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USS Fitzgerald, Sorry girls.

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The bow bulb of the cargo ship surely damaged the Fitzgerald below the water line. That would account for the flooding below deck though nobody is reporting that. With the damage above the waterline it looks like a strike from a perpendicular path which is just odd given the amount of radar detection gear on this newly retrofitted destroyer. There is no clarification of how two manned bridges both failed to observe the immediate danger. It would seem the right of way would go to the least maneuverable ship which would have been the cargo ship. It makes me wonder if the Fitzgerald was conducting identity checks on ships heading to North Korea and they were in the process of verifying the identity and destination of the cargo ship when the accident occurred. As speculation this is the only thing that makes sense given the detection capabilities of DDG 62. I'd be curious to hear the statement of the crew and captain is of the ACX Crystal, the cargo vessel under Philippines registration which is currently still in route to Tokyo making 13.5 knots. Everything about this is just weird.

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And to quote a verse from one of my favorite books on the 19th century Royal Navy:

"Trollops are capital in port, but will not do at sea"


Huh? What the Hell does that have to do with this?


Probably 7 dead and two critical


Erik, accidents in crowded sea lanes do happen. How is a good question and we'll have to wait and see what the accident report reveals.


This does bring back some bad memories

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Newsmax. Says it all.


I agree with Typhoid.


Must give way to a USN frigate.... under any circumstance.

Yeah I know it is a Destroyer. Same as everyone elses Cruisers. We operate them as frigates....


Please forgive the USN for having 58 of them!



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I am ex Navy and I did like having women on board our ship.

However that quote from CL was probably pretty cool back in 1910.


I sure hope the Coast Guard can find 7 missing Sailors? I will for sure keep my fingers crossed!!!!

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I'm confused. There's an opinion that the cargo ship should give way to DDG 62? I'm not following that conclusion. This incident happened at 02:30 AM local time so it was dark outside. How would the cargo ship know this was a USN Boat? We don't broadcast that information on any radar return the cargo vessel would have been getting. I would have hoped that there were voice communications but that's questionable as well. Turn the boat or wreck a 1.5 billion dollar investment? Seems like a fairly easy decision for anyone to make but I admit I have little knowledge of maritime rules. Maybe someone can help me understand.

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Ok a few points for the questions


The rules of the road require one ship to give way, which is based solely on relative positions, course and speed. The type and size of vessels do NOT play into it. There are some exceptions to that but none would have applied.


Without knowing the tracks of the two ships one cannot determine which was the burdened vessel.


Same thing applies ashore at the traffic crossing. If you in your little car has the right of way over the 18 wheeler, who gives way?


Note - while "the law of gross tonnage applies" to common sense and self preservation, that's not really how ships maneuver.


The 7 missing most definitely were on the ship. Every ship musters the crew every day so that the Captain knows who is aboard. Regular "man overboard" drills are conducted and musters taken so that it can be determined who is missing. In this case 7 are missing and the sequence of events and damage sustained leads me to believe that those 7 were likely trapped in the flooded berthing compartments and drowned. And that is where they will likely be found.


What happened? Someone screwed up. Something was missed. We will find out as the investigation reports are released.


A sad day.

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my two cents here about the right of way (yeah remember my RCN navigation course)


Rule 13 - Overtaking ret-arrow-generic-grey.gif

(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules 4-18, any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.

(b) A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with a another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.

© When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether she is overtaking another, she shall assume that this is the case and act accordingly.

(d) 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.


Rule 15 - Crossing Situation ret-arrow-generic-grey.gif

(a) When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.



So were the crossing or overtaking? Seems another ship made a sharp turn and the other did not have time to react, BUT they should have stayed clear one from another. The military beiing the more manoeuvrab;e should have been cautious, but hey, shit happens.


And military ship do not have priority by any mean, don't know from where this come from but some military ship had to give us right of way 1 or 2 times back in my course (we were on a civilian training ship)

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And now confirmed that the bodies of the missing sailors were found aboard the ship trapped in the flooded berthing compartment


So far as the rules of the road between ships - we do not know the tracks of the ships leading up to the collision nor any last minute maneuvers to avoid collision so it is premature to make any comments on who was at fault.

