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Risk of collision may exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident

  • Description of scenario: Vessel A: Power-driven vessel
    Vessel B: Power-driven vessel towing another vessel
    Area: On the high seas
    Visibility: Good (Vessels in sight of one another)
    Vessel A and vessel B are crossing
    Bearing of vessel B taken from vessel A at interval of time is appreciable changing
  • Rule(s) to be applied: Rule 7 (Risk of collision)
  • Applying the Rule(s) and comments: In accordance with Rule 7 (d)(ii) (Risk of collision), risk of collision sometimes exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or a tow or when approaching a vessel at close range.
    The bearing change should be very evident, however sometimes this appreciably large change may not hold true for observations of large vessels. If the bow was being observed and the aspect of the ship changes from end on to a side then the bearing change would be evident but that does not mean that the risk does not exist. Therefore, care should be exercised for large vessels which subtend an angle at the observer, for vessels at close range and vessels in tow.

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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.