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Old 09-20-2015, 10:36 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Just to clarify for those that may actually still be following this, there is no such thing in the COLREGS as a "panic" signal.
According to the COLREGS, one way of many to broadcast distress is to make "a continuous sounding with any fog-signaling apparatus".
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:06 PM   #102
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We dont panic....
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:27 AM   #103
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I find it best to let the sailboats know the extent to which their antics are unappreciated and frowned upon. It's amazing how often you can find the owners on social media in today's connected world. They often appreciate a nice photo of their boat too.

RIGHT RAVEN!!!!!!!!! Bwaha ha ha ha
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:40 AM   #104
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Just to clarify for those that may actually still be following this, there is no such thing in the COLREGS as a "panic" signal.
There is no such thing as a "collision" signal either. The 5 short is either 'danger' or 'doubt'.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:28 AM   #105
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Jeez JD, that'll teach you to fess up to this crowd! Let me know if you need a hand to troubleshoot your stalling issue, anything to keep me from the new flooring I have to put down in GH...

Do you keep 'er in Lion's Bay or somewhere better? I am in West Van but most of my tools are in Pender; I work for food and beer.
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:01 AM   #106
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CaptBill11: To answer your question- yes, I have used the one prolonged whistle in similar situations. While I am no longer employed in the marine transportation industry, I do remember situations where I have used this signal. Once on the Ohio River a covey of small boats decided to all leave their party island at the same time (they must have run out of beer). The one prolonged blast had the effect I was desiring which was to get their attention and let them know I was there. Likewise, on the Ohio and Upper Miss. R. there are often small fishing boats crowded around the lock guide walls and below the dams. Due to lock walls and gates these vessels can't always be seen there may or may not be a risk of collision a prolonged blast as an attention signalling method was used routinely by both myself and most other pilots.

There is always some degree of a risk of collision at any time two boats are underway in the same waterway. There is likewise always some degree of doubt involved in predicting the actions of the other vessels. That does not mean we should always be sounding the five blasts. When it is evident to an operator that "actions" to avoid an imminent collision are necessary that signal (5 or more) should certainly be used, and appropriate actions by both vessels should be employed.

I, like your friends, taught nautical science in Jefferson Parish, La. and one of the points that I stressed was that the rules are established primarily for two vessels underway. In real life situations there are often multiple vessels that may be effected by your sound signal. You should be aware of that fact especially when operating in a herd of vessels. One prolonged blast does not indicate that immediate action to avoid a collision is required in my actions and opinion it does mean to pay attention and be aware of the situation and is often the appropriate signal when operating with multiple smaller vessels seen or unseen.

Sound signals, like flags and lights are a way of communicating between vessels. As in any form of communication one must determine if the one signalling is communicating with me and what is he communicating. It is dangerous to assume that the one trying to communicate does not know what he is saying or that it is an inappropriate signal. Having read Mark's earlier post and applying that logic to the situation he described it was apparent to me that the ship was signalling to multiple vessels seen and unseen that he was there and to pay attention even though there may not have been "actions necessary to avoid a collision".

As a further note and answer to your question I also have been known to use the same prolonged blast while driving my truck for similar reasons.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:07 AM   #107
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Another way of looking at the use of the prolonged whistle signal would involve both the letter and "intent" of the rules. Clearly the intent of 34 e the "blind bend" or obscured vessel rule is to draw attention between vessels. While I provided that many of the vessels perhaps could not be seen by the pilot on the ship it is also very likely that many of the sailboats, as is their way, were not seeing the ship for lack of paying attention. Without dealing with restricted visibility or distress signals there is but one signal that can be used for signalling to multiple vessels to gain that attention but not signifying that collision avoidance action is immediately necessary. That being the one prolonged blast. Likewise, the one prolonged blast is used for the same reasons and intent when departing a dock-delivered to multiple vessels to become aware of the changing circumstances in the waterway. Not necessarily requiring immediate collision avoidance actions.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:58 AM   #108
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Ok, so I think the point that has finally emerged and been confirmed is that common sense also does apply, and that if you sense someone may just not be aware of your presence, but no specific action, other than them noticing you and acting accordingly, is all that is required, then one decently long blast is ok to achieve that. Great. Makes sense to me.

The other good point is to be able to do this one needs to have the horn circuit switched on at all times when out of the berth, just in case..!
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:12 AM   #109
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CaptBill11: To answer your question- yes, I have used the one prolonged whistle in similar situations.
In that case I bow to your superior knowledge and experience and stand corrected.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:04 AM   #110
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JDCAVE,
I was in a similat situation less than a week ago in Lopez Pass in the San Juan Is. It is a narrow pass w a side channel even narrower. I was in the side channel southbound to exit the pass eastbound. He was in the bigger chanel westbound. I waited to see if he was going to go straight through in the main westbound (actually SW) chanel and finally he did turn to stbd some. Enough to see it clearly so I mistakenly assumed he intended to come through the small Chanel I was coming out of. So I kept going at 6 knots. But he straightened out and kept going 7 or so knots. Safety wise there was enough room to cut accross his bow and perhaps I was thinking he may change course again so I went full throttle and across his bow. Wasn't OMG close but rude close.

