigation Aids - lf you haveto alter course make sure there is safewater available. o . monitor the depth of water beneath Depth indicator - frequentlyand systematically the vessel. Be aware - WS and AIS are there to help you.

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BEWARE DISTRACTIONS! OF
o to Alarms - Do not allow alarms,such as falseGMDSStransmissions, distractyou from keepinga proper look-out. o o Lights - Do not allow lightson your vesselto impair your vision and mobile phonesare not your first priority. Communications - VHF transmissions Do not allow them to distractyou.

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Rule 5 applies at all times - there must alwaysbe someonelooking-out.lf weather or conditions causeconcern then more lookouts may be neededand should be calledwithout hesitation.

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Every vesel shall at all times proceed at a sale speed s ihd she d hke prcper ad eff€ctire &tion io avoid @llision and be iopped within a distece appropriate to the pBailing circumsnces and conditions. In determining a sale speed the following fado6 shall be amonA lhse taken inb &count: (b) (D the ide of v:rbirity; (iD the tarfi. demity includins con@nrarions ol lishina vsek or any other v$sels: (iii) the m-oeuvEbility of rhe v6sel with sp€cial rete.ence to noppin8 disnce and turnjiS ability in $e peEjling (rv) at nieht the peence ot back.ound lishr such a rrcm shore liglts or from back scate. oI her om lights; (vl the sb@ or wind, sd and 4reni dd the proximity of navigaliomlhards; (O the daoght id reldion to the &ailable depd, olw:r€i Additidall, by v€$eb wnh opdional ndd: (D rh€ chd!@rini6, erkiencr and linibhoN ortha adar equipment; (it a/ @mftints impGed by rhe Edr ranse scale (ii) the ered on Bdd dd*rion ol the *a s@, weather -d other sourc6 ofint€rterdce; (iv) rhe pNibility that small v6sek, i@ and other noatine objed may nor be det€ded by 6dar at an ade+:e aee: (v) the numbea loation dd mwement orv6sers ded€d by radar; (vi) dE morc eEd 6s6mert ot the vhibiliry .h:r may be pN ble wfien Bdar k used b deermtne the @se ol vesk or dher objs in rhe vicini+

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Rule 6 allows you to make your own judgement as to the most appropriate sPeed at any time and conditions. circumstances taking into accountthe prevailing for your vessel,

EFFECTIVELY CAN YOU REACT
Without exception the safest speed is a reduced speed, because: . r lt allows you to stop or turn effectively lt gives you more time to think and to act in a developing situation ' movingtoo The time to react and respondeffectivelyis all important - vessels processes. quickly can often fatallyimpair their own watchkeeper'srisk assessment lf collision does occur the resulting damage is likely to be a lot less

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Remember the radar or ARPA is not infallible, lt may miss some targetsaltogetheror it may show very large targets as weak echoes. Navigational aids such as GPS can be equally susPect - don't rely on one instrument for information,double check it againstothers. and what can be Constantly monitor your speed - The situationat sea is constantlychanging sometimessuddenly! changewith circumstances, deemed a safespeed in one situationcan l.laintaining high speeds for commercial considerations should not be tolerated ir is no excuseor defencefor proceedingat an unsafespeed'

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Listen as well as look! - fu with keeping a look out, you must use all the information and to equipment available you to determine risk of collision. Use the compass to check the bearings of approaching vessels - compare it with the radar bearing. lf you have operational radar you must use it. Are you using true or relative vectors? lf you have an Automatic VECTORS to ascertain the other vessel's actual movement. You must be aware of the limitationsand use of the ARPA and interpret informationdisplayed correctly. tf you are not litted with an ARPA you must run a RADAR PLOT. ls tfte targ€t passing ahead or astern? Or is it going to collide? - Remember the primary informationyou need to answerthese questionsis relativeinformation. Eton't trust ARPA to give you an accurate Closest Point of Approach (CPA). - Where possibletake at leasthalf a mile off each indicationto be safe.(lf it shows a CPA of half a mile assumeit is collision). Don't rely on change of bearing as an indicator of clearance. - As a target approaches lf it's changeof bearingshouldspeed up significantly. the changein bearingdoes not accelerate, treat it as a danger. Don't rrelax your vigilance - Keep monitoring the situation until the target is passedand well clear. Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA)

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you should use the RELATIVE VECTORS for determining risk of collision and TRUE

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Remember a positive alteration made very early on is better than a large panic alteration at the last minute! - the closer you are to the other vesselthe more you will haveto do to avoid collision. Don't iudge a "positive" and "ample" action just by the amount of alteration - confirm it by the changein CPA. Keep checkingthe situationuntil the risk of collisionis past and clear. Make your actions obvious to other vessels - Smallalterationsof course are dangerous; they don't usuallysolve the problem and don't give the other vessela clear indicationof what you are doing. Use the engines - lf your abilityto alter is constrainedthen SLOW DOWN or STOP

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The other rresselmay also be obliged to take action. Always bear in mind what that action may oe.

