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» Online Classroom   » Navigation Rules   » Public Discussion of the Nav Rules   » Interesting point about overtaking

Author Topic: Interesting point about overtaking
David Burch

 - posted January 22, 2014 12:48 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
We have recently received an interesting point related to the obligations of a vessel being over taken, which we take the liberty to share here as it is informative with regard to other rules as well. It stems from a USCG question.

"Your program has been of great assistance to me in studying for my Rules of the Road examination. I believe there is a problem with question 4324:
"Vessel A is overtaking Vessel B as shown. Vessel B _________ (Diagram 17)."

The correct answer you have listed is "should hold her course and speed," with Rule 13.a and 17.a.i cited. I disagree with you answer, and believe that the answer should be "may steer various courses and vessel A must keep clear."

Rule 13a states that "Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules of Part B Sections I and II, any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken." This means that Rule 17.a.i ("Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.") is more-or-less superseded. Rule 13.d. would be more applicable, "Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear."

Again, I love your app, I hope this feedback only serves to make it better!"

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA
David Burch

 - posted January 22, 2014 12:50 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for your inquiry.

I follow your reasoning, but i do not believe this applies to choosing the right answer to this question, and more generally to the way the courts interpret this. More specifically, we are notwithstanding Part B, 1 and 2 (not 3), but we must adhere to Part A, in particular Rule 2a, on seamanship.

... and Rule 19 in restricted visibility. B3

"various courses" could well include clear violations of good seamanship. There is a case of a fishing vessel being overtaken by a cargo ship, but the FV was on auto pilot with no one at the helm and then it turned into the overtaking vessel for a collision, and was found at fault. and there are other cases where the vessel being overtaken turned and caused a collision and was faulted.... usually going back to Rule 2a

also the question does not state if the vessels had made radio arrangements for passing (no turn allowed), nor if there were fog there or near by (no turn allowed).

Since we do not know any of these other circumstances, and we have two choices that are clearly wrong, we might lean toward the one that covers all the cases that are not listed, which appears to be what the USCG has done in this question.

That would be my thought on the matter. Thanks again for writing. It is an interesting point.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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