Part A Generals.
Regulations No. 5 for Preventing Collisions at Sea
(Rules of the Road at Sea)
The international regultions for preventing collisions at sea are binding guidlines that all maritime countries have agreed to as part of an international treaty to provide common right of way rules at sea. Each nation has enacted legislation that codifies these regulations as law for thier jurisdiction.
Collison regulations are considered just as legally binding as road rules, and if your actions are not in accordance with these rules and cause a collision, you could be at fault. The regulations work as they allow skippers to make an informed assumption about the intended actions of the other vessel and respond accordingly.
There are however some important considerations:
- - These rules apply when there is a credible risk of collision - so if you are more than several hundred metres away from the other vessel they do not apply, and you can take any action that seems the most practical.
- - Once there is an imminent risk of collision, all vessels are to take any avoiding action to avoid a collision.
These pages will go systematically though the collision regulations in easily digestable sections to help you understand the rules of the road. It is hard to remember it all, so these pages are made freely available so you can refer to them at any time.