N O T I M PE D IN G?
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Think about what you are doing - Actions taken to avoid collision should follow the and sound Practical observance good seamanship this is where we haveto apply professional of judgement! Use the Trial Manoeuyre setting on your ARPA, if available.

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There is no right of way - Just becauseyou are navigatingwithin a Traffic SeparationScheme (l-SS)does not give you right of way over other vessels. The other COLREGS continue to apply within a TSS.

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Remain within the lanes - but if your alteration for a crossingvessel is likely to take you outsidethe schemethis does not exempt you from following the Rules.lf you are not happy about it SLOW DOWN or STOP BE WARY! Actions of vessels navigating in the vicinity of a TSS can be UNPREDICIABLE. Look out for crossing vessels on the edge of the scheme. They may alter to cross at right anglesor they may alter parallelto the schemeto find a lesscrowded placeto cross. Look out for High Speed Craft (HSC) - HSC tend to presentcollisionriskswide on the beam. HSC do often alter course early,however you cannot assumethey will alwaysdo so.

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NoMithshnd n3 anlrhingconbned n rhe Rules Pad of B, Sec!oE land l. anyve$eloveGkjnE an/ other shall keep out of the wa/ of ihe vss€l b€ ng ovefrai<en A ve$e shal be deem€dto be ov€tak nEwhen comins up wiih a mother veset frcm a d rection more thd 22.5 dqrees abaft h€rbeam, that k, in sucha pos tion wrh refer€nceto ihe v$3e sh€ c avedaling, ihat at nehtshe wo! d be ab € to see only the s€mlighr of thar resd bur

Whei a v€se i: in any noubt s to wherher she is ovetuking norhei she shal 6sume that this is the.ae

Any subsequent al@€t on ol rhe bearing betueen the tuo ves* s sha I noi m3j<ethe ove@k nE v€$e a fio$idg vesel wiihin th€ m€an ng of ih$e Rules or rel eve her of the d!ry ol keeprng .leaf ol the ov€tuken Ye$elunti she is linaly pd and der

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Don't forget! lf you are not sure you are an overtaking Yessel, you must assume that you are and keep clear. takes time, so make sure you havea safedistance Don't pass close - overtakinginvariably between you and the other vessel. (Where possiblethis shouldbe ot least greaterthon your hord-overturning circle.) Beware of interaction! - if you are forced by traffic to passcloser be very careful that interactiondoes not occur. Avoid crossing ahead - lfyou are not on parallel courses and passingclear, cross astern rather than ahead. Does the ship being overtaken know you are there? Always assume they do not! Remain vigilant - Remember,you remain an overtaking vessel until you are finally passed ind clear. ,

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Vvnen wo poweFdriv€n vses m neeting on reciprocal or n€rly recipro€ .o r sk of .oll sion ach shall a ter her cou6e to s6rhoard so rhat ea.h sha! pson thepofrsideottheothei (b) Sucha s tuationshalbe deem€dto exis when a ve$el s€es ihe oiher ahead or nearly ahead and by n ght she

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RULE 8 UNDERSTAND
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- Do not wait for the other vesselto act, the closer you get before taking action haveto take to avoid collision. the greater the stepsyou subsequently

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Whentwo power-driven vessels crossing asto involve ofcollision, vesselwhich are so risk the has the other on her own starboard sideshallkeepout ofthe way andshall, ifthe circumstances of the case admit,avoidcrosslng ahead ofthe othervessel.

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Give way early - lf you are the give-way vessel,take early action so the other vessel knows your intentions. Avoid crossing ahead - Go to starboard,astern of the vesselif at all possible. Be considerate - lf the other vessel is hampered in any way, action must be taken even earlier to reassure the other vessel. Be positive! - lf in doubt over crossingor beingovertaken,assumeyou are crossingand keep clear. Use your engines - Remember that you should always have the option of using your engines as well as your helm.

