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Head-on situation (vessels are meeting on reciprocal courses)

  • Description of scenario: Vessel A: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel B: Power-driven vessel
    Area: On the high seas
    Visibility: Good (Vessels in sight of one another)
    Vessel A is meeting vessel B on reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision
    Vessel A has vessel B right ahead (relative bearing 000°)
  • Rule(s) to be applied: Rule 14 (Head-on situation)
    Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel)
  • Applying the Rule(s) and comments: In accordance with Rule 14 (b) (Head-on situation), head-on situation shall be deemed to exist when a vessel A sees the other (vessel B) ahead and by night she could see the masthead lights of the other in a line and/or both sidelights and by day she observes the corresponding aspect of the other vessel.
    In accordance with Rule 14 (a) (Head-on situation), when two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the other.
    In accordance with Rule 16 (Action by give-way vessel), vessels A and B which are both directed to keep out of the way of each other shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.