Edited by Typhoid

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If one looks at the damage to both vessels, it is evident that it wasn't a simple crossing scenario. The damage to the Fitzgerald from the ACX Crystal is more in line with a vessel that was approaching from abaft the starboard side, perhaps at a relative bearing of port 060 or less.  


And, the real question is who was overtaking whom?   A bunch of maritime lawyers are going to be arguing this one for a while.


Do you believe that maritime incidents involving crossing scenarios are simple, and that the they always rule in favor of the stand-on vessel?  Read the court of inquiry decision on the Andrea Doria versus the Stockholm.

And 1977 Frenchie, Rule 5 will be the key here, as it appears that both crews failed to comply with it.


Rule 5 -- Lookout



Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.


Rule 5 is a short rule that places a large responsibility on the mariner. Rather than specific duties, equipment, places, times, and number of persons, Rule 5 requires the master to decide how best to maintain a proper lookout. Instead of giving us precise guidance on the adequacy of the lookout, the Rule uses vague terms such as "proper" and "appropriate." Only in this way could the Rule reasonably provide for all vessels at all times. Requirements covering even the most common situations would have been intolerably detailed and complex.

The lookout requirement of Rule 5 relies heavily on common sense and good seamanship. If you are able to comply with the Steering and Sailing Rules (Part B of the Rules) and with Rule 34--all of which depend on lookout information--you will no doubt have met the demands of Rule 5. A proper lookout, therefore, provides all the information needed to comply with those Rules. If the information collected by the lookout is insufficient, then the master must intensify his or her lookout efforts (for example, by turning on the radar) or reduce the need for information (for example, by slowing a fogbound vessel).

The "information gap" that sometimes opens between the amount of information collected and the amount needed to comply with the other Rules is a leading cause of most collisions. Too often vessels collide because they their masters have either ignored the gap or have filled it with assumptions. An appreciation of the lookout requirement will take the mariner halfway toward avoiding collisions.

Definition and Purpose of the Lookout

What is a "lookout"? Perhaps the most common image that leaps to mind is that of a lone seaman wearing yellow foul-weather gear and a navy watch cap, stationed at the very bow of the ship and peering out into the gloom to catch a flicker of light or the moan of a foghorn. This perception is misleading. The term, as used by the Rules, denotes not a person but rather the systematic collection of information.

Responsibility for maintaining a proper lookout lies with the vessel's operator, not with a subordinate designated as "lookout." The vessel's operator--that is, master, watch officer, or person in charge--is the lookout manager. If the operator can keep a lookout personally, then coordinating the collection and analysis of information is relatively straightforward. But if the operator, that is, the decision-maker, must rely on others to gather the information, then management of a proper lookout becomes more complicated. The operator must ensure that information on the vessel's surroundings is detected in a timely manner and promptly communicated, so that he or she can correctly analyze the situation.

The purpose of the lookout is simple, so simple that it can easily be overlooked. As the purpose of the navigation rules is to prevent collisions, it follows that the purpose of the lookout is to collect the information needed to avoid collisions. This fundamental reason for maintaining a proper lookout is something to keep in mind.

Duty of the Lookout

Traditionally, the duty of the lookout was to watch out for vessels, lights, and other objects (such as reefs, shoals, and icebergs) by sight and hearing alone and to report their presence to the vessel's operator promptly. The lookout was allowed some discretion on what to report in crowded waters and would be assigned no other duties that would interfere with this important function.

Although the traditional principles of the lookout are still pertinent, today's mariner has tools available that greatly extend the distance over which information can be detected. Today, a proper lookout is a team effort. Yet the master of the vessel is the one held accountable. For this reason, the master must see to it that each member of the lookout team is competent in the use of equipment and diligent in the performance of that duty.

The master, who knows the vessel's needs for information and who has the authority and the Rule 5 responsibility, should determine the duties of each member of the lookout team. It is the master's duty to ensure that a proper lookout is maintained at all times. That duty cannot be delegated.

Tools of the Lookout

Sight, hearing, and "all available means" are tools of the lookout. While not too long ago "all available means" was limited to the spyglass, modern mariners have a wealth of tools with which to extend the human senses.

