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Old 24 April 2008, 19:39   #1
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A question of etiquette?

Mrs. Grocer and I had been over to Largs Yacht Haven on Wednesday (nice afternoon, bit misty in Hunterston Channel [JK: we need an emoticon for "can't see a flipping thing" or to quote the battle cry of the pigmy warriors, "We're the F'kawi"]; nice chap in LYH gave us a cheery welcome ("Berth Foxtrot niner, make yourselves comfy") and a good price for winter storage.

Anyway, on the way home to Arran we spotted a motor launch. Between us and the sun, so it looked dark grey/black; about 45' or so. She was moving from west to east, we were heading roughly (I only do roughly) SW. After a minute or so it became apparent from the steady bearing that a risk of collision existed. So, with us seeing the other vessel's port side, I suggested to the helm that she (yes, Mrs. G. can drive too) might like to turn smartly to starboard (early and obvious, but that's me all over) and pass astern of the launch thingy. Whereupon launch thingy turns through 180&#176, which completely upsets my applecart. We have now become the stand on vessel, but are heading away from dinner. This is Not A Good Thing, because I am peckish. So we turn to port, back towards our intended destination.

Now I'd previously clocked the sub (hunter/killer, not a V-class) about four miles off, near the measured distance off Arran. But as the lighting on the launch changed, it became apparent that it wasn't dark grey at all. It was covered in yellow and blue checkerboard stuff. Oops...

They might have said something.

Anyway, the question of VHF etiquette - how would you hail the launch if you felt it to be necessary?

"Motor launch east of Arran (x3)" is a bit vague.

So how would "MOD Plod, MOD Plod, MOD Plod" go down...
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Old 25 April 2008, 04:15   #2
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VHF for collision avoidance

NEVER use Vhf for collision avoidance. There are many well documented cases of vessels using VHF to resolve a conflict to only discover they have been talking to the wrong vessel!!! AIS has to some extent encouraged large vessels to use VHF to agree a course of action that may not be what the COLREGs state.

I doubt you have AIS on your rib so as you quite rightly pointed out you have no way of knowing who to call.

At what range did the launch make its sharp turn. IE if it was less than maybe 200m I would suggest it was not the best seamanship. However a large tanker may only want to make a minor change early to avoid a collision. In a rib you can get pretty close without risk of collision.

Your other option was slow and continue your course or even stop to allow other vessel to pass??
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Old 25 April 2008, 09:24   #3
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They might have said something.
they have a similar issue. How do they call you "Orange RIB East of Arran"? 1/2 of all leisure users probably aren't listening or don't know where they/arran/east is!

Quote:
"Motor launch east of Arran (x3)" is a bit vague.

So how would "MOD Plod, MOD Plod, MOD Plod" go down...
The first one seems reasonable - but would they know you were referring to them (on board the vessel its probably bloody obvious that they are a police boat).

Once you know they are a police boat then this suggests you just call them using "police boat" or "police launch"


KarlIT - is it not unlikely that the launch would have AIS transmitting in any case?
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Old 25 April 2008, 19:10   #4
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Ok, Ok...

...I know not to use RT for Colreg issues - I also now know to flag a not totally serious posting with a warning that the content may not be totally serious...

There were 3 vessels in visual range off the east of Arran at the time. Us, the police launch, and the submarine. Even I could have worked out who was who, eventually. And no, that doesn't imply that I would have allowed a close quarter situation to develop (even if the other guys didn't have more fire power) - as a RIB driver, I'm usually the one who has to move, so I tend to stick to the rule that says "If in doubt, run away".

Polwart, thanks for the link to the QHM pages; I'll know more next time. (It may have been the Condor - I love those Gangsta-tint windows ) And they often do transmit AIS: keep watching the relevant websites

Right, another busy day tomorrow - I'm off to my pit.
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Old 26 April 2008, 17:49   #5
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We went out for a run LYH to Portavadie on Monday this week there was some amount of milatiry movevment around Aran most i've seen for a while.

We had an encounter with the police rib last month (think they could do with a level 2 refresher on coming alongside . Nice to know there rib can only manage 34knts ~ their faces turned a rather nice shade of green when we told them what we could do.

On the same day we were told politely by the MOD police to give a sub a wide berth as we came out of Rhu , like i'm going to go alongside a sub surrounded by 4 ribs with what looked like guns on the front. We didnt ask what speed their rib did as i guess even with our engine trimed up a bullet goes faster.
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Old 26 April 2008, 18:20   #6
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We went out for a run LYH to Portavadie on Monday this week there was some amount of milatiry movevment around Aran most i've seen for a while.

We had an encounter with the police rib last month (think they could do with a level 2 refresher on coming alongside . Nice to know there rib can only manage 34knts ~ their faces turned a rather nice shade of green when we told them what we could do.

On the same day we were told politely by the MOD police to give a sub a wide berth as we came out of Rhu , like i'm going to go alongside a sub surrounded by 4 ribs with what looked like guns on the front. We didnt ask what speed their rib did as i guess even with our engine trimed up a bullet goes faster.
keeps them on thier toes .. Just need the throttle on max though other wise you get boarded with menace ..& guns ..... I think they just want to check out our superior hardware
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