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so take Everyvesseiwhichis direcredto keep out ofthe way ofanother vesseLshall, far 6 Possible, eady and substa.tialactlonto keeDwellciean

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DO NOT HESITATE! - Alter early and adequatelyenough to show the other vessel clearly what you are doing. Confirm your alteration - make sure that your action has had the desired effect by checking the increasein the CPA on the radar.

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KEEP EVERYBODY i.4APPY!
o o Following Rule l6 makes life easier for all vessels. lf the watchkeeper on the other vessel is happy with the situation and with your alteration there is lesslikelihoodof he/shedoing anythingunexpected. Treat other vesselsas you would like to be treated yourself. Apply some courtesy to seamanship and common sense.

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is G) (i) Whe.e one of two vessels to keepout

her ofthe way the other shallkeep course

vessealone,she rhe aciionof the give-way shalltake sucha.tion aswill bestaid to avoid vessel whichtakesaction A power-driven in a crossing situation accordance in with (a)(ii)of this Ruleto avoid subparasraph collision with aiother poweFdriven vesel ofthe cde admit, sha1l, the circumstances if not alter€o!6e to port for a v$sel on her Thjs Ruledoes not relievethe giw-way vessel of her obligationto keep out of the way.

(ii) The latter vesselmax howeyer, take adion alone, to avoidcollision her manoeuvre by apparent her thai to 6 soond it becomes the vesselrequired keepout of the lo actionin way 1s takingappropriate not compliaicewith theseRlles.
(b)

required the When, from any cause, vessel to keepher courseandspeedfindsherself by so closethat collision cannotbe avoided

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THERTARETWO STAGES RULE TO
| 7(a)(ii) At some distance ofi - when "as soon as it becomes apparent ... that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriateaction...",you may take your own action to avoid collision. PROVIDED you do not alter to port for a vessel on your port side in a crossing situation. l7(b) At close quarters - when "collisioncannot be avoidedby the give-wayvessel alone", you shouldtake the best action you can to avoid collision.

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This rule applies vesseh in sEhtofone ro not anotherwhennavigatinS or nearan areaof in Everyve$el shallproceed at a safespeed adapted the prevailing to circumstances and power conditions restricted of visibility.A drivenvessel shallhaveher ensines readyfor immediate manoeuvre, Every vessel shallhavedue reSard the to prevailint circumstances conditions and of restricted vislbilit/ when complyii8whhthe Rules Se.tionlof this Part. of Aveselwhich detectsby radaralone ihe presence anorher of vessel shalldetermjne ifa js close'qua.ters situation developing and/orrhk ot collision exists. lfso, sheshalltake avoiding actionin ampletime, provided that whensuch

actionconsists ofar altemtion ofcouree,so far 6 posible the foliowiryshallbe avoided: (i) An alt€rato. ofcou6eio porifora vesel foNdd of rhe beam,other the for a ve$el beinSovertaken; (ii) An alteEtionof course towardsa ve$el abeamo. abaft the beam. (e) Exceptwhere hasbeendetermined it that a risk ofcollision doesnot exist,everyve$elwhich hea6 appa.entlyfoMard of he. beam the fot ! g . a l o f a n o , h e\re $ e l o , w h < h c a r n o r . v o aa close-qua.ters situation with another vessel tolwrd of her bear. sha reducef er (peedro the minimum whichshe<anbe kepron at her course. shallil nece$ary She takeall he. wry ottdnd in dnyeve"r navrSare enreme wrh caution untildanteroI collision ovei is

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Rule 19 is a different set of rules that only apply when "vessels are not in sight of one another". THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STAND-ON VESSEL IN RESTRICTED VISIBILITY. Every vessel must act! Avoid altering to port (lg(dXD) - An alteration of course to port (should be avoided) for a vessel forward of the beam, except for a vesselyou are overtaking. Avoid altering towards ( I g(dxii)) - lf a target presents a collision or close quarters risk abeam or abaft the beam you must act but avoid altering towards it. THIS DOES NOT MEAN you cannot alter towards ANY vessel that may be abeam or abaft the beam. Rule lg(dxiD only applies if there is a collision or close quarters risk. Use your engines - Again always remember that you should have the option of using your enginesas well as your helm. Proceed at a safe speed - have your enginesavailablefor immediate manoeuvring. lf you don't have radar, for whatever reason, )rou must proceed with extreme caution. Listen for sound signals and respond accordingly.

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REMEMBER!
The COLREGS not just advice the marinerare to they are THE LAW. lf you disobey law you will sufferthe consequences. the lgnorance the law is nevera defence. of

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