Human sight and hearing have, of course, their limitations. Near sightedness may be uncorrected or poorly corrected. Even good eyesight is affected by environmental factors such as ambient light, weather conditions, water spray, or wind. Fatigue can also affect vision, as can moving between extremes of light. Similarly, hearing my be impaired. The noise of wind and wave and ship's machinery may mask the sound you want to hear. The blast from a ship's own whistle blocks out other noises and will temporarily, perhaps permanently, reduce the hearing of the lookout. Hearing testing would be advised.

Fortunately, mechanical means for maintaining a lookout are available. "Available" to Rule 5 means "shall be used" in appropriate circumstances. Some of these "other means" are listed below:

  • Binoculars
  • Radar
  • VHF bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone
  • Automated radar plotting aids (sometimes called collision avoidance radar)
  • Differential GPS (DGPS) satellite navigation equipment
  • Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) radio transponders
  • Vessel traffic services
  • Navigation and piloting instruments

Radar has assumed such importance on modern vessels that Rule 6 (Safe Speed) and Rule 7 (Risk of Collision) discuss it specifically. Most commercial vessels are now fitted with radar, and probably anyone who has seriously ventured out on the water has some concept of what radar is and what it does. Why then are there so many radar-assisted collisions--collisions that occur even though the other vessel was observed on the radar screen? And why are there still night-time collisions when the radar was either not turned on or not observed? As with most tools, radar will not provide any benefit unless used, and used correctly.

A lookout may check an empty radar screen and believe nothing is there because he or she can't see anything. What may have happened, though, is that a weak contact with a small nearby vessel is lost when the radar operator twisted the sensitivity knob to reduce sea-surface clutter. Collisions occur because radar observers rely on capabilities the radar does not have.

A lookout may observe a contact on radar, begin to form a mental pisture of the other vessel, an possibly make a course change. A few minutes later, upon checking the screen, the oberver "confirms" the other vessel's imagined course and speed a not leading to a collision. In making this "confirmation," the radar observer has incorporated a string of assumptions into the process. If the oberver had taken the time to plot the tracks, rether than rely on assumptions, he or she would have seen that the vessels were in fact on a collision course. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to distinguish between assumption and fact in your decision making. Consciously seek out, do not unconsciously suppress, conflicting evidence. It is very difficult to calculate mentally another vessel's relative course and speed after observing a radar blip two or three times--difficult to the point of impossibility. Assumption making is not one of the "other means" referenced in Rule 5.

If you are fortunate enough to have more advanced (computer-enhanced) radar equipment, your job will be easier; just keep in mind that all aids have their limitations. Do not assume a machine will do your job for you.

Some mariners believe that radar is not necessary on clear nights, yet collisions continue to happen in those conditions. In one such instance, a ship not using its radar ran into a large, newly constructed oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The platform was inadequately lighted, but so are many other vessels and objects. Just because you can't see something at night in good visibility doesn't mean it isn't there.

Rule 5 does not require the installation of radar, but if radar is installed it must be used whenever it would contribute to the quality of the lookout. What are your obligations if radar is installed on your vessel but is not working properly? Rule 5 does not require that mafunctioning radar be used. If the problem is temporary, such as signal blockage caused by a heavy rainstorm, the use of radar can be suspended but not abandoned.

Radar can be carried one step further by incorporating a computer to calculate the courses and speeds of other vessels the radar detects. The computer than relates that information to the vessel's own course and speed. The automated radar plotting aid (ARPA) displays position, course, and speed for each target and signals when it detects risk of collision. Some ARPAs will also display the projected future track of each vessel, all against the background of an electronic chart of the area.

Because all of the information on the vessels comes from radar, ARPA's technical limitations are the same as radar's. However easy it is to become overdependent on radar, it is much easier to relinquish the lookout function, including decision-making, to the magic-box ARPA. A poor understanding of this very useful tool may lead the unwary mariner into extremis.

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) have been implemented in some areas to advance the state of the art even further. AIS uses radio transponders in much the same way as the mandatory aircraft T-CAS collision avoidance system uses Mode-S radar transponders to transmit encoded information from each aircraft to other aircraft in the area and to air traffic controllers. In the case of the shipborne AIS, this information can include vessel identification, GPS/DGPS position, course, speed, navigation status, dimensions, or cargo. Combined with a display capability, AIS presents critical navigation and vessel traffic information to the bridge team. AIS systems at present are limited and have not been standardized, although an international standard is being actively pursued, and it seems likely that carriage requirements for such equipment will follow adoption of an international standard.