What should I have done? Clearly I should have slowed early on. He was in the main channel and going a bit faster. I watched him intently to see which way he was going to go and when I thought I knew I kept going and that was a mistake. I failed to consider what the situation would be if he didn't do as I thought he would. He got on his horn (three blasts I think) and chirped something unpleasant on 16 but there never seemed to be any real danger. But I called that one wrong and forced myself to do a smart ass rude maneuver to keep things bail myself out. Other than pissing him off and getting my heart rate a bit up it turned out quite well but .. what if my engine had stalled?

I clearly need to be more cautious in such situations. I should have slowed early on assuming the other boat to be unpredictable. He was. My bad.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:06 PM   #111
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Seems to me that in the case of JD's original situation, Rule 36 would have allowed him to make all kinds of noise with his horn (yes, assuming it has been turned on) or any other sound or light device to get the attention of the skipper of the sailboat.

In this case, it wouldn't be a meaningless signal, the meaning is very clear "Hey, wake up!"
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:22 PM   #112
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Seems to me that in the case of JD's original situation, Rule 36 would have allowed him to make all kinds of noise with his horn (yes, assuming it has been turned on) or any other sound or light device to get the attention of the skipper of the sailboat.

In this case, it wouldn't be a meaningless signal, the meaning is very clear "Hey, wake up!"
That signal is better known as a shot across the bow. And that is the reason everyone should keep a deck gun onboard. That and for warding off beer pirates.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #113
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Yesterday I was heading west through Enterprise Channel, favouring the northern side of the passage. A sailboat (single handed) under power is heading north, with the intention of heading east through the passage. I am the stand-on vessel as he approaches my port bow. I watch closely for his intentions as he continues, without changing course. Increasingly it appears that he intends to cut across my bow, and yet I am concerned that if I turn to port he might turn to his starboard increasing my risk of collision. I pull back on the throttle and my vessel stalls (another issue that I need to explore). He continues on and cuts across my bow with me now dead in the water. I start my vessel and then head south.

What would you suggest I should have done in this instance? My intended course (approximate) is shown with the waypoint JDCAVE.

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Is there a reason for planning the route via the channel in the first place as there appears to be plenty of water (depth) just off of the southern land mass....a much more direct route.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #114
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I was in a similat situation less than a week ago in Lopez Pass in the San Juan Is.
Eric;
In both yours and JD’s case, what is so interesting to me and a big part of my emerging learning curve is the difference power makes. I am used to operating boats (and bikes) with lots of power in reserve which is a considerable option in planning an escape route.

When you can firewall the throttles and go from 6 to 26 knots quickly, a hard over helm and a burst of throttle can solve many close quarters predicaments.

Biking is the same. When you have the option of hard braking and know how to do it without creating a killer skid or know how to twist the wrist while creating sparks with a floorboard, those are two real and practical options in avoiding a collision with an unpredictable “other” in a rapidly deteriorating situation. The key is to drive far enough ahead of yourself to not need to do either.

For you, JD, most on here, and certainly me with my next diesel chug-chug; power and speed are not options. So, in my case, I study situations like yours and think about what the options might be without the luxury of being able to just peel off to the clear.

I’ve been in Lopez Sound, just had a look at a large scale chart and know pretty much what you were faced with. Now I can use your experience as a homework assignment in my transition from speeders to plodders.

The other take away for me in these two situations; there were 4 boaters, none of whom knew the others intentions.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:38 PM   #115
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Ok, so I think the point that has finally emerged and been confirmed is that common sense also does apply, and that if you sense someone may just not be aware of your presence, but no specific action, other than them noticing you and acting accordingly, is all that is required, then one decently long blast is ok to achieve that. Great. Makes sense to me.

The other good point is to be able to do this one needs to have the horn circuit switched on at all times when out of the berth, just in case..!


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Old 09-21-2015, 02:13 PM   #116
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Nice pic Mark,

What percentage of those sailors do you think truly believe they have the right of way over the ESER K?
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:37 PM   #117
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A long time ago in my very first sailing course we where taught

Here lies the body of Henry Gray
He died defending his right of way.
His way was right, his will was strong,
But he’s just as dead as if he was wrong.

So always assume the other guy is out to run you down
That way you can be pleasantly surprised when he does what he is expected to do
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:44 PM   #118
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So always assume the other guy is out to run you down.

That way you can be pleasantly surprised when he does what he is expected to do

This is my rule as well. I just give way regardless of who has the right of way.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:59 PM   #119
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Recognized that way too many sail boaters assume rules of the waterway do not apply to them.

My wife is a great helms person. When she spots a sail boat under power (aren't they all ), who is the obvious give way vessel but shows no I intentions of doing so, her normal refrain is "here we go AGAIN!"
My experience has been that the generic 40 foot express power boat has more often put me in the position of having to maneuver to avoid them when I was the stand on vessel. I think it is a combination of ignorant operators and autopilots. They have a course set in on the autopilot and don't want turn it to standby and maneuver as they should.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #120
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As a former (very recently) sailor, I didn't realize that there was so much animosity towards them for not knowing the rules of the road. Of course, I was well aware of the wayward ways of those ignorant power boaters. Hmmm, I wonder what's going on there?

As you can see, as a former sailor I tried 5 short blasts to get this stupid ship out of my way, but the ignorant pilot just kept going.



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