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Old 16 October 2007, 08:37   #1
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A question of Rules

A friend of mine was out fishing on Saturday in a 6m bayliner anchored outside of the main channel in the solent. Without any warning he suddenly noticed a 73ft sailing vessel bearing down on him facing bow to bow. He shouted and the skipper looked up but it was too late for her to miss him and the sailing vessel smashed its side into his bow and started to drag the boat underwater. Luckly the anchor line broke and his boat broke free. His boat is now a write off.

My question is "Are you suppose to legally display anything to indicate you are at anchor and/or fishing". His insurance company are asking the questions. My understanding is that if you are less than 7m you don't have to display an anchor ball but are you classed as a fishing vessel and have to display appropiate fishing lights.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Neil
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Old 16 October 2007, 10:23   #2
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its gonna be a percentage game me thinks..gut feel says 70% against the yacht, 30% against your mate..

Rule 18 states that a sailing vessel under way shall keep out of the way of a vessel engaged in fishing, but rule 3 states that the term "vessel engaged in fishing" means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls, or other fishing apparatus which restrict maneuverability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict manageability.

So, your mate with a fishing line out isnt really a vessel engaged in fishing and so the give way rule doesnt seem to apply..

I think what will also be questioned is the anchor issue..

Rule 30 states that a vessel of less than 7 meters in length, when at anchor not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule.

Where was he at anchor in the Solent, I reckon this will be important.

Ultimately, I figure it will be a case of deciding who, if anyone a) kept a good look out b) if the sailing vessel was proceeding at a safe speed and c) if either party took the appropriate steps to avoid collision.
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:01   #3
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Assuming the facts you have given are right, its an open shut case, the sailing yacht is in the wrong.

Fishing etc does not come into this.

Vesel under 7m at anchor outside main channel or fairway.

Sailing vessel should be keping a proper lookout by all avaliable means etc., should be assessing risk of collision etc, having deamed rick of collision risks, should maintain course, speed LOOK OUT etc, should avoid collision etc.
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:04   #4
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time for another kangaroo rib court----
it aint got an engine nor toobs, simple slay him alive,
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:05   #5
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Its the issue of where in the Solent the boat was...

rules say that if a vessel under 7m is not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule

so if the bayliner was near a channel or fairway or where other vessels normally navigate,which in the Solent is possible/probable depending on your definition of near, and not showing the correct shapes, then the yacht may have a limited defence hence my 30% comment..there's rarely a 100% decision made in favour of any party when enforcing the colregs.
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donutsina911 View Post
Its the issue of where in the Solent the boat was...

rules say that if a vessel under 7m is not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule

so if the bayliner was near a channel or fairway or where other vessels normally navigate,which in the Solent is possible/probable depending on your definition of near, and not showing the correct shapes, then the yacht may have a limited defence hence my 30% comment..there's rarely a 100% decision made in favour of any party when enforcing the colregs.
You could also argue that a vessel tends to limit it's normal area of navigation to the Sea therefore anywhere could apply!!! As this is a stupid assumption to make I agree with Doug - a boat that is obviously stationary in the water should NOT be mown down by another vessel if they are keeping a proper lookout!!!
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:30   #7
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Originally Posted by neilb View Post
A friend of mine was out fishing on Saturday in a 6m bayliner anchored outside of the main channel in the solent. Without any warning he suddenly noticed a 73ft sailing vessel bearing down on him facing bow to bow. He shouted and the skipper looked up but it was too late for her to miss him and the sailing vessel smashed its side into his bow and started to drag the boat underwater. Luckly the anchor line broke and his boat broke free. His boat is now a write off.

My question is "Are you suppose to legally display anything to indicate you are at anchor and/or fishing". His insurance company are asking the questions. My understanding is that if you are less than 7m you don't have to display an anchor ball but are you classed as a fishing vessel and have to display appropiate fishing lights.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Neil
I think the fishing thing is irrelevant, the boat was not a 'fishing boat'. It was 'a vessel at anchor'. Vessels under way should keep clear of vessels at anchor.

The colregs don't allow for a 'no blame' scenario. If two vessels collide then both are to blame - and the degree of blame is represented by a percentage, which the insurance companies use in calculating their liability.

The yacht should have kept clear. While your friend was not required to show an anchor ball, he was not (presumably) anchored in a recognised anchorage or harbour and so approaching vessels would not have expected to come across a boat at anchor. Common sense seamanship would require your friend to keep a lookout and warn any approaching vessel that he was at anchor - which he apparently did. His fault is that he didn't do that early enough to allow the approaching yacht to take avoiding action.

I think almost all the blame is with the yacht. They were obviously not looking where they were going. Though your friend took action to prevent a collision, he took it too late and so may share some of the blame for the incident.

If it were me I'd be really pissed off. Let's hope common sense wins the day.

Of course, I may be talking rubbish.
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Old 16 October 2007, 12:37   #8
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Neither where the boat was or what it was doing come into it. It could've been at anchor due to mechanical problems. For the yacht to have sailed into it meant that proper watch was not being kept aboard the yacht. If there had been serious injury involved, the yacht skipper would be looking at criminal charges.
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Old 16 October 2007, 13:37   #9
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Neither where the boat was or what it was doing come into it. It could've been at anchor due to mechanical problems. For the yacht to have sailed into it meant that proper watch was not being kept aboard the yacht. If there had been serious injury involved, the yacht skipper would be looking at criminal charges.
Im not a legal expert, but I dont think he is looking at criminal charges.
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Old 16 October 2007, 13:43   #10
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The sad reality of this type of situation is that the insurance companys will do a deal between themselves and both boat owners will be the loosers.
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