In many situations the best way to find out if other vessels are in the area is to ask. A blind call on the radiotelephone may elicit an answer from an undetected vessel, or a call about traffic to a known vessel may produce useful information, such as any planned course changes. In a number of heavily trafficked areas the mariner can call a vessel traffic service (VTS) for advisory information. The VTS operators keep track of all major vessels' positions, course, and speeds, as well as accumulate information on navigation hazards. This service will be discussed in more detail with Rule 10.

The tools available to aid the mariner in maintaining a lookout will continue to develop. The use of shipboard radar transponders in conjunction with ARPAs and radiotelephones, for example, is being explored. The continued exploitation of microprocessor technology will make available new means for maintaining a proper lookout. Whatever changes the future will bring, Rule 5 will continue to require that the person directing the movement of the vessel know the benefits and limitations of any new devices and be able to use them. Continuing education is part of the navigation rules.

Prevailing Circumstances and Conditions

A proper lookout is that which is sufficient to prevent a collision, without any allowance for good luck, in the prevailing circumstances and conditions. Tp give substance to this definition, we offer more specific observations:

  • A lookout in the open ocean can be less intense than one in coastal or inland waters. It cannot, however, be abandoned--midocean collisions do occur.
  • A lookout on a vessel at anchor is required, with the level of effort depending upon the location of the anchorage, depth of water, type of ground tackle, wind, currents, waves, and so forth. The lookout should determine whether the anchor is dragging and should warn other vessels of the anchored vessel's presence.
  • The means and methods for maintaining a lookout vary with night and day. At night, lookouts should make greater use of binoculars and radar. Masters should post observers away from the vessel's own lights so as not to impair the night vision of the lookout. During the day and in good visibility, a vessel can be seen at a much greater distance , as indicated by the fact that a masthead light for the largest vessel need be visible for only six miles and for the smallest vessel, only two miles. During daylight, and under the most favorable conditions, the watch officer on a large vessel may perform the lookout alone.
  • The size and arrangement of a vessel have a direct bearing on the effort required to maintain a proper lookout. On small vessels where there is an unobstructed all-around view and where there is no impairment of night vision, the craft's operator may both steer and keep the lookout. Unobstructed view, simple controls, no distractions, and high maneuverability are important here.
  • Visibility is generally the key factor in maintaining a proper lookout. As the visibility decreases, the level of effort to maintain a proper lookout increases tremendously. Sight needs to be augmented by hearing, radar, and radiotelephone. Unless you are in the open ocean, you should seek precise navigational information. In the case of low-lying fog, at least one person should be positioned high enough to see over the fog.

Full Appraisal of the Situation and Risk of Collision

These last words restate the purpose of Rule 5. It is this broad objective that you should keep in mind when managing the lookout. If there is not enough information to assess the situation, you should tap all your resources to gather more. If you are still unable to acquire the information you need, then you should take steps immediately to reduce your requirement for information--for example, by slowing or stopping. Otherwise, you are violating Rule 5. This is not one of those circumstances where doing more with less is a virtue.


Although it is true that the determination of a proper lookout is left to the mariner, it is also true that courts of law assign as a contributory fault the lack of a proper lookout in a very large proportion of collision cases.

Edited by Fubar512

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A tragic accident to be sure, but I don't understand the name of this thread or the OP's quote.


Is it meant to imply that this accident was somehow a consequence of the US Navy accepting women into its ranks?

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A tragic accident to be sure, but I don't understand the name of this thread or the OP's quote.


I get your reference, Charlielima, even if the rest of these other Seppos don't. :smile: Did the tales of RAdm Audrey not get told in the US...?


Must give way to a USN frigate.... under any circumstance.

Nope. There aren't exceptions exclusively for the USN. They're subject to the same maritime naval conventions as everyone else.



The reports here were saying that at one point the Fitzgerald was at real risk of sinking. That must have been a hell of an impact! I guess we can only wait an see what the investigation uncovers. 

