Henrydu ® 05-Apr-2018 11:07


Year: 2013
Language: english
Author: North of England P&I Association
Genre: Handbook
Publisher: North of England P&I Association Limited
ISBN: 978-0-9558247-9-8
Format: PDF
Quality: eBook
Pages count: 45
Description: When cases arising out of collisions between ships reach the Admiralty Court it is apparent that deck officers are provided with considerable radar and other electronic assistance to enable them to avoid collisions with other ships. See for example Samco Europe v MSC Prestige [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Law Reports 579, a collision which occurred in good visibility in the Gulf of Aden between a very large crude carrier and a container ship despite the fact that both vessels were equipped with automatic radar plotting aids, automatic identification systems and electronic chart display and information systems, and observed each other by radar at a distance of about 15 nautical miles.
The question which arises is why, despite all the impressive electronic assistance designed to enable deck officers to avoid collisions, collisions still occur. The answer is, and always has been since radar was first introduced, that the rules of navigation set out in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 must still be applied by deck officers. Thus, in Samco Europe v MSC Prestige the officer of the watch on board MSC Prestige failed to take early and substantial action to keep out of the way of Samco Europe in breach of Rules 15 and 16 of the COLREGs and the officer of the watch on board Samco Europe altered course to port in breach of Rule 17 of the COLREGs.
This short and compact guide to COLREGs therefore has a vital and necessary role. It reminds mariners of the basics of the COLREGs and that they must be kept well in mind and obeyed notwithstanding the profusion of equipment on the modern bridge. That equipment does not avoid collision. It is merely an aid to collision avoidance. What avoids collisions is compliance with the COLREGs.
The Hon Mr Justice Nigel Teare Admiralty Judge
The Royal Courts of Justice, London, UK
Collisions are among the most high profile of all maritime accidents. The number of collisions and their cost, in personal and financial terms, has increased in recent years and ‘human error’ seems to be the only common factor.
Collisions should not happen but they do; sometimes with disastrous consequences. Proper application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs) by every watchkeeper on every vessel is the only way to reduce the risk of collision. Indeed, if the regulations are followed to the letter, then a collision should never occur.
Today’s watchkeeper is required to gather, understand and appraise information from a range of sources; from sophisticated radar, automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA), electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), automatic identification systems (AIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) to compass bearings, visual sightings and sound signals. This information is the starting point of a decision making process and the watch keeper must then apply the COLREGs to the factual situation in order to identify the correct steps leading to the correct outcome.
The concept of the ‘risk of collision’ is a key feature of the COLREGs. The risk of collision must be identified, assessed and avoided at all times and this is the responsibility of every watchkeeping officer on every vessel.
The best lesson you can learn from this guide is to acknowledge the watchkeeper’s responsibility to identify a ‘risk of collision’ and to take all
necessary steps to avoid or minimise that risk.
The aim of this guide is to deliver that message by encouraging discussion between all watchkeepers, from cadets to masters and inspecting officers. We learn best from our experience and from the experience of the people around us, and there is no better way of understanding COLREGs than through discussion, whether in bridge team meetings, at onboard training sessions, during a quiet watch or in the mess room.
This is not a textbook on the COLREGs. Rather, it is a focus for discussion of those regulations that we at North believe are the key to collision avoidance and which we see breached time and again when collisions occur.
We think the rules that are discussed in this guide are the ones which are most often misinterpreted and misapplied. We hope that this guide will demonstrate how these rules fit together and how the interpretation and application of each of them can be influenced, sometimes wrongly, by the vast mass of information now available from electronic aids to navigation.
At the end of the guide are collision case studies and simple plotting sheets which you can use to illustrate developing situations. We hope that the case studies and the questions they ask will be the starting point for wide- ranging discussions on all aspects of collision avoidance.
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This publication may be used solely by the Authorised User.
The Authorised User shall comprise any company or individual (or employees thereof) to which North of England P&I Association has granted permission to use this publication.
Any other unauthorised manner of exhibition, broadcast or distribution of the information, form, content or presentation contained herein and any public performance, diffusion, editing, copying, reselling, hiring in whole or in part, is prohibited.


Rule 2: Responsibility 4
Rule 5: Look-out 6
Rule 6: Safe speed 8
Rule 7: Risk of collision 10
Rule 8: Action to avoid collision 12
Rule 10: Traffic separation schemes 14
Rule 13: Overtaking 16
Rule 14: Head-on situation 18
Rule 15: Crossing situation 20
Rule 16: Action by give-way vessel 22
Rule 17: Action by stand-on vessel 24
Rule 19: Conduct of vessels in restricted visibility 26
Introduction 28
Case Study 1. Who started this? 29
Case Study 2. Is it good to talk? 30
Case Study 3. What were they thinking? 31
Case Study 4. Watch out astern 32
Case Study 5. To cross or not to cross? 33
Case Study 6. Fishing? 34
Plotting Sheet 1. Open sea 35
Plotting Sheet 2. Traffic separation scheme 37
Plotting Sheet 3. Coastal waters 39


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