VIDEO: Rules of the Road

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In this viral video of two vessels colliding, there is a failure both in terms of keeping a proper lookout and adhering to the Rules of the Road.

Regardless of whether you’re the stand-on or give-way vessel, skippers must do whatever is necessary to avoid a collision. And never assume that the skipper of an approaching vessel sees you.

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Mobile users: watch the video on YouTube.

For the Rules of the Road, visit the Coast Guard’s Navigation Center.

Comments

13 comments on “VIDEO: Rules of the Road

  1. ED FOLEY

    Looking at the horizon, you got to wonder how many 10,000 square miles of ocean is there with no other boats around and what are the odds of a collision out in the deep blue…
    ….makes you wonder who’s at the wheel….obviously, no one.

  2. BoatSafeInstructor

    Tell me that the skipper of the large yacht taking the movie had never taken a boating safety course.  He was obviously aware of what was happening!  I guess some people have more money than sense.
     

  3. Thomas Poster

    When crossing, the vessel which has the other on the starboard (right) side shall keep out of the way and avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. Only one vessel is at fault in court when it comes to the Rules of the Road. But in the end both Skippers need to be operating the vessels in a safe manner and avoid this sitiuation. Both Captains failed to do the job at hand… Keep a sharp look-out and operate the vessel in a safe manner. What happened to Radar? I hope no passengers or crew got hurt. I have been on yachts that way to many times the owner puts the vessel on auto-pilot and turns back to chat with friends…Have a fun time boating this year…be safe. Regards, Tom Poster

  4. Jadine

    Ouch.  I sure hope nobody was seriously injured.  It almost looks like it was on purpose.

  5. P J

    I’d love to hear the English translation of that tape.  My first thought was what were they thinking on the larger yacht. After watching the tape several times, I think the large yacht was either traveling at a very low speed, or it had already reversed engines and was almost stopped.  If it had any headway on I think it would have spun the smaller boat around and pushed it down the starboard side, and the damage would have been worse. At the point of impact, the smaller boat comes to a complete stop, then regains headway and continues to cross the bow of the larger boat.  Even though the smaller boat was the stand on vessel, it’s conceivable that the captain of that boat could be found at fault for failure to keep a proper lookout, failing to take evasive action in time, and for failing to use the proper sound signals.
    There is 6 seconds of video prior to the collision and no horn from either vessel. There was plenty of time to sound 5 short blasts . . . which is the nautical equivalent of WTF?

  6. PETE DAWSON, USCG/A

    BOTH CAPTAINS ARE AT FAULT, BUT PROBABLY NOT EQUALLY. THE VESSEL ON THE LEFT, (THE GIVE WAY VESSEL), FOR NOT ALTERING COURSE TO STARBOARD OR ALTERING SPEED TO ALLOW THE VESSEL ON THE RIGHT TO PROCEED ON COURSE.  THE VESSEL ON THE RIGHT (THE STAND ON VESSEL), FOR NOT MAINTAINING A LOOKOUT AND NOT DEVIATING FROM THE RULES TO AVOID A COLLISION. I HOPE THEY ARE NOT LICENSED CAPTAINS !
                        PETE DAWSON, LAKE ELSINORE, CA.
     

  7. Curtis

    I think they needed a bigger body of water to be boating on. Then maybe tey would have missed each other. Unbelievable

  8. T Top Man

    Unbelievable!! Obviously these guys are both nimrods. The last page in the book that says you must do whatever it takes to avoid a collision was the one these idiots did not read.
    Unfortunatley, this is more prevalent than most would think.

  9. Capt. Iver Franzen, NA

    Where to start.  First off, I think it’s borderline as to whether this is a head-on or a crossing situation.  Rule 14 pertains to head-on situations (“reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses”), where neither vessel has the right of way (Inland 14(d) notwithstanding).  And 14(c) requires an assumption of head-on status if there is doubt (the key words in the rule here being “nearly reciprocal”).  Personally, I’d probably be in doubt about this one, so I’d assume a head-on.  Since neither vessel signaled, and neither altered course or speed (it kinda looks to me like the bigger boat is still chugging along), then I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Poster (he’s certainly correct about everything else) and say that both vessels are equally at fault (and we can tack on lack-o-lookouts and all the rest).  Courts do indeed apportion blame, often at varied percentages other than 50-50.  If we assume it is indeed a crossing situation, I’d still find fault with both vessels.  I might give the stand-on vessel a little extra credit for being the stand-on, but, again, neither signaled (maneuvering or WTF), and neither took action (the give-way required by Rule 16, the stand-on required by Rule 17(b)) to avoid the collision.  Regards – Iver”

  10. Iver Franzen

    Further to my previous comment:  PJ makes a very good observation in that the behavior of both boats after the crash would indicate that the bigger boat was probably moving slowly or almost stopped.  So, he might get a little bit of credit for some avoidance action, but probably not much more since his action was insufficient to avoid collision, insufficiently obvious to the other boat, and did not include a course change (Rule 8).  Regards again – Iver

  11. Mike O'Dell

    Problem shared by both parties:
             “Clue density insufficient to support human life.”

  12. Michael Crabb

    As a merchant mariner I immediately recognized the area of this incident as between Miami and the Bahamas. There you leave the harbor set the computer controlled steering and retire to the back deck for Mimosas leaving the boat to drive itself.  Isn’t electronics wonderful!!!!!  Anyone can do it!!!!!
     
     

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