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The damage to the ACX Crystal is substantial and so incredibly high above the waterline compared to the much smaller Fitzgerald. It almost appears to me the bulbous bow of the ACX Crystal was forced down below the keel of the Fitzgerald and it's a miracle the Fitzgerald didn't sink. If the impact to the Fitzgerald had happened just forward midships this could have been a completely different kind of story. The findings from the investigation hopefully one day will be told. Were the tragic deaths of the crew due to the immediate impact in berthing compartments, due to heroic efforts to seal water tight compartments, or due to fact that they couldn't get out of the way of danger, doing their jobs or otherwise, before the orders to seal compartments were given. The crews and vessels both were truly blessed that night and to quote screen legend Mr. Sean Connery playing Captain Ramius, "Hey, Ryan, be careful what you shoot at. Most things in here don't react too well to bullets."  Nor to cargo vessels striking them I'd imagine. 



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The damage to the ACX Crystal is substantial and so incredibly high above the waterline compared to the much smaller Fitzgerald. It almost appears to me the bulbous bow of the ACX Crystal was forced down below the keel of the Fitzgerald and it's a miracle the Fitzgerald didn't sink.


Judging by that image, I'd say that it was the other way around. I'd wager that the Crystal's damage points to the 'Fitz having been picked up by the former's bulbous bow, at the time of impact.  If that is the case, it was fortunate that the Fitz's keel didn't buckle right then and there.

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I see it differently. I colored the strike points I see and the yellow line shows the displacement of the hull from the bulb on the ACX Crystal. I'm not sure how the keel of the Fitzgerald would be where you say it was. Happy to listen to the speculation though.



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I get your reference, Charlielima, even if the rest of these other Seppos don't. :smile: Did the tales of RAdm Audrey not get told in the US...?





I get the reference. I fail to see what a fictional RN RADM's comment in a fictional novel has to do with a tragic collision at sea.


The comment was deliberately insulting and entirely out of line, particularly so while Search and Rescue ops were still in progress at the time.

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Well no...... warships have right of way from Merchantmen, no reguards to nation.

Ah, no. They don't. Right of way is determined by relative position, course and speed. Warship has nothing to do with the rules of the road.


A common misconception but it isn't so.


Without knowing the tracks of the two ships, and any other contacts, there is simply no way to know what happened and who is at fault.


We'll have to see what the accident report says.

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Reuters makes this claim, "International maritime rules for collision avoidance do not define right of way for any one vessel, but provide common standards for signaling between ships, as well as regulations on posting lookouts."


While I was doing some research I came across this interesting cut away. The Fitzgerald (starboard strike) was hit in almost the identical spot as the Cole (port strike) at the electrical compartment oddly. You can see how close this accident came to the ammo stores on the Fitzgerald, dicey.



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Typhoid, there are few circumstances where a warship does have the right of way over another (non-constrained) vessel in open waters.  A carrier during aircraft launch or recovery maneuvers is just one example.




Formations and Convoys

1  The attention of shipowners and mariners is called to the danger to all concerned which is caused by single vessels approaching a formation of warships or merchant vessels in convoy, so closely as to involve risk of collision, attempting to pass ahead of, or through such a formation or convoy.

2  Mariners are therefore warned that single vessels should adopt early measures to keep out of the way of a formation or convoy.

3  Although a single vessel is advised to keep out of the way of a formation or convoy, this does not entitle vessels sailing in company to proceed without regard to the movements of the single vessel.

Vessels sailing in a formation or convoy should accordingly keep a careful watch on the movements of any single vessel approaching the formation or convoy and should be ready, in case the single vessel does not keep out of the way, to take such action as will best aid to avert collision.

Aircraft carriers

4  Attention is drawn to the uncertainty of the movements of aircraft carriers, which must usually turn into the wind when aircraft are taking off or landing. While operating aircraft, aircraft carriers will show the lights or shapes as prescribed by Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.  Aircraft carriers may display red or white flight deck lighting during night flying operations.

5  Mariners are warned that by night, aircraft carriers have:

(a) their steaming lights placed permanently off the centre line of the ship and at considerably reduced horizontal separation.

(b) Alternative positions for their side lights:

(i) on either side of the hull,

(ii) on either side of the island structure, in which case the port bow light may be as much as 30.5 m (100 ft.) from the port side of the ship.

6  Certain aircraft carriers exhibit anchor lights as follows:

Four white lights located in the following manner: -

In the forward part of the vessel at a distance of not more than 1.5 m (5 ft.) below the flight deck, two lights in the same horizontal plane, one on the port side and one on the starboard side. In the after part of the vessel at a height of not less than 4.6 m (15 ft.) lower than the forward lights, two lights in the same horizontal plane, one on the port side and one on the starboard side.

Each light is visible over an arc of at least 180°. The forward lights visible over a minimum arc from one point on the opposite bow to one point from right astern on their own side, and the after lights from one point on the opposite quarter to one point from right ahead on their own side.

Ships which operate helicopters

7  Mariners are warned that certain ships of the Maritime Command operate helicopters and cannot manoeuvre freely when helicopters are taking off or landing. Such ships are fitted with hangars and landing platforms, and when operating at night use red or white flood lighting.

8  By night, such ships in addition to the lights prescribed in Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations may exhibit the following lights:

(a) Red aircraft warning lights on the foremast, visible 360°. The lights will be on continuously when a helicopter is in the vicinity of the ship.

(b) A cluster of six red, green, or yellow lights, mounted on the after side of the helicopter hangar, visible from red 090° to green 090° through the stern. These lights will be used intermittently as required when helicopters are landing.

© Subdued white flight-deck illumination lights. These lights will present a general white glow to other ships.

(d) White, high intensity, flight deck flood lights, fitted on the after side of the hangar, visible from red 090° to green 090° through the stern may be used after the helicopter has landed.

(Red deck lights and flood lights may be used instead of white.)

(e) Lighting associated with Helicopter Operation may be shown in addition to masthead lights, side lights and overtaking light, at the discretion of the officer in tactical command (OTC).


9  Canadian and Allied Warships in conjunction with auxiliaries frequently exercise Replenishment-at-Sea. While doing so the two or more ships taking part are connected by jack-stays and hoses. They display the signals prescribed by Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.

10  Mariners are warned that while carrying out these exercises the ships are restricted both in manoeuvrability and speed. Other vessels are to keep well clear in accordance with Rules 2 and 18 of the above Regulations.

11 Lights and shapes carried by North Atlantic Treaty Organization Mine Countermeasures Vehicles.

Mariners are warned that Canadian, Allied Warships and Helicopters engaged in mine countermeasure activities, cannot manoeuvre freely whilst so engaged. These ships/aircraft may be encountered singly or in formation. Attention is directed to the lights and shapes displayed during these operations:

a. Minehunters

Ships engaged in minehunting will show the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27(f) of Schedule I of theCollision Regulations.  Minehunters normally work in conjunction with small boats and inflatable rubber dinghies from which diving or mine disposal operations are conducted. These may be up to 1,000 metres from the minehunter. When showing the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27 (f) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations,  other vessels should not approach closer than 1,000 metres of the minehunter. When a dinghy is being used to operate divers or conduct mine disposal operations, the minehunters in addition to the lights and shapes prescribed above will:

(1) By Day:

Display Flag 'A' or Flag 'B' of the International Code of Signals as appropriate.

(2) By night:

(a) Signal the letter 'U' by flashing light when approached by other vessels.

(b) Make a warning signal in accordance with Rule 36 of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations if approaching vessels do not take avoiding action.

b. Diving Dinghies

(1) When operating divers or conducting mine disposal operations, the dinghy will be required to:

By day:

Display/be prepared to display Flag 'A' or Flag 'B' of the International Code of Signals as appropriate when approached by other vessels.

(2) By night:

(a) Display/be prepared to display an all-round white light in accordance with Rule 23© of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.

(b) Be prepared to show a signal to attract attention in accordance with Rule 36 of Schedule I of theCollision Regulations.

c. Minesweepers

(1) Ships engaged in minesweeping will show the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27(f) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.  Other vessels should not approach closer than 1,000 metres from the minesweeper.

(2) In addition, the minesweepers may carry the following Station-Keeping Lights:

Two vertical white lights, dimmer controlled, visible from 020° before the beam on either side to right astern. In smaller minesweepers, where the lower light may not be visible through the whole area, it may be necessary to carry two lower lights, one on each side, visible from 020° before the beam to right astern.

d. Helicopters

The helicopter shall be equipped with a quick flashing amber light to indicate that gear is being towed.

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Fubar, you are absolutely correct and I made the point early on that there are exceptions where the naval vessel has the right of way, but that none of those applied in this situation. That last part is the key.


A lot we don't know yet so speculation